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.
St. Louis Slip and Fall FAQ
Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere around St. Louis or in the Metro East, including both indoors and outdoors. For example, ice and snow that no one properly cleans up on walkways, driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots can cause a person to slip and fall outdoors. Moreover, these accidents can happen indoors, most especially in restaurants and grocery stores, where food and liquid spill onto the floor readily.
Whenever a person is involved in a slip and fall accident, they can suffer extremely serious injuries. These injuries may lead to the accident victim being hospitalized and seeking other lengthy medical treatment.
If you or a person you love has suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident that took place in St. Louis or the Metro East area, you are not alone. However, retain a knowledgeable and experienced slip-and-fall injury attorney to represent you throughout the entirety of your legal matter.
An experienced St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can review the facts and circumstances of your accident with you and help you develop a plan for moving your case forward. You might recover monetary compensation for your injuries by way of a personal injury settlement.
If the property owner’s insurance company will not compensate you fairly and fully for your injuries, you may litigate your case through the appropriate court system. Your attorney can assist you throughout the litigation process and work to obtain a favorable jury verdict or binding arbitration award on your behalf.
What follows are the answers to some commonly asked questions that people tend to have about St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accidents.
What are some common injuries suffered in St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accidents?
Slip and fall accidents and injuries throughout St. Louis and the Metro East can happen both indoors and outdoors. The injuries that slip and fall accident victims suffer will depend on how the accident victim falls and the force of the impact. Sometimes, slippery substances on the floor or ground will catch a person off guard. As a result, the victim’s body might twist and turn-or awkwardly fall, resulting in extremely serious injuries.
Some of the most common injuries that St. Louis and Metro East fall victims suffer in accidents include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Soft tissue contusions (including sprains and strains).
Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you might need to seek follow-up medical treatment. Make your first priority after a slip and fall accident, regardless of where it occurs, to obtain medical treatment for your injuries. If you wait too long to treat, a relatively minor injury can turn into a much more serious one. In addition, delayed medical treatment-along with long gaps in your medical treatment-is a red flag to insurance companies.
Insurance company adjusters look for these deficiencies in medical records, and if you delay medical treatment for a significant time, the insurance company will assume that you were not all that seriously injured in the slip and fall accident. A person can pursue follow-up medical care and treatment at a local hospital, emergency room, or urgent care facility. In addition, the accident victim can follow up with a primary care doctor for their injuries.
At the initial medical visit, the physician on duty can assess the accident victim’s condition and take MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays to determine the extent of the injuries sustained. The physician can also recommend follow-up treatments depending upon the injuries that the fall victim suffered. For example, the accident victim might need to follow up with an orthopedic doctor or another specialist, especially if they broke a bone in the fall accident.
Also, in cases where an accident victim broke a bone, such as a hip, they might need to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the condition. Following this procedure, the accident victim will likely need to complete a course of conservative physical therapy and possibly other treatment, depending upon the nature and extent of the injury sustained.
If you have suffered any of these injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else’s premises, you can pursue and recover compensation. The damages that you ultimately recover will depend upon how severely you were injured, the extent and cost of your medical treatment, and whether or not you suffered a permanent injury in the slip and fall accident.
A knowledgeable St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can begin handling the legal aspects of your slip and fall case while you focus all of your attention on getting better and making a full recovery from your injuries. For example, our legal team can begin collecting your medical records and bills, along with other documentation that will be necessary to prove your slip and fall claim and get you all of the compensation that you need.
Where do slip and fall accidents commonly occur?
Slip and fall accidents can occur just about anywhere, but they are especially common in certain locations. Outdoor slip and fall accidents can happen on sidewalks and driveways, as well as in parking lots and parking garages. These accidents are also prevalent when there has been bad weather in the St. Louis or Metro East area, such as snow, ice, and rain. Indoor slip and fall accidents usually happen where food and liquid tend to spill onto the floor. Consequently, these accidents often occur at restaurants and in grocery stores.
