Kansas City Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and falls (also known as premises liability cases) arise from dangerous property conditions. Common slip and fall injuries include broken bones, head or brain injuries, neck or back injuries, lacerations, ligament tears in your spine or shoulder, knee and ankle sprains and other soft tissue injuries. The worst part of a slip and fall -- they are completely preventable.
If the property owner would have simply maintained their property or warned you of the dangerous condition, a serious injury could have been avoided. Even worse, you now must deal with an insurance company that will fight every step of the way just to pay you as little as possible.
Our Kansas City slip and fall lawyer knows how serious slip and fall injuries can be. Our law firm has helped countless clients throughout Kansas and Missouri recover compensation from injuries after a slip and fall.
How Our Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a slip or fall in Kansas or Missouri, please know we are truly sorry for all you are going through.
1. Call our slip and fall attorney in Kansas City
Call our law firm right now at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation. We would love to hear your story regardless of whether you hire our attorney. We can offer you a strategy on how to protect your rights and guidance next steps to take. Of course, if you would like to hire our firm, we can share our process for helping our clients achieve a maximum recovery for their injuries.
We want to send you a copy of Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Injury Claim Without Going to Court right now - before you talk to the adjuster or sign any forms. It will show you the exact steps you must take to recover money for your injuries, including amounts for medical bills and lost wages.
3. Browse our collection of articles, blog posts, and FAQs
Browse our collection of articles, FAQs, and blog posts about slip and fall cases. If you don't see your question answered there, just fill out a contact form on our website and let us know more about your situation.
Slip & Falls Cause Serious Injuries in Kansas City
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 million people aged 65 or older nationwide are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year. Over 800,000 people a year are hospitalized throughout the United States because of an injury from a slip or trip and fall, and the most common of these injuries are a head injury or hip fracture.
In addition, the risk of a slip and fall injury is not limited to certain age groups. In fact, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the CDC, recently released data that shows unintentional falls are the top cause of nonfatal injury in all age groups except 10-24. For ages 10-24, unintentional fall is the second leading cause of nonfatal injury.
This data shows confirms how common accidents occur due to slips, trips and falls. It also dispels the myth that injuries resulting from slip and falls are insignificant or not serious. The contrary is true – slip and fall accidents can result in very serious injuries, like broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
The CDC estimates that one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Slip and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and can also result in serious neck, back or spine injuries and even death.
Where Slip & Fall Accidents Occur in Missouri & Kansas
Slip and falls can occur in a variety of settings. Many times, a slip and fall happens inside or directly outside a business. A slip and fall injury claim is based on a legal doctrine known as premises liability, which allows an injured person to hold the property owner accountable for a failure to maintain a safe premises.
Slip and falls commonly occur in the following places:
- Hotels and apartment complexes.
- Restaurants and bars.
- Retail stores and parking lots.
- Your workplace.
- Homes and single family residences.
- Stairs, sidewalks and driveways.
Causes of Slip & Fall Injuries in Kansas City
To make a slip and fall claim, you will need to identify the specific dangerous condition on the property that caused you to slip and fall. Common conditions that can be dangerous and cause slip and fall accidents include:
- Damaged sidewalks, driveways, or walkways leading to a business. This includes sidewalks or pathways that are uneven or potholes.
- The failure to remove or treat snow and ice to prevent it from being slippery.
- The failure to keep walkways clear from clutter or dangerous, slippery substances that could cause you to trip, slip or fall.
- The failure to mark or barricade areas that are dangerous. Examples include failing to use signs to warn of wet floor, uneven pavement, unmarked steps or other dangerous conditions.
- Stairs that are too steep or shallow, that have broken handrails or have narrow treads.
- Changes in the height or composition of the floor or ground.
Many slip and fall accidents can be avoided with maintenance or by taking reasonable measures to make the property safe for visitors. If there are dangerous conditions that cannot be repaired, the property owner or renter needs to adequately warn visitors of the hazard.
