Need a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer?
Almost everyone has slipped and fallen at one point in life. Despite the prevalence of these accidents, nobody expects to suffer a catastrophic injury from one of these falls, especially when visiting a neighbor’s house or shopping at Straub’s Fine Grocers. However, these types of slip and fall accidents do happen, and victims can face devastating injuries, excruciating pain, and extensive medical bills that may affect their families as well.
Yet, as a victim of a slip and fall accident, you do not have to go through this terrifying ordeal alone. You should retain a St. Louis slip and fall attorney whom you can trust. You should consider hiring an experienced slip and fall attorney, such as those from the Bruning Law Firm, to represent your interests. Our legal team has represented countless slip and fall injury victims over the years, and we know what it takes to get successful resolutions and maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
Why You Want The Bruning Law Firm on Your Side
At The Bruning Law Firm, we provide clients with compassionate legal representation and use our resources to pursue the best possible outcome in every case. For over 35 years, our firm has helped victims struggling after suffering severe injuries from a serious accident. We do this by making our clients a priority from the moment they call.
Consider the services that we provide:
- We put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and take the time to learn about them, their families, and their situations.
- We make sure to stay in constant communication with our clients throughout the whole legal process.
- We know that our clients need compensation for their losses as quickly as possible, so we get right to work on their cases.
As a result of this drive, dedication, and experience, we have recovered millions of dollars from jury verdicts and settlement awards for our injured clients.
What is a slip and fall accident?
Slip and fall accidents are a subset of premises liability cases. This legal umbrella includes any incidents in which a person is injured on someone else’s property. The incident could occur at another person’s private residence, in a store or other commercial property, or on government property.
If the accident is due to the property owner’s negligence or failure to properly maintain the property, the owner can be held responsible for the victim’s injuries and related expenses.
Some conditions that could cause someone to slip and fall and may indicate property owner negligence include:
- Wet or icy sidewalks or driveways;
- Uneven sidewalks or driveways;
- Floor spills or wet floors;
- Electrical cords and ropes;
- Uneven flooring;
- Loose floorboards or tiles;
- Folds or tears in rugs or carpeting;
- Loose steps or a broken railing;
- Lack of a railing on porches or stoops;
- Falling objects;
- Poor lighting;
- Obstructed views; and
Common Injuries Resulting From a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident
Although most slip and fall accident injuries prove relatively minor, they can lead to severe trauma in some cases.
However, in general, the more common injuries that tend to occur from a slip and fall accident include:
- Broken bones, usually in the ankles, hips, and wrists
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Shoulder damage
- Eye injuries
Proving Fault for Slip and Fall Accidents
Typically, in most premises liability accidents, the injured individual must prove negligence on behalf of the at-fault party. Put simply, just because you slipped, fell, and injured yourself on another person’s property does not mean that the property owner is automatically liable for the harm and injuries you sustained. Following a slip and fall accident, you should speak with an experienced St. Louis slip and fall lawyer, such as those at the Bruning Law Firm. These attorneys can go over your claim, determine if you have a viable case, and gather the relevant evidence needed to establish that the property owner acted negligently and thus bears responsibility for your injuries.
Generally, to establish this negligence, your lawyer needs to prove:
- The property owner caused the hazardous condition, such as holes in the floor.
- The property owner knew about the hazardous condition yet failed to repair it.
- The dangerous condition existed for a significant time, and the property owner should have corrected it but did not.
In slip and fall accidents, it is not enough that an individual’s carelessness caused the accident, as these types of cases do not make strong personal injury claims. Instead, a liable party must have caused the victim’s injury. If you sustained injuries in such an accident, you should speak with a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Commercial Property in St. Louis
Importantly, slip and fall accidents that occur on commercial property have many differences from those that occur at a friend’s house, for instance. For example, business owners, such as restaurant or store owners, can face responsibility for certain issues, such as dangerous walkways or spills. In these instances, property owners must appropriately warn their visitors of the hazardous condition and repair these dangerous areas as soon as possible.
In St. Louis, property owners owe the highest duty of care to business invitees. Invitees come onto a property with the permission of the owner and for the owner’s benefit. Consequently, if an invitee suffers an injury due to an unreasonably dangerous condition the owner knew or should have known about, the visitor may pursue compensation for any resulting losses.
Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Injury Claim in St. Louis
The statute of limitations determines the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an alleged offense. If you do not file this claim within that allotted time, you may miss out on pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Missouri law mandates that individuals who suffer a slip and fall injury must file a claim within five years from the date of the accident. However, exceptions to this rule exist that can shorten or extend the amount of time an injured individual has to file a case. For these reasons, you should not wait to pursue legal action. Rather, you should reach out to a St. Louis slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can. These attorneys can figure out how much time you have to file your case, and they can also ensure the proper preparation and filing of your legal motions and documents before time expires.
Damages Available Following a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident
If your slip and fall accident caused you to suffer injuries, and another person’s wrongful or negligent actions caused your accident, you may pursue compensation for the harm you’ve endured. In Missouri, this compensation can include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual losses that result from the slip and fall accident, such as:
- Medical bills, including past, present, and future medical expenses, such as prescription medication, emergency room visits, doctor visits, hospital stay, medical assistive devices, and other items
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- At-home nursing services
- Rehabilitative services, such as physical or occupational therapy
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-Economic Damages: These damages include subjective losses that may prove difficult to measure, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
To determine what damages you may qualify to pursue, you should work with a skilled slip and fall lawyer like those at the Bruning Law Firm. An experienced attorney can review your accident and seek the compensation you need to cover the full cost of your injuries.
How Much Is My St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident Case Worth?
Unfortunately, no attorney can tell you exactly how much money you may receive following a slip and fall accident.
Many factors impact the amount of a claim, including:
- The extent of the injuries, including the severity and type of injury
- The medical treatments that you need now and in the future
- Whether the doctor believes that you’ve suffered permanent injuries
- The location of the fall
- The ability to work in the same position after the accident
- Your lost income
- The ability to take part in regular, daily activities
- The extent of the pain and suffering
- The defendant’s culpability
- The credibility of the evidence that you present
At The Bruning Law Firm, we cannot guarantee that you will receive money after your accident. However, our experienced slip and fall accident lawyers can review these case factors, figure out the ones that may influence your case, and go after compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries.
Actions to Take After a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident
Following a slip and fall accident, you should take certain actions to protect your health and safety as well as your legal rights.
These steps include:
- Get Examined by a Doctor: If you suffer serious injuries, you need to contact 911 immediately or head to the hospital. However, even if your injuries do not appear to require any emergency medical services, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible. These doctors can assess your injuries and document them in a medical report, providing evidence of a direct link between your injuries and the slip and fall accident. If you wait too long to see your doctor, you may have a harder time establishing this connection.
- Report the Accident: Regardless of where your accident happened, you should still report the incident to the building owner, manager, or property owner. This can ensure the appropriate documentation of your slip and fall accident and injuries.
- Gather Evidence From the Scene: If you can, try to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as you can. Make sure that you include photos of your visible injuries, the hazard(s) that caused your accident, the lighting conditions, the weather at the time of the accident, and any other relevant information that can help show what happened. Importantly, don’t make any statements that may imply that you accept liability for the accident, including apologizing. You also shouldn’t post anything to social media until the conclusion of your case, as such behavior may negatively affect your claim.
- Talk to Witnesses: If people present at the accident scene saw what happened, make sure you get their names and contact information. These witness statements can often provide you with further details regarding what happened and help back up your claims.
St. Louis Slip and Fall FAQs
Chances are that you have slipped and fallen sometime in your life. It has happened to most of us. Whether indoors or out, on level ground or rough terrain, a slippery surface, or something stable, we’ve all gone down. Sometimes it’s no big deal, and you just get up, dust yourself off, and walk away. Other times, you might end up with serious injuries.
If you suffer a moderate to major injury, you may have to deal with major medical bills and other serious effects on your life and finances. In such a case, the property owner could be at fault and may owe you compensation for your injuries.
Who suffers from slip and fall accidents?
Slip and fall accidents are a daily occurrence across the country. While we tend to think of slips and falls as happening to seniors, many young people suffer slip and fall accidents too, often in their workplace.
According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls are among the leading causes of work-related injuries across the country. This includes slips and trips that do not result in actual falls.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concurs, claiming slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of retail store injuries nationwide involving both workers and visitors.
