What To Do In Event Of A Slip And Fall
Kansas City battles long stretches of ice and snow and chances are, someone out there will slip and fall on the ice resulting in an injury. In addition to falling on the ice or snow, people often slip and fall due to other conditions of the property. Common falls occur on sidewalk and parking lots that are not maintained well or in a store or restaurant where something has spilled on the floor creating a hazard. So, who is at fault?
Although sidewalks are considered public property, it the legal responsibility of the owners/tenants of any establishment to maintain safe conditions of the sidewalks and parking lots used by their guests. This requirement includes clearing ice and snow as necessary. However, like any area of law there are exceptions. For example, if you fell at a friend’s house, you may not be able to recover from their insurance policy. The law holds businesses to a different standard than a home owner.
If you slip and fall on a liquid or other substance that has spilled in a restaurant, in order to be compensated for your injuries from the business, it must be shown that the store has the opportunity to notice the spill and did nothing about it.
In many of these situations, you may find yourself battling WHO owns the property, or WHO was responsible for its maintenance. Once you identity the at fault party and understand the law on your particular situation, it is likely that the owner of the property will argue that you bear some of the fault. In Missouri, that is referred to as Comparative fault and can drstaically reduce your settlement amount.
You, as an injured party, is limited in the amount of time to take action. This is called the statute of limitations. In Missouri you have five years to bring a claim for a slip and fall while in Kansas, you only have two years. If you have not settled your case or have a lawsuit filed by that time, you will not be able to recover money from the at fault party. It is very important to contact an attorney to know your rights for potential compensation.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, it is important to do the following things:
- Notify the person or business of the fall, make note of the conditions of parking lots and sidewalks in front of the home or business overall.
- Take pictures, if possible.
- Begin medical treatment, as necessary, immediately.
- Contact an attorney to learn your rights.