Whether you are shopping, visiting friends, or eating at a restaurant, you expect the owners of these buildings to keep the premises orderly to ensure you are safe. Sadly, even if you are cautious and pay attention to your surroundings, sometimes relying on landlords and your own intuition is simply not enough. Suffering injuries while on another person’s property is a fairly common occurrence throughout Missouri.
What if your child is hurt trespassing in someone’s backyard? Do your friends have the same responsibility to keep you safe as your chain grocery store? These questions are critical if you or someone you love has been injured on someone else’s property. Generally, owners and landlords have a duty to keep their property safe, although they do not owe this duty to everyone, and the duties vary. A Eureka premises liability lawyer could review your specific situation to determine if you are owed compensation from a negligent landowner. Reach out to one of the dedicated injury attorneys at our firm today to schedule a consultation.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents in Missouri
To pursue monetary damages, someone harmed on another person’s property must prove negligence. If owners fail to keep their property free from hazardous conditions and someone is injured, they may be liable for physical and emotional harm, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some of the more common accidents that are a basis for a premises liability claim in Eureka include:
- In grocery stores, customers slip on spilled liquids or other food items, causing falls
- In an apartment or commercial buildings, visitors trip on uneven stairs or buckled carpeting in unlit corridors
- Leaky plumbing in any building
- Parking lots with inadequate lighting or security in high-crime areas
- Trespassing children drawn to dangerous activities such as swimming pools or junkyards for exploration
There are endless ways to incur injuries on public property or in privately-owned buildings. For the most part, landlords and owners are tasked with knowing about hazards, fixing them, and warning visitors about them. Failure to do can lead to a tort claim for negligence and payouts to injured parties. A diligent legal professional in Eureka can discuss a property owner’s duties concerning premises liability during an initial meeting.
Child vs. Adult Trespassers
Trespassers are visitors to a premises who were not invited. The only duty a landowner owes to an adult trespasser is to refrain from harming them. Though, there are different laws regarding child trespasser under Missouri’s attractive nuisance doctrine.
To prevail in an attractive nuisance case, Missouri requires plaintiffs to prove the landowner knew children were likely to trespass and knew or should have realized the nuisance would be dangerous to children. Plaintiffs must also prove that protecting the children was a lesser effort than the risk of not doing so, but the owner chose not to enact protective measures.
Duty to Invitees: Visitors Invited to Do Business
Invitees are visitors welcomed on the premises to conduct business. Grocery shoppers, coffee shop patrons, and mall shoppers are all considered invitees. Owners owe the highest duty to protect invitees against dangers they know or should know about on their property. Sometimes, the duty is contingent on the time it would reasonably take an owner to discover danger.
For example, if a pipe bursts in a retail store restroom, causing an invitee to slip and fall, it may be more challenging for the injured party to prove negligence if the pipe bursts while they are present than if it bursts hours before. A proactive Eureka premises liability attorney could investigate the property conditions to determine whether time may play a factor in a claim.
Duty to Licensees: Invited Guests
Licensees are social visitors. Owners who welcome licensees must inform them of any hazards—intentionally created or otherwise—they are aware of on the premises. A created danger could include a home construction project or the family’s inclusion of a new pet. A danger the owner did not create could be a pond on the property. Verbal warnings may suffice or, in some cases, more proactive solutions such as building a fence around the pond.
Let a Eureka Premises Liability Attorney Seek Compensation for Your Losses
You want to feel safe anywhere you visit away from your own property. Owners and landlords have a responsibility to provide that safety but to differing degrees, depending on your status. Little is owed to trespassers, but a lot is owed to invitees.
If you are injured on someone else’s property, our skilled attorneys can help you seek compensation by negotiating with insurance carriers or filing a negligence lawsuit. A loyal Eureka premises liability lawyer is prepared to help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Call now.