Premises Liability Attorney Kansas City
Missouri Premises Liability Claims
Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman is one of the Kansas City region’s prominent personal injury litigation law firms. Our Kansas City injury attorneys have earned recognition as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America in our legal community. We work as a team to ensure every client receives the benefit of many years of trial innovation, experience and skill.
At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, Chtd., we are your trusted partners in the pursuit of justice and healing. In the realm of personal injury law, where victims of negligence seek solace and reparation, our Kansas City-based law firm stands as a beacon of unwavering support and legal expertise. With a heartfelt commitment to safeguarding your rights and guiding you towards recovery, our seasoned team of Kansas City premises liability lawyers not only champions your cause in the courtroom but extends a helping hand throughout your journey to restoration.
Beyond offering comprehensive legal services, we go the extra mile, connecting you with reputable physicians and licensed psychologists, ensuring that every facet of your recovery is addressed with the utmost care and consideration. We pride ourselves on our deep-rooted history of service to the Kansas City community, complemented by our dedication to staying at the forefront of personal injury law, harnessing cutting-edge technology to fortify your case.
Contact our premises liability attorneys in Kansas City, MO for a free consultation!
No Attorney Fees Unless We Help You Recover Money
At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, we’ve been helping people recover full and fair money damages for accident injuries and wrongful death since 1949. If you’ve been injured in an accident or lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, we have the experience to assist you. With free consultations, in-person or over the phone, and contingency fees that eliminate any out-of-pocket expenses, we stand resolutely by your side. In our pursuit of justice, if we don't secure your victory, you don't pay a dime. Your well-being and justice are our relentless priorities.
Common Types of Premises Liability
Premises liability cases can encompass a wide range of situations where individuals are injured or harmed due to hazardous conditions or negligence on someone else's property.
Some common types of premises liability cases include:
Slip and Fall Accidents: These occur when someone slips, trips, or falls due to a hazardous condition such as wet floors, uneven walkways, torn carpeting, or debris on the ground. Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe walking surfaces.
Trip and Fall Accidents: These are similar to slip and fall accidents but typically involve tripping over an object or uneven surface, like a cracked sidewalk or a protruding tree root.
Inadequate Maintenance: Property owners have a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Inadequate maintenance can lead to various hazards, including broken handrails, defective stairs, or malfunctioning elevators or escalators.
Poor Lighting: Inadequate lighting can create unsafe conditions, increasing the risk of accidents and criminal activity. Property owners may be liable if they fail to provide adequate lighting in areas like parking lots, stairwells, or hallways.
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks: Owners of dogs or other animals can be held liable if their pets injure someone. Some states have strict liability laws for dog bites, while others may require proof of negligence or knowledge of the animal's aggressive tendencies.
Negligent Security: Property owners, especially in commercial or residential settings, have a duty to provide reasonable security measures to protect visitors from foreseeable criminal acts. This may include hiring security personnel, installing surveillance cameras, or improving access control.
Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners with swimming pools must adhere to safety regulations to prevent drowning or other accidents. This includes installing proper fencing, providing lifeguards if required, and maintaining pool equipment.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents: Property owners and maintenance companies are responsible for ensuring the safe operation of elevators and escalators. Accidents can result from mechanical failures, missing or damaged components, or inadequate maintenance.
Falling Objects: Objects falling from shelves, construction sites, or buildings under renovation can cause serious injuries. Property owners and contractors must take precautions to prevent such accidents.
Toxic or Hazardous Substances: Exposure to toxic chemicals or substances like mold or asbestos can lead to serious health issues. Property owners must address these hazards promptly and warn occupants or visitors when necessary.
Trespasser Injuries: Property owners generally owe a lower duty of care to trespassers, but they still must avoid willful or wanton misconduct that could harm trespassers. However, some exceptions may apply, such as children who may be attracted to an enticing nuisance on the property.
Proven Experience with Kansas City Slip-and-Fall Cases
Our legal team has a well-established track record of successfully representing clients in Kansas City slip-and-fall cases. Our extensive experience in this area of premises liability law has allowed us to secure favorable outcomes for numerous clients who have suffered injuries in slip-and-fall accidents in the Kansas City area.
Our attorneys possess a deep understanding of Kansas City's premises liability laws, ensuring that we navigate the legal complexities of slip-and-fall cases with precision and expertise.
Who is Liable for a Slip-and-Fall Injury in MO?
Property owners have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that customers and visitors to their property are kept safe from danger. People often think of premises liability accidents as the sole responsibility of the landowner or manager. Often though, there may be multiple levels of liability, including:
- Property owners
- Maintenance contractors
- Building designers
- Construction companies
- Management companies
Types of Slip & Fall Claims
To win a premises liability claim against the responsible parties, your Kansas City premises liability attorney will need to tie your accident and financial losses to evidence proving clear negligence.
We represent individuals and families in slip-and-fall claims such as:
- Retail store accidents, parking lot injuries
- Assault injuries, insufficient security
- Playground and swimming pool accidents
- Environmental contamination
- Construction site accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Oil and gas field injuries
- Public transportation accidents
Representation for Your Missouri Premises Liability Claim
Contact our Kansas City slip-and-fall injury lawyers to learn more about our record of success. Our experienced trial attorneys represent clients in cases throughout Missouri, Kansas and the Midwest.
Q:What is premises liability law in Missouri?
A:Premises liability is the body of law that governs the responsibilities and liabilities of property owners or occupants for injuries suffered by others while on his property/premises. This includes instances in which a person is injured on public land/property, in a home, or in a business or another type of private or public property. This area of law holds property owners accountable for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for individuals who are legally on their property, such as visitors, customers, or tenants. Premises liability cases typically arise when someone is injured due to a hazardous condition or negligent actions on the property.
