Hiking and slip-and-fall risks: Can you make a claim?

When you’re visiting a popular hiking location in Kentucky, you’ll likely see a few things. You’ll see lines and ropes across areas that you should not cross. You may see signage to let you know there is a risk of slipping or falling. You could have direct paths cut that you’re supposed to stay on while you travel through the area.

Unfortunately, these areas can be dangerous despite that the property owners do to try to make them safer. In some tourist areas, like the Red River Gorge, people have fallen to their deaths.

Not all incidents like this are the fault of the property, but in some cases, you may be able to make a claim if you fall and get hurt.

How do you know if you have a claim?

The first thing to think about is if the property owner took the right steps to eliminate hazards. Obviously, in places where cliffs are an attraction, the property owner isn’t going to make changes to eliminate those hazards. Instead, they may make markings to show where hikers should stop or cut out specific paths that are safe.

Warnings might be placed at entry areas to tell hikers that there is a risk of a mudslide. Another notice might tell them that the earth is very try, which can make cliffs likely to crumble if you get too close to the edge.

Many of these facts are meant to be common knowledge, so a property owner might not be held accountable. On the other hand, if negligence has led to the injuries or death, they can be.

For example, if there is a trail leading to a specific area with a railing and that railing gives away when someone leans on it, then there could be an opportunity to make a claim. If stairs that were installed break and lead to a fall, then this could lead to a claim as well.

All of the facts need to be discussed with your attorney before you’ll know if you can make a claim against a property owner for having an unsafe premises.