Pittsburg, Kansas Slip and Fall Lawyer Aids Your Recovery
Accomplished trial attorney seeks full compensation for your injuries
A slip and fall accident can happen just about anywhere. You’re out for an afternoon of shopping or an evening at your favorite restaurant when your foot touches a wet surface and suddenly down you go. Unintentional falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in the United States, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are also the third leading cause of accidental death in the nation. Fortunately, if you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, you might be eligible for compensation. For more than 25 years, Patrick C. Smith, Attorney at Law has helped victims of slip and fall accidents by holding negligent landlords and business owners accountable for unsafe conditions that cause preventable harm. If your accident occurred in Pittsburg or elsewhere in southeastern Kansas, I can help you pursue the full compensation you deserve.
How Kansas premises liability law works
Premises liability law requires property owners and lessees to make their grounds reasonably safe for visitors. If a hidden hazard exists on the property, the property owner must take care to discover and remedy the situation, either by removing the hazard or warning visitors about the danger. If the owner or landlord fails in this duty, he can be held liable for injuries that result.
Examples of hidden hazards for which a landlord might be liable include:
- Wet floors
- Loose floor tiles
- Uneven surfaces
- Dark, unlighted hallways
- Loose stair railings
In general, an injured plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was lawfully on the property, the hazard was not readily apparent to a reasonable person, the landlord knew or should have known about the hazard, the hazard was the cause of the fall, and the fall caused the injury.
Landlords’ defenses to a slip and fall lawsuit
The plaintiff’s case depends on proof that the plaintiff acted reasonably, but the defendant property owner did not. A landlord can defend the case by proving:
- There was no hazard or the hazard did not cause the fall — If a customer falls down the stairs in a department store, the owner can defend by showing the stairs were reasonably safe, clean, dry and well lighted. An owner is not responsible for the customer’s own clumsiness.
- The hazard was “open and obvious” — A hazard that is apparent to a reasonable person gives notice of danger, so the person has the choice of encountering the hazard or retreating. If the landlord proves the hazard was open and obvious, the plaintiff must show that there was no reasonable alternative available, so he had to try to pass the hazard, or that a distraction prevented him from spotting the hazard.
- The hazard was not something for which the landlord was responsible — A business owner is generally not responsible for temporary hazards that occur on the property during off-hours, such as an overnight snowfall.
- The landlord did not have notice of the hazard or time to remedy it — Many businesses that cater to the public must deal with temporary hazards the public creates while passing through. If one supermarket customer knocks a mayonnaise jar off the shelf and another customer immediately slips and falls, the store might be able to defend the suit by proving there was not sufficient time to react to the spill. If the store has protocols in place to quickly spot and remedy such spills, a court may decide that fault lies with the first customer rather than the store.
Slip and fall cases can be difficult to win, because liability for the accident can be very hard to prove. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer fighting for you. Patrick C. Smith, Attorney at Law has a long record of success in premises liability cases as well as litigation involving medical malpractice, car accidents, and workers compensation.
Schedule a free consultation with a skilled premises liability lawyer
Slip and fall cases require experienced management from start to finish. Trust Patrick C. Smith, Attorney at Law for highly professional and ethical representation. Call 620-308-6692 or contact me online to schedule a free case evaluation.