When an individual is injured as a result of an unsafe condition on a piece of property due to the negligence of the landowner – whether it be a wet floor or an unmarked hole – he or may be able to recover for his damages under Missouri’s premises liability laws.

Legal elements of a Missouri slip and fall case

In most situations, to succeed in a premises liability case, the injured person must ultimately prove that the injury was caused by another person or entity’s negligence. To do that, plaintiffs typically prove the following:

  1. that the property was not reasonably safe,
  2. that the property owner knew (or should have known) about the unsafe condition, and
  3. that the property owner failed to fix the unsafe condition or warn of its existence.

If the unsafe condition was open and obvious and the injured person failed to keep a careful look out, then the injured party’s damages may be reduced to the extent the injured party was the cause of his own accident – a legal concept called “comparative fault”.

Example jury verdict in a Missouri premises liability lawsuit

Consider the following example. A jury finds that a plaintiff suffered $50,000 in damages as a result of a slip and fall on a wet floor. The jury determines that the property owner knew the floor was wet and negligently failed to clean up the water or warn of the condition. The jury also determines that the injured person failed to keep a careful lookout and may have been able to avoid the water on the floor. If the jury finds that the slip and fall was caused 80% by the property owner’s negligence and 20% by the injured party not keeping a careful look out, then the jury will award the injured party $40,000 – reducing the $50,000 damages by 20% to account for the injured party’s fault in the accident.

Common circumstances giving rise to a slip and fall case

Slip and fall cases arise in a variety of contexts. Here are a few common examples:

  1. falls on an icy walkway or parking lot
  2. slips on wet floors in grocery or convenience stores
  3. trips on loose carpets or debris
  4. falls as a result of poor lighting or failure to install an appropriate guardrail

The role of an attorney in a slip and fall injury suit

If you are injured as result of a slip and fall, trip and fall, or otherwise as a result of an unsafe condition, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in identifying whether the requirements under Missouri law for a premises liability case are present. A personal injury lawyer can also assist in identifying and quantifying the damages resulting from the injury, as well as coordinating with medical providers to deal with medical expenses arising from the accident. The attorneys of Lear Werts routinely handle Missouri personal injury cases, including premises liability cases, and are well suited to protect your rights and help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries.

Call the Lear Werts LLP law firm in Columbia, Missouri for a free initial consultation

If you have been injured from falling on improperly maintained property, contact our Missouri injury lawyers at 573-875-1991 or contact us online to arrange for a complementary consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.