Falls caused by a slippery wet floor or tripping over a hazard on the ground like an uneven sidewalk, a pothole in a parking lot, or a heap of debris outside a neighbor’s house, are much more common than you think. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls represent the leading cause of emergency room visits with over 8 million people injured each year. Slip and fall accidents rarely make headline news, like spectacular car accidents, yet they can do similar amounts damage.
Slip and fall accidents tend to happen to the individual, which perhaps explains why they are rarely mentioned until a lawsuit is filed against a large corporation. If you have suffered an injury from a slip and fall accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney with knowledge of Missouri’s premises liability laws, because claims against those at fault are notoriously hard to sustain.
The reason these cases are often so hard on the victim is that juries tend to view these claims as frivolous. However, slip and fall cases encompass a large number of falls, ranging from a small child falling through a hole in a hotel floor that is not barricaded, to a shopping mall owner failing to remove snow and ice which causes an elderly individual to fall. Premises liability cases should be viewed individually in light of the legal responsibilities the owner of the premises owes to the victim.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls Resulting In Claims
Many accidents happen in the home, but falling in your own home is likely your own fault. Homeowners insurance does not cover your own falls in your own home. Your homeowners insurance will provide coverage to someone else who is injured while visiting your home, however, only if you were negligent in some way. All slip and fall cases require negligence on the part of the premises owner and insurance never pays simply because you fall.
Business owners who fail to keep their customers safe often face claims for their negligence. Business owners are not allowed to collect money from customers and run their business unless they do so in safe manner. Some common reasons business customers and visitors to the homes of others bring claims are:
- slippery, wet or recently waxed floors
- torn or uneven carpets and rugs
- loose floorboards
- cracks and holes in a sidewalk, parking lot or crosswalk
- poor lighting in a stairwell or corridor
- holes in floors that are not barricaded
- structure collapses
Proving Liability In A Slip and Fall Case
One of the reasons why claims for these sorts of accidents are difficult is that you, as the plaintiff, have to prove that someone (apart from you) was negligent. You will have to prove that:
- the hazard was known about and there was time to do something about it, but
- nothing was done to correct it, or
- a warning was not displayed or access prohibited because of the hazard.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 5 years from the time the accident takes place. This is relatively generous compared to many other states, however, waiting to begin an investigation can destroy your case. Slip and fall cases rely heavily on what occurred and how it occurred. All too often the fall is caught on tape, but the tapes are destroyed if not preserved right away. Business owners at fault for the fall often destroy harmful evidence if it is not favorable to them. It is important that you do not delay in beginning an investigation.
Legal Help In Premises Liability Case
Finding the help from an experienced attorney who has successfully helped fall victims will help to ensure you receive full reimbursement for your loss. The Dixon Injury Firm handles slip and fall cases where the premises owner is negligent. Our firm offers FREE consultation to injury victims after a fall. Our lawyers will help to investigate your case and provide an honest answer as to whether someone else holds responsibility for your loss. Call today and ask about or NO FEE GUARANTEE. (314) 409-7060