If the premises owner knew in advance about the premises defect but did not warn about or correct the defect within a reasonable time, then you might be eligible to pursue monetary compensation for your slip and fall accident Injuries. If the accident occurred on business premises, you might turn to the property owner’s insurance company to file a claim and pursue damages for your injuries. A knowledgeable St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can explore all available options for insurance coverage in your case and can file a claim on your behalf with the appropriate insurance company.
Why do slip and fall accidents happen?
Some St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accidents occur totally out of the blue and without any prior warning. At other times, however, these accidents are preventable. Premise owners and managers must ensure that their premises are in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of their visitors. This duty is especially important for the owners and occupiers of business premises, including stores, shopping malls, and restaurants, that members of the public routinely visit.
Premises owners, occupiers, and managers must warn about or correct known dangerous conditions that exist on their premises within a reasonable time. Moreover, the owners and managers of business premises must regularly inspect their properties for unknown hazards that might exist there and might catch a property visitor off guard. When property owners fail to warn about or remedy defective conditions on their premises within a reasonable time, they increase the chances that a slip and fall accident will occur.
When it comes to slip and fall accidents, witness reports-as well as photographs of the incident scene-often become very important to the case. Therefore, if you are involved in a slip and fall accident that takes place on someone else’s property, report the incident to a manager or other person on duty. You should also obtain names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the occurrence and request a copy of any witness statements.
Finally, you should take photographs of the scene where the incident occurred, especially if there was a spill on the floor or a warning placard located in the vicinity (or lack thereof). A knowledgeable and experienced St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can assist you with investigating your case and obtaining the documentation that you need for it to be successful.
What do I need to prove in a St. Louis or Metro East slip and fall case?
To successfully prove liability or fault, in a St. Louis or Metro East slip and fall accident case, you must satisfy several legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that you must prove that each element is more likely true than untrue.
First of all, you must show that the premises owner owed you a duty of care. Property owners owe reasonable duties of care to property visitors, whether the visitors are business invitees (or individuals who shop at business premises) or social guests (i.e., licensees). In some instances, property owners might even owe trespassers a minimal duty of care-especially if the trespassers are known to the property owner.
In addition, you must demonstrate that the property owner violated their duty of care in some way. For example, the premises owner might have failed to clean up a spill within a reasonable time or failed to warn about the condition in time to avoid a serious slip and fall accident from occurring.
Next, you will need to show that as a result of the premises owner’s negligence, you were involved in the slip and fall accident. Finally, you must demonstrate that you suffered one or more injuries in the accident and that these injuries resulted from the accident. A knowledgeable St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident lawyer can assist you with successfully proving all of the legal elements of your claim so that you will be eligible to recover monetary compensation for all of your accident-related injuries.
Potential damages in St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident cases
If you have been involved in a St. Louis or Metro East slip and fall accident, there are several types of damages that you might be eligible to recover. First of all, your attorney can pursue economic damages on your behalf. These damages are meant to compensate accident victims for their medical expenses, lost earnings, and other out-of-pocket costs.
Even if the slip and fall accident victim used health insurance to pay for some or all of the treatment rendered, the accident victim can still file a claim for reimbursement of medical expenses, although the health insurer might assert a lien against some or all of the accident victim’s monetary recovery.
In addition to these potential economic damages, victims of St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accidents can pursue non-economic damages, depending upon the circumstances. These damages compensate accident victims for all of the intangible effects of their injuries.
For example, accident victims can pursue compensation for emotional anguish, inconvenience, suffering, pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and even loss of the ability to use a specific body part(s), if the accident victim suffered one or more serious, permanent injuries in the accident.
Insurance companies will do everything that they possibly can to undercut damages in a slip and fall accident or another personal injury case to try and save themselves money. After all, they make their money by collecting premiums from their insureds rather than by paying out hefty personal injury settlements, judgments, and arbitration awards.
Therefore, when it comes to negotiating a settlement in your slip and fall accident case, have a knowledgeable and skilled attorney by your side every step of the way. An experienced St. Louis and Metro East slip and fall accident attorney at Dixon Injury Firm can assist you with settlement negotiations, and if necessary, with litigating your case in the state court system.
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