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St. Louis Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys
Request Your Free Consultation If You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
Slips or trips on someone else’s property could lead to falls that cause broken bones, joint problems, and more. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you may be able to claim financial compensation from the owner of a property or the business that is currently leasing it. Our attorneys can review your accident and help you determine your legal rights. We are here to help the victims of property owners’ negligence sue for compensation.
If you were hurt in a slip & fall or trip & fall, we’re here to help. Call our St. Louis attorneys at (800) 391-4318 to schedule a free consultation.
Missouri Slip & Fall Laws
Landowners and landlords are responsible if their negligence results in someone’s injuries. If they leave dangerous slipping hazards around or make it difficult for visitors to see items they might trip over, they could be held liable in court if anyone is injured. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, we urge you to gather evidence by taking pictures. If anyone witnessed your accident, their testimony can also be useful in building a case; try to get their contact information if possible. Such evidence will help establish that the landowner did not meet the standard of care necessary to protect the individual who entered the premises.
Pursuant to Missouri law, landowners owe the highest duty of care to business invitees. Business invitees are individuals that are on the property with the permission of, and to benefit, the landowner. If a visitor is hurt due to an unreasonably dangerous condition that the landowner knew about or should have known of its existence, they have the right to ask for compensation. In their suit, they can ask for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
3 Theories of Liability for Slip & Fall
When a plaintiff sues for negligence in a slip and fall case, the defendant is generally held liable under one of three theories of liability.
A plaintiff can try to prove negligence by claiming:
- the defendant either created the hazard or failed to take reasonable precautions to abate the hazard from being present;
- the defendant did not know of the hazard, but should/would have known if they were taking reasonably protective steps. (this implied knowledge is generally referred to as “constructive knowledge”); or
- 3) due to the procedures or method of business operations of the defendant, it is foreseeable that someone will be injured.
In regards to constructive knowledge, the jury must conclude the hazard persisted for such a time that a reasonable person would have discovered and remedied it. Accordingly, evidence that indicates how long the hazard was on the premises is crucial to establish the defendant’s negligence.
Slipping on Ice or Snow
Generally, under Missouri law, municipalities do not have the duty to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks when the condition is prevalent and exists throughout the city. However, this does not free a city of all liability; in Walsh v. St. Louis, Missouri’s Supreme Court stated,
“It is, however, the duty of the city to exercise reasonable care to keep its sidewalks free from dangerous conditions, which are not classed as a generally dangerous conditions, produced by natural causes such as snow and ice. Where snow accumulates on the sidewalk to such an extent that it produces a dangerous condition, not common to the general condition throughout the city, it is the duty of the city to exercise reasonable care to remedy such dangerous condition." (emphasis added)
In other words, courts have found liability when the area that caused the fall is either the only dangerous area in the city or when it is more dangerous than most other areas.
In this circumstance, liability can be found when:
- a municipality had sufficient actual or constructive notice of the existence of the condition, and
- the municipality had reasonable time to remedy the condition.
How to File a Slip & Fall Case
Slip & fall accidents are very common, second only to car accidents. Although they are often minor and of little consequence, they can cause life-changing catastrophic injuries. Common locations of slip & fall injuries include grocery stores, shopping malls, parking lots, and restaurants, as well as construction sites and similar locations.
After a slip & fall, it’s important to take detailed notes of exactly what occurred and witnessed the accident. If it’s possible to take pictures, they could help your case as well. Then, speak to our attorneys—we can help review the evidence and evaluate your case.
Let us help you recover the financial compensation you deserve for your losses. Contact us online or call } today for your free consultation.
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