Slip and fall accidents may result in injuries that leave you debilitated, preventing you from working and living your life the way you want. Slip and fall injuries can also result in mounting medical bills and lost wages. In many instances, slip and fall accidents occur because a property owner or manager did not take the necessary precautions or safeguards to prevent premises hazards.
If you have suffered one or more injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else’s property—maybe at a Schnuck’s grocery store, a hotel, the City Museum, Busch Stadium, or Union Station—you can take legal action. Specifically, you might be in a position to file a claim or lawsuit against the property owner or the property owner’s insurance company.
The skilled team of St. Louis slip and fall attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm can help you file and pursue your slip and fall claim and get you fairly and fully compensated for your injuries.
Whether you live in St. Louis or the Metro East, we can help. Please speak with us today to discover more about how we can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve in your St. Louis slip and fall injury case.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and falls lead to about one million emergency room visits each year in the U.S., which makes up about 12 percent of all fall injuries. These accidents can happen to anyone and cause serious injuries when you least expect them.
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Indoor slip and fall accidents are common in restaurants and at grocery stores, where liquids and other substances tend to spill on the floor, causing it to become slippery and wet. Outdoor slip and fall accidents can occur when pavement or sidewalks do not get proper maintenance. For example, an accident victim can trip on a sidewalk crack or a deep pothole that is not visible.
Slip and fall accidents can also occur on staircases, especially where carpeting is not properly fastened to the floor or maintained. Steps might be broken, sloped, or too steep, causing someone to fall.
One of the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents is poor maintenance. If you sustained an injury as a result of slipping and falling on someone else’s premises, the knowledgeable team of St. Louis slip and fall attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm can assist. We can investigate the circumstances leading up to your fall and determine who was potentially at fault or liable. We can then file a claim with the premises owner’s insurance company, pursuing the compensation that you need for your injuries.
Injuries Suffered in St. Louis Slip and Fall Accidents
Injuries that accident victims suffer in a slip and falls can be severe, especially if the accident victim falls directly on an elbow, knee, or on their back. Moreover, serious injuries can happen when an accident victim strikes their head on the ground, especially on hard concrete.
Common injuries that victims of slip and fall accidents suffer include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue contusions or tears
- Internal injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
All of these injuries can result in medical bills from hospital emergency room stays, doctor visits, surgeries, and physical therapy sessions. If you have injuries from a slip and fall accident that happened on someone else’s property, it is essential that you know and understand your legal rights and that you take action as soon as you possibly can.
The knowledgeable team of St. Louis slip and fall attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm will explain all of your legal options to you in clear and easy-to-understand terms. Your lawyer can then advocate for your legal interests and work to help you pursue the compensation that you need for your serious injuries.
When Can a Premises Owner Be at Fault for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Premises owners, managers, and operators owe a duty of care to individuals who visit their property. When these individuals breach this duty of care to their visitors, and an accident with injuries occurs, they can be liable for the resulting damages.
The duty of care a premises owner owes a visitor depends on whether that visitor is a:
- Business invitee
- Social guest
- Trespasser on the property
Of these three classifications, a premises owner owes a business invitee the highest duty of care. A property owner is responsible for making sure that their property is free of known hazards and defects. Therefore, the property owner must promptly warn about any known defects on the premises—or quickly remedy those defects. In addition, the owner of the property must inspect their premises for unknown defects that might exist there and fix them.
A social guest, or a licensee, is someone who is on the premises for their own purposes, as opposed to benefiting the property owner. A social guest is owed much the same duty of care as a business invitee. Specifically, the owner of the property, or a manager, must regularly inspect the premises for unknown dangerous conditions and take prompt measures to correct those conditions.
Finally, a trespasser is a person not invited to be on the owner’s premises. Therefore, a trespasser is not ordinarily owed a duty of care by the property owner. In some instances, however, a trespasser who is known to the property owner might be owed some duty of care under the circumstances.
When it comes to slip and fall accidents, knowledge on the part of the property owner is key. In other words, the property owner must have been aware of the defect that caused the accident victim’s injury or injuries. In addition, the property owner must have had a reasonable time in which to correct the defect or warn about it before the accident.
