You expect the stores, homes, and businesses that you visit to be safe and free from hazards. When a property owner’s failure to maintain safe premises results in you being seriously injured, it might be time to seek the services of a Lexington premises liability lawyer.
Peterson Law Office dedicates an area of our personal injury practice to representing victims who have been injured on someone else’s property. Depending on the details of the accident and the severity of your injuries, you may be owed compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
Our law firm is pleased to offer a free consultation to injury victims who are interested in learning how working with Lexington premises liability lawyers can help support their case. Not only is this case evaluation completely free of charge, but it is also a no-obligation setting in which you can discuss your accident without any expectations.
What Is the Legal Responsibility of a Property Owner?
Under Kentucky law, all property owners have a duty of care to maintain safe, well-maintained premises that do not pose a danger to visitors. This duty of care encompasses:
- Fixing known dangers within a reasonable amount of time
- Conducting regular walkthroughs of properties to check for potential hazards
- Performing regular maintenance to prevent hazardous conditions from forming
- Placing signs or warnings that alert visitors of hazards that have yet to be fixed
These are the duties that a property owner owes to visitors. Visitors fall into three categories:
- Invitees – An invitee is a person that a property owner invites, encourages, or leads to visit their premises for a lawful purpose. An invitee might be a friend invited for drinks, a customer visiting a store, or a delivery worker dropping off a package.
- Licensees – A licensee is a person who visits a property for their own purposes rather than for the benefit of the owner. An individual popping into a store to use the restroom rather than shop or a utility worker accessing a main line on your property may be a licensee.
- Trespassers – A trespasser is a person who does not have a legal right to be on the premises, such as a burglar.
Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and licensees. Outside of extenuating circumstances, a trespasser cannot collect compensation for injuries they suffered when they did not have the property owner’s permission to be there.
However, a trespasser may be able to file a claim if they can prove that the property owner intended to hurt them or cause them harm. A property owner is not allowed to set a trap that would intentionally cause injury, even to a trespasser.
Special rules apply to premises liability cases when children are involved. The attractive nuisance doctrine allows parents to seek compensation for a property owner’s negligence even if their child was trespassing at the time of their injury.
An attractive nuisance is any dangerous thing that may attract the attention of a child, including:
- Swimming pools
- Water fountains
- Backyard playground equipment, including trampolines
- Tree houses
- Construction or landscaping materials
- Unattended ladders
This doctrine acknowledges the natural curious nature of children. Even when they are not supposed to be on another’s property, young children do not have the reasoning capabilities to distinguish between premises that are safe and those that are dangerous. It is the responsibility of every property owner in Lexington, KY to protect children from being harmed by an attractive nuisance that could potentially cause them to suffer serious or even fatal injuries.
Placing fences with secure, childproof gates around attractive nuisances is one of the most effective ways to prevent children from accessing areas that could cause them harm. If a property owner knew that there was an attractive nuisance on their property but failed to take action to deter children, they could be held liable for their negligence.
Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents in Kentucky
A premises liability accident is any type of accident that occurs as the result of a hazardous condition on another person’s property, and that causes a visitor to suffer injuries. Our law office has extensive experience handling complex premises liability claims, including those that involve the following:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Torn or uneven carpets
- Cracked or uneven sidewalks
- Uneven stairs
- Missing or rickety handrails
- Poorly maintained premises
- Poor lighting
- Insufficient animal restraints (including broken yard gates)
- Dog bites
- Snow- or ice-covered surfaces
- Amusement park accidents
If a property owner failed to address any of the above hazardous conditions and you were injured as a result, contact Peterson Law Office to claim your free consultation with a Lexington premises liability lawyer. As your lawyers, we’ll document the ways in which a property owner’s negligent actions or failure to act ultimately caused your accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability accident in Lexington, KY. Sometimes referred to as slip, trip, and fall accidents, these accidents occur when a visitor to someone’s property falls and is injured because of a hazardous condition.
A slip and fall accident can be particularly dangerous, as the sudden nature of this type of incident makes it virtually impossible to take protective measures. There is simply not enough time to react to a sudden fall, making head injuries and broken bones common among victims.
If a property owner owed a visitor a duty of care to maintain safe walking areas free from wet or slippery surfaces, the victim who suffered fall accident injuries may need to secure the legal services of an attorney to recover compensation.
Common Premises Liability Injuries
The nature, extent, and severity of a person’s injuries will depend greatly on the type of premises liability accident they were involved in. For that reason, no two victims should expect to suffer from the exact same personal injury or set of injuries.
However, there are some injuries that occur more frequently than others in premises liability accidents:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Jaw and dental injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
If you’ve been involved in an accident on another’s property, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of the most common injuries associated with these types of accidents can have profound and life-long side effects. Do not worry about your medical bills at this point, as recovering compensation for medical expenses is something a Lexington premises liability lawyer can help with.
When To Seek Medical Care
Anyone who has been involved in a serious accident should be evaluated for injuries as soon as possible. Peterson Law Office recommends going directly to the emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A headache that gets continuously worse or won’t go away
- Sensitivity to light or sounds
- Clear fluid or blood leaking from your nostrils or ears
- Dizziness or confusion
- Nausea or vomiting that won’t go away
- Blood in vomit
- Intense fatigue
- Intense pain in any part of your body
- Swollen bumps or lumps that could represent a broken bone
- Deep cuts or lacerations
You may also seek medical care at an urgent care location. These medical facilities are excellent for injuries and illnesses that are not considered emergencies, but for which you still require prompt treatment.
