Wet floors, broken stairways, and cracked sidewalks are just a few of the conditions that might cause someone to slip or trip and fall. If you fall in a public place or a business and sustain an injury, you could seek damages from the owner or occupier of the property. Damages might reimburse your out-of-pocket expenses and also compensate your pain and suffering, embarrassment, and any long-term impact on your quality of life.

Talk to a Wildwood slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. A hardworking attorney could take over negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance company to ensure that any settlement offer fairly compensates you for your losses.

Liability for Falling Accidents

The owner or occupier of a space that operates as a business or is open to the public wants people to enter their premises. Since they benefit from the presence of visitors to their business, they have an enhanced duty to provide a space free of hidden hazards.

Owners and occupiers that open their property to the public have a duty to conduct regular inspections and to repair any hazardous conditions. They must warn customers and visitors of any dangers. A failure to discover and repair a hazard within a reasonable time is considered legally negligent. If someone falls and gets hurt because of an undiscovered or unrepaired hazard, the owner or occupier of the property could be held accountable by a local attorney.

What if a Social Guest Falls?

When someone is a guest in someone’s home or on private property with the owner’s permission, the owner or occupier has less responsibility toward them than if they were a customer. There is no duty of inspection to identify dangerous conditions for the benefit of social guests. Similarly, owners and occupiers need not warn their guests about hazards that are open and obvious.

Someone who is injured by slipping and falling while a social guest might have difficulty proving that their fall resulted from the host’s negligence. Proving negligence requires a demonstration that the defendant breached a duty, and a social host’s duty to guests is minimal. However, a knowledgeable trip and fall attorney in Wildwood could negotiate with a host’s insurer to get compensation for the injured party.

Potential Limitations to Recovery After a Trip and Fall

Missouri follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, all parties are responsible for the consequences of their behavior. If the injured party’s actions contributed to the accident that caused their injury will not be able to collect 100 percent of their damages.

For example, if a customer fell over some stacked boxes in an employee-only section of a store, the customer would bear some responsibility for the accident. The store had clearly indicated that customers should not be in that section. The extent of the customer’s responsibility would be a subject for negotiation between the customer’s injury attorney and the store’s insurer.

If the case goes to court, a judge would decide how much blame to allocate to each party. If the judge decided the injured person bore half the blame for the accident, they would collect only 50 percent of their damages.

Strict Deadline to File Against Government

It is especially important to act swiftly if the fall took place on government-owned property. Missouri Revised Statutes §81.060  requires anyone seeking damages against a local government to file a notice of claim within 90 days of their accident. A Wildwood attorney could ensure someone who slipped and fell on a government owned property meets this strict deadline.

Schedule a Consultation with a Wildwood Slip and Fall Attorney

If you have sustained injuries in a fall on someone else’s property, it is wise to consult with a Wildwood slip and fall lawyer right away. Quick action usually leads to stronger cases, a better negotiating position, and more available evidence. Do not hesitate to seek legal representation. Call our office right away to schedule a consultation.