Common Slip & Fall Injuries in Kansas City
When you are hurt in a slip and fall, the amount of money you can recover from the property owner or renter who was responsible for the accident will vary depending upon how badly you were hurt. Common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:
- Bone Fractures. Hip fractures are an injury often suffered in slip and falls by the elderly, but anyone of any age can break a bone in a fall, such as leg, arm, foot or rib fractures.
- Knee or ankle injuries. Knee or ankle injuries include broken knee or ankle bones and sprains, strains, or tears of ligaments in one's knee (such as the ACL) or ankle, which may require surgery and even permanent hardware.
- Shoulder injuries. Injuries to the shoulder often result from a fall, which typically include damage to soft tissues through sprain, strain, and tear injuries (such as rotator cuff tears).
- Neck and back injuries. Falls can damage the soft tissues in your neck and back, including the muscles, joints, and ligaments. Strains, sprains, tears and herniated discs can result from fall injuries.
- Spinal cord injury. Falls are a leading cause of spinal cord injury. The most serious spinal injuries can result in paralysis or death. Even less serious neck, back or spine injuries can have lasting pain and complications.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), including Concussions. Brain or head injuries are more common than you may think. You do not need to lose consciousness or even suffer an impact to the head to suffer a traumatic brain injury. TBIs can result in serious cognitive impairment, and other limiting symptoms, such as mood changes, seizures, and memory loss. A concussion is often categorized as a mild brain injury, but post-concussive symptoms are anything but mild.
- Death. Anyone can suffer fatal injuries from a slip and fall or other premises liability accident. However, falls are a top cause of death for adults ages 65 and up.
How to Prove a Slip & Fall Claim in Missouri & Kansas
When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the property owner or other party responsible for the maintaining the property.
To successfully assert a slip and fall claim, you must prove that:
- Duty of care. The property owner or other responsible party had a legal duty to make the property safe for you or to warn you of the unsafe condition;
- Breach of that duty. The owner or other responsible party failed to fulfill and thereby breached its duty of care. This breach of a duty is often referred to as "negligence" of the property owner or manager.
- Causation of damages. The failure or breach by the property owner or other responsible party must have caused you to suffer injuries or other damages.
Evidence of Negligence
To make a successful slip and fall claim, you must first demonstrate that the property owner or manager was negligent. This could mean that they failed to maintain the property, did not warn of dangers, or created unsafe conditions which caused your accident. Here are some common signs of negligence:
- Unmarked Hazards: Wet floors, loose rugs, uneven surfaces, or other potential dangers that are not clearly marked or blocked off.
- Poor Maintenance: Cracked or uneven flooring, faulty stairs or handrails, poor lighting, or other signs of neglect in property upkeep.
- Violations of Safety Regulations: Any breaches of local, state, or federal safety laws or guidelines can be strong evidence of negligence.
Proof of Injury from the Slip and Fall
In addition to establishing negligence, you must be able to prove that the slip and fall resulted in a genuine injury. Medical reports, photographs of injuries, and testimonies from medical professionals can all be instrumental in proving this point. It's important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you initially feel fine, as some injuries may not present symptoms immediately.
Proving these elements in court can be difficult, particularly since there are defenses that may be raised by the other side. There are many reasons an insurance company may deny a claim, especially in a slip and fall in Kansas City. Such defenses include the doctrine of comparative fault. Missouri and Kansas law treat comparative fault differently, but it almost always is a defense raised in slip and fall cases in both states.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Slip & Fall Cases in Missouri and Kansas
Understanding the concept of comparative fault is crucial if you have suffered a slip and fall accident in either Missouri or Kansas. This legal principle can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim. While both states follow the doctrine of comparative fault, the specifics of the application differ. Thus, it is essential to familiarize yourself with this principle and its implications in each state.
Comparative Fault in Missouri
In Missouri, the law uses a policy known as "pure comparative fault." This means that if you were partially at fault for your slip and fall accident, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of blame. For instance, if you are awarded $10,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault, you would receive only $8,000.