Whether you went to the ER, an urgent care, or did not seek immediate medical attention, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your regular doctor as soon as possible. When you call, tell them you’ve been involved in an accident and need to be evaluated for injuries. Tell your doctor if you’re experiencing any injury symptoms, and proceed directly to the emergency room if they believe you require emergency care.
Who Pays for My Injuries?
If you were injured on someone else’s premises, you may have a legal standing to hold the property owner responsible for the negligence that led to your accident. But who pays for your damages if you win your claim?
In most cases, it is the property owner’s insurance company that pays out settlements. For example, in a claim filed against a homeowner, the responsibility of paying compensation would fall on their homeowners’ insurance. However, you must remember that insurance companies do not operate to help injury victims. As a business, its main goal is to prioritize profits over all else. This means that at every turn, they will attempt to limit how much you can recover.
If you are ready to initiate legal action against a property owner for the negligent acts that led to your injury, we strongly recommend that you first consult with our law firm in Lexington, KY. A good lawyer will always offer free case evaluations to accident and injury victims in the area.
Compensation Available to Injury Victims
Like other personal injury cases, victims who are injured in premises liability cases may seek compensation to address their related damages. There are two types of damages for which you may recover compensation—economic damages and non-economic damages.
Injury victims in Lexington, Kentucky may suffer a wide range of financial losses related to their accident. These financial losses are referred to as economic damages. Although we cannot guarantee a similar outcome to other premises liability cases, we do know that these claims often involve the following economic damages:
- Lost wages if your injury required you to take time off work
- Loss of future income if your injury was so severe that you can no longer perform the same job or are unable to work altogether
- Co-pays for visits to your doctor, specialists, and surgeons
- Hospital fees, including emergency room bills
- Bills for medical tests like CT scans and X-rays
- The cost of domestic services
Your attorneys should advise you of all economic damages to which you are entitled.
Victims who have been injured because of a property owner’s negligence also have the legal right to recover compensation for non-financial damages. Non-economic damages are not any less important simply because they do not have a tangible price affixed to their impact. Calculating these damages can be challenging though, so you should only work with a law office whose attorneys have the knowledge necessary to properly value the worth of your claim.
Non-economic damages that often apply in personal injury claims include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of normal life
- Loss of enjoyment in life
Whether you were injured because of dog bites, on someone’s property, or in a car accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for non-economic damages caused by another person’s negligence.
Proving a Lexington Premises Liability Case
To successfully bring a premises liability case, you and your attorneys must prove the following:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care
- The property owner violated that duty of care by allowing a dangerous condition to exist on the property
- You were involved in an accident because of the dangerous condition
- You suffered damages as a result of your accident
Peterson Law Office has extensive experience handling complex personal injury claims, including car accident and medical malpractice cases. We have what it takes to determine liability in a wide variety of injury cases, including those that occurred on someone’s property.
How a Lawyer Can Help a Premises Liability Claim
The insurance company is not just going to hand over the maximum compensation you are owed. While it is not right for the victim of a serious injury to have to advocate for what they deserve, those who have been involved in an accident on another’s property are often forced to fight for compensation. Having a lawyer on your side will show the insurance company that you mean business, and that you are not willing to back down until you are awarded full and fair compensation for your injuries.
The services that one of Lexington, KY’s premises liability lawyers can provide include:
- Investigating the accident to determine liability
- Collecting essential evidence, including evidence of the accident captured on security footage
- Reviewing your medical records to determine your future needs
- Contacting witnesses and collecting their statements
- Securing the services of relevant experts, including health care professionals who are willing to testify on your behalf
- Negotiating with the insurance company and dealing with questions from insurance adjusters on your behalf
A premises liability claim is your opportunity to recover both economic and non-economic compensation via legal action. Do not waste this opportunity—only work with a law office that you feel is fully equipped to take on any challenges posed by your case.
Why Work With Peterson Law Office?
We believe that negligent property owners should be held liable for any action or inaction that resulted in a visitor suffering serious injuries. Our clients are our top priority, and we tailor our services and legal representation to support the attorney-client relationship.
Part of the attorney-client relationship involves seeing and treating you as more than just the victim of an accident. At Peterson Law Office, we explore how the accident and your injuries have affected your life. We strive to provide representation that is based on the best interest of you and your family.
We never allow the insurer to paint our clients as one-dimensional injury victims. If you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property in or near Lexington, KY, Peterson Law Office is currently taking on new clients. As a new client, you’ll have the opportunity to first meet with us for a free consultation to discuss your premises liability claim.
We’re the Personal Injury Law Firm That Cares
Our clients are the heart of Peterson Law Office. Anyone who has suffered an injury while visiting someone else’s property in Lexington, Kentucky may be owed compensation for their full range of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.
If you are interested in becoming a new client of Peterson Law Office, call our office or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation. During this meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to sit down and discuss the details of your case with one of our Lexington premises liability lawyers. There is never any obligation to move forward with our attorneys if you are not 100% confident in our ability to guide you through the entire process.