Slip and Fall Lawyers in Kansas City, MO, Helping Clients Seek Compensation for Premises Liability
Injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents can be devastating. The World Health Organization states that such incidents are the second leading cause of deaths related to unintentional injuries worldwide. Fortunately, most of these accidents are not fatal—but this doesn’t mean that they can’t cause significant injuries. If you or a loved one suffered such an injury due to the negligence of property owners, you might be entitled to recover compensation from liable parties. A slip-and-fall lawyer in Kansas City, MO, may be able to help.
At Mohlman Gurney Injury Law, we’ve served clients in the Kansas City area since 2005. We’ve seen the disruption that slip and fall accident injuries can cause in a person’s life. You deserve maximum compensation when someone else’s negligence leads to an injury. Whether this is a business owner, property manager, leasing company, or even a government agency, we’re ready to help you fight back and hold every responsible party accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn what you may be entitled to for your slip and fall injury.
What Law Governs Kansas City Slip and Fall Cases?
If you’ve been injured in a Kansas City slip-and-fall accident, it’s likely that premises liability law will apply. This is the law that holds property owners and certain other parties responsible for injuries on their premises. Whether an injury is sustained at the home of an acquaintance or in the parking lots of big-box stores, Missouri has laid out specific laws governing when compensation may be received. Proving premises liability cases can be quite complex. In every situation, though, the result of such a claim will depend on whether the injured party is an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser.
Under Missouri law, a duty of care is owed to invitees and licensees. This means that—if a slip and fall accident occurs—the property owner will likely be held liable. A lesser duty is owed to individuals who are trespassing on land, but this doesn’t mean property owners can actively seek to harm those individuals. If this occurs, the owner may face liability under alternative statutes. If an invitee or licensee suffers a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, there are several elements that Missouri courts will consider:
- Whether the property owner was in control or possession of the property
- Whether a dangerous condition existed on the property
- Did the defendant know about the danger, or should they have?
- Did the defendant fail to fix or provide a warning of the danger?
- Did the failure of the defendant lead to an injury?
In Kansas City slip and fall cases, property owners typically owe a duty of care to those on their premises. When they fail in this duty, and it causes injury, they can be held accountable for losses. This could include medical bills, lost wages, continuing therapy needs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a variety of other damage types. In some cases, courts may even add punitive damages when slip and fall accidents are caused by extreme negligence or wanton actions by the property owner.
Of course, it’s not always necessary to end up in court. In fact, around 95% of cases are settled without reaching a conclusion at trial. This is one reason that having a Kansas City personal injury attorney on your side is so beneficial. Whereas an insurance company may try to offer you a low settlement because they know you need money quickly, they’re less likely to take this tactic if you have legal representation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mohlman Gurney Injury Law for a free consultation today.
What are Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries?
Everyone has probably experienced a fall at some point in their lifetime. In most cases, this results in little more than a bruised elbow or ego. Unfortunately, there are also instances when slip and fall accidents can lead to severe harm—or even injuries resulting in death. This explains why a personal injury case involving such injuries can lead to high settlements or court awards. One case even resulted in an $18 million verdict after a victim fell through a manhole missing its cover. To understand such a high verdict, one must recognize the severity of potential injuries:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
It’s unfortunate, but one out of every five slip and fall accidents results in a serious injury. The worst part is that the dangerous conditions that lead to such injuries often have long-lasting effects. It’s not as if someone with a spinal cord injury is just going to visit a hospital for treatment and walk out fine in a few days. Future medical bills are a significant concern. Additionally, physical trauma doesn’t even account for all potential harm. Psychological trauma is also a common result of suffering severe injuries. Such harm, along with pain and suffering, could lead to additional compensation in the form of non-economic damages.
What if you Contribute to a Slip and Fall Accident?
One of the most common questions Kansas City slip and fall attorneys here is, “What if I contributed to my own accident?” For instance, what happens if an individual is running around a property and trips over a cracked wooden board on a deck? Had the individual not been running on the property, there’s a possibility they may have seen the damaged board and avoided it. When slip and fall injuries occur, and the victim holds at least partial blame, does this mean they can’t recover compensation? Absolutely not.
Missouri is a comparative negligence state. This means accident victims can still recover damages even if they acted negligently. In such situations, courts will consider the level of negligence of each party. The victim’s percentage of negligence will be used to reduce their total court award. For instance, if a jury decides that the running individual was 10% at fault for their injury, a $5 million reward would be reduced by 10% (i.e., $500,000). In this situation, the victim would still receive $4.5 million since the jury decided the dangerous condition on the property was 90% of the proximate cause of injury.
Do I Need a Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney?
There comes a point after any slip and fall injury that an accident victim or their family asks, “Do I need an attorney?” This is certainly a valid question since Missouri doesn’t require accident victims to be represented when seeking compensation. While you can move forward with settlement negotiations or a personal injury claim without an experienced Kansas City slip-and-fall attorney, it’s probably not in your best interest to do so. The legal system is quite complex, and an insurance company is going to do everything in its power to pay you as little compensation as possible. You need a legal advocate on your side.
The simple fact is that not even insurance company negotiations are straightforward without an attorney. The adjuster assigned to your case has one goal: To offer you a low settlement. This means they will likely try hard to convince you to admit fault. Rest assured that they’ll sound very concerned for your well-being, but this is all part of the strategy to pay settlements at the lowest level possible. When you have an attorney on your side, the adjuster knows full well they can’t steamroll over your legal representative. This increases the likelihood of a fair settlement early on.
In situations where your Kansas City slip-and-fall case ends up in court, not having an attorney on your side can prove detrimental. The insurance company definitely has a law firm on retainer, and if you walk into trial alone, it’ll be you against skilled legal professionals. Additionally, there’s a 5-year statute of limitations for filing a legal action for your slip and fall case. While this certainly sounds like a long period of time, the fact is that evidence has a way of disappearing as the years pass. Witnesses move. Memories fade. Police reports get lost. You need someone who can start work on your slip and fall claim immediately.
Contact Slip and Fall Lawyers in Kansas City, MO Today
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries with long-lasting repercussions. You might find yourself unable to work, having difficulty paying medical bills or even emotionally traumatized over the severity of the harm you sustained. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your case, you may have a valid personal injury claim against the property owner. Unfortunately, both the at-fault party and their insurance company are likely to fight your case. This is why having Kansas City personal injury lawyers on your side is ideal. With a legal professional representing you, your chances of securing fair compensation increase dramatically.
At Mohlman Gurney Injury Law, our team of experienced attorneys works diligently to maximize compensation for each of our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid unless you do. This means we’ll always strive to secure the best possible settlement or court award for you. Don’t make the mistake of trying to negotiate with an insurance company or take on their attorneys in court on your own. Contact us today by calling (816) 648-6000 to schedule a free consultation. With a slip-and-fall lawyer in Kansas City, MO, on your side, you’ll be better prepared to hold liable parties accountable and get the compensation you deserve.