If you are dealing with a potential workers’ compensation claim or a premises liability case due to a slip and fall accident, you need an experienced slip and fall attorney to represent you in your claim
How do I know if I have a valid slip and fall case?
If you have fallen on someone else’s property and suffered an injury, you may have a case. You will need to prove liability, negligence, causation, and damages. To do that you need the help of an experienced slip and fall attorney.
Any property owner or commercial business has the legal responsibility to provide a safe environment, free from conditions that could result in a slip and fall accident. Under the law, this is considered the property owner’s legal duty of care. If the property owner fails to live up to their duty of care and someone is harmed as a result, the owner has been negligent.
To have a valid claim, you must be able to prove that the property owner’s negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. You must also provide evidence of the impact those injuries have had on your life, both financially and emotionally. These impacts are referred to as damages in a slip and fall claim.
What should I do after suffering a slip and fall accident?
After a slip and fall accident, the most important thing is to seek medical attention right away. You could be in shock and unaware of the injuries you may have sustained. If no one called 9-1-1 immediately after the accident, a doctor should still see you as soon as possible. Have someone drive you, as you do not know the extent of your injuries.
If you have not already done so, report your incident to the property or store owner, or manager. However, do not take any responsibility for the accident.
Hopefully, you or someone with you wrote down the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Any photographs taken at the scene can help, too.
After you receive initial medical care. Whether you go home or are admitted to the hospital, carefully store your clothing from the accident in a safe place, including your shoes, and don’t wash them first. Why? Your clothing may reveal rips and tears consistent with your injuries and reveal other evidence of your accident.
Write down detailed notes of what you remember. Include information like:
- What were you doing right before you fell?
- Did you notice any possible contributing factors before you fell?
- Was there anyone near you?
- What were you wearing, particularly what shoes were you wearing?
- What part of you first hit the ground?
- Did you notice anything that may have led to your fall?
- If outside, what was the weather like?
- Note the day and time that you fell.
If someone was with you when the accident occurred, ask them to write a similar account of the accident as they remember it.
Who should I speak to about my slip and fall accident?
After you have received medical care, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. Aside from notifying the property owner or store manager that your accident occurred, do not speak with store representatives, property owners, witnesses, or insurance adjusters. Let your lawyer handle speaking with them.
Of course, you can speak with your doctor. And you should follow your treatment plan including surgery if warranted, follow-up visits, and physical therapy.
What is visitor status and how could that apply to my case?
Whether you were invited into a home, went shopping in a public store, or were trespassing on someone’s property can affect your slip and fall case.
The law designates visitors into three categories:
- Trespassers. When you enter a property without permission, you are trespassing. Trespassers have little recourse if they slip and fall on a property they have entered illegally. However, property owners cannot purposely lay traps for trespassers.
- Licensees. When someone invites you to their home or property for personal reasons, such as attending a party or visiting a friend, that is licensee visitor status. You have a license to be on or inside the property because you were personally invited. There is no business exchange, and the inviting party receives no compensation from your visit.
- Invitees. The best example of being an invitee is when you visit a store. You have entered the property with permission to shop there. The inviter, in this case, does receive an economic benefit from your visit. Any time someone enters a commercial property, open to the public, they are considered an invitee.
In the cases of being a licensee or invitee, if you have a slip and fall accident, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. You may feel less apt to do so if the property owner is a friend, depending upon the circumstances, although their property owner’s insurance may cover any damages you sustain. Most slip and fall accident legal cases are a result of being an invitee on the property where the accident occurred.
How can a slip and fall lawyer help me?
In most cases, those responsible for your slip and fall will try to deny responsibility. Your slip and fall attorney will sit down with you for a full accounting of your accident. They will collect evidence and interview witnesses in preparation for your case.
Your attorney will deal with the property or store owner, their insurance company, and their lawyer. They will also file your paperwork should it become necessary to sue. You will be able to spend your time healing.
Proving negligence and fault
There are instances when someone falls and the property owner is not liable. But if you and your attorney determine you have a case, you may have to prove it in court.
You must show:
- There was a hazardous condition that led to your accident.
- The owner was aware of the hazard.
- The owner had adequate time to have taken care of the problem but did not.
