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Premises Liability During Winter Months

Premises Liability During Winter Months

Anyone can become injured on someone else’s property for various reasons any time of year. However, the winter months put both property owners and their visitors at an increased risk of having to deal with an injury due to snow, sleet, and ice which can cause someone to slip and fall both indoors and outdoors.

If you are injured on someone else’s property, even if it is someone you know and love, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim to receive compensation for any damages sustained. Premises liability ensures property owners are held responsible for keeping their property free of hazards to prevent injury. If they fail to address the hazard and it causes an accident and an injury, they can be held liable.

Kentucky Laws on Premises Liability

When a person is injured in an accident and files a personal injury claim, it is typically based on negligence—meaning someone else’s negligent actions resulted in the accident and the subsequent injuries. With premises liability cases, it is no different. In Kentucky, property owners owe those who visit their property, commercial or residential, a reasonable care of duty.

This means they have a responsibility to keep their property free of any potential dangers and hazards that could lead to an accident. If they breach their duty of care by failing to keep their property safe and free of hazards that can cause foreseeable harm, they can be held liable for their negligent actions and be responsible for compensating the injured party. 

Property Owner Responsibility to Remove Snow and Ice

In the winter, property owners must take extra care to keep their property safe. The accumulation of snow and ice can cause someone to slip and fall, leading to a premises liability personal injury case. However, this does not mean that a property owner will be responsible for keeping their property free of snow and ice at all times.

For example, when snow or sleet is actively falling, a property owner is not likely to be held responsible if an accident occurs as a result of fresh accumulation. Once the storm has passed, however, the property owner must take action to remove the snow and ice in a reasonable amount of time to provide safe and clear paths and walkways. They must also take steps to ensure the floors inside their property are kept dry to avoid slippery surfaces.

In addition to moving the snow and ice, property owners must be cautious of where they move it to. Shoveling or plowing an area will not necessarily rid a property of the hazard entirely. For instance, if the snow or ice is simply placed in a pile on the property and that pile still poses a risk to visitors, the property owner can still be held liable for accidents that occur as a result.

Repeating issues, such as drainage pipes that leak water onto the sidewalk or other areas of the property, must be dealt with in a reasonable amount of time as well. During the winter, improper drainage can cause walkways to freeze over. Simply clearing the ice every time this occurs is not sufficient. The property owner must take action to fix the root of the problem, which is the leaking pipe; otherwise, they can be held liable.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident on Someone Else’s Property

If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your injuries and other damages, such as loss of income if you miss work while recovering or emotional anguish and pain and suffering caused by the accident. However, pursuing a claim due to premises liability requires being able to prove fault.

To prove fault in a premises liability case, you must show that:

  • The property owner owed you a reasonable care of duty by addressing potential hazards;
  • The property owner breached their duty by failing to take care of the issue in a reasonable amount of time;
  • Accidents and injuries were foreseeable;
  • Their breach of duty and negligence was the direct cause of the accident and your injury.

Proving all of the above can be challenging and often requires the help of an attorney. A lawyer who has experience in premises liability cases will know what to do to help you prove fault to get you the compensation you deserve. They can guide you through the process and help you gather evidence to help build a strong case against the property owner.

Trust McCoy & Sparks—Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky

Premises liability cases can be tricky, but they are not impossible so long as you have an experienced attorney on your side. If you or a loved one are injured on someone else’s property, the team at McCoy & Sparks will fight hard to advocate for your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draw upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all of your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions.

You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.