St Louis Slip and Fall Lawyer
St. Louis Slip And Fall Lawyer
A “slip and fall” accident is when someone slips, trips, or falls due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. These conditions include wet floors, ice, spilled liquids, uneven walkways, and more.
Slip and fall accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits. Victims can sustain serious injuries, such as fractures, head trauma, sprains, and neck injuries, putting them out of work and costing thousands of dollars in medical bills, not to mention the physical pain and emotional trauma involved.
Did you or a loved one sustain injuries in a slip and fall? Did someone else’s negligence cause the accident? If so, the slip and fall accident lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can help you recover fair financial compensation from whoever is responsible for your injuries.
Contact our St. Louis law offices today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
A slip and fall accident can occur in any place with hazardous conditions. Our attorneys often see slip and fall cases that occurred in:
- Retail stores
- Parking lots
- Shopping malls
- Restaurants and bars
- Office buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Gas stations
Every property owner has a legal “duty of care” to ensure the safety of everyone that comes on their property. Part of this responsibility is ensuring that the premises are free from dangerous or hazardous conditions that can cause a slip and fall accident, such as wet floors, ice, spilled liquids, snow, and poorly maintained walkways.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The following hazards are common causes of slip and fall accidents:
- Spilled food or drinks
- Snow and ice
- Mopped floors with no wet floor signs
- Uneven floors or sidewalks
- Broken steps or handrails
- Poorly lit stairwells and entryways
- Substandard stair treads
- Tripping hazards, such as electrical cords
- Leaking appliances or hoses
- Broken tiles or wood flooring
- Damaged carpet
- Cracked pavements
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Some fall victims are lucky to emerge relatively unscathed from a slip and fall accident. However, other slip and fall accident victims suffer significant and sometimes even life-altering injuries, such as:
- Neck and Head Injuries: People who fall and land on their head (or hit their head on something on the way down) may suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as concussions, contusions, and brain hemorrhages, which can be life-threatening in severe cases. On the other hand, an injury to the neck can result in a sprain, strain, or neck fracture.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Serious injuries to the vertebrae can lead to severe complications, such as chronic pain, ulcers, muscle spasms, infections, and paralysis. In the worst spinal cord injuries, a victim may experience permanent paralysis below the injured site.
- Fractures: Falling to the floor or a lower ground level can lead to broken bones in the arms, legs, wrists, or hips. These injuries are common in slip and fall accidents that occur on stairways.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: A victim may stretch or tear their muscles, ligaments, or tendons in a slip and fall accident, resulting in a soft tissue injury (sprains and strains).
- Cuts, Bruises, and Abrasions: A person who slips and falls may suffer cuts, bruises, and abrasions from making hard contact with the floor and other objects while falling. These injuries are usually minor but can be painful.
Who is Most at Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Older adults and children are the most obvious at-risk groups for slip and fall accidents. However, a person is also at risk of becoming a fall victim if they:
- Have poor balance
- Have vision problems
- Take certain medications (e.g., antidepressants, tranquilizers)
- Are physically disabled
- Have lower body weakness
- Stay on their feet for most of the day (e.g., nurses, construction workers)
What to Do if You Slip and Fall on Someone Else’s Property
When you enter a business or someone else’s property, you have the right to assume that the property is safe. You can also expect to be warned of any hazardous conditions, should there be any. Unfortunately, not all property and business owners do their duty to maintain the safety of the people who visit their property.
So, what do you do if you slip and fall on someone else’s property? Here are the best steps to take:
- Call For Help. Call 911 if you have sustained severe injuries that require immediate medical attention. Otherwise, consider contacting the police to document the accident. You should also notify the property owner or manager of the accident so they can create an incident report. Ask for a copy of this report before leaving.
- Document the Scene. Take pictures of the accident scene and the hazardous condition that caused your fall. See if there are warning signs obstructed from view and surveillance cameras that may have recorded your accident.
- Write Down Contact Information. Take the information of the property owner or manager on duty. If there are witnesses, ask for their numbers as well.
- Go to the Hospital. Be examined by a doctor to identify potential injuries, even if there do not seem to be any. Doing so will help ensure you receive immediate treatment and have a record of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Monitor Your Condition. Record the physical, mental, and financial effects of your accident, such as physical pain, ongoing emotional trauma, and economic losses resulting from your injuries.
- Call a Lawyer. Don’t talk to the property owner’s insurance company on your own. Call a personal injury lawyer that can handle your case and help you file a premises liability claim.
