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Helping Injured Clients After Accidents Due to Dangerous Hazards
Statistics indicate that accidental injuries are a leading cause of death for Missourians. While many accidents involve motor vehicles, other accidents occur when you are simply going about your daily tasks and when you least expect it. Whether you are shopping, vacationing, relaxing by a pool in the St. Louis summer heat, or working, you can suffer injuries due to dangerous hazards that can disrupt your life.
At The Cagle Law Firm, we are here to help people in the greater St. Louis area after a sudden and serious accidental injury. We’ve handled many types of premises liability claims against individual property owners, government entities, small businesses, and large corporations. We know how to navigate the insurance and legal process to seek the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you suffered injuries in a premises liability accident, contact our office to schedule your free consultation today.
Handling a Wide Range of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability claims can arise from many different types of accidents in a variety of situations. Our firm has represented clients who sustained injuries in numerous ways due to the negligence of property or business owners. The following are only some of the premises liability claims we handle.
Slip and Fall Accidents
There statistics are not really reliable regarding how many people slip and fall down each day. This is likely because many people brush themselves off and go on their way with minimal disruption to their lives after a fall when they are not hurt. However, millions of people do have to visit emergency departments in the United States every year seeking treatment for fall-related injuries, including broken bones, soft tissue injuries, concussions, and more.
Many slip and fall accidents happen as a result of negligence on the part of a business or property owner.
When businesses invite customers to shop by opening their business, they have the duty to keep the premises in a safe condition for those customers. This includes inspecting the premises on a regular basis, addressing any possible hazards, or warning customers if hazards may exist. A business that breaches this duty is negligent and legally liable for any injuries that occur. Examples of negligence in slip and fall cases include:
- Failing to clean up spills or debris from the floor
- Having wet or slippery floors without proper warning
- Worn flooring that can become slippery
- Having ramps without railings or slip-proof flooring
- Carpets that can slide or shift
These are only some of many conditions that can lead to slip and fall accidents and liability for businesses or property owners.
Falls From High Places
Not all falls occur on level ground, as many people fall from a higher level to a lower level. Falls from even a couple of feet off the ground can result in severe trauma and injuries to multiple parts of the body. When you fall from a height, you can rarely catch yourself in any meaningful way, so you may be completely vulnerable to an impact with the ground or other objects on the ways down. Such falls can even result in death—a prominent local musician in St. Louis died in 2013 when an elevator in his new apartment malfunctioned and he fell into the elevator shaft.
There are many ways people can fall from high places, including:
- Falls down stairs or collapsing of stairs
- Scaffolding collapses or falls
- Falls off ladders
- Falls out of windows
- Falls off balconies or roofs
Because of the severity of the potential fall-related injuries, consult an experienced lawyer who can identify whether you can hold another party liable for your losses.
Swimming Pool Accidents
When someone owns a swimming pool, whether it is on public or private property, they have the duty to keep the pool safe for all visitors to use. (Rules for public pools are different than private pools just as public property has very different expectations of safety verses private property.) Missouri has issued strict rules and regulations regarding swimming pool upkeep and safety, and when owners violate these rules or prove negligent in other ways, people can get seriously hurt or may even drown.
Private pool owners should always consult rules of safety if they are maintaining their private pool or building one. Most home owner insurance companies also have checklists of items you must have making your pool safe in order to be insured.
Swimming pool accidents occur under many circumstances and for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents that can lead to legal liability include:
- Lifeguard negligence
- Inadequate supervision
- Improper or damaged pool barriers or entry gates into the pool area
- Inadequate maintenance of the pool deck or sun deck areas
- Lack of warning and safety signs, such as No Diving or No Running signs
- Broken glass in or around the pool
- Incorrect pool chemical or sanitizer treatment of pool water (such as strong chlorine that burns pool bathers’ skin after they exit the water)
- Broken drains and pool water filter systems
- Drain covers that fail to comply with regulations
The same duty of care for pool owners also goes for owners of hot tubs or spas. Even though hot tubs are relatively shallow, children drown in hot tubs on a regular basis, and owners must maintain any water features they have to prevent severe accidents and injuries. This is true for residential pool owners, country clubs, water parks, hotels, public pools, and more.
