St. Louis Slip and Fall Lawyer

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St. Louis Slip and Fall Attorney

Were you injured on someone else’s property? If you believe the accident and your injuries were caused by the property owner’s or management’s negligent care of their premises and guests, then you need a slip-and-fall lawyer in St. Louis, MO. A slip and fall injury is a common type of premises liability case.  Your St. Louis slip and fall attorney can help determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim under Missouri’s premises liability laws and, if so, assist you in recovering compensation for your damages.

You may not know whether you have grounds for a case or what type of compensation you could claim for your damages. In that case, contact The Cagle Law Firm today. You have a limited time in which to pursue compensation for your losses, so it is vital to connect with reliable legal counsel.

We have decades of experience handling all types of slip and fall cases. We are well versed in both Illinois and Missouri premises liability law, enabling us to help you no matter which side of the river your accident occurred.

You can contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 to schedule a free case consultation. During your initial consultation, you can ask any questions you have about your impending case to gauge our firm’s suitability to represent you. We’ll listen to your story and explain how our firm can assist with filing a claim.

best slip and fall attorney in st louis

Common Types of Slip and Fall Claims

When we talk about slip and fall accidents, we must speak about the issue of premises liability.

Premises liability law is relevant to all types of accidents that occur on another person’s, business’s, or municipality’s property. Premises liability laws impose certain responsibilities on all commercial and residential property owners with respect to lawful visitors to their properties. Generally speaking, every property owner has a legal duty of care to ensure their property is free from foreseeable hazards that may injure a lawful guest or visitor.

The term “invitee” applies to someone expressly invited to a property for business purposes while a “licensee” is anyone who visits the property with implied permission for social purposes. The term “trespasser” applies to anyone who enters a property without permission. Note that premises liability laws aim to protect invitees and licensees and they do not provide an avenue of legal recourse to an injured trespasser.

Whether you were hurt at an acquaintance’s home, in school, or at a local business, you should speak with a Cagle slip and fall lawyer in St. Louis, MO. We will review the accident and severity of the injury and investigate who was at fault.

Some common premises liability claims are based on:

  • Slip and Falls. A slip and fall may sound like a minor incident, but the reality is that these types of incidents often cause tremendous harm, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and potentially even fatal injuries.
  • Pooled Liquid/Slippery Walkways. Some commercial property owners must mark wet floors and post warning signs for other similar hazards.
  • Elevator and Escalator Accidents. If a property contains elevators and/or escalators, the owner must have these fixtures inspected regularly and fixed if they detect any mechanical problems.
  • Violence/Inadequate Security. A property owner may face liability if inadequate and/or negligent security results in harm to a lawful guest. For example, broken door locks, malfunctioning security cameras, or poorly trained safety personnel could all form the basis of a negligent security claim. Once any crime has been reported at a business, that business is considered to be on notice. If subsequent crimes occur, the business may face liability for their negligent security.
  • Exposure to Toxic Substances. Property owners must address any foreseeable sources of toxic exposure on their properties. This may entail installation and monitoring of various sensors, completing environmental inspections, and removal of asbestos.
  • Fire. Property owners should have smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and other fire prevention implements readily available for use if a fire occurs.
  • Building Code Violation. If a building falls into disrepair and out of code, the property owner can not only face liability for any damages these issues cause to visitors but also legal penalties with the county or state.
  • Playground and Park Accidents. The owner of a park or playground must ensure all equipment is in safe working condition before allowing children to use the equipment.
  • Falling Objects. Any falling object creates a risk of traumatic brain injury for a victim struck by the object.
  • Dog Bites. The state enforces a strict liability statute for dog owners whose pets injure others. So long as the injured person was not trespassing where the attack occurred and did not provoke it, the dog owner is strictly liable for the resulting damages.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents. Pool owners must abide by all applicable safety regulations, including the installation of safety fences and, in some cases, ensuring lifeguard supervision.

