Whether you are shopping at a grocery store or spending time at your friend’s home, you deserve to visit a property that is safe. If any hazards are present, the property owner must provide adequate warnings so you can stay safe. Unfortunately, not all property owners uphold this duty of care—leading to serious accidents such as slip and fall.
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. In these situations, the Kansas City slip and fall lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC can represent you in your claim against a negligent property owner. With decades of experience and a track record of successful verdicts and settlements, we have the skills, resources, and knowledge to hold the at-fault party accountable.
Why Choose Us
- Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients in their personal injury claims. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts.
- If you are recovering from a painful injury, our attorneys will help you find the support you need. We will use our experience and network of resources to aid your recovery.
- We always practice empathy and compassion throughout the case process. We will listen to your story with an empathetic ear and use your experience to craft a compelling case in your favor.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing 21.3% of annual visits. Slip and falls are particularly harmful for older adults; falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death for people aged 65 to 84.
Slip and falls can result in painful, long-lasting injuries that require medical treatment. Common slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
- Cuts and abrasions.
- Shoulder and neck injuries.
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain damage.
- Broken bones, especially broken hips or kneecaps.
- Soft tissue injuries, or damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the body.
How to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, you can recover compensation for your accident-related damages. However, you will need to prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your slip and fall.
You will need to provide sufficient evidence to support your claim. In particular, you and your attorney must prove the four elements of negligence.
- The property owner must owe you a duty of care at the time of the fall. If you are visiting his or her property lawfully, the owner will usually owe you a duty to maintain safe premises and warn against hazards. He or she must inspect the property regularly and respond to hazards in a reasonable amount of time.
- The property owner must breach his or her duty of care through a negligent act or omission. If an owner is aware of a hazard and fails to fix it or warn visitors, he or she breaches his or her duty to maintain safe premises. If a hazard is present on the property that the owner should have reasonably known about, he or she also breaches his or her duty of care.
- The property owner’s breach of duty must directly cause your accident. You can use many pieces of evidence to establish this causation. For example, if a grocery store owner fails to mark a spill and you later trip on it, you can prove causation with surveillance footage, witness testimony, and your medical records.
- You suffered damages in the accident that you can recover compensation for. Common damages in slip and fall claims include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
For example, say that you notice that the elevator in your apartment building is malfunctioning. You notify your landlord of the issue and she never responds, even after you send follow-up reminders. Weeks later, the elevator malfunctions, and you break your leg in the accident.
You could file a claim against your landlord because she owed a duty to maintain safe premises, failed to respond to a hazard after you notified her about it, and the hazard caused you injury. You can use medical records, surveillance footage, correspondence, and witness testimony to prove your case.
Common Defenses to Slip and Fall Lawsuits
When you file a slip and fall claim, the property owner may settle quickly and you can recover compensation without going to trial. However, the owner may also fight your claims taking you to court so he or she can defend himself or herself against liability. There are many defenses that a property owner may use.
- The owner may claim that you were trespassing or unlawfully on the property at the time of the accident, making you ineligible for compensation.
- The owner may claim that the hazard was open and obvious and that you should have known it was dangerous.
- The owner may claim that he or she did not have a reasonable amount of time to identify, fix, or warn you about the hazard before the accident occurred.
- The owner may claim that you were somehow responsible for the fall occurring, pointing to details such as inappropriate footwear, distractedness, and carelessness to establish your shared liability.
If the court agrees that you were partially responsible for the fall, Missouri’s comparative negligence laws will apply. The court will reduce the amount of your award by the percentage of liability you share. For example, if the court finds you 30% liable, you would only receive $70,000 out of a proposed $100,000 verdict. You can recover compensation even if you were 50% or more responsible for the fall.
After an accident someone else is responsible for, it is crucial to secure maximum compensation. If you do not receive the funds you need to treat your injuries or recover from your losses, you can face additional hardship later on. To protect yourself against accusations of liability and to establish your right to compensation, contact an attorney at Goza & Honnold, LLC.
Speak to a Kansas City Slip and Fall Lawyer
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises. If you suffer an injury due to an owner’s failure to respond, repair, or warn you of a hazard, you could hold him or her accountable through a slip and fall claim. The Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Goza & Honnold, LLC can help you secure the compensation you need to recover.
Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation with one of our attorneys. At your appointment, your attorney will review your case and explain your legal options.