Premises Liability Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
If you are injured on someone else’s property, it’s natural to feel frustrated—or even completely overwhelmed. After all, property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for visitors. If you’ve been hurt, what can you do to pursue justice and a path forward?
Reach out to us at Burgess Law Firm. Our personal injury attorney, Mitchell Burgess, is ready to organize your evidence and present it effectively to help you move forward. You deserve a chance to seek financial compensation and a brighter future.
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is a term for the legal claims you can make if you are injured on someone else’s property. In order to pursue a premises liability claim against a property owner, you will typically need to prove three things:
A condition on the owner’s property was dangerous.
The property owner was negligent in dealing with the dangerous condition. They might have caused the condition, failed to discover the condition through necessary inspections or when a reasonable person should have discovered it, or discovered it and did not disclose it.
Because of the property owner’s negligence, you were injured.
Essentially, you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care, and then breached that duty of care.
Property Owner Duty of Care
Missouri follows a “status-based” approach to duty of care. An invitee (or someone who you invite into your property for business reasons, such as a customer if you own a store) are owed the most care; a licensee (or someone who you allow to visit your property, such as a visitor to your home) is owed the next highest amount of care; and a trespasser is owed the least duty of care. However, you cannot create intentionally dangerous conditions on your property for a trespasser (for example, you cannot rig traps on your property).
You may be able to file a personal injury claim against both private property owners and public entities. If you are filing a claim against a property owner, you have 5 years after the date of your injury; if you are filing against a government entity, you have 90 days after your accident to file a claim.
Make sure that you go to the doctor as soon as possible to record the extent of your injuries. Medical records make good evidence in a premises liability claim. Your attorney can also help you to gather evidence such as security footage and witness statements, especially if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk. Be sure to take pictures of the scene of the accident right after you are injured; you will want to be able to present a view of how the dangerous condition looked right after you were injured so that the property owner cannot cover up or repair the condition and later claim that the condition never existed.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
There are many types of premises liability claims, but some of the most common include slip and fall accidents or other injuries caused by:
Improper road/sidewalk maintenance
Improper building maintenance/dangerous conditions in a building/home
Snow and ice accumulation
Violent activity on premises without adequate security
Dangerous animal activity
No matter how it happened, an injury on someone else’s property can feel like a tremendous burden. It’s vital to contact a reputable law firm to help you navigate your specific case.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Missouri upholds the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which maintains that property owners must make their premises safe for trespassing children. If your child is injured on someone else’s property, you can file a personal injury claim if you can prove that the property exhibited an “attractive nuisance” in a place where children would be likely to notice and be drawn to it (such as a swimming pool or unfinished landscaping in a yard) and that the property owner did nothing to secure children from accessing the nuisance (such as erecting a fence).
Comparative Fault in Missouri
Keep in mind that Missouri is a “comparative fault” state when it comes to personal injury payouts. The court will assign each party an amount of fault for the accident that caused the injury. For example, the court might find that a store owner left a floor wet for much longer than they should have, but that you also could have been more careful in avoiding the clearly-marked hazard. You may be assigned 20 percent of the fault and the property owner 80 percent. Thus, if your damages amount to $10,000, the property owner would be responsible for paying out $8,000.
Because of the comparative negligence rule, it is imperative that you hire an attorney to fight any accusations of blame that the property owner might attempt to pin on you.
Premises Liability Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in Missouri, we are here to help. Contact us at Burgess Law Firm, serving the entire Kansas City Metro area. Our premises liability attorney will bring his extensive experience with personal injury and product liability litigation to your unique case, and will support you throughout every step of your journey. Ultimately, you deserve justice and a chance to move forward. Set up a consultation with us to get started on your case.