The accident victim in a slip and fall case is responsible for satisfying the required legal burden of proof. Essentially, the accident victim must establish that the property owner owed them a duty of care, that the property owner breached this duty of care, and that as a direct result, the accident victim suffered one or more injuries or damages. Satisfying this legal burden is often an uphill battle since insurance companies, and their adjusters will do everything that they possibly can to limit, or even deny, settlement money that an accident victim deserves.
Fortunately, the experienced St. Louis slip and fall attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm are here to help. We can assist you with proving all of the legal elements of your claim and pursuing favorable monetary compensation in your case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim or Lawsuit Arising From Injuries Suffered in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents fit within the realm of personal injury law. When a person suffers one or more injuries as a direct result of another person’s negligence or carelessness, the accident victim has five years from the accident date to bring a claim or file a lawsuit for damages. The personal injury statute of limitations prescribes this five-year rule for the state of Missouri. Across the river, Illinois law only provides two years to file a lawsuit for such injuries.
This five-year statute of limitations deadline is extremely unforgiving. Therefore, if you fail to file your slip and fall claim or lawsuit within that time frame, a court will bar you from recovering monetary compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is important to take legal action as soon as possible after you sustain your slip and fall injury.
A knowledgeable St. Louis slip and fall attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can take action right away on your case. We can begin collecting your medical records, bills, and other documentation while you finish treating your injuries. We will also file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault person’s insurance company on time, safeguarding the statute of limitations and ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit Arising From a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident
Before filing a lawsuit arising out of a St. Louis slip and fall accident, your attorney will need to file a claim with the at-fault person or entity’s insurance company. This claim will be one for monetary compensation and damages arising from your injuries.
The process starts by submitting a settlement demand letter to the insurance company and attaching various types of documentation, including a diagram of the incident scene, copies of any filed incident reports (including police reports), related medical bills and records, lost wage documentation, and sometimes a victim impact statement. The insurance company will use all this information to determine whether or not to accept fault for the slip and fall accident.
If the insurance company decides to accept liability for the accident, the adjuster will typically try and resolve the case with the accident victim’s attorney by way of a personal injury settlement. Under most circumstances, an accident victim should never accept the initial settlement offer presented by the insurance company because these initial offers are routinely low and do not fully compensate slip and fall victims for the injuries that they suffered.
Rather, the accident victim’s lawyer will need to negotiate with the insurance company to try and reach a favorable settlement offer. That’s where having a knowledgeable St. Louis slip and fall lawyer on your side can help.
The knowledgeable legal team at Dixon Injury Firm will zealously advocate for you during settlement negotiations and can pursue the maximum compensation available to you under the law. Our team will highlight the strengths of your case and advocate for your interests at the negotiating table. If the insurance company refuses to offer you the compensation that you deserve, we can always file a lawsuit on your behalf in the Missouri state court system. If necessary, we can take your case to trial or pursue a favorable resolution by way of mediation or arbitration.
Pursuing Monetary Recovery for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
The ultimate purpose of filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit is to pursue monetary compensation for the injuries that you suffered in your slip and fall accident. While monetary damages cannot replace the loss of use of a body part or lost life enjoyment, they can help to bring about a sense of justice and work to make you whole following your slip and fall accident.
First of all, victims of St. Louis slip and fall accidents can pursue compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and in some instances, loss of earning capacity, in the event they cannot work at the same occupation or in the same field after their accident.
In addition to these economic damages and out-of-pocket costs, an accident victim can pursue compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for all of the inconvenience they suffered as a result of the slip and fall accident and resulting injuries.
If the accident victim can no longer use a body part or has limited use of that body part following their slip and fall, the accident victim can make a loss of use claim. Similarly, a slip and fall accident victim can pursue compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or loss of family or spousal companionship and support.
The experienced St. Louis slip and fall attorneys at Dixon Injury Firm will do everything possible to help you acquire the compensation that you need following your slip and fall accident.
Talk to a Knowledgeable St. Louis Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Pursuing compensation from the insurance company following a slip and fall accident is often an uphill battle, and you need the right legal team by your side throughout your slip and fall injury case. The skilled legal team at Dixon Injury Firm has the proven knowledge and track record of experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your slip and fall accident injuries.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a knowledgeable St. Louis slip and fall lawyer, please call us today at (314) 208-2808 or contact us online for more information about how we can help.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132