Comparative fault in premises liability cases


As this blog has discussed before, Kentucky homeowners and business owners have an obligation to keep their property safe and secure for their guests and visitors. When they do not do so, and when someone gets hurt as a result, then the property owner may owe the injured victim compensation. This legal concept is called premises liability.

Like several other states, Kentucky is what is called a comparative fault state. Speaking very generally, what this means is that a victim can be partially at fault for his or her own injuries yet still be allowed to sue for compensation. However, the amount of compensation the victim ultimately gets will be reduced in order to account for the fact that the victim bears some of the responsibility for the loss.

In premises liability cases, the notion of comparative fault is important. Even if a person who comes on to the property of a business or enters private residential property by invitation, that person still has some obligation to look out for his or her own safety and security.

By way of example, while a business needs to keep their floors clean and dry, it is also important for a customer not to run or otherwise horse around, as that could increase the chances of a slip and fall.

The bottom line is that those who come on to the property of another should take precautions to protect themselves from harm. On the other hand, even if a victim feels that an accident was at least partially his or her fault, pursuing compensation is still a possibility. In fact, it may still be the best means of getting expenses like medical bills and lost wages covered or at least partially covered so that a victim can more easily focus on his or her recovery.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC
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