Are you the victim of a slip and fall accident on someone else's property in Missouri? If so, it's essential to explore your options for seeking compensation for your losses, particularly when it's evident that the property owner's negligence played a role in your injury. At Harris Law, LLC, our dedicated attorney, Joel Harris, is here to help you navigate the complexities of premises liability and slip and fall cases in Missouri.
A business, which we'll refer to as "The Corner Store," was a place to pick up food, medications, and household essentials. The business had recently undergone renovations, and in an attempt to modernize the interior, they had chosen a particularly sleek and shiny flooring material. Little did they know that this decision would lead to a life-altering incident.
The new flooring material had an uncanny ability to transform into an ice rink whenever liquid touched its surface. The is not to say that the ground was frozen, but rather, the floor simply failed to possess any slip resistant properties. One rainy afternoon, as patrons went about their shopping, the skies suddenly opened up, drenching the entryway. The entrance, already known for being a high-traffic area, became a perilous hazard zone as water droplets gathered and created a dangerously slick surface.
Without any warning signs or safety precautions, a longtime customer, whom we'll call John, entered The Corner Store. As he took his first step onto the gleaming floor, his feet slid out from under him with a sudden jolt. The fall was catastrophic, resulting in a severe back injury that would forever alter the course of his life.
Let's talk about something we often overlook – the flooring beneath our feet. Most of us only really think about it when we slip or, worse yet, experience a fall. But here's the thing: flooring is more important than we might realize when it comes to public safety.
The roughness of a floor's surface has a direct impact on how easily we can move without slipping and falling. In simple terms, the rougher the floor, the safer it is. Research shows that the level of surface roughness plays a vital role in determining how slip-resistant a floor is. It's not just about the floor, though; it's also about what you're wearing on your feet. The roughness of your shoes affects the friction between your soles and the floor, which, in turn, affects your risk of slipping.
Consider this: shoes with rubber soles can become rougher as they're exposed to surfaces with increasing coarseness. The result? A higher level of friction, which means you're less likely to slip on wet floors. On the flip side, some materials, like marble and ceramics, are polished to be incredibly smooth. While that might look nice, it actually makes them riskier, especially when they get wet.
Now, when it comes to determining whether a floor is too slippery and unsafe for the public, experts rely on something called the Coefficient of Friction (COF). They use devices like the Brungraber Mark II slip tester to measure this. You'd be surprised to learn just how big of an impact things like liquids and moisture can have on a floor's slipperiness, especially if it lacks slip-resistant qualities. It's almost like walking on an ice rink, and that's why you often see those "Wet Floor" signs, mats, fans, mops, and other regulations in place at businesses that welcome customers.
Business owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for everyone. When a floor becomes unexpectedly slippery, it can take us by surprise, and we've all been there at some point. But in most cases, these incidents can be prevented if business owners or their employees take the necessary precautions. It's about being cautious and responsible, ensuring that every step you take is a safe one.
What followed for John was a painful journey of recovery and mounting medical bills. John's once-active lifestyle was curtailed by his injuries, and he found himself facing immense physical and financial burdens. It was clear that The Corner Store's negligence in maintaining safe premises had played a significant role in his suffering.
John sought legal recourse and found his way to Harris Law, LLC, where we recognized the importance of being a voice for people like John. The business's choice of flooring and failure to address the hazardous conditions constituted a severe breach of their responsibility to ensure customer safety. Businesses will often underplay the damages and impact felt by someone injured on their premises. Additionally, they may convince you that everything will be handled or covered, but when it comes time to pay the medical bills they may argue about whether treatment was necessary. On top of all of that, there is extreme hesitancy to cover the injured persons pain and suffering.
While both John and the Corner Store are both fiction, this incident serves as a stark reminder that negligence can have profound, life-changing consequences. At Harris Law, LLC, we're committed to standing up for individuals like John, holding businesses accountable for their actions, and ensuring that justice prevails. If you've experienced a similar situation in Nixa, Missouri, our dedicated team is here to help you on your journey toward justice and compensation.
Trespassers generally can't sue for premises liability unless they can prove that the owner knew people usually trespassed and didn't warn them.
If you're injured during a crime committed by a third party on the premises, premises liability laws usually don't cover you unless you can prove that the owner knew about the impending crime and didn't protect you.
Slip and fall cases fall under the category of personal injury lawsuits, meaning you need to prove:
To win, you need to demonstrate that your claims are true by a "preponderance of the evidence," meaning there's at least a 51% chance they are accurate.
When you succeed in a premises liability case, the court awards damages, which are categorized into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover financial losses like medical bills and lost income, both past and future. Non-economic damages address pain and suffering, affecting your quality of life in non-financial ways.
Slip and fall accidents aren't just the stuff of comedies; they can lead to serious injuries and financial challenges. If you've been through a slip and fall in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, or Republic, Missouri, Harris Law, LLC is here to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer the personal touch of a small, hometown law office with the results and dedication you'd expect from a powerhouse litigation firm. Don't face this alone; contact us today for a free case evaluation. Your safety and well-being are our priority, and we're here to protect your rights.
