St. Louis County Slip and Fall Lawyer
When a person files a claim for a slip and fall injury, an injured person’s reasons for visiting the land and whether they had permission from the owner to visit the land may be called into question. In addition, negligent landowners may argue that a person’s own lack of caution was the root cause of the accident.
To build a convincing injury claim, a skilled St. Louis County slip and fall lawyer could work to investigate the incident to place responsibility on negligent landowners. They can also help to evaluate your rights as a guest and to refute any allegations that you contributed to your own injuries. To get started on your claim, be sure to schedule a consultation today.
Different Classification of Visitors in a Slip and Fall Case
The distinction of visitors is extremely important when trying to hold a landowner accountable for their negligence. By defining the victim’s reason for being on the property at the time of the slip and fall, the victim may be more likely to recoup compensation for their injuries. State law separates visitors onto land into three separate categories:
A victim’s compensation award could also be affected depending upon their status as a visitor. In order to recover the maximum amount of compensation, it is important to work with a St. Louis County slip and fall lawyer. An attorney could properly cite the law regarding the status of visitors and help you overcome any other related obstacles.
Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers in St. Louis County
Most injured guests receive invitations onto privately-owned land. This can be either for a business purpose or when property owners hold their land open to the general public. These people are called invitees. Examples may include shoppers in grocery stores or guests at a church. In this case, landowners should take all appropriate care to warn guests of hazards and take steps to fix those hazards.
Invited guests could also be referred to as licensees. These are people who receive invitations to enter otherwise private land, such as homes. Landowners here have the same obligation to warn visitors and maintain their property.
Lastly, slip and fall victims could be labeled as trespassers. These are people who enter private land without permission, or who enter open access property after hours. Landowners here must only refrain from intentionally harming these visitors.
Proving that a Landowner was Negligent
Once an injured plaintiff can show that the landowner had a duty to provide protection, they must show that the landowner failed in this duty. Failures of this appropriate care can include:
- Not placing warning signs about icy conditions
- Not cordoning off potholes in parking lots
- Not cleaning spills in a timely manner
- Not fixing a broken step on a common entryway
A St. Louis County slip and fall lawyer could help to gather the evidence needed to demonstrate landowner negligence. However, defendants may argue that a plaintiff’s own acts contributed to their injuries.
Under MO Statute §537.765, courts around the state use the concept of contributory negligence to assign blame following accidents. Using this law, juries must evaluate not just the actions of defendants that led to injuries, but also how a plaintiff’s own carelessness may have resulted in their losses. For example, in a case involving a slip and fall on ice, the defendant may be liable because they did not clear their sidewalk before opening for business. However, the plaintiff may share blame by not wearing appropriate shoes. A finding that a plaintiff contributed to their accident could potentially reduce an award at trial.
A St. Louis County Slip and Fall Attorney Could Help to Pursue Your Claim
All landowners have the duty to keep their land safe for invited guests. This includes both performing preventative maintenance, taking care of temporary hazards, and warning visitors about any potential problems. Landowners who fail in this duty, and thereby cause an accident, are responsible to provide compensation.
A St. Louis County slip and fall lawyer may be able to provide you with valuable help when filing an injury claim. They can gather the evidence needed to prove your claim, work to establish the idea that a landowner was negligent, and demand full compensation for your losses. Contact an attorney today to get started on your case as soon as possible.