If you have been injured in a slip and fall action in Missouri, contact an experienced slip and fall attorney in Kansas City as soon as you are able. It happens all too often – you are in the grocery store and slip on an unnoticed puddle of water that has been left unattended. As a guest in any store, you are entitled to certain rights which guarantee your safety. Leaving a water spill out in plain sight does not guarantee your safety and can lead to catastrophic injuries.
Talk to Experienced Kansas City Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact the Kansas City slip and fall attorneys at the law firm of Dickerson Oxton, LLC today. Our Kansas City personal injury lawyers have years of experience in handling slip and fall cases and are aware of the pain and suffering these injuries can cause. You should not have to suffer through these injuries alone and rest assured that our Kansas City slip and fall attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We serve all of Kansas and Missouri so contact us today for your initial free consultation.
What Can a Slip and Fall Legal Representative Can Do for You?
A personal injury attorney is often necessary to pursue slip and fall injury claims. He or she can help expedite the claims process and secure compensation in a number of ways.
- By letting a personal injury attorney handle the negotiations process with insurance companies, you are more likely to receive appropriate compensation. Claims adjusters have a duty to exercise good faith and fair dealing in the evaluation and payout of your insurance claim, but ultimately will prioritize the interests of the insurance company. An attorney with slip and fall experience knows what your claim is actually worth and will negotiate fair compensation from the insurance company for the full extent of your damages.
- You have the benefit of a contingency-fee process. Your personal injury attorney will not charge any fees unless he or she obtains a settlement or court judgment on your behalf.
- Explore all your legal options. Do not take an initial settlement from an insurance company as your only offer. An attorney can help you determine other legal options such as mediation or litigation, to assist you in receiving maximum compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. Contact the attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC today to schedule a free review of your case.
Missouri Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall injuries can occur in a number of places, ranging from a friend’s house, grocery store, restaurant, or a hotel. While typical slip and fall cases occur as the result of a spill that was not properly cleaned up, they can also occur as the result of other negligent property care, such as exposed wires or old walkways. All the preventive measures should be taken to avert any injuries to property owner’s visitors. Property owners are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring their property is safe for all guests, which includes hazards which they may not even know about. As a guest on a property, you afforded the highest protection and should not be receiving injuries during your visit. Regardless of the situation, if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in not keeping their property safe, you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and may wish to speak with an accomplished Kansas City premise liability attorney with experience in these type of cases.
Who Is Liable for a Slip & Fall Injury?
No exact formula exists for determining responsibility in a slip and fall case. Liability will depend on several factors, such as who owns the property, his or her duty of care to you, and the presence of any dangerous conditions on the property. If you suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident and believe that someone else is responsible, there are some general rules to follow to determine if someone else is liable for your injury. In most cases, slip and falls must arise from an inherently dangerous or defective condition existing on a property that an owner knew about. To establish liability in a slip and fall case, a victim’s attorney must be able to show proof of several essential elements.
- The owner of the property created the dangerous or defective condition
- The owner knew about a dangerous or defective condition but failed to correct it
- The defective or dangerous condition had existed long enough that an owner should have known about it
Lastly, to collect compensation in a slip and fall accident, the injury that a victim incurs must be reasonably foreseeable. In other words, any ordinary person could have seen the potential for injury arising from the condition of the property itself. The criteria for establishing the responsible party also varies depending on the nature of the property.
Commercial Property Owners/Possessors
In order to collect compensation from an injury arising on a commercial property, such as a business, store, or restaurant, a plaintiff’s attorney must show that the commercial property owner or possessor is responsible in some way.
- The owner, possessor, or employee causes a worn spot, wet spot, or other condition that was dangerous.
- The owner, possessor, or employee knew about the dangerous condition but did not rectify it.
- The owner, possessor, or employee should have known about the condition because any reasonable party would have discovered and repaired it.
Residential Property Owners/Possessors
In a residential setting, landlords may be responsible for the negligent upkeep of their properties and owe a duty of care to tenants. Invitees to any residential property may hold the owner of a property liable for injury when an injury was a foreseeable consequence of a dangerous or defective condition.
Government Property Owners
Slip and fall claims against the government are unique and follow special rules and procedures. Notice of claim requirements and government immunity provisions may affect a claim.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Injuries from a slip and fall case can range in severity, but frequently involve scrapes, bruising, and even more severe broken bones and internal bleeding. These injuries should be compensated for by the property owner, which is why it is important to contact a highly skilled Kansas City slip and fall attorney shortly after your injury. Property owners often rush to remedy the situation by repairing their property before you bring a case and therefore, it is important to get a case started as soon as you are able to.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Injury in Missouri & Kansas?
It is important to note that you do not have an unlimited amount of time in which to file a slip and fall injury claim in Missouri or Kansas. Both states place a cap on the amount of time you have to bring a claim, called a statute of limitations. All states have statutes of limitations to encourage prompt claims filing. Without deadlines, a victim could feasibly file a claim whenever he or she wanted to – holding the defendant indefinitely in suspension. To keep things just and time-efficient, Missouri and Kansas enforce strict statutes of limitations.
The statute of limitations for any personal injury claim in Missouri, including a slip and fall accident case, is five years (Missouri Civil Procedure and Limitations 516.120). All claimants must bring actions within either five years of the date of the fall or the date of injury discovery. In Kansas, the statute of limitations on a slip and fall injury claim is just two years (Kansas Statutes Annotated 60-513). Again, this generally means two years from the date of the fall accident, unless the victim did not discover his or her injuries until later.
Limited exceptions exist to the statutes of limitations in Missouri and Kansas. A victim may have more time to file, for example, if he or she was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. For the most part, the clock will not start counting down until the victim reaches the age of majority. If the defendant is the government, such as the Kansas City government for a defect in a public park, you will have less time to file in Missouri. You have just 90 days to file a claim against the government in Missouri. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you meet your slip and fall claim deadline.
Should I Accept an Offer From an Insurance Company?
Before you recover compensation for a slip and fall injury in Kansas City, you will need to negotiate your claim with an insurance company. Be careful during this stage of your claim, as the insurance company will not have your best interests in mind. The insurance company’s main goal will be to save its investors money by offering you less than your injuries and losses are worth. An insurance company makes a profit by offering as little as possible in payouts to clients. The claims adjuster you speak to may devalue your claim and try to convince you to settle for less than you need to move forward.
Do not accept an offer from an insurance company without first speaking to a slip and fall lawyer. The odds are high that the insurance company’s initial offer is less than you deserve. An attorney can fully evaluate your slip and fall case to give you an accurate idea of its value. Then, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster on your behalf to make sure no one takes advantage of you. Your lawyer will use aggressive negotiation strategies to obtain the highest possible compensatory award for your injuries and losses.
A low settlement offer is not the only tactic you may see from the insurance company in charge of your slip and fall claim. The company may also try to refute liability or prove your comparative negligence. The comparative negligence defense could reduce the amount of your settlement based on your own percentage of fault for the accident. The insurance company may also try to deny your claim without a valid reason. This is an example of insurance bad faith, or an insurance company failing to handle your claim honestly and in good faith. Speak to a lawyer from Dickerson Oxton, LLC today about a possible insurance bad faith claim.
Contact a Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney
If you have fallen victim to a slap and fall injury in the Kansas City area, please contact our slip and fall attorneys to discuss the unique circumstances of your case. Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for victims in slip and fall liability cases. To contact our Kansas City personal injury attorneys call or submit our free online contact form.