What Evidence Do You Need to Prove a Slip and Fall?

Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in Missouri. The Show-Me State’s slip and fall accidents rate is higher than the national average by 31%. A portion of these slip and fall accidents occur due to negligent property owners and result in serious bodily injury to the victim.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident due to another person’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation under Missouri’s premises liability law. You must prove that the property owner acted negligently to win a settlement.

Find out what evidence you need to prove a slip and fall and why working with a slip and fall accident attorney is the best course of action.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability laws hold property owners responsible for keeping their grounds safe and reasonably protecting those who visit the property.

In Missouri, private and commercial property owners are responsible for a basic duty of care toward visitors. The owner of the property, or individual in possession of the property, is required to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes identifying and repairing hazards or warning guests of known dangers so that they can take steps to protect themselves against the hazard.

If the property owner fails in their duty of care and that failure directly causes a slip and fall accident, the victim can pursue compensatory damages with a slip and fall accident lawsuit.

How to Prove Negligence in Missouri

A slip and fall injury claim must include four factors to prove negligence in Missouri.

1.    The dangerous condition existed

You must first prove that the dangerous condition existed. Photographs of the area and witness statements are common ways to do this. It is best to snap a photo immediately after the accident as the property owner may try to fix the hazard or hang warning signs to try and prove they did not act negligently.

2.    The dangerous condition was known or should have been known

Your claim must also prove the dangerous condition was known or should have been known by the property owner. This is one of the most challenging elements to prove in a slip and fall lawsuit. For instance, if your slip and fall is due to a spill, it can be challenging to prove to the court that the owner knew about the hazard before your fall.

3.    The property owner (person in possession) did not exercise a duty of care in removing, fixing, or warning of the hazard

If you can prove that the property owner knew about the hazard or could have reasonably known based on a routine inspection of the property, you must still show that they failed to exercise a duty of care in addressing or warning of the dangerous condition.

This means you must prove there were no caution or warning signs and there was no attempt to fix the hazard before your accident.

4.    Your injury occurred because of their negligence

The final factor in proving liability in a slip and fall accident is to show that your injuries result from the property owner’s negligence. This is done by seeking immediate medical attention, obtaining hospital or doctor’s reports, and taking pictures of your injuries.

Pay special attention to notes in the reports that indicate the exact cause of injury.

Why is it Important to Work with an Experienced Attorney?

What may seem like a straightforward slip and fall accident case can quickly turn into a complicated legal issue. If you are faced with hefty medical bills or lost wages due to a slip and fall accident, your best course of action is to reach out to a team of experienced St. Louis slip and fall lawyers.

The lawyers at Cofman Townsley are skilled at navigating premises liability law. We can develop a competent legal strategy to prove negligence on the part of the property owner to fight for a fair settlement.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it is vital that you obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. Proving negligence in a slip and fall case is difficult without the help of an experienced attorney.

To increase your chances of winning a fair settlement for your injuries, contact the team at Cofman Townsley today to schedule your free case review.