Property Owner Liability for a Personal Injury in Missouri
When you are injured on another person’s property, who is responsible for paying your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages? Missouri premises liability laws hold property owners legally responsible for injuries and accidents that occur on their property.
However, you have the burden of proving the legal elements of a premises liability claim to recover compensation for damages. A Kansas City personal injury attorney can assist you in gathering evidence and building a case against the negligent property owner.
What Types of Accidents Are Covered by Missouri Premises Liability Laws?
When there are dangerous conditions or hazards on the premises, a person can slip, trip, and fall. While slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claims, other situations could lead to an injury.
Conditions and situations that could lead to an injury while on another party’s property include, but are not limited to:
- Wet or slick floors that cause a slip and fall
- Cracked, uneven, and broken surfaces that cause a trip and fall
- Missing or broken handrails on stairs and steps
- Broken, uneven or damaged stairs
- Inadequate lighting and security
- Unsecured swimming pools
- Faulty escalators and elevators
- Icy and snow-covered sidewalks, parking lots, and walkways
- Exposure to chemicals and other dangerous materials
- Exposed wiring and electrical outlets
- Animals that attack or bite
- School and playground accidents
Property owners are responsible for conditions on their property. The responsibility varies depending on the person who was injured.
The Duty of Care Owed by Property Owners
The duty of care or level of care owed by a property owner depends on who is on the property.
Property owners owe a reasonable level of care to invitees and licensees. Invitees are individuals invited onto the property for a business purpose, such as people in a store or restaurant. Licensees are people invited onto the property as guests or for social reasons.
Trespassers do not have the owner’s permission to enter the property. Therefore, property owners owe a lesser duty of care to trespassers.
What Are the Legal Elements of a Missouri Premises Liability Claim?
In order to recover compensation for injuries and damages that occur on another party’s property, you must prove each of the following legal elements:
1. Dangerous Condition
A dangerous condition or hazard existed on the property.
2. Reasonable Knowledge
The property owner must have been in possession and control of the premises. If the owner had no actual knowledge of the dangerous condition or a prudent person could not reasonably foresee a dangerous condition, the owner might not be liable.
Owners must use reasonable care to maintain the premises in a safe condition. The owner could be liable under premises liability laws if the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition or hazard.
3. Failure to Remedy or Warn
The property owner failed to use ordinary care to remedy the dangerous condition or hazard, or the owner failed to warn individuals about the situation.
4. Injury and Damages
The dangerous condition or hazard was a direct and proximate cause of the individual’s injury. As a result, the individual sustained damages because of the accident and injury.
Can Other People Other Than the Owner Be Liable for an Accident?
Yes, a tenant or property manager could be liable for injuries that occur on the property when the tenant is in control of the property and has the duty to maintain the property. For example, this situation is often the case when accidents occur at shopping malls, restaurants, and other businesses that rent the premises.
There could be one or more parties responsible for a premises liability claim. Our Kansas City personal injury attorney investigates the cause of your injury to identify each party who is responsible for the property conditions. It is essential to identify the correct parties who might be liable. Only those parties can be sued for damages.
What Should You Do After Being Injured on Another Party’s Property in Missouri?
Immediately notify the property owner or the party in charge of the property that you were injured. Then, call 911 for emergency medical services, go to the emergency room, or visit your doctor. Prompt medical attention is essential to help prove your case.
If possible, take pictures and make a video of the accident scene. It can be helpful to have evidence of how the property appeared at the time of your injury.
As soon as you can, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney. Premises liability claims are complex injury cases. The insurance company and property owner have resources to defend the case that you may not have. Our law firm has the resources, skills, and experience necessary to pursue your claim.
Contact Our Kansas City Premises Liability Attorney for a Free Consultation
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus is here to help your injury claim. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.