Slip-and-Falls in Icy Paths: Who’s Responsible in Louisville?


There is only so much we can do to avoid the perils of traveling after a snowstorm, especially ones that drop over two feet of snow. We can wear the best snow gear – a heavy duty jacket, multiple pairs of socks, and snow boots with great traction ­– and still slip on an icy corner on the road or trip on uneven banks of snow.

Slip-and-falls can cause grave injuries, including brain, nerve, and spinal damage. Slipping on the sidewalk can also put you in serious harm’s way if you accidentally slide onto the road, and collide with traffic. And yet, these kinds of accidents are commonplace. Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that people get to where they’re going without the undue risks of injury from a slip-and-fall?

The answer is complicated because it depends on multiple factors. Louisville law mandates that landlords shovel the sidewalk in front of their properties. Snow needs to be cleared within 24 hours of a snowstorm and property owners who fail to do so can be fined up to a $100 – which pales in comparison to the amount they may have to pay if they are sued in a personal injury lawsuit. Here is Louisville’s law on snow shoveling:

  • 97.113 SNOW REMOVAL (A) It shall be the duty of all persons and corporations owning or occupying property abutting a public street in Louisville Metro to remove within 24 hours thereafter such snow as may fall on the sidewalks in front of their property. Where the property is unimproved or unoccupied this duty shall devolve on the owner or the agent for the property. Where property is occupied by others than owners thereof, this duty shall devolve on the owner or the tenants and either may be proceeded against for the violation.

In Kentucky, personal injury lawsuits are based on the laws involving the responsibility of the owner and the person involved. Slip-and-fall cases rely on the evidence procured during the accident, and information about the landlord’s duty and the timeframe in which he or she should have performed it. For example, if you slipped during a snow storm, the landlord may not be at fault; they can’t do anything to stop the snow storm from happening.

Successful slip-and-fall lawsuits can procure millions of dollars for the victim as compensation for his or her injuries. If you had a slip-and-fall accident on the snow – the first thing to do is take photos of the scene and visit a medical professional. The amount of compensation awarded highly depends on the extent of injury. A doctor will be able to give you information about any chronic injuries you may suffer from as a result of the injury.

If you were in a slip-and-fall accident, and you wish to pursue a lawsuit or find out more information about slip-and-fall lawsuits, Contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case review to learn more about your rights.