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Understanding common defenses in slip-and-fall cases

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Premises Liability

People can experience a slip-and-fall injury at various locations: stores, schools, private homes, malls, public streets, businesses, sidewalks and more. These accidents can leave the person with serious injuries.

Sometimes, in the wake of a slip-and-fall accident, people choose to file a lawsuit against the business or owner to try to recover for their injuries. Knowing common defenses used in these types of cases can help protect businesses from liability.

Obvious danger defense

The open and obvious danger defense applies to cases where the injured person hurt themselves on a hazard that any reasonable person would notice and avoid. The purpose of this doctrine is to demonstrate that those visiting a property have a duty of care to themselves to avoid apparent dangers and harm.

For example, a business owner may put a “wet floor” sign around the store after cleaning or on a rainy day. This signage shows that the owner was aware of the hazard and cautioned those entering the store. Once someone is aware of a danger, then it is up to them to protect themselves and avoid the risk.

Comparative negligence in Kentucky

Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if the plaintiff contributed to the fall by their own negligence, that percentage of fault contributing to the accident directly affects how much money the person recovers.

Comparative negligence is a common defense against slip and fall claims. This defense says that each party to the lawsuit was responsible for their safety. If found partially responsible for the accident, each party bears a percentage of the fault they caused.

Overall, several strong defenses can help a fight against a slip-and-fall lawsuit.