Q:When is a property owner liable for an accident?
A:A property owner is not necessarily responsible simply because someone has been injured while on the property. Generally, a property owner is responsible for injuries on the property if the owner was negligent. A property owner is negligent if they breached a duty of care owed to the injured individual. For example, an owner of a grocery store would likely have a duty to keep the floor dry (or post a warning if the floor is wet) to prevent shoppers from slipping and injuring themselves. An owner of an apartment of complex might have a duty to repair a broken stair so that a tenant or visitor descending the stairs would not get hurt. An office building owner would probably have a duty to comply with electrical safety codes so tenants and visitors to the building would not be placed in harm’s way. When property owners fail to uphold the duty of care, meaning they fail to conduct property maintenance or fail to remove, repair, or warn of dangerous conditions in a timely manner, they can be held legally liable for any accidents or injuries that result. Generally speaking, to hold a property owner liable, you must prove that they knew about or should have known about the dangerous condition.
Q:What duty of care does a property owner have?
A:The law that governs a property owner’s duty of care varies somewhat depending on the jurisdiction. In many jurisdictions, a property owner owes a property entrant a different duty of care depending on the status of the entrant as a business invitee, a social guest, or a trespasser. A business invitee is on the property owner’s premises at the invitation of the property owner and ordinarily for the mutual economic benefit of both. A social guest is on the premises at the invitation of the property owner but not for the economic benefit of the owner. A trespasser is on the premises without permission. In those jurisdictions that base a property owner’s duty of care on the status of the entrant, the property owner generally owes the highest duty of care to a business invitee, and the lowest duty of care to a trespasser. Some jurisdictions no longer consider the status of the entrant and hold the property owner to the same duty for all entrants on the premises. Missouri is one of the states that does consider the status of the entrant when determining the duty of care owed by the property owner.
Q:Do I have grounds for a premises liability claim?
A:When determining whether to file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of an injured individual, our firm looks at several factors. First and foremost, we must determine that we can meet the burden of proof in your case. This involves proving that 1) the property owner owed you a duty of care based on your status as an entrant, meaning you were lawfully on the property when you were injured; 2) the property owner was negligent, meaning they failed to remove, repair, or warn of a dangerous property condition or failed to conduct adequate property maintenance; and 3) you suffered significant injuries/damages, justifying the filing of a premises liability claim.
Q:What is "causation" in a premises liability case?
A:Causation is an important legal principal that requires the injured party to establish a direct connection between the negligent act or acts of the property owner and the injuries and damages claimed. For example, if the property owner (known in these cases as the “defendant”) is able to demonstrate that the damages the injured plaintiff is claiming resulted from something other than the defendant’s acts of negligence (e.g., the plaintiff had a preexisting physical condition that explains all of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages), causation would likely not be proven to exist.
Q:What damages does the law allow a plaintiff to recover in a premises liability case?
A:Generally, the plaintiff is to be reasonably compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the occurrence in question. Damages are divided in most jurisdictions between two general categories—economic (past and future), and non-economic (past and future). Economic damages typically entail anything that can be given a set monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other costs arising from the plaintiff’s injuries. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, represent intangible losses the plaintiff has suffered as a result of the accident and/or their injuries. Non-economic damages might include things like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some instances, non-economic damages are subject to caps imposed by the state, but there are no caps on non-economic damages in premises liability cases in Missouri.
Q:Can punitive damages be recovered in a premises liability case?
A:Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Ordinary negligence on the part of a property owner is not enough to allow a plaintiff to recover punitive damages. Rather, most jurisdictions require proof of misconduct beyond ordinary negligence. This would usually mean proof that the defendant acted in a “wanton or intentional” way, which would include the “reckless disregard” of a known danger to the plaintiff’s health and safety. It is often difficult to establish conduct on the part of the defendant sufficient to allow recovery of punitive damages.
Q:Is it necessary to use expert witnesses to prove a premises liability case?
A:Experts witnesses are individuals specially qualified by experience or training who possess knowledge on matters not commonly understood by the general public. Experts can be used in premises liability cases when the experts’ testimony can educate the jury about matters not commonly understood by the general public. For instance, an expert might assist the jury in determining whether the property owner defendant complied with building codes and local ordinances. Medical experts and economists are usually necessary, as well.
Q:Can a property owner be liable for criminal acts that occur on the property owner's premises?
A:In many jurisdictions, a property owner can be liable for criminal acts committed against a person on the property if the property owner knew or had reason to know that an attack by a criminal was likely. This might require that a plaintiff establish a significant period of criminal activity on or about the premises that would put a reasonable property owner on notice that security measures were necessary to protect property entrants. Such liability on the part of a property owner might also arise in a case where a specific individual has threatened to do harm to the property owner, or someone else on the property owner’s premises. For example, if a property owner knew that someone had placed a bomb on his property and failed to evacuate the premises, he might be liable for injuries and damages that occurred as a result of the bomb.
Q:How do I know if I have a premises liability claim that should be pursued?
A:The best way for an individual to evaluate a premises liability claim is to discuss the matter with an attorney. A Kansas City premises liability attorney will evaluate the matter through an investigation of the facts surrounding the potential premises liability claim, exploration of issues of causation, and assessment of the extent of injuries and damages resulting from the alleged negligence on the part of the property owner. Our firm handles such cases and can meet with prospective clients to discuss and evaluate a potential premises liability claim.