When you book a hotel for a work trip or a vacation, you expect the hotel to take steps to help you enjoy a relaxing stay. Many hotels have a growing number of amenities to cater to guests, but these amenities also present an increased risk of accidents and injuries. While almost any accident can happen while you are out of town, the following are some of the more common hotel accidents at issue in premises liability claims:
- Slips and falls
- Elevator accidents
- Falls down the stairs
- Pool or hot tub-related injuries, including drowning
- Injuries caused by defective or broken furniture
- Injuries caused by poorly maintained fitness equipment
- Unsanitary conditions or bed bugs
- Burns from irons, fires, or overly hot water
- Food poisoning
- Shuttle accidents
- Toxic exposure
- Physical or sexual assaults
Hotels should always abide by a high standard of care when it comes to the health and safety of their guests. When a hotel fails to provide this standard of care and injuries occur, the company can face liability for any losses incurred by injured guests. Some examples of hotel and resort negligence include:
- Failing to properly inspect or maintain the premises
- Not warning guests of potential hazards
- Not having adequate security to protect guests from assaults
- Not keeping rooms, pools, or food service establishments sanitary and up to code
- Allowing dangerous conditions to exist in and around pools or hot tubs
- Not repairing furniture, railings, or other features of the hotel
- Hiring dangerous or unqualified shuttle drivers
When a hotel is negligent and you suffer injuries, it can not only ruin a vacation, but it can also disrupt your life for weeks or months to come.
Electrical accidents can happen in many places, including a residential home, an office, any workplace, a hotel, or any other building or facility that uses electricity. An electrical accident can happen in many ways and for many reasons. At The Cagle Law Firm, we have seen clients suffer electrical injuries because of the following and more:
- Unsafe or overloaded outlets
- Unsafe tools and defective equipment
- Exposed wires
- Improperly grounded wires
- Poor lighting
- Fallen power lines
- Improperly marked construction zones
- Frayed electrical cords
- Poorly maintained or old appliances
Electrical currents can cause serious damage, both internally and externally. While external injuries may present immediately obvious symptoms, internal injuries often require an immediate diagnosis and treatment to save a victim’s life. The injuries an electrical accident victims will suffer depends on many factors, such as:
- The voltage of the current
- The person’s overall health
- How much current flows through the body
- The length of exposure to electrical current
Generally, if the electricity has a low voltage—less than 500 volts—the average person should not suffer significant injuries. However, when the voltage increases past 500 volts, a victim can suffer more serious injuries, including:
- Burns – Burns are usually the most serious at the point of contact with the electrical source or where the electrical current exited the body. Serious burns can damage many layers of skin and tissue and may require extensive and painful treatments, including require removal of dead tissue and skin grafts. Burns can also cause disfigurement.
- Organ injuries – The electrical current can burn and damage internal organs, especially the heart. After any electrical accident, get help right away to diagnose any possible internal injuries.
- Brain damage – A victim can suffer seizures, depression, shock, and permanent cognitive impairment after electrocution.
- Vision or hearing damage – Some construction workers might lose their sight or hearing. Even if they do not completely lose sensory abilities, they could still suffer a partial loss.
- Broken bones – Sometimes, the electrocution causes a victim to fall. As a result, they suffer additional injuries when they hit the ground, including concussions, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and organ damage.
Finally, many people involved in electrical accidents suffer fatal electrocution.
Due to the severity of electrical accidents, many people can bear responsibility for electrical accidents—and you’ll want an attorney who can identify all of the liable parties to ensure you recover full compensation for your injuries.
The Missouri Department of Labor reports that about 50,600 workers suffered injuries and illnesses on the job in the Show Me State in a single year. While accidents and injuries can happen in any workplace, the leading industries for injuries include mining, manufacturing, health and education, transportation, and construction. Data indicates the following are the most common reasons for injuries in Missouri workplaces:
- Bodily reactions
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Contact with equipment or an object
- Transportation accidents
- Injuries by another person or animal
Furthermore, the most common injuries include:
- Soft tissue sprains, strains, and tears
- Contusions and bruises
- Lacerations, cuts, and punctures
- Pain and soreness
- Back and neck pain
After a work-related injury, you should always report the injury to your employer. Take notes about everything that happened and everyone involved, and always seek immediate medical attention. Then, discuss your options for compensation with an experienced attorney.
In some cases, workers’ compensation benefits may help accident victims pay for their accident-related expenses no matter who was at fault. However, these limited benefits do not cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering from serious injuries.
Hire a lawyer who will explore whether a third party was responsible for your injuries. If a third party was negligent, an injured accident victim may hold that third party liable. An attorney can help you determine your options and file claims against all liable parties, including contractors, manufacturers of defective products, and more.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
After an accident on someone else’s property, our attorneys may investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine whether a property owner or business was negligent. If we find evidence of negligence, we can file insurance claims against the negligent parties and their employers. For example, if a grocery store employee did not properly clean up spilled lemonade in an aisle and failed to put up a wet-floor warning sign, leading to your slip and fall, we can hold the grocery store responsible for the negligence of the store employees failed to clean the spill in a timely way or mark the area. If injured, our firm can file a claim with the company’s insurer.
If an insurance claim does not result in an adequate settlement offer, we will not hesitate to file a premises liability claim in the appropriate civil court. We handle every step of the legal process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact Our St. Louis Premises Liability Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
Never hesitate to consult the personal injury lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm after a serious injury. We have extensive experience obtaining substantial settlements for injured clients, and we can evaluate your rights and options. Contact us online or call (314) 391-5220 for your free consultation today.