Ultimately, a premises liability claim may arise from any situation in which a property owner failed to take appropriate care of their property and/or failed to address a foreseeable safety hazard. If you are unsure whether you have grounds for a premises liability claim, it is vital that you consult a St. Louis slip and fall attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Premises Liability Law

Everything about your slip and fall accident matters in your case: what caused the injury, how the injury happened, where the injury happened, and your status at the time (invitee, licensee, etc.). You will need to demonstrate a timeline of events and important details that show exactly how and why your slip and fall accident occurred.  Being able to determine the cause of your slip and fall is the first step.  Just because you fall on another’s property does not automatically mean they were negligent.

Each state has its own premises liability laws, dictating when property owners are responsible for another person’s injuries. The average person may know that a property owner may be responsible for their injury, but they may not know how to actually prove this in a legal case. Your St. Louis slip and fall attorney can assist you in building the foundation of your case, and this starts with establishing liability for your slip and fall incident.

In general, property owners are required to keep their premises reasonably safe for you and others. However, a property owner’s duty of care in Missouri depends on your “status.” Whether you were a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser impacts your Missouri premises liability claim. It is important to remember that if you did not have the property owner’s permission to enter their property when your injury occurred, it may likely prevent you from claiming compensation.

A premises liability claim is a personal injury claim, and success with a personal injury claim requires proving that the defendant directly caused the damages cited in the claim through negligence or illegal misconduct of some kind. Proving negligence requires establishing the following:

  • A duty of care. The plaintiff must show the defendant held a duty of care to the plaintiff, such as a property owner’s duty of care to ensure their property is free from foreseeable safety hazards that might injure lawful visitors.
  • Breach of duty. Next, the plaintiff will need to provide evidence showing the defendant breached this duty of care in some way. In a premises liability case, it is likely to entail the property owner’s failure to notify the plaintiff of a known safety issue, failure to post a warning sign, or failure to address a foreseeable hazard in an appropriate manner.
  • The plaintiff has grounds for a claim only if they suffered actual harm, meaning the incident must have caused some kind of measurable damage. If there is no harm, there are no grounds for a claim, even if the defendant was negligent in some way.
  • The plaintiff must prove their claimed damages directly resulted from the negligence of the defendant and not from any other cause. In other words, they must prove their damages would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.

In a case involving illegal misconduct, the defendant is likely to face criminal prosecution from the state. This is rare in premises liability cases, but if a defendant has harmed you through illegal activity of any kind, their criminal case may unfold separately from your civil suit. However, it is possible for these cases to influence each other, and one of the penalties the defendant faces in criminal court could be restitution awarded separately from civil damages.


You are an invitee when you enter the premises with implicit or explicit permission, and both you and the owner benefit. If you go into a store as a customer, you are an invitee.

As an invitee, you are owed the highest duty of care from a landowner/business. They must take reasonable action to keep the property safe for you. If they find a hazard, they must correct it or warn you about it. For invitees, property owners/businesses can be held responsible for dangerous conditions they should have known about, not only the dangers they discovered.

Examples of invitees include department stores, restaurants, and shopping mall guests. Owners are required to maintain walkways and grounds properly.


You are a licensee if you enter another person’s or business’s property with permission. However, you are not expected to gain a material benefit from the visit. This includes being a guest in someone’s home.

The property owner owes you a duty of care greater than for trespassers, yet not as strict as for invitees. They can only be held responsible for dangerous conditions of which they had actual knowledge.


A property owner owes a minimal duty of care when you trespass on their land. They do not have to keep the property safe for you or warn about hidden hazards. They are only prohibited from intentionally harming you, such as by laying traps. In Missouri, property owners could be held liable for injuries done to trespassers if the injury resulted from an intentional act, such as the owner setting traps.

Illinois premises liability law no longer distinguishes between invitees and licensees. Instead, if you have a claim in Illinois, the property owner’s duty of care depends on whether you were a trespasser or non-trespasser.

