In most cases, people suffer little harm after tripping and falling. However, there are instances when a fall leaves someone with severe injuries that may have lifelong ramifications.

If another person’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer harm in a falling accident, consider meeting with a Maryland Heights slip and fall lawyer. A dedicated injury attorney could help you devise a strategy to recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Severe Falls

No person is immune from falling, and no place is exempt from maintaining an environment conducive to taking a tumble. Nevertheless, certain circumstances tend to lead to more slip and fall accidents, including:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Ice and snow-covered sidewalks and parking lots
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Broken sidewalks and flooring
  • Loose carpeting
  • Absent or broken handrails
  • Unsecured electrical wires

These and other conditions can place unsuspecting individuals in harm’s way, resulting in serious injuries such as broken bones, dislocated joints, spinal cord damage, and brain trauma. With guidance from a seasoned slip and fall attorney, individuals in the area could successfully negotiate a just settlement or persuade a court of an appropriate judgment amount.

Recovering Damages in Maryland Heights

How much a person could recover in either a settlement or judgement award depends on the facts of each case. A reliable local attorney could help people injured after slipping and falling accurately assess the evidence and pursue an amount that fully represents the harm suffered.

In Missouri, plaintiffs may seek three types of damages – economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic and non-economic damages are often collectively referred to as compensatory damages because they attempt to place parties in the position they were before the accident.

Quantifiable or economic harm includes past and future medical bills, lost earnings, therapy costs, and in-home health aides. Intangible injuries, such as emotional distress, loss of the enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, and inconvenience, fall under the category of non-economic damages.

Courts may impose punitive damages to punish malicious acts. If a property owner or manager engaged in behavior that intentionally disregarded other’s safety, the injured person may recover punitive damages under Missouri Revised Statutes § 510.261.

What are Potential Barriers to Recovery After a Falling Accident?

Missouri applies the theory of pure comparative negligence to personal injury cases. This rule requires all parties to assume responsibility for their actions, and plaintiffs may recover only for the percentage of fault attributed to defendants. In other words, if a plaintiff is 30 percent to blame, they may recoup only 70 percent of any amount awarded. The state applies a “pure” form of the rule, meaning that there is no point where the plaintiff’s fault will bar recovery – even if they are 99 percent to blame, they may still receive one percent of the damages. This rule may also play an integral part in settlement negotiations.

Statute of Limitations

As is the law in other states, Missouri requires injured persons to initiate their lawsuits on a timely basis. Under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120(4), people injured in a trip and fall must file their claims within five years of the incident. Failure to meet this deadline will likely result in a dismissal of the case. A dismissal not only precludes recovery in court but undermines a party’s negotiation power during settlement talks. By working with a nearby attorney experienced with slip and fall law, plaintiffs could avoid these missteps.

Seek the Counsel of a Reputable Maryland Heights Slip and Fall Attorney

Not every fall warrants a lawsuit, but when your injuries are severe enough and you have sustained real harm, a Maryland Heights slip and fall lawyer may be able to help. Whether representing you during settlement negotiations or before a judge and jury, a compassionate attorney could give your case the personal attention it needs and strive to secure just compensation for your pain. Call now to learn more about what an attorney could do for you.