Premises liability is that area of the law dealing with the negligence of owners or renters of property. The most common type of case against a land owner or occupier is a slip and fall case.
Many things can cause an unaware visitor to trip or slip, fall and suffer serious injury, such as failure to remove accumulations of snow and ice, failure to repair floors, sidewalks and driveways, large holes or cracks in sidewalks, driveways, floors and other public areas. Other problems occur when landowners fail to properly secure guard or hand rails.
In stores and restaurants, spills of food, drink, soap or other liquids can create dangerous conditions. A landowner has a responsibility to inspect their premises and promptly remove hazardous conditions. Failure to do so can make that landowner responsible for resulting injuries.
During rain and snow storms, stores have a responsibility to put out mats to catch water as it is tracked into their store or restaurant to prevent slips and falls. If water or other liquid is present on a store floor, they have a duty to clean up the spill immediately and place cones or other warning signs until the condition is completely removed.
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a trip or slip and fall, you need to do several things immediately:
- If at all possible, photograph the condition immediately—if it is a spill of some kind, photograph the spill and the container or source of the spill, whether it is a leaking pipe, a spilled soda or rain water tracked in from outside. Photos of the condition are critical!
- Report the condition to the store, restaurant or landowner immediately. Get the name, phone number and title of the person to whom you reported the incident and, if possible, get a copy of any written report.
- Immediately seek medical care.
- Contact an attorney to determine if you need representation.
While not every slip and fall will result in serious injuries, in many cases the seriousness of the injuries is not recognized until weeks or months have passed. People regularly assume that the pain and soreness related to a fall will eventually “go away.” However, you should not wait to see if you recover completely before protecting your rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Missouri or Illinois, contact experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney Todd N. Hendrickson. Call for a free consultation at 314-721-8833.