If you had the right to be on the property, the property owner or manager owes you a reasonable level of care to inspect and discover hazards. If the owners or managers find a dangerous condition, they must fix it, block it from access, or warn you about it.

Note that these stipulations are for property owners in general but are not always applicable if someone is “trespassing” on that property.

If you are hurt while lawfully on another person or entity’s property in Illinois, then you may be able to hold the property owner responsible for dangerous hazards they knew or should have known about and from which they did nothing to protect or warn you.

If you were hurt on property owned by another person, a business, or a municipality, contact a St. Louis slip and fall lawyer right away.  An attorney will review the facts of your situation and advise you on whether or not you have a valid claim against the property owner, manager, or tenant.

If it appears you have a valid premises liability claim, our legal team at The Cagle Law Firm will more thoroughly investigate to gather evidence on your behalf. We can represent you in an insurance claim and pursue the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

The Open and Obvious Exception

If you claim that you were injured on another person or entity’s property, you should be aware of a common defense: open and obvious condition. You may allege that you were injured because of a dangerous defect, such as a cracked and uneven sidewalk.

In return, the owner may claim that the shoddy or old sidewalk was an obvious defect that you should have been aware of on your own. The owner may blame you for the accident and assert that your negligence resulted in you not noticing the uneven sidewalk or not being reasonably careful while walking. If an insurer or court sides with the owner, then your financial recovery could be diminished or denied.

Keep in mind that open and obvious hazards can and sometimes do change the course of an investigation into your injury. To understand fully how this affects you, contact your legal team immediately.

Slip and Fall Compensation

After being hurt in an accident because of a property owner or manager’s negligence, contact our St. Louis slip and fall lawyers to discuss possible compensation. If we can establish a valid premises liability claim, then we will pursue compensation for your:

  • Medical Costs. The defendant responsible for your injuries is liable for all medical treatment costs you incur as you attempt to recover to maximum medical improvement. This can include both immediate and future medical expenses related to your injuries.
  • Lost Wages. If you are unable to work while you recover from your injuries, the defendant may be liable for any income you are unable to earn during this time.
  • Pain and Suffering. State law allows a plaintiff to claim compensation for the physical pain they experienced from their injuries. A good attorney can help their client determine a suitable amount based on the severity of their injuries.
  • Emotional Distress. Similar to physical pain, emotional distress is also a compensable loss under the state’s personal injury statutes. The plaintiff’s attorney can assist their client in gathering the documentation needed to prove their experience resulted in emotional distress.
  • Physical Limitations. If you have been permanently disabled from your injury, your St. Louis slip and fall attorney can help determine a suitable amount to reflect your diminished quality of life.
  • Some injuries can result in permanent scarring, which is psychologically traumatic to the victim. Your attorney can ensure your pain and suffering compensation reflects any such effects you face from your accident.
  • Loss of Future Earning Capacity. If your injuries prevent you from working in the future, the defendant could be responsible for the future income you are no longer able to earn. Your St. Louis slip and fall attorney can help calculate the future income you would have otherwise been able to earn if you hadn’t been injured.
  • Loss of Consortium and Companionship. In a fatal injury case, the family of the victim can seek pain and suffering compensation that reflects the pain of losing the victim unexpectedly.
  • Punitive Damages (when applicable). If the facts show that your slip and fall resulted from egregious negligence and/or illegal action, the court may add punitive damages to your case award. These damages are not claimed directly by the victim, and the amount paid typically depends on the defendant’s financial status.

The potential value of your claim will depend on several factors, including the egregiousness of the property owner’s actions, the severity of the accident, the severity of your injuries and medical treatment. In most situations, the more serious the accident and your injuries, the greater the value of your claim.

Fatal Slip and Fall Claims

Slips and falls and other premises accidents can lead to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. It’s common for a victim of a slip and fall to have not only multiple serious injuries but also various minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Many victims of these incidents are able to make full recoveries, but recovery often requires extensive medical care and ongoing rehabilitation.

