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Articles Tagged with slip and fall

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mallThose who own or operate businesses that are open to the public have certain responsibilities to keep their premises safe for those who come onto the property for a business purpose, such as to shop at a store or eat at a restaurant.

When this duty is breached, an injured person has the right to seek monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with the accident.

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gas station

Attorneys who routinely handle personal injury cases often tell clients that it can take anywhere from a few months to several years for their case to make its way through the courts or settle.

Typically, however, the litigation process does not take anywhere near as long as it did in a case decided in March by the Kentucky’s highest court. In that case, a decade passed between the plaintiff’s initial injury and the court’s decision.

One factor that extended the case’s time in the courts was a change in the applicable law while the case was pending. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the court’s decision required their case to, once again, be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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wet floor

Places of business owe certain duties to visitors. One of those duties is safe and secure surfaces for walking. Spills can cause hazardous conditions, and businesses owe it to their visitors to clean up spills and similar hazardous conditions as soon as possible.

When a business or property owner breaches the duty of care that it owes to a visitor, the visitor has a right to seek monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. This gas station fall case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which sided with the injured person in the lawsuit.

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grocery store aisle

Say the words “slip and fall” and “grocery store,” and a mental image of a shopper sliding across the produce section on a banana peel inevitably comes to mind. It’s so cliché that it’s almost humorous – unless you are a person who broke a bone or herniated a disc in a fall.

The fact is that there are many serious injuries in grocery stores in Kentucky and across the nation each year, many of which could have been avoided had the store fulfilled its duty of care to the customer.

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A negligence case has four components:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Sometimes, a particular situation – such as a slip and fall injury, an act of medical malpractice, or a defective product – turns a simple negligence case into a more complex inquiry.
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Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. A recent case from the Kentucky Court of Appeals illustrates this point.

Facts of the Case

In Campbell v. Pro Video Audio Productions, Inc., the plaintiff was working as a professional stagehand at a concert in Louisville in 2012 when his foot became entangled in a tarp placed on the stage. He fell approximately seven feet, hurting his arm, leg, face, and hand. He sued the defendant, who was in the business of providing stage construction and sound system services, alleging that it had created an unreasonably dangerous condition by failing to place handrails around the stage.

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Kentucky Derby party fallBusinesses and landowners have a responsibility to keep their property safe for visitors. Of course, not every accident will result in a finding of liability because the plaintiff must prove that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the fall or other injury and should have taken reasonable steps to prevent harm to those who would be expected to come onto the property for a business purpose or as a social guest.

Commonly referred to as “premises liability” or “slip and fall” cases in the legal system, lawsuits arising from injuries on business property or another person’s land are often hotly contested by the owner of the property where the accident occurred. Often, the defendant will seek the dismissal of the case early in the process, and the court must decide whether the plaintiff has enough evidence to go to trial.

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Kentucky slip and fallWorkers’ compensation was designed as a compromise. An injured worker does not have to prove that his or her employer was negligent (as is required in most personal injury cases), but the worker’s monetary recovery is typically less than it would be in a negligence case. Whether or not this is a fair trade-off is a controversial subject.

The good news for an injured worker is that he or she can receive medical care and payment of temporary and, if applicable, permanent disability benefits, even if he or she cannot show that the employer did anything to cause the injury complained of. The bad news is that, even if the employer was at fault, the payout to the worker remains the same, with no compensation for pain and suffering or loss of consortium to the injured person’s spouse.

Sometimes, the parties disagree as to whether an injury was sustained during the course and scope of employment. For instance, an employee may be away from the business premises at the time of an accident (such as a car crash) but still arguably engaged in work for the employer.

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