Knowledgeable Attorneys Litigate Premises Liability Cases in Rolla, MO

Skilled injury lawyers focus on optimal results for injured clients

Premises liability is the area of the law that holds property owners and others with a duty to maintain safe conditions accountable when hidden hazards cause injuries to unsuspecting visitors. If you suffered a slip and fall in a grocery store, a trip and fall in a parking lot, or were struck by falling merchandise in a department store, you may be eligible for full compensation for your losses. The premises liability attorneys at Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla serve all of South-Central Missouri and are prepared to investigate your accident and assemble the evidence necessary to hold the responsible parties accountable. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our injury lawyers are focused on delivering the best results possible based on the facts of your case.

Types of hazards for which property owners are responsible

Under Missouri premises liability law, business and individuals that are responsible for a property have the duty to make their premises reasonably safe for lawful visitors. These parties can be liable for injuries when they are unreasonable about discovering and remedying hazards that are likely to cause injury or at least providing sufficient warning. Such hazards include:

  • Wet floors
  • Broken tiles
  • Potholes
  • Dark passages and stairwells
  • Loose or broken stair railings
  • Poorly stocked merchandise
  • Debris-strewn staircases

Property owners, managers and others with authority over a location can also be held liable for substandard security measures, such as inadequate lighting or a lack of surveillance cameras, that enable a criminal assault on their properties.

Experienced attorneys outline the duty of care owed to Missouri visitors

Under Missouri law, parties with control over premises have different duties of care to various types of visitors. There are three basic categories:

  • Invitee — This is someone who enters the property for the benefit of the person or business that owns or controls the property, such as a restaurant patron or a retail store customer. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees and property owners must make reasonable inspections to discover hazards and then either remove them or provide sufficient warning to keep the invitee safe. If a fall occurs, defendants in these cases can be held liable for hazards that they “should have known about.”
  • Licensee — Licensees are people who have been allowed onto premises for their own purposes, rather than for the property owner’s benefit. These visitors might be there for their own enjoyment or for work. One example is a utility worker who is repairing a neighborhood power line. Residential and commercial land owners are responsible for warning licensees about known dangers but are not liable for hazards about which they had no actual prior knowledge.
  • Trespasser — In most cases, a property owner has very little responsibility to protect a trespasser who is unlawfully on their property. However, people and businesses must refrain from willfully causing harm to unauthorized visitors and can be held liable for the harm caused a hidden trap meant to punish trespassers.

It bears mentioning that child trespassers often pose a special case in premises liability actions. If the property contains an “attractive nuisance,” the responsible individual or entity should anticipate that children might be lured onto the property. Accordingly, these parties could have a duty to protect unauthorized young visitors against harm. Examples are swimming pools and trampolines that might entice children to sneak onto the property and thereby injure themselves.

Premises liability cases rely on a careful consideration of many facts, so you should only trust your case to an experienced personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success.

For skillful premises liability representation, call our Rolla law firm today

Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla represents victims of premises liability accidents throughout South-Central Missouri. To schedule an appointment, call 573-458-5200 or contact us online.