Premises Liability Attorney in
St. Louis, Missouri

Picture this scenario: You’re visiting a local store and you unintentionally slip and fall on a wet surface. Your backward descent results in head and spine injuries. Is the store owner liable? Can you sue?

Now picture another scenario: You’re visiting a friend’s home for a pool party, and this time you slip on the wet deck surrounding the pool and suffer a significant head injury. Can the homeowner be held liable for your injury?

Both instances are covered by what is called premises liability law. Premises liability requires a property owner or operator to use reasonable care to prevent accidents or injuries on site. However, their liability often hinges on the status of the person on the property, specifically whether or not they are there legally and whether or not they could have reasonably avoided the accident.

If you’ve suffered an injury on someone else’s property in or around St. Louis, Missouri, or anywhere in the nearby areas of Jefferson County or Charles County, contact Jett Legal immediately. We will listen to your story, investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, and determine the best course of action to help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Premises Liability Laws in Missouri

Property owners and operators invariably carry liability insurance to cover accidents and other events that lead to injury. This policy covers premises liability, which is defined as the “duty of care” of the property owner or manager to rid the property of dangers, or to isolate such dangers with warning signs or barriers, and/or to warn visitors of any possible risk of injury.

Most states, including Missouri, categorize visitors to other people’s property into three distinct classifications that define the property owner’s liability for any possible injuries or damages to others. These three categories include:

Invitee

Invitees are generally customers or those who enter one’s premises for the owner’s financial benefit. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care, i.e., the most liability. Owners and/or operators can be held liable if they knew — or even should have known — of a dangerous condition and failed to fix it or seal it off with warnings or barriers.

Licensee

Licensees are considered guests, not customers, like the pool party attendee mentioned in the example above. The property owner and/or manager must know of the dangerous condition and neither fix it nor warn you of it to be held liable. The guest, however, is also responsible for exercising ordinary caution on the premises to prevent accidents.

Trespasser

A trespasser in most cases cannot make a premises liability claim even if injured. One exception is children who stumble onto the property. Liability can also result if the property holder deliberately harms a trespasser.

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Common Types of Premises Liability Claims in Missouri

Common types of conditions that often lead to premises liability claims in Missouri include:

Slippery Floors & Grounds

Wet or otherwise dangerous floor surfaces on the interior, and icy and snowy conditions on the outside on walkways, parking lots, and building entrances are all common circumstances that lead to premises liability claims. Uneven or broken walking surfaces can also lead to a claim. Generally speaking, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of accidental deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Security Negligence

If adequate security is not provided, and a robbery, rape, or assault occurs on the owner’s premises, the owner can be held liable.

Substandard Maintenance

Dangerous premises can result if the owner and/or occupier fails to exercise the proper duty of care to find and fix hazards, or to warn others of them while awaiting a permanent fix. Examples include broken stairs and handrails, uneven carpets or loose rugs, and exposed wires, nails, screws, or sharp objects.

Animal & Dog Attacks

In Missouri, you are responsible for keeping the pets and animals on your property in secure enclosures or otherwise prevented from attacking visitors, whether on your premises or outside the premises.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Owners are required to keep their pools locked or guarded at all times to keep them safe from intruders and uninvited users. Using the example outlined earlier, an invited guest must also exercise reasonable care, knowing that a pool deck will often be wet and slippery.

Filing a Claim & Recovering Damages

The first option for recourse if you have been injured on someone else’s property — whether a neighbor’s, a store owner's, or anyone else’s property — is to file a claim with the owner’s insurance company. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit.

Filing a Claim with The Insurance Company

If you file with the insurance company, the insurer will assign a claims adjuster to your case. Claims adjusters are professionally trained to protect the parent company’s bottom line. They will use every tactic and trick in their book to get you to say or admit to something that they can use to pin the blame on you, in whole or in part.

Under Missouri’s pure comparative fault standard, if the adjusters can show that you were, for instance, 50% at fault, they can reduce your award by half. Suppose your injury and lost-wage expenses came in at $100,000. If they can show you to be 50% at fault, they will only be required to pay $50,000. If they can show you were purely at fault, they will owe you nothing.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The same standard holds true if you file a personal injury lawsuit. Your award can be reduced by your share of fault, as determined by the court. In a lawsuit, however, you can recover both economic damages (for medical expenses and lost income) and also non-economic damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium (companionship).

Remember that you must file your lawsuit within five years from the date of your accident, or it will not be allowed under the statute of limitations.

Get The Justice You Deserve with Jett Legal

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you should seek the knowledge and advice of an experienced premises liability attorney immediately. Your attorney can assess your accident and determine the level of liability on the part of the owner and/or operator of the property.

If you and the attorney choose to first negotiate with the liability insurer, your attorney can handle the adjusters directly to save you from saying or doing something inadvertently to damage your case. If negotiations break down, you can always turn to a personal injury lawsuit to seek the compensation you deserve. You may also wish to proceed directly to a lawsuit to maximize the window for compensation. At the end of the day, your recovery is what matters most. If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, you have the right to pursue compensation that can help cover your medical costs and ease the burden of your recovery. So don’t wait. Call or reach out to Jett Legal today to schedule your own free case consultation. We’ll do everything we can to help you fight for the justice you deserve.

Premises Liability Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

If you or your loved one who’s been injured on someone else’s property in or near St. Louis, Missouri — contact Jett Legal today for help. We can investigate and determine the best course of action for you. Don’t try to navigate this process on your own. You have too much to lose if you face off with the insurance adjusters, who may attempt to stall or frustrate you into dropping your claim. Let us handle the heavy lifting. Call today to schedule a free case consultation.