Have you been injured on someone else’s property and now wonder who is at fault? Determining liability in a slip and fall accident can be quite difficult, so you should first obtain representation from a St. Joseph personal injury attorney that has experience with these types of cases. After you have retained a legal representative, together you should prove one of the following:
- The owner of the property or an employee caused the unstable surface or placement of a dangerous object.
- The owner of the property or an employee knew about the danger, but chose to do nothing about it.
- The owner of the property or an employee should have known about the existing danger, because a reasonable individual would have discovered it and taken care of it, had they been properly maintaining the premises.
While the third reason is the most common, it is also the most difficult to prove. It is less factual than the first two, and therefore, judges and juries have a more difficult time deciding if the owner or employee “should have known”. To determine reasonableness, the law will look at the owner’s past actions in making the property clean and safe.
They may ask if the owner had regular maintenance or cleaning of the premises. They may also look at the amount of time that surface was unsafe. If an object was the cause of the injury, the judge and jury may investigate the motivation for placing the object there and not somewhere safer. In addition, they may research any warning signs or barriers that were placed around the area, or lack thereof.
If the court finds that you were in any way responsible for the accident, you may not be eligible for all or part of the compensation. Ask yourself if you had any reason to be near the area, or if a reasonably careful person could have avoided the danger. If you were distracted when you were injured, then this may also be a reason for the courts to take away compensation.
If you believe that you have a case, then you and your St. Joseph personal injury lawyer can file a claim. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is six years. You may try to negotiate a settlement with the owner of the premises, but if that fails, the case will go to trial.
To make sure that you have an experienced legal representative by your side during the slip and fall case, then you should talk to an injury lawyer at our firm. Ferguson and Schieber Law Firm have been assisting clients for nearly two decades and have over 50 years of combined experience, so you can be confident in our ability to handle your case. Call the firm now to find out more! You won’t pay a cent unless you receive compensation for your injury.