In Kentucky, store owners owe as duty to protect the public from dangers or hazards the store knows about or should know about.
The main Kentucky court case on this issue of people slipping or falling in a business and injuring themselves is Lanier v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In the Walmart case, the Court said that to maintain a lawsuit against a business for an injury involving a customer or person slipping or falling, while at the business, the injured party must prove: (i) he or she slipped or fell on a substance or object while at the store, which was dangerous, (ii) the substance or object was a substantial factor in causing the person to slip or fall, and (iii) because of the substance or object, the business was not in a reasonably safe condition for the person or customer who slipped or fell.
A substance that could create an unsafe condition could be food, water, or some other fluid on the floor, including substances that have leaked out of products on the shelves. An object that could create an unsafe condition could be a product or part thereof on the floor, a problem or defect with the floor itself, a loose or broken step, a hole, or a loose or broken handrail. These examples are not all encompassing, as many other substances or hazardous conditions may qualify.
A business has a duty to check the store premises for hazardous conditions, including spilled liquids and other slipper substances. When a person slips and/or falls due to an unsafe condition in a store, they have a right to be compensated for the injuries, the pain & suffering, lost wages, and medical bills, that result from such.
Brent T. Ackerson, an injury attorney with Bahe Cook Cantley & Jones, believes that anytime an injury occurs in a store, the person who slipped or fell should immediately get the names and telephone numbers of people around them who may have witnessed the fall or injury. Identify the object or substance that has caused the fall or injury, and then immediately report the matter to the store’s manager and have an incident or accident report filled out. If you have a camera or cell phone that takes photos, gets photos of the scene and what caused the injury or fall. Seek immediate medical attention if you are hurt. Contacting an attorney right away to discuss the injury and your rights is also suggested. An injury attorney can send a letter to the store demanding that all surveillance tapes from the store be saved, before they are copied over or erased. Many times the surveillance tapes can be critical in resolving a case and forcing the store to admit they had an unsafe condition present which caused an injury.
For more information on legal rights related to slip and fall injuries, email Brent T. Ackerson .