If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries or other harm on another person’s party, you may be able to recover any damages that arise, including medical expenses, lost wages, and non-monetary losses. The lawyers at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are committed to protecting your right to fair and full compensation under Missouri law. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a qualified Kansas City premises liability attorney today.
Property owners have a unique duty to everyone who uses their premises. When they fail to properly maintain property or repair a reasonably foreseeable dangerous condition, they may be responsible for any damages that result. This is a broad area of personal injury law referred to as “premises liability.”
Elements of a Premises Liability Case
Each premises liability case is unique, but your right to compensation will depend on the following conditions:
1. Did the property owner owe you a duty of care?
The “duty of care” extends to everyone who is on someone else’s premises legally. Businesses, for example, owe a duty of care to their patrons, and government entities owe a duty of care to anyone who uses their public property. Private residence owners also owe a duty of care to invitees and visitors on their property (they also owe a higher duty of care to children who might be trespassing under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine).
2. Did a defective or dangerous condition on the property exist? Did the property owner know about it, or should they have known about it?
Any number of conditions could give rise to a premises liability claim. Dangerous or defective conditions may result from broken staircases, uneven sidewalks, and puddles of water on the floor, or even inadequate lighting or negligent security. If a property owner did or should have known about this defect on his or her premises, this lays the groundwork for a premises liability claim.
3. Did the defective or dangerous condition lead to your injuries?
When a property owner’s failure to keep invitees safe gives rise to injuries, property damage, or other harms, it forms another essential element of a liability claim. Failure to foresee an injury or act upon a dangerous or defective condition is called “negligence.” When your injuries result from another party’s negligence, he or she is legally responsible for your damages.
4. Did you have a legal right to be there?
Premises liability law extends to visitors and invitees. It does not apply to trespassers or people committing crimes on another person’s property. The exception is young children, who may trespass on a property because they find one of its features irresistible, even if it is inherently dangerous – a common example of this is a swimming pool.
For additional information regarding the elements of a premises liability case, consult a reliable Kansas City personal injury lawyer experienced in these types of claims.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability is a broad area of the law that encompasses many different types of scenarios. The types of cases our Kansas City premises liability attorneys handle include:
- Trip and fall or slip and fall injuries. These often result from puddles of water, uneven sidewalks, and other dangerous or defective conditions.
- Negligent security. Public entities like apartment communities and college campuses must take reasonable steps to protect their residents from crime. Failure to do so could give rise to this type of premises liability claim.
- Elevator and escalator injuries. Failure to properly maintain these pieces of equipment could lead to serious or even life-threatening injuries.
- Claims against the government. Public entities have a responsibility to keep property safe by maintaining it, providing adequate lighting, and taking steps to reduce the risk of injury. You may have a claim against the government if you sustain injuries on a public property – but have little time to act.
Damages Available in Missouri Premises Liability Claims
If you suffer harm on another person’s property in Missouri, you may be able to collect damages for any expenses that result. There are a few different types of damages victims of negligence can recover in premises liability claims:
- Special or economic damages compensate for your material losses. These include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of any ongoing or future medical care.
- General damages provide reimbursement for the intangible losses associated with your accident. These include physical pain, emotional anguish, and any loss in life quality.
- In limited circumstances, plaintiffs may be able to recover punitive damages. These punish the defendant for wrongdoing and apply to cases of gross negligence.
Depending on your situation, a negligent party may owe you for one or all of these types of damages.
Free Consultation with a Kansas City Premises Liability Lawyer
At Dickerson Oxton, LLC, our attorneys fight for the rights of victims. We won’t allow insurance companies to take advantage of our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our Kansas City premises liability attorneys will listen to your story and give you an honest assessment of whether or not you might be entitled to damages.