Sidewalk slip-and-fall accidents: Who is liable?

It is not uncommon to slip and fall while going about day-to-day activities. You may encounter treacherous surfaces in grocery stores, in hospitals and even while strolling on the streets.

A fall takes only an instant but can lead to minor to severe injuries, such as sprains, fractures and torn muscles. Depending on the cause and location of the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for any injuries you sustain. This includes slip-and-fall incidents that occur on sidewalks.

The responsible party depends on the locale

Under premises liability, property owners have a responsibility to maintain a certain level of care to ensure their structures and land are safe. This may mean posting a sign around a dangerous spot or repairing obviously threatening damage like a broken stair with gaping holes and pointed fragments pointing up.

If you trip on a sidewalk that is unevenly paved or noticeably cracked, two parties may be liable. The government, who is responsible for keeping public sidewalks in a safe condition, may be liable, or the businesses around the sidewalk where you tripped may be liable. This depends on the local statutes.

There is a statute of limitations

You have a year to file a claim; after that, your claim may be invalid. The countdown starts from the date of the incident.

Kentucky has a comparative negligence policy

Even if you obtain some compensation, if you were partially at fault for the fall, you may find your damages reduced by the percentage at which you were at fault. If the court finds you to be 10% at fault because you looked down while walking, you only receive 90% of damages, for instance.

If you slip and fall on a sidewalk due to negligence of the walking area, you may be eligible to receive compensation. The responsible party depends largely on local laws.