When filing a slip and fall accident claim, there must be clear evidence of the property owner’s negligence.
What is shared fault and how is it applied in Missouri?
Often a property owner’s defense will be to try to shift the blame onto the accuser. While it rarely cancels out the defendant’s responsibility, they hope to at least pin some blame on you, the victim.
Some defendant argument tactics may include:
- You were on or in a restricted area of the property, where visitors are not allowed.
- A sign warned about a potential danger that you failed to see or ignored.
- You were wearing inappropriate footwear and/or clothing for the property.
- You were negligent in where you were walking.
If your lawsuit makes it to court, a jury may find you partially at fault. As such, you will receive only a partial award of compensation determined by the percentage the jury finds you at fault.
Even during settlement discussions, shared fault may come into play. Your slip and fall attorney is aware of this and will counter accordingly based on the strength of your case.
How quickly must I decide to file a lawsuit?
In Missouri, a slip and fall accident victim has five years from the date of their accident to file a claim, but exceptions to this rule can shorten the time. An experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney will understand Missouri’s statute of limitations and advise you accordingly.
It takes time to develop a slip and fall accident case. The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the sooner their team can get to work on your case.
What compensation may I receive from a slip and fall accident?
Because of your physical injuries, you have likely accumulated medical expenses. In filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, the hope is to receive compensation that will reimburse those expenses and potentially more.
Missouri allows for economic damages, which are direct financial damages from medical bills and a loss of income. The state also allows victims to collect non-economic damages, which are subjective and not easily spelled out in dollars and cents.
Some economic damages you may be able to collect include:
- Medical bill reimbursement for emergency room visits, transportation, X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, surgery, hospital stays, physical therapy, prescription medication, and follow-up visits.
- Estimated future medical expenses including rehab, therapy, follow-up surgeries, and other medical care.
- Lost wages from being off work due to your injuries.
- Temporary or permanent disability.
Non-economic damages may include such things as:
- Mental anguish caused by the accident.
- Pain and suffering, including a lost enjoyment of life.
- Loss of companionship.
- Scarring and/or disfigurement.
Putting a dollar amount on non-economic damages can be difficult. Your experienced slip and fall attorney can help you estimate a reasonable amount of damages you can expect to collect after your accident.
Will I have to go to court for my slip and fall claim?
While some slip and fall accident cases do end up in court, 95 percent or more of cases settle before a court trial. Why? Going to trial generally costs more money.
The insurance company for the defendant in a slip and fall accident case will try to settle for as little as possible. That is the insurance adjuster’s job. And, of course, the more an insurance company must pay out on a policy, the higher the premium will go for that client.
But that isn’t your problem. You and your attorney will come up with an amount you hope to obtain to settle your case—enough to pay your bills and help you through your recovery.
The decision to accept or reject a settlement offer is always yours. If the defendant’s team will not agree to your settlement needs, you can go through with a trial.
Reach out to Our Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys as Soon as Possible Following a St. Louis Slip and Fall Accident
To have a successful slip and fall accident claim, you need to provide relevant evidence showing what happened and who caused the accident, as well as sound legal arguments that can establish your claim. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on this legal battle by yourself when you work with the Bruning Law Firm.
Once you retain our firm, our legal team can provide you with the legal assistance you require, including:
- Evaluating your potential claim, providing you the legal advice you need, and going over your legal options.
- Answering all of the questions and concerns you have, and offering you the legal support you require during this challenging time.
- Investigating your slip and fall accident and securing the critical evidence needed to build the strongest possible legal claim.
- Holding all the at-fault parties accountable for your harm.
- Handing all the negotiations with the insurance company and the other side.
- Taking your case to trial, if required, and fighting for maximum damages on your behalf.
If a St. Louis slip and fall injury disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait any longer to seek legal help. Instead, contact the Bruning Law Firm today for your free case consultation, and let our skilled personal injury lawyers show you how we can fight for you and your rights and go after maximum compensation on your behalf. During your free consultation, you can discuss the details of your accident, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
"When other law firms failed me. Bruning Law Firm came through for me. They did a great job and were able to get me more compensation than I expected. Couldn't be more pleased. Truly glad these folks were there for me. Took care of everything. Truly pleased. Tthank you Ryan and Alice." - Joseph F.
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