However, an accident can also be much more serious, leading to immediate fatal injuries or a loved one passing away; days, weeks, or months later. In this situation, the victim’s family will need to file a wrongful death suit in place of the personal injury claim the victim could have filed if they had survived.

After losing a loved one on someone else’s property, call The Cagle Law Firm right away. We will thoroughly review your situation to determine if you and your family have a valid Illinois or Missouri wrongful death claim. If you do, we will guide you through pursuing compensation from the liable party, including:

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses
  • Loss of Financial Contributions
  • Loss of Care and Support
  • Loss of Love and Companionship
  • Loss of Inheritance

A wrongful death suit shares many procedural similarities with any other personal injury claim, with a few notable exceptions. If you believe you have grounds to file such a claim, it is imperative that you seek out an experienced attorney who can provide the guidance and support you will need to succeed with the claim.

Comparative Fault in Civil Claims

One important issue to understand if you intend to file any type of personal injury claim in Missouri is the state’s comparative fault rule. The state follows the rule of pure comparative fault, meaning that if a claim involves multiple liable parties, each party will have a fault percentage assigned to them that reflects their level of liability. The fault may be assigned to a plaintiff if the facts of the case show they share liability for their damages.

If a plaintiff is assigned a fault percentage, that percentage is taken from their final case award as a penalty. For example, 30% fault would mean the plaintiff will lose 30% of the total compensation won from the defendant. In a $100,000 case, it would mean losing $30,000. There is no fault threshold that bars the plaintiff from recovery with pure comparative fault, so it is theoretically possible for the plaintiff to be 99% at fault and still recover 1% of their damages.

It’s relatively common for defendants in civil suits involving premises liability to assert comparative fault in an effort to avoid liability for a victim’s damages. If you have any reason to suspect that comparative fault may factor into your impending case, your St. Louis slip and fall attorney can address these concerns and help minimize any fault percentage assigned to you.

Benefits of Hiring a St. Louis Slip and Fall Attorney

While you may assume that liability for your recent slip and fall accident is perfectly evident and you could handle your legal affairs on your own, the reality is that any civil claim can be more complex than it initially appears. Having legal counsel you can trust on your side offers several advantages, including an increased chance of success with the claim and a higher likelihood of maximizing your recovery.

If you were to attempt to handle your case alone, you would contend with your medical needs and would be forced to handle all your legal affairs unassisted. You could make procedural mistakes that delay your case’s progress, overlook available avenues of compensation, or even jeopardize your ability to recover your losses. This would also make an already difficult situation even more challenging for you.

When you hire a St. Louis slip and fall attorney to represent you, you can focus on your recovery and your personal obligations with peace of mind as your legal team handles your case for you. You can rely on the team at The Cagle Law Firm to gather evidence to build the foundation of your claim, assist you in establishing liability, and uncover every channel of compensation that could enhance your total recovery.

The team at The Cagle Law Firm knows that many people assume legal counsel to be prohibitively expensive, but we do not take advantage of injured clients who are already facing difficult financial situations by charging exorbitant upfront attorney fees. We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only collect a fee from our client after we have won their case. Thus, we only handle cases where there are serious injuries. We do not work on a case where our legal team cannot add value to your case.

Contact a St. Louis Slip and Fall Lawyer for Help

It can be difficult to know whether you have a slip and fall/premises liability claim. Incidents happen, after all, and they do not mean a property owner is automatically responsible.

However, you should be able to move about freely without concern that some maintenance or design failure is going to harm you. Property owners are responsible for knowing what is wrong with their property and, if something could be harmful, fixing it or warning others about it. If the property owner where you were hurt was not being responsible and careful regarding their property and those who enter it, you should speak with a lawyer about recovering compensation.

You can reach The Cagle Law Firm toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 to schedule a free initial consultation.


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