Property Owners’ Responsibility to Visitors
Under Missouri law, a property owner’s liability in a slip and fall injury depends on the legal status of the injured party.
A visitor may fall into one of three categories:
- An invitee is someone who has been invited to the property by the owner, usually for business purposes (e.g., customers, diners, hotel guests).
- A licensee is someone who enters a property for his own purpose or as a guest with the owner’s consent (e.g., social guests, delivery workers, door-to-door salespeople).
- A trespasser is someone who enters a property without consent from the owner. Trespassers can generally not file slip and fall claims against landowners if they are injured on the property since they have no right to be there. However, owners may be held liable if they intentionally put “traps” to harm trespassers on their property.
Filing a St. Louis Slip and Fall Claim
Premises liability is a legal concept in personal injury law that holds property owners liable for damages if their negligence causes injuries to another person. In slip and fall cases, “negligence” is an act or failure to act to prevent injury to others within reasonable expectations.
A business owner has the legal duty to address dangerous conditions on their premises or provide proper warning to customers. For instance, if the owner fails to fix a broken tile within a reasonable amount of time and injures someone, they could be liable for that person’s injuries and other damages.
You need to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your slip and fall accident, and you must prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The breach caused your accident
- The accident directly led to your injuries and other losses
Your lawyer needs substantial evidence to prove negligence in your slip and fall claim. They will help you gather relevant forms of proof, such as:
- Photos of your fall accident injuries
- Medical records
- Surveillance footage
- Documentation of the accident scene
- Witness accounts
- Expert testimony
You may also have to present documents to prove the extent of your damages, such as:
- Proof of lost wages
- Photos of damaged personal property
- Psychological evaluations
- Medical bills
Your lawyer will advise you of evidence you can begin collecting for your slip and fall accident case during your free consultation.
By filing a slip and fall claim, you can hold the negligent property owner liable for your losses, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for treatment costs, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, treatment, and anticipated future medical costs.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your accident leads to permanent disability. These damages may include loss of future earning capacity, mobility aid expenses, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages and income lost while recovering from your injuries or caring for an injured loved one.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies due to their injuries, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, and grief.
During your free consultation, your St. Louis slip and fall accident lawyer will estimate the potential value of your personal injury case. This estimation should give you an idea of how much you should receive from the defendant’s insurer.
Reaching a Settlement
Once you file a legal claim against the property owner, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. However, be warned that insurers prioritize their client’s interests and their bottom lines. Hence, you will likely not receive a fair initial offer.
Do not accept payment until you talk to a slip and fall accident attorney. Otherwise, you may be unable to sue for additional damages. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurer and maximize the potential value of your settlement. In addition, they will tell you what you need to avoid when dealing with insurers during your free consultation.
Other Legal Options
Not all slip and fall claims settle out of court. You may have to pursue damages in a premises liability lawsuit if:
- The defendant’s insurance company refuses to make a better offer
- The defendant denies liability or responsibility for your damages
Your lawyer can help you file a suit in civil court if either scenario happens. Your case will then go in front of a judge or jury, who will hear evidence from both sides before deciding a verdict.
Some fall accident victims pursue damages through other means, such as arbitration or mediation. If you want to avoid a court case, your attorney can help you recover compensation through these alternative dispute resolution methods.
Statute of Limitations
According to Missouri law, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is five years from the date of the underlying incident. Our personal injury lawyers will help you file your case on time to avoid losing critical evidence or missing the deadline.
The Role of Your St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Proper legal representation is vital to your personal injury case, regardless of what legal path you have to take. You must have an experienced slip and fall attorney who can help you:
- Understand personal injury law and how it applies to your case
- Investigate how and why the accident occurred
- Establish the property owner’s responsibility in the accident
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File your claim promptly
- Negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company
- File your slip and fall case in civil court, if necessary
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a St. Louis Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
Property owners owe visitors a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect them from hazardous conditions. Failure to do so can result in significant injuries, such as broken bones, head trauma, and soft tissue injuries.
Fortunately, slip and fall injury victims can hold negligent landowners and business owners liable for their negligence with a premises liability case. The experienced slip and fall injury attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team have handled thousands of these personal injury cases. Helping countless victims recover compensation for their medical treatment, lost income, and other damages.
Contact our St. Louis slip and fall lawyers today for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our personal injury attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.
- National Floor Safety Institute -About Trip & Fall Injuries
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Statistics on Falls