Kansas City Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents, also known as premises liability, usually involve a landowner, property manager or operator who has ignored or failed to remedy dangerous conditions that result in a personal injury. As property owners, these individuals have a legal duty to ensure that guests, customers and patrons are safe on their premises, and that any publically-traversed areas are free of any conditions which may result in serious injury.
Winning a premises liability claim, however, can seem a challenging endeavor at first glance. We must investigate not only the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident, but also the safety regulations of the property or establishment that the incident occurred in. Fortunately, our team is well-versed in Missouri’s premises liability laws, and we successfully represent a number of clients each year in slip and fall cases in both Kansas City and across the state.
At Wagstaff & Cartmell, we represent our clients with integrity and deal with all legal matters pertaining to their slip and fall case, which allows them focus on what is most important after sustaining a serious injury—rest, recovery and peace of mind. If you or a loved one has been injured on in a slip and fall accident, we are here to help you get back on track and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
- According to the National Safety Council, “Falls” were listed as the most preventable nonfatal injury in 2016, making up over 9 million (31 percent) of the 29.8 million preventable injuries sustained that year.
- Over 800,000 patients per year are hospitalized due to fall injuries, most often because of a head injury or a broken hip.
- Total medical costs related to falls totaled more than $50 billion in 2015.
- The average hospital cost for a fall injury is over $30,000.
- Slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants and public buildings.
- 70 percent of slip and fall accidents occur on flat and level surfaces.
How is Negligence Determined?
Like other personal injury cases, determining fault is the first step in building your case. The defendant in a slip and fall accident is typically the party who is legally responsible for protecting guests from unnecessary harm, and proving that their negligence contributed to your injuries is critical to receive full compensation for your injuries.
In order to show that negligence contributed to a slip and fall accident, we must prove:
- Whether or not the property own knew about hazardous conditions of their property;
- Whether or not they could have prevented the accident; and
- Whether or not a reasonable person would have tripped and fallen under the circumstances of the incident.
For example, if it can be proven that the property owner of a grocery store was aware of a wet floor in an aisle for a considerable amount of time, and they still did nothing to fix the problem or alert guests to the hazard, then they may be held fully accountable for their negligence should the case be brought to trial.
However, if the owner took reasonable measures to alert guests to the hazards (by posting signs or barriers around the wet floor) and was actively taking measures to address the problem, then they might not be entirely liable for any injuries sustained. For this reason, it is important that we gather as many details as possible to prove that the other party was fully responsible for the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall-related injuries.
Proving the Extent of Injuries
In addition to proving negligence we must also prove that a dangerous condition existed, and that this dangerous condition caused your injuries. The key component, however, is proving that the accident could have been prevented. If there was no way that the property owner could have known about the dangerous condition, for example, a lawsuit against the property owner for the sake of recovering damages might become more complicated.
In any slip and fall case, causation is proven in three ways:
- There must be a connection between the dangerous condition and the accident that occurred;
- The accident must have caused injury to the individual. There are several common injuries from a slip or trip and fall, including broken bones (arms, hips, etc.), back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), paralysis or death; and
- There must be a connection between the injuries and the damages suffered by the individual. Damages include items such as lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses occasioned by the injury.
Examples of Unsafe or Dangerous Conditions
Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that guests are kept safe and out of unnecessary harm’s way whenever possible. Despite this, there is always a danger of a slip and fall accident should they lapse or fail to perform this duty. Some examples of unsafe or dangerous conditions that can result in serious injury include:
- Wet floors (caused by spills, leaking appliances, recently mopped areas, etc.);
- Uneven surfaces (caused by lifted sidewalks or bricks, unexpected rises or drops);
- Broken or poorly designed and installed stairs, railings or doors;
- Poorly designed or improperly installed ramps;
- Poor or no lighting or security cameras; and
- An unleashed or uncontrolled dog or other animal that bites or attacks.
Filing Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim
Receiving compensation for an injury sustained in a slip or fall accident may seem like a complicated process, but it is not something that has to be done alone. Wagstaff & Cartmell is committed to helping you put together the pieces of your case at every step of the way, and we do this in order to help you receive the compensation you deserve—and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact us to discuss your case and begin the process of filing a slip and fall accident claim today.