Representing Slip and Fall Injury Victims in Kentucky
Every year, millions of people in the United States suffer from a slip and fall injury. Of those millions, 800,000 people are hospitalized for serious injuries. In fact, one out of five falls leads to a serious injury, such as a head injury or broken bones. The injuries from a slip and fall often makes it impossible to perform daily tasks, get around, and lead a normal life. Here are some common types of injuries:
- Broken bones: A broken bone such as a wrist, arm, ankle, leg, or hip can require months of healing time, and many more weeks of physical therapy. A broken joint may never again function as it did prior to the injury.
- Head or neck injuries: Concussions, swelling and bleeding in the skull, spinal cord injuries, and bruising or damage of brain tissue are very dangerous and demand immediate treatment from a qualified medical professional. Head injuries can have lasting effects that plague the injured person their entire lives, including memory loss, impaired motor function, and paralysis.
- Mental health concerns: Many people who fall once, even if they do not appear to have suffered a serious injury, can develop a fear of falling, and a decrease of everyday activity, and in turn, lead to a weakening of the bones and muscles which then increases the risk of another fall.
- Death: The CDC reports that the rate of fatal unintentional falls has been on a steady rise over the last decade. Unintentional falls are one of the leading causes of death for people over 65.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Many slip and fall accidents are preventable, or the result of carelessness. A significant number of slip and fall accidents are the result of some form of negligence by a property owner or manager. Property owners have an obligation to maintain the safety of their property and reasonably protect visitors from the risk of injury. The following examples of negligence can cause slip and fall accidents:
- Slippery, wet or icy surfaces
- Steep or uneven stairs, or broken or missing handrails
- Unmarked steps or uneven walking surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Unprotected ledges or curbs
- Unmarked debris or obstacles that pose a risk of tripping
- Uneven walkways, tiles and floors
- Obstructed paths
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
You can slip and fall in just about any location. Anywhere that has potential slipping hazards like soda on the floor, broken jars containing liquid, unmarked mopped floors, or any other potentially slippery surface can be a prime location for a slip and fall accident.
Some of the most common slip and fall locations include:
- Gas Stations
- Grocery Stores
- Job Sites
- Parking Lots
Steps to Take After a Slip or Fall
Under Kentucky’s premises liability laws, a property owner may be held responsible if the property owner or a designated representative (such as a property manager or maintenance supervisor) fails to reasonably maintain their property, and creates an unreasonable hazard that leads to an injury, or if the property owner or manager knows of a hazard or dangerous condition but fails to warn guests properly and within a reasonable period once the risk is identified.
If you have fallen on someone else’s property and you believe it was due to negligence or hazardous conditions that could have been prevented, there are a few steps to take:
- Report the accident to the manager or owner immediately.
- Collect as much information you can at the scene, including witness contact information, the property address, the owner’s address and phone number, and insurance information.
- Document the accident by taking photos of the accident, the grounds, any obstacles or hazards you feel may have caused the accident, and any visible injuries to the body of the victim.
- Get a medical examination immediately. With a catastrophic injury the paramedics would likely be called, but even a minor injury should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional as soon as possible. Make sure you tell the doctor all your injuries, and what caused your fall. A seemingly minor injury could develop into a major medical issue down the road.
Finally, contact our team at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC at (800) 937-8443 for a free consultation. Our Louisville premises liability attorneys will work with you to investigate all the facts, and will fight to fairly resolve your slip and fall claim. Our goal is to recover the maximum possible in monetary damages.