When property owners fail to maintain their premises in a way that keeps it free from potential hazards, any resulting injuries to guests could result in civil liability. Whether a visitor suffers harm due to an icy walkway, a loose stair rail, shoddy electrical systems, or some other dangerous condition, victims are often left with substantial medical bills and physical complaints from which it can take years to recover.

If you have sustained injuries due to a careless landowner and would like to assert your right to pursue compensation, a St. Louis premises liability lawyer should be your next call. A well-practiced injury attorney from the area could explain your rights and advise you on how to best proceed based on your unique circumstances.

Duty of Care Owed by Premises Owners

When it comes to premises liability under Missouri law, it is vital for a local attorney to correctly identify the responsible party. However, it can sometimes be difficult to assess exactly who should be held responsible for a negligent failure to maintain reasonably safe premises or warn visitors of known hazards.

A claimant must show that a hazardous situation was present at the premises in question and that the owner or party in control of the property was aware, or should have been aware, of the risk posed. They must also demonstrate that the owner or possessor did not utilize an ordinary level of care to eliminate or warn visitors of the danger.

A critical way in which property liability is assessed in Missouri is by examining the specific type of duty a premises owner or possessor has to different visitors. Local law recognizes three types of property visitors all of whom a landowner owes varying degrees of care:

  • Invitee — a person who has been invited to visit the premises for business or official purposes
  • Licensee — someone who is a social guest of the property owner
  • Trespasser — someone who lacks authorization to be present on a piece of property

Property owners are held to a higher standard when it comes to maintaining their premises in a safe condition for those designated as invitees. Whereas with licensees, they may merely need to warn of unsafe conditions and not necessarily remedy them. Trespassers generally are not owed a duty of care by a property owner, though trespassing children may be entitled to extra protection if their presence was reasonably foreseeable, and they were not warned of a known hazard.

Seeking Recovery for Harm on a Dangerous Property

The severity of the injuries suffered on a hazardous property can range from mildly inconvenient to permanently crippling. If an injury on an unsafe premise is severe, local law provides the opportunity for those individuals to seek damages meant to pay for medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation or therapy costs, physical suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Potential claimants sometimes worry that their own conduct may be used to defeat their request for damages if they were partially at fault for their injury. As provided by MO Rev Stat §537.765, Missouri contributory negligence law does not bar claimants from seeking compensation if they are partially at fault. However, their total recoverable damages will be reduced proportionately by their percentage of fault.

Reach Out to a St. Louis Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability law encompasses anything from slip and falls to aggressive animal attacks. So long as property owners and managers allow hazardous conditions to persist, legal representatives could hold them financial responsible for any harm that occurs on their land. If you or a loved one were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, get in touch with a trustworthy St. Louis premises liability lawyer at our firm.