Comparative Fault in Kansas
On the other hand, Kansas follows a "modified comparative fault" rule. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault for your accident, you cannot recover any damages. If you are less than 50% responsible, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 in damages but are 40% at fault, you would receive $6,000.
These comparative fault laws underscore the importance of accurate fault determination in slip and fall cases. It's imperative that you work with an experienced Kansas City slip and fall attorney who can guide you through these complexities, helping ensure proper fault determination and fighting for your right to fair compensation.
Note: The information provided here is a general overview and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions about your case.
Whether you live in Missouri or Kansas, understanding the comparative fault rule in your state can make a significant difference in your personal injury claim. Remember, the law can be complex, and even small details can have substantial implications on your claim. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek the counsel of a skilled attorney who specializes in slip and fall cases.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims in Missouri & Kansas
If you've suffered a slip and fall injury due to someone else's negligence, it's important to act quickly. The law places time limits, known as the "statute of limitations," on how long you have to file a personal injury claim. In Kansas, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. In Missouri, however, you typically have five years. Our Kansas City slip and fall attorney can provide guidance on these deadlines, helping to ensure that your claim is filed on time.
Q: Is the property owner at fault for a slip and fall injury?
A: Property owners are not responsible for all injuries that occur on their property. The area of law that governs these cases is known as "Premises Liability." In most of these cases, a property owner must have been negligent or committed intentional wrongdoing to be held liable for slip and fall injuries.
Q: What if the at-fault property owner won't pay for my injury?
A: If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident and the party you believe is at fault isn't willing to pay for your damages, it's important to follow these steps:
- See a physician,
- Avoid speaking directly with the property owner's insurance company,
- Document your damages,
- Avoid social media and discussing the incident with others, and
- Consult with an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer.
Q: What is a fair settlement for a slip and fall injury?
A: There is no simple answer to this question, because every slip and fall case is different, and the settlement value can change based on a number of variables. To understand the potential settlement value, our attorney will need certain facts and circumstances of the accident, such as the type of injury, medical treatment and prognosis, the amount of insurance available, and whether you share in any proportion of fault.
Here are the typical types of damages you can claim in a slip and fall case in Kansas or Missouri:
- Medical Expenses: This includes immediate treatment at the scene or in the emergency room, as well as follow-up care such as physical therapy, chiropractic work, and even surgical interventions if necessary.
- Lost Income: If your injury affects your ability to work, you may be able to claim for lost wages. This includes money you've already lost, as well as future earnings if you're unable to return to work or can only return in a limited capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Often, the physical pain and emotional distress following an accident can be more significant than the financial toll. Pain and suffering include physical discomfort, emotional trauma, stress, insomnia, and more.
- Lost Enjoyment: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying daily activities or hobbies that you used to participate in, these damages may be awarded.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: If the accident leads to permanent disability or disfigurement, such as a lost limb, paralysis, or significant scarring, you may be entitled to additional damages.
It's important to note that the specific amounts for these damages can vary greatly based on the unique circumstances of each case. For a more accurate estimation, it's best to consult with our Kansas City slip and fall attorney.
Our Kansas City Slip and Fall Lawyer is Ready to Help
Slip and fall injuries can be very serious matters. You may be struggling to pay your medical bills while also being unable to work and earn a living due to your injuries. The insurance company may be wanting to record your statement or asking you to sign forms. Missouri and Kansas law allows you to recover compensation for your losses if another party is at fault, but the insurance companies are experienced in delaying, denying and disputing these claims.
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury, our Kansas City slip and fall lawyer can help. Before you talk to the adjuster or sign any forms, you should download Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Injury Claim Without Going to Court. Our free report outlines how to maximize your settlement, including amounts for medical bills and lost wages.
You should also talk to our experienced Kansas City slip and fall lawyer who can help you through this process and avoid potential pitfalls. Contact our law firm online or by calling 816-203-0143 today for a free, no obligation consultation. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.