Frankfort Kentucky Personal Injury Blog

What are a hotel's safety duties for guests?

Hotels in Kentucky have the duty to provide a safe environment to their guests and visitors. They may face a premises liability or other negligence lawsuit for failure to exercise reasonable care for their guests' safety.

Hotels should inspect and seek out hazardous conditions that may not be readily apparent or seen by guests. Guests should also be warned about hazards. The establishment may be held liable if a guest suffers harm and the harm or danger was foreseeable, but the hotel did nothing to warn guests or eliminate these risks.

Medical providers may not admit to mistakes they make

If you're a patient who has suffered injuries due to errors during a surgery, you may believe that it's in your medical provider's best interests to admit the mistake, try to correct it and to apologize. If nothing else, showing this humility is something that you'd like to see.

The trouble is that today's medical culture highly encourages medical providers to be cautious when admitting mistakes. Doing so could lead to medical malpractice lawsuits that they can't win, which threatens their livelihoods. Even if a provider is truly apologetic and knows they made a mistake, they may never admit it to patients, but that's a significant problem.

Advocates seek action on stalled truck safety measures

Each day, there are over 1,000 crashes in this country involving trucks. Excessive speed has been blamed for many of these truck accidents. However, existing technology has not been fully implemented that can help prevent deadly crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published proposed regulations that would require the use of speed limiting devices for large trucks. Safety proponents, seeking action on these measures, have sought legislation mandating the use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems in trucks.

Cell phone use while driving increasing

The risks posed by a distracted driver have been a growing concern for several years. Driving while using a cell phone, for example, was attributed to over 800 fatal car accidents in this country in 2017. The number of observed motorists using cell phones also rose, according to a survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute.

The IIHS conducted a survey in northern Virginia. Survey results indicated that drivers were 57 percent more likely to use a cellphone than motorists in a 2014 survey. Manipulating a phone involves more than talking and includes things such as dialing, sending texts, and browsing the web.

Liability may be on the menu for restaurants

Restaurants open their doors to serve the public. But, like other businesses, restaurants and taverns can face premises liability claims for not taking reasonable steps to protect their diners.

A restaurant's major product can also be a major source of liability. Customers may fall ill because of food allergies or improperly kept or prepared food. A staff that is not properly-trained in cooking, cleaning and storing food could lead to food-borne illnesses.

Speeding prevention needs accelerated

Driving at excessive speeds has been a major part of traffic fatalities in this country. Despite serious car accidents, however, speeding has been publicly-acceptable and prevention efforts have been limited. The Governor's Highway Safety Association made these findings in a recently-released report.

Speeding was involved in 9,717 accident deaths in the United States in 2017. These constituted 26 percent of all traffic deaths in this country that year. In Kentucky, 18 percent of all accident deaths involved speeding in 2017.

Know what to do if you're in a truck crash

Whether it's the United Parcel Service (UPS), commercial drivers delivering goods or other large trucks, there is always a risk that they could cause a serious collision. Commercial trucks create unique dangers to smaller vehicles. If they do cause a crash, the likelihood is that those in the smaller vehicle will be injured or could be killed.

There are many reasons why truck drivers cause accidents. Some include minor errors such as failing to signal when intending to pass. Stopping too quickly can sometimes result in crashes, too. These crashes can be catastrophic in nature, since the vehicle is so large.

Medical review panels are a solution in search of a problem

The Kentucky state Supreme Court unanimously declared that the state's medical review panels, which required a panel evaluation of pending lawsuits, were unconstitutional. A constitutional amendment is being considered, which would re-establish these panels. However, medical review panels are not justified and do not improve the system for litigating wrongful death and other medical malpractice claims.

Last Nov., the Court unanimously found that these panels violated the right of access to the court system without delay by having to pre-approve the filing of lawsuits. A state Senator has introduced an amendment to the Kentucky constitution, which would require voter approval.

Boating and drinking

Drunk driving is not only a threat onshore and with cars. Drunk boating has also been a major factor in wrongful death in lakes and rivers in this country. It was uncovered that alcohol was the major contributor and the primary factor in 15 percent of fatal boating accident deaths in 2016. There were 4,500 boating accidents and more than 700 deaths in these accidents that year, according to the American Boating Association. People who have a blood alcohol content of at least 0.10 percent are 10 times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than sober boaters.

Alcohol may have a greater effect on boaters because of the sun and water. On land, people may have a few drinks over time without suffering significant impairment. But, having the same number of drinks on the water may have greater impact. Alcohol impairs focus, memory, the ability to process information and slows reaction time and reflexes, which diminishes the ability to safely operate a boat. It also adds greater dangers to water by causing disruptions in the inner which diminishes water lifesaving skills because a person has more difficulty distinguishing between up and down.

Common shopping hazards

The end of the holiday shopping season is a reminder that a retail store and shopping mall have the duty of protecting their customers from injury-causing hazards. Failure to conduct regular inspections, repairing hazards and providing warnings may lead to a premises liability lawsuit.

Visual merchandise may be hazardous. Customers can suffer injuries from falling merchandise when floor-to-ceiling displays are not properly secured, mannequins that are not fully supported with tightened support rods at the base plate and signs that are not properly fastened to ceiling grids. Customers can also strike signs that are hung too low. Lighted displays may be a tripping hazard through exposed cords or by having exposed wires or bulbs that burn or shock customers. Retailers must also warn customers of possible dangers with retail sign holders.

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