In Missouri and Illinois, and most other states, commercial and residential property owners owe guests and visitors a duty to make their property safe from defects and commercial property owners have the additional duty to inspect their property on a regular basis to make sure there are no dangerous conditions which can hurt business customers. If a visitor or tenant living on another person’s property is injured, the owner of the property may be legally responsible if it was the owner’s negligence that caused the injury.
If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of a property owner or manager, you have the right to take action to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost, wages, and other damages. The St. Louis premises liability lawyers at Sansone & Lauber are committed to helping people who have been injured in our community.
Schedule a free consultation with us today by calling us or contacting us online and learn how we can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Causes of Premises Liability Injuries in St. Louis
Though property owners and managers should be aware of potential hazards, address issues, and warn visitors of any dangers, far too many fail to do so. Any hazard that isn’t properly addressed or flagged for guests can cause an injury.
Some common causes include:
- Water on the floor
- Unmarked or hidden hazards
- Unleveled or uneven sidewalks
- Torn carpeting
- Stray or unsecured wiring
- Concealed or hidden defects
- Exposure to toxic or hazardous substances
- Defective escalators, elevators, and other equipment
- Inadequate security
- Poorly maintained decks and stairways
Unfortunately, serious injuries stem from commonly found hazards like a slippery floor or torn carpet. If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to hold the property manager accountable for expenses related to your condition.
Most Common Premise Liability Injuries in St. Louis
Premises accidents happen suddenly, and they can leave victims and their families to cope with the physical and financial impact of an injury for years to come.
Common premises liability injuries include:
- Fractures and broken bones – During slips, trips, or falls, victims can easily break or fracture bones.
- Electric shocks – When a property’s electrical system isn’t properly maintained, people are vulnerable to shock injuries. According to the National Safety Council, almost 300 people in the United States are killed by electric shocks annually.
- Burns – When property managers don’t protect guests from contact with harmful chemicals, dangerous surfaces, scalding liquids, or unsecured electrical systems, they put guests directly in harm’s way.
- Spinal cord injuries – A serious fall can leave victims with neck and spinal cord damage. Injury to the spinal cord can cause permanent loss of mobility and sensation.
- Head injuries – Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, hematoma, edema (swelling), and skull fractures are traumatic injuries that occur when victims endure a significant impact. These injuries have the power to leave victims with lifelong cognitive issues.
Though anyone could suffer harm at any time, some groups are at higher risk than others. The elderly are usually at higher risk of severe and possibly fatal injuries, especially in the case of slip, trip, and fall accidents, for example. Small children are also vulnerable to serious injury or death, particularly in the case of unsecured swimming pools, trampolines, and other “attractive nuisances.”
How to Determine Who Is Liable
Missouri law states that the person who is in possession or control of the property at the time of the accident is the proper defendant in slip and fall cases. In many instances of commercial premises accidents, the property owner and the property manager are not the same entity. For this reason, the blame likely falls to the manager who was tasked with the upkeep rather than the person who owns but is not directly involved in managing the property.
An experienced lawyer can look at the details of your case, who owns the property, who was in possession at the time, and negligence that may have been present to determine who should be held accountable.
How to Prove Fault in a St. Louis Premise Liability Case
The injured party must prove that the property owner failed to maintain the property or created an unsafe condition that caused the injury. You need a personal injury lawyer that understands the legal issues that are important to particular property owner liability cases. If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, a lawyer can help prove your case by showing that the property owner or other responsible party was negligent.
This could include demonstrating that a hazard existed for a long enough time that the property owner or manager should have been made aware of it and addressed it. It could also mean demonstrating that the property was not routinely tended to, or known hazards were ignored.
To assist your lawyer with your injury claim, try to collect and preserve evidence that will assist in proving the property owner’s negligence. This includes pictures of the hazard and the surrounding scene, eyewitness statements and contact information, and the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident (don’t wash them). These and other pieces of evidence could be useful to your lawyer when they begin building your case.
How to Ensure I Am Not at Fault for My Injury
In order to prove that the property manager, owner, or other party was at fault for the accident and not the victim, a few factors must be considered. First, if the victim was trespassing or did not have lawful access to the property, they will likely be considered responsible for their own injuries (with the exception being small children, under the attractive nuisance doctrine).
If the victim had a right to be on the property, they must have not been engaging in a reckless activity that would have prevented them from avoiding an accident. Lastly, if the victim failed to observe a clear notice or warning sign or if they were in a restricted area, the blame for the accident may not fall to the property owner.
Each case is different, so if you’ve been injured, reach out to a lawyer as soon as you can to figure out who carries the blame for your injury.
How Can Sansone & Lauber Help Me?
At Sansone & Lauber, we take injuries seriously. Over the years we have worked to help injury survivors regain a sense of normalcy and justice after an incident upends their lives.
- Results – Results matter. We are committed to pursuing the largest possible financial award commensurate with our clients’ situation. At the end of the day, that compensation is going to help them get their lives back on track. Over the years we have recovered millions of dollars for the people we have represented.
- Experience – We have served injured individuals in St. Louis for more than 10 years. We are committed to helping accident victims and their families get justice, as well as making our community safer.
- Service – Our lawyers are tough in the courtroom and at the negotiating table, but when it comes to our clients, we pride ourselves on attentive, compassionate service. We know the physical, mental, and emotional challenges that injuries present, and we tailor our service to always keep this in mind.
Missouri law allows injury victims to take legal action if unsafe property conditions caused their condition. At Sansone & Lauber, work on behalf of clients to pursue compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses – Even minor injuries can have a severe financial impact. Pursuing damages for medical costs gives victims the resources they need to manage past, present, and future expenses.
- Lost wages – Coping with an injury takes time, which often limits victims’ ability to work. Compensation can help offset the impact of lost wages.
- Pain and suffering – Dangerous property conditions can cause injuries that leave people with pain for the foreseeable future. Recovering compensation related to pain and suffering helps victims make the most of a difficult situation.
If you’ve been injured on an unsafe property in St. Louis, reach out to a member of our team today.