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