Property Owners Are Responsible for Maintaining a Relatively Safe Environment
Slips, trips and falls in Louisville can lead to debilitating injuries, from broken bones and fractures to traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. If you "slip and fall" on someone's property because of the owner's negligence, you may have grounds to file what is known as a "premises liability claim." Some falls result in minor cuts and bruises, and not every fall at a business is the fault of the property owner. But some slip and fall accidents can result in a serious personal injury and legal action against a negligent property owner who was either aware of, or failed to address, a dangerous condition.
Whether injured in a privately owned building, a public park, government building or your own neighbor's driveway, the owner of the property may be held liable for your injuries. Commercial property insurance and homeowner's insurance is intended for this type of situation to pay for medical bills, cover lost wages from missing work and long-term expenses such as physical therapy and rehabilitation costs.
In Louisville and across Kentucky, slip and fall accidents can occur in many different types of situations, including the following:
- Slippery Surface Falls
- Accidents in Stairways
- Accidents on Elevators and Escalators
- Injuries from Falling in Parking Lots
- Tripping over Uneven or Broken Carpets and Floors
If you were injured after slipping and falling on another person's property or a loved one was injured or died in an accident, call an experienced Louisville premises liability lawyer at the Whaley Law Firm today at 866-703-7575. Every conversation is confidential, and we offer all prospective clients a free case consultation. We're ready to listen to you. We're ready to answer your questions. Contact our firm today to learn more.
Property owners have a legal obligation to keep all walkways inside and around their property free of hazards that can cause a visitor to slip, trip and fall. When a visitor to a property does fall on a slippery surface, that property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained on his or her property if the proper steps weren't taken to address a dangerous condition in a timely fashion.
Accidents caused by slippery surfaces can happen in a number of locations, including grocery stores, parking lots, shopping malls, department stores, office buildings and restaurants. Slippery surface falls may be the result of a walkway covered in ice, a grocery store spill that isn't properly guarded and tended to by employees or a negligent restaurant manager who fails to address a food or beverage spill caused by wait staff or a customer.
When you've been injured or a loved one sustained serious or fatal injuries due to a fall accident, it's important to act fast. Property owners may try to claim they've nothing wrong. Their insurance companies may try to say you were at fault for your accident. An experienced attorney at the Whaley Law Firm can help prove fault for your accident and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure the long-term cost of your accident is covered.
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People slip, trip and fall every day in Kentucky. But when an accident happens on a stairway and causes an accident victim to fall down the stairs, injuries can be especially traumatic. Broken bones and head injuries are common. A loved one may even suffer fatal injuries as a result of a fall on a stairwell. Yet while you or a loved one may have done nothing wrong to cause an accident, you may find yourself at odds with insurance companies and property owners who try to blame you for the accident.
What can cause stairway accidents in Louisville and across Kentucky?
- Broken handrails
- Improper stair height or depth
- Uneven stair height or depth
- Broken stairs
- Wet or icy outdoor stairs
- Narrow stairways
- Uncleared obstacles
Stair accidents can become complicated legal matters. Stairways present a number of inherent dangers that are typically not present with other slip and fall cases. It's even possible for defects in stairs to remain hidden even after an accident. An attorney can help determine the cause of your accident, research whether building codes were violated and determine if a stairwell was constructed and maintained properly before your fall.
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Accidents on Elevators and Escalators
Escalators and elevators are found in buildings in Louisville and throughout Kentucky. While these machines are required to be properly maintained and undergo safety inspections, negligent maintenance of escalators and elevators can lead to injuries or even fatalities. The Consumer Protection Agency recently estimated there are 6,000 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with escalators each year in the United States. On average, about six people die using elevators each year. In some cases, an elevator or escalator may be inadequately inspected or poorly maintained. In some accidents, the manufacturer of a machine may be liable for designing a defective elevator or escalator.
Why do accidents happen on elevators?
- Improper design leading to an elevator fall or drop
- Improper maintenance leading to a car landing incorrectly
- Improper door movements
- Defective safety strips on doors
Why do accidents happen on escalators?
- Improper installation of side panels
- Improper maintenance leading to sudden stops
- Side entrapment involving shoes or sandals
- Lose or missing "comb plates" and other parts
After an elevator or escalator accident, it's critical to notify the owner of the property immediately and to seek medical attention. It is also important to contact an experienced attorney who can collect evidence, interview witnesses and conduct a thorough investigation into how and why your accident occurred. That way, you can rest assured you have an experienced legal advocate fighting for the compensation you deserve while you focus on what matters most: your recovery.
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Injuries from Falling in Parking Lots
Parking lots and garages give Louisville residents easy access to shopping centers, office buildings, airports, schools and other buildings. But while a slip, trip or fall accident may be the last thing on your mind when crossing a parking lot, serious accidents happen every year across Kentucky. If you've been injured or a loved one was injured or died due to a slip and fall accident in a parking lot, talk to an experienced slip and fall attorney in Louisville today.
Property owners have a legal duty of care to keep visitors to their premises safe from harm. Parking lots are typically made of concrete and asphalt, which due to changing weather conditions and regular usage, are subject to cracking. When a property owner fails to make regular inspections to identify dangerous conditions or repair defects, someone using the parking lot may get injured.
In addition, property owners have moral and legal obligations to address other dangerous conditions in parking lots and garages. This includes addressing icy or slippery surfaces, providing adequate signage warning visitors of potholes and other dangerous conditions, addressing damaged stairwells and providing adequate lighting. When an accident occurs as a result of these factors, with the help of an experienced lawyer, injury victims can file a claim and seek compensation from a negligent property owner.
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Tripping over Uneven or Broken Carpets and Floors
Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe manner, including ensuring floors are free of broken or damaged carpeting, loose tiles and other hazards that may cause a visitor to slip, trip, stumble and fall. However, accidents on uneven or broken surfaces can - and do - happen in Louisville and throughout Kentucky, often resulting in serious injuries to the person who fell.
Broken carpeting, loose floor tiles and other safety defects may be difficult to detect to the naked eye. Slip and fall accidents can occur on uneven or damaged surfaces for any number of reasons, including the following:
- Improperly constructed walkways or surfaces
- Surfaces are not properly maintained
- Safety issues are ignored by property owners
- Cracks in pavement and flooring
- Roots and other growth under sidewalks or walkways
When a person falls on an uneven surface, the injuries can be traumatic. A fall accident victim may sustain a fractured arm, wrist, elbow or broken leg. In severe instances, an accident victim may hit their head, leading to a concussion or traumatic brain injury, or sustain a back injury or spinal cord damage. These accidents often demand legal representation from an experienced attorney who can prove fault for your accident and fight for the compensation you need.
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