The Basics of Premises Liability Laws in Missouri

It happens all the time. It’s likely even happened to you.

Every year, thousands of Missouri residents are injured because property and business owners fail to keep their premises safe for the public. Bunched carpeting, unmopped spills, poor lighting, and cracked sidewalks can all result in sprains, broken bones, and even brain or spinal cord injuries. These incidents are all premises liability cases, and property owners and managers may be liable for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

What are the Categories of Visitors and Who is Responsible?

INVITEE

A business patron is typically classified as an invitee. For example, if you go to Wal-Mart to buy a pair of shoes and you are hurt on their premises, you are classified as a business invitee. To recover in Missouri, you must prove that:

  • A dangerous condition existed on the premises
  • The possessor or owner of the premises knew, or, through the use of ordinary care, should have known of the condition
  • The possessor or owner failed to use ordinary care to remove, remedy, or warn of the danger
  • As a result of all of these elements, you were injured

LICENSEE

A social guest is typically classified as a licensee. For example, if you are invited to a friend’s house for a social gathering you are referred to as a licensee. To recover in Missouri for any injuries you sustain as a licensee you must prove that:

  • A dangerous condition existed on the premises
  • The possessor or owner of the premises had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition
  • You lacked knowledge of the condition and could not have discovered it in the exercise of ordinary care
  • The possessor or owner knew or in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known that you were unaware of the condition and could not discover it
  • The possessor or owner failed to use ordinary care to remove, remedy, or warn of the condition

TRESPASSER

If you are injured on property and you have not been invited on the property, you can be classified as a trespasser. The general rule in Missouri is that the owner of the property on which you are injured is not liable for harm caused by the owner’s failure to put his property in a reasonably safe condition. However, if you can prove that:

  • A dangerous condition existed on the premises
  • The owner of the premises had actual knowledge of the condition
  • The owner had actual knowledge of the presence of the trespasser, or of the applicability of some other exception to the general rule, you may be entitled to damages under Missouri law

Children who are injured on another’s property can also recover under the “attractive nuisance doctrine.” This exception requires that the injured child prove that the owner or possessor of the property knew, or had reason to know, that children were likely to trespass on his property.

At Ryan R. Cox & Associates, we are committed to protecting the rights of visitors and guests who suffer painful injuries on poorly maintained properties. We have years of experience in Missouri premises liability law and will help you pursue both compensation and justice. Contact us or call 636-946-6886 today for a free and confidential consultation. Let us be your voice during this troubling and traumatic time.

The following two tabs change content below.

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

Latest posts by Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC (see all)