You may have tripped on a wire at a neighbor’s house. Or perhaps you slipped on a spilled drink at a local eatery.
If you sustained injuries on another’s property due to a dangerous condition, and those injuries resulted in medical treatment, you now have the bills and your recovery to contend with.
Whatever the cause, you may be entitled to compensation due to the property owner’s negligence under premises liability law. Examples include injuries stemming from the owner’s failure to clear debris from a sidewalk, clean up a spill or repair faulty stairs, loose handrails, poorly lit areas or damaged walkways.
The negligent property owner may be required to cover all or part of your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses stemming from your accident. In some cases, the owner’s liability is covered by their personal or business insurance company, while at other times a jury will make a finding at trial.
A qualified personal injury lawyer will help you understand your rights, navigate the process and ensure that you receive fair compensation. In the State of Missouri, the outcome of your premises liability case will hinge on a few factors:
As the plaintiff, you must prove one of the following things in order to establish property owner liability for your injuries:
What exactly is considered to be “proper care” by a “reasonable person?” Here are some of the questions the court will ask:
When you seek compensation in a premises liability case, the owner will try to prove that you bear at least some responsibility for your injuries.
In Missouri, the following factors are considered in determining shared responsibility:
If the insurer or court determines that you are at least partially at fault for the accident, a “pure comparative negligence” rule will be applied to determine what “share” of the accident was your fault and what share was the property owner’s.
For example, suppose the total cost of your accident is $10,000. A jury may find that you are 25% responsible for the accident, while the property owner is 75% responsible. In this case, you would receive $7,500 in damages from the property owner, while you would have to cover the remaining $2,500.
Insurers and courts will also consider your status as a visitor on the property. In premises liability cases, there are four basic categories of visitors.
Under Missouri law, you have five years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the property owner.
The statute of limitations applies to both physical injuries and property damage resulting from the incident. For example, you may have broken your watch or damaged an electronic device when you fell.
Because the clock is ticking, the sooner you speak with an attorney about your premises liability case, the better. With Eng & Woods, you’ll have a passionate litigator on your side who will thoroughly assess every detail of your case in order to win the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.