You expect stores, hospitals, residences, and schools to be free from dangers when you visit.
With this expectation in mind, property owners have a duty to maintain reasonably safe premises and warn others of any unsafe conditions under certain situations.
While the law may vary from place to place, the basic premise is the same regardless of where you live: property owners must keep their land and buildings safe for allowed visitors and those with business there.
If you have been injured as a result of the condition of a store, building or other property consider contacting a Kansas City premises liability attorney today.
Free consultation! Contact via online form or call (816) 484-3776 immediately so that our Kansas City Premises Liability lawyers can preserve evidence and witness statements critical to your case.contact us
Types of Premises Liability Cases
As any experienced premises liability attorney knows, the possibilities are endless regarding the potentially hazardous conditions that could give rise to a premise liability claim in Missouri.
However, the more common premises liability claims include;
- Slip and fall injuries,
- Animal attacks,
- School and playground injuries,
- Unsecured swimming pools,
- Amusement park injuries,
- Negligent security,
- Power line or electrical wiring injuries,
- Exposure to chemicals and other dangerous materials,
- Asbestos exposure, and
- Inadequate lighting and security.
Slip and fall injuries are likely the most common premises liability cases. They are generally caused by:
- Wet or slick floors;
- Cracked, uneven, and broken surfaces;
- Missing or broken handrails on stairs and steps;
- Broken, uneven, or damaged stairs;
- Faulty escalators and elevators; and
- Icy and snow-covered sidewalks, parking lots, and walkways.
Property owners are responsible for the conditions of their property and must warn visitors of any potential hazard on their property or make said property safe from any such hazard.
Premises Liability Settlements and Claims
While it is true that victims may have a right to claim compensation from property owners when an injury occurs on their property, successfully acquiring premises liability settlements is not always easy.
Demonstrating that a property owner is liable requires proving that they were negligent. Negligence is a legal theory used in most personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
In general, someone is negligent if they fail to act in a way that is reasonable and prudent based on the circumstances.
To prove negligence in a premises liability case, the injured person must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owned, occupied, managed, or leased the property and was therefore responsible for maintaining the premises to a good standard;
- The defendant was negligent in maintaining the property, causing a dangerous condition, or failing to remedy a hazardous condition;
- The defendant knew of the unsafe condition and did not provide adequate warning of it;
- The defendant owed you a duty of care to provide safe conditions because you were either a licensee or invitee (more on these terms in a minute) on their property; and
- You suffered harm and damages as a result.
In Missouri, the specific duty of care depends on a person’s reason for being on the property. There are three categories in which a person can be considered a visitor to a property: trespasser, licensee, or invitee.
A trespasser enters a property with no legal authority. Property owners owe them a fundamental duty of care to not willfully or recklessly injure them.
Licensees, like dinner guests, are foreseeable visitors to the property with the owner’s express or implied permission but not for the owner’s financial benefit.
A breach of the duty of care toward a licensee would occur when a property owner knew about a dangerous condition that the licensee could not discover and the owner failed to warn the licensee about the dangerous condition.
Invitees, like customers in a store, are foreseeable visitors to the property with the owner’s permission and for the owner’s benefit.
The highest level of responsibility is owed to invitees. A breach of the duty of care toward an invitee would occur when the owner failed to inspect for any dangers or take appropriate action to address a dangerous condition.
Someone legally on the property is more likely to have a viable compensation claim for injuries in a slip and fall accident. That is why these three distinctions are important.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Slip-and-Fall Case?
Suppose you can prove the first three elements of negligence. In that case, you will still have to prove that you suffered injuries before bringing a successful premises liability claim, as any personal injury settlement primarily depends on the severity of your injuries.
Once you’ve established that an injury occurred, premises liability law allows victims to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitation,
- Future medical expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost wages,
- Future lost wages,
- Permanent disability, and
- Loss of quality of life.
Proving the nature and extent of your damages requires documentation.
For instance, you’ll need to prove lost income through your employment records or the severity of your injuries through medical records and bills.
Proving your damages can be tricky, therefore hiring a premises liability attorney is always best to maximize your potential recovery.
Contact Our Kansas City Premises Liability Attorneys Today
If you suffered an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
The premises liability attorneys at Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen, are the premier attorneys in Kansas City for catastrophic personal injury cases.
We are premises liability attorneys with an approachable but professional, client-focused firm. Let us advocate for you. Contact us today.