When someone is injured as a result of unsafe property or building conditions, they may have a right to make a claim for their damages against the owner of the property.
In some states, the landowner’s duty to protect an entrant on the land depends on whether that person is a trespasser, licensee or an invitee. The landowner’s duties are different for each type of entrant. The landowner owes less of a duty to protect the trespasser then the other types of entrants. The landowner’s duty of care is highest for business invitees. Kansas, however, has done away with these multiple classifications in favor of one standard of “reasonableness under the circumstances” of a particular case. Kansas still maintains limited obligations to protect a trespasser from harm.
Slip & Fall Accidents
In general terms, “slip and fall” accidents refer to situations where a person is injured by slipping, or tripping, and falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises. Such falls can happen inside or outside a building, and be caused by such conditions as bad flooring, wet floors, poorly lighted steps, or, in the case of outdoor accidents, weather-related or hidden hazards. An icy patch outside a door or a crack or pothole can be the cause of a slip and fall in a parking lot, for instance.
All slip and fall accidents are covered by negligence law. Property owners have a “duty of care” to see that their property is safe. This includes insuring that the building has no structural defects that could cause an accident, both inside and out. In some states the property owner may also have a duty to reduce problem areas caused by weather. Structural defects can include: loose floor mats, rugs, or tiles; water on the floor; poorly lit stairs or steps; cracks or holes in sidewalks or parking lots. Weather-related hazards may include standing water and icy spots. A plaintiff also has a duty to exercise reasonable care, so if any action of yours contributed to the accident, you may share in the negligence.
If you experience a slip and fall accident, you should try to determine what made you fall and if it could have been anticipated and prevented. If anyone saw you fall, be sure you get the names and addresses of all witnesses. Try to note the conditions in the area – was the lighting poor, was there some substance that made you slip. If you did slip because of something on the floor, try to obtain a sample. Also, try to get pictures of the area. Report any such accident to the manager or owner and insist that they make a report of it. Get a copy of the report before you leave.
It is your responsibility to prove that a hazard existed and that it was the cause of your accident.
One difficulty with slip and fall cases in Kansas is that the injured person must be able to prove that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. So if a person slips on a spilled juice at Dillons there may not be a claim unless the person can show Dillons knew about the juice and did not clean it up.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Ray Hodge & Associates at (316)269-1414. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we recover money on your behalf. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your rights.
Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.