Kentucky winters are nothing if not unpredictable. Often riddled with snow and ice, it was only last year that Pike County got 15 inches of snow in just one storm. This kind of weather can lead to some very dangerous driving conditions and cause major traffic accidents. It can also make parking lots, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and stairs very treacherous. One slip can result in serious injury. In fact, there are many individuals who require long-term medical attention due to pedestrian accidents involving snow or ice.
If you have been injured as a result of falling on snow or ice while on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim against the owner. Based in Pikeville, KY, snow and ice accident attorney Billy Johnson believes that people whose negligence results in harm to others should be held accountable. This includes paying compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal accident, wrongful death. A proven advocate with over 15 years of experience, Billy has made it his life’s work to help people throughout Kentucky. He has handled litigation in the United States Court of Appeals, the District Courts for both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Bankruptcy Court. Get started today with a free, no-obligation case review by calling 606-433-0682. You can also fill out this online form to discuss the details of your accident and find out your rights.
Landowners and those in control of property have a legal obligation to keep their property free from hazards, which includes keeping common areas clear of accumulated snow and ice. If reasonable care to prevent dangerous walking conditions is not taken, property owners may be liable. They also may have liability if they should have been aware that a third party moved the snow that caused the accident. Such third parties include maintenance companies that provide snow/ice removal and they, too, may be held liable if their work was poorly done.
You Can Only Be So Cautious
The circumstances that surround any accident are unique to each case. This is particularly true in incidents that involve ice or snow because both types of weather can form and either melt quickly or build up. While pedestrians do have some obligation to be careful around “open-and-obvious” hazards, that is only one factor to be considered in assessing fault. The Kentucky Supreme Court has recently determined that a landowner’s duty to remove or warn against natural outdoor hazards is not eliminated just because a hazard is obvious. Landowners who do not make reasonable efforts to correct dangers that others will foreseeably encounter have breached their duty of care.
They should exercise reasonable care in the removal of ice and snow when it falls as well as after it falls. For example, snow should not be blocking sidewalks; ice should not be allowed to accumulate due to thawing and freezing; and gutters should not be leaking onto walkways or directed to empty there.
Injuries resulting from falls on snow or ice can be severe. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, dislocated joints, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries are common. If you have fallen on snow or ice, consider seeking medical treatment even if you don’t think you are hurt, because the seriousness of some injuries is not always immediately obvious. Be sure to mention to the doctor how the injury happened so that your medical records will help confirm that the treatment was needed for slipping on ice or snow. If possible, take a picture of the accident site or ask someone to do it for you before the landowner has a chance to address the problem or before the condition has a chance to melt.
We Can Help
If snow or ice has caused you to be injured in a fall at a store, restaurant, hotel, mall, apartment complex, townhouse, home, condo, courthouse, post office, or any commercial, governmental, or residential property, you have legal rights that need protection. At the Johnson Law Firm, our experienced KY snow & ice injury lawyers handle premises liability cases in Eastern Kentucky and statewide.
Our founder, Billy Johnson, has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer and he is a proud member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible after you are injured in an accident, because any delay can cause critical evidence to be lost and make it harder to establish fault. You need your own investigative team working to secure the evidence needed to prove your claim. To get our team started immediately on your behalf, contact us today by filling out this evaluation form or calling us at 606-433-0682.