Winter is here, and although this season is full of enjoyable festivities, it’s also a time in which many people suffer from serious personal injuries. The winter months are a time for dangerous hazards, including slick roads and walking areas, which can cause devastating slip-and-fall accidents.
Avoiding slips and falls in winter is critical because these accidents can cause injuries that range from mild to incredibly serious or even fatal. In fact, slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of pricey emergency room visits, and they’re also the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries. These injuries have the potential to impair you for the rest of your life and are sometimes lethal.
Sadly, many people suffer from slip and falls and other personal injuries every winter due to private property owners’ negligence. In this blog, you’ll learn all about the most common winter injuries and how to hold a negligent property owner accountable if you’re injured.
Can You Sue a Property Owner for Negligence in Kentucky?
If you sustain injuries on private property in Kentucky, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Private property owners owe a duty of care to patrons and visitors to ensure their safety. This is known in the legal world as premises liability.
When someone enters private property legally — whether it’s a residence or commercial property — it’s the property owner’s responsibility to keep them from harm by either fixing potential hazards or by warning them of said hazards. If the property owner is aware of a hazard and fails to fix it or warn others, they could be financially liable for personal injuries.
For example, if there’s a wet floor inside a grocery store, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to warn others of this hazard to keep them from falling, which is why “Caution. Wet floor” signs are so common. Without the sign warning the public, the establishment could be held financially responsible for a patron’s slip and fall injuries.
It’s also important to remember that residences aren’t immune to premises liability law. So if there’s a hazard that injures a guest or tenant, such as an extension cord in the middle of a walkway or a broken staircase, the injured person can file a claim or lawsuit against the property owner.
This same principle applies in the winter months when the weather creates many potential hazards on private property, such as ice and the accumulation of snow.
If the hazardous ice or snow formed recently or is continuous, the property owner will likely not be considered liable if someone is injured. For example, if someone suffers a slip and fall injury in a grocery store parking lot during a snowstorm, the store owner would likely not be liable because they can’t continuously fix the hazard while the snow is ongoing. When the storm passes, it’s their responsibility to fix the hazard.
Wintertime Slip and Fall Accidents
Ice and snow can cause serious slip-and-fall accidents, and home and business owners are responsible for clearing surfaces on private property. Some areas of Kentucky even require private property owners to clear hazards on nearby public property.
For example, in Lexington, private property owners are required to clear public sidewalks adjacent to their properties. So if someone slips and falls on ice on a sidewalk adjacent to a gas station, the gas station owner could be financially responsible.
In addition to slip and fall accidents occurring outdoors, interior slip and falls are also common because people track snow and sleet indoors, leading to slick interior surfaces.
Some of the most common winter injuries caused by slip and fall accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe sprains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Emotional trauma
Failing to Clear Roofs and Gutters of Snow and Ice
Another common way that people suffer serious injuries in the wintertime is the accumulation of snow and ice on rooftops and gutters.
The formation of icicles along a roof can create serious hazards because a falling icicle can cause someone to sustain a head injury, including a traumatic brain injury or serious laceration.
Additionally, the collection of snow on a roof may eventually cause a cave-in, resulting in serious or even fatal injuries, including crush injuries.
As with ensuring the safety of walkways, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to clear hazardous snow and icicles.
Contact Kentucky Property Negligence Lawyers
If you suffer from a personal injury on another person’s property, you need to file a claim or lawsuit against them to recover the compensation you deserve, and you’re far more likely to recover more when you enlist the services of a qualified personal injury legal team.
For legal support in Central Kentucky, contact the lawyers at McCoy & Sparks Attorneys at Law. We’ll help you prove that the property owner is liable for your personal injuries, and we’ll ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages possible. For a free case consultation, contact us at 844-459-9467, or you contact us online here.