The legal concept behind slip and fall cases is known as premises liability, which holds property owners responsible for maintaining a safe environment to prevent accidents. In Missouri, if you've slipped and fallen, you can seek compensation by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. These accidents are the leading cause of lost workdays, with 22% of cases resulting in more than 31 days away from work, according to the United States Bureau of Labor.
The extent of the owner's responsibility in safeguarding visitors depends on their relationship with the property. Here's a breakdown:
When you think of an adult getting injured in an accident, your first thought might be a car accident. The idea of someone slipping and falling might seem more like a scene from a comedy. But in reality, slip and fall accidents can lead to significant injuries. Surprisingly, these accidents are often preventable. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the country, making them the second leading cause of accidental fatalities, just behind car accidents.
If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, especially at a business, you may be facing substantial medical bills and lost income. In times like these, you need a dedicated legal team by your side. That's where we come in – Harris Law, LLC, a small law office led by Attorney Joel Harris and supported by a team of paralegals. We offer the personal touch of a hometown firm with the results you'd expect from a powerhouse litigation firm.
The statute of limitations for slip and fall claims in Missouri is critical for personal injury cases. It provides potential plaintiffs with a clear timeframe within which they must assert their claims while also offering protection to potential defendants from actions or omissions beyond this prescribed period.
In the civil setting, the statute of limitations begins from the date of injury. The Missouri personal injury statute of limitations is codified in the Missouri Revisor of Statutes and applies to various negligence claims, including slip and fall accidents resulting from dangerous conditions on another's property.
For negligence claims in Missouri, such as slips, trips, and falls due to dangerous property conditions, the statute of limitations is five years from the date of injury. This means that you have five years to file a complaint (petition) in Missouri courts, even if the case isn't resolved within that timeframe.
However, if the fall results in the death of the injured party, their family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the defendant, subject to a three-year statute of limitations.
The personal injury statute of limitations in Missouri extends to various case types, including slip and fall accidents, and allows individuals to pursue legal action within five years from the date the injury was discovered.
Personal injury lawsuits in Missouri encompass injuries caused by negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Such claims may arise from incidents like car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, or premises liability cases.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else's negligence, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in filing a claim to recover compensation for damages like medical bills and lost wages. At Harris Law, LLC, we specialize in personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents, and are here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Premises liability cases revolve around the status of the injured party and the standard of care owed by the defendant. Defendants in premises liability actions may include:
The injured person may also bring actions against other entities, such as cleaning companies, if they were under contract to maintain the premises.
The common law of Missouri classifies plaintiffs in premises liability cases into three categories: trespassers, licensees, and invitees. The plaintiff's status depends on the purpose of their presence and the level of permission granted.
It's essential to determine the status of the injured party, as it affects the legal responsibilities of the property owner. Your status may change if you stray from the initial invitation or purpose for being on the property.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, Harris Law, LLC offers a free case evaluation. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate the complex legal landscape and secure the compensation you deserve.
For more than 15 years Joel Harris has been serving the community and advocating for clients. At Harris Law, LLC, we understand that facing a personal injury, slip and fall, or premises liability case can be a challenging and stressful experience. That's why we've made it our mission to provide our clients in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, and Republic, Missouri, with personalized, compassionate, and results-driven legal support. When you choose to work with us, here's what you can expect:
Harris Law, LLC is not a large, impersonal law firm. We're a small law office led by Attorney Joel Harris, along with a dedicated team of paralegals. We pride ourselves on offering a hometown feel, providing one-on-one attention to every client. You're not just another case number to us; we genuinely care about your well-being and your case.
Despite our small size, we deliver results that rival those of larger litigation firms. We have the experience and knowledge to take on complex legal battles. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible outcome for your case, whether through settlement negotiations or in a court of law.
We understand that the legal process can be intimidating, filled with complex jargon and procedures. Our team will guide you through every step, making sure you understand the process, your rights, and your options. We're here to answer your questions and keep you informed.
When you choose Harris Law, LLC, you're enlisting a team that leaves no stone unturned. We conduct thorough investigations, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and collaborating with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.
We fight passionately for your rights and will not back down when advocating for the compensation you deserve. Our commitment is to provide you with the strongest representation possible, ensuring that the responsible party is held accountable for their negligence.
Dealing with injuries and legal challenges can be emotionally draining. We offer the understanding and support you need during this difficult time. Our compassionate team is here to listen and help you through the emotional aspects of your case.
Our track record speaks for itself. We've helped numerous clients in Springfield and surrounding areas secure the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses. Your case is not just another case to us; it's an opportunity to make a difference in your life.
At Harris Law, LLC, we are not just your legal team; we are your advocates, partners, and supporters. If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, a personal injury case, or a premises liability situation, we are here to help you navigate the legal process and work towards a favorable outcome. Your well-being and your rights are our top priorities. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and let us help you on the path to justice and recovery.