A “duty of care” is the legal responsibility for individuals, property owners, businesses, and corporations to act reasonably to keep others safe. In Kentucky, when parties neglect this duty of care and you get hurt, they can be held financially liable for your injuries.
Examples of Duty of Care in Kentucky
When you step into a supermarket, a restaurant, or a convenience store, you may feel like it’s a privilege to be able to enjoy the services offered. You might feel you are responsible for getting what you need and for your own protection.
In fact, just the opposite is true. Businesses who invite customers in are required by law to look out for the safety of every visitor. This duty extends to many other parts of our lives:
- Duty of Care for Drivers – Getting behind the wheel places you under the legal obligation to show a duty of care towards anyone else who uses the road. This responsibility includes the care to avoid speeding and other reckless behavior that might cause you to lose control and hit another vehicle, a pedestrian, or someone on a bike.
- Duty of Care for Business Owners – Store and restaurant owners and operators are required to fix or clean up hazards they’ve created or that were created by another customer. This means mopping up spills on aisles before someone can suffer a slip-and-fall injury. It means providing safe parking lot environments. Businesses should be keeping walking paths free of debris that can prove to be a tripping obstacle.
- Property Owners – When you are injured on someone’s property due to negligence you should expect support in recovery from the owners and operators of that location. This can include certain accidents at an apartment complex, a park, or a concert venue. Local government agencies can ignore their duty of care to the public when maintaining a public building, a school, or the operation of public transportation.
Duty of care can apply to many other personal injury cases including medical malpractice, defective products, workplace accidents, and dog bites.
A Higher Duty of Care in Kentucky
In some instances of personal injury, those responsible can face a higher expectation of duty of care than in other cases. This elevated responsibility can include the care drivers must show to pedestrians no matter the circumstances. Because those who travel on foot are so vulnerable and defenseless when having to cross streets in front of cars, trucks, and SUVS, drivers are held to a higher standard of care.
Drivers can face elevated responsibility even if they are only partially to blame in an accident. Perhaps a pedestrian wasn’t crossing the street at a crosswalk, but the motorist who hits him or her can face severe consequences regardless. They are required to monitor the road and crosswalks closely at all times.
Teachers owe a special duty of care to their students. Doctors owe a higher level of care to their patients.
Liability for A Breach of Duty Of Care
When a business fails to fulfill its duty to act reasonably to avoid causing foreseeable injuries to customers, those hurt can file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit to try to get support to pay for their damages.
These damages may also come from a traffic accident or a fall down a crumbling set of stairs on someone’s property.
The recovery from these mishaps can be long and expensive. If these accidents are demonstrated to be caused by a failure to show a duty of care, victims should be able to seek compensation for many of the hardships they’ve faced:
- Hospital and medical expenses and those expected in the future.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Lifetime support for a permanent physical disability.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Damage or destruction of property.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Kentucky Victims
After suffering a serious injury in a traffic collision, a slip-and-fall at a business, or any other type of accident, please contact a local attorney to go over your options. You should never be burdened with the costs of recovery for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Those to blame for your accident may have neglected the duty of care they owed you and your loved ones when you were hurt. Allow our legal experts to clearly demonstrate their negligence and earn you the money you’ll need to restore your physical health and your financial stability.
The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have a combined 100 years of experience in helping clients and their families get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. To discuss your case in a free consultation contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, today.