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Columbia, MO Public Property Injury Lawyer

Those responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of public properties must meet the minimum standard required by the state to keep visitors safe from avoidable harm. That means they must complete regular maintenance and inspect the premises regularly to find and repair hazardous defects.

When landowners or managers fail to meet their legal responsibility, and visitors sustain bodily injuries and other damages, premise liability laws give them the right to pursue legal action. Schedule a meeting with an experienced Columbia public property injury lawyer if you have questions or need help with a case.

Examples of Public Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability cases may happen inside or outside a public building or property because someone failed to keep the area free of hazardous conditions. Examples of cases include:

  • Negligent security cases resulting from the failure to protect people from third-party violent attacks in areas with higher crime rates
  • Escalator and elevator accidents caused by inadequate maintenance or defects
  • Stair or other structure collapses from negligent upkeep
  • Accidental drowning and other swimming pool accidents resulting from carelessness
  • Explosions and fires happening in public places because of the failure to meet the necessary fire code requirements
  • Any defective property conditions the property owner knew or should have known of before the accident

Please keep in mind that an accident and injuries while visiting a public location are not enough to prove liability. The case must also establish the necessary elements of premises liability.

The Elements Needed to Prove Liability

The civil action must show that the elements of premises liability were present at the time of the accident, and those include:

  • The property possessor had a legal duty to protect the visitor from harm
  • The party failed to protect them, causing a breach of legal responsibilities
  • The owner’s actions contributed to the damages the person sustained
  • The person sustained verifiable damages and losses

A Columbia attorney from AW Smith could review your public property injury case to determine if there is evidence to support a claim and help navigate the challenging process.

The Tort Claims Act

The state operates many public areas. Therefore, understanding the sovereign immunity doctrine and civil laws is crucial for winning your case. The legal doctrine provides certain protections to governmental agencies in the form of immunity from liability for civil or criminal prosecution. Even so, the legislation allows citizens to file lawsuits for negligent actions.

The Revised Statutes of Missouri § 537.600 provides that a person suffering bodily harm and losses on public property because of hazardous conditions has the right to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party. The claim must establish to the court that the accident was reasonably foreseeable and the damages were the result of negligent or wrongful acts or an omission of action.

Insurance Company Settlements

The first step to collecting compensation after suffering injuries on public property involves insurance company communication and negotiations. While it may be tempting to close the case quickly by accepting the first payout the agency offers, ensuring you are receiving a fair settlement is essential. A public property injury lawyer in Columbia could work with the provider on your behalf, and if they cannot agree on the adequate compensation amount, they could help you take the lawsuit to civil court.

Speak to a Practiced Public Property Injury Attorney in Columbia

You could be eligible for compensation when you or someone you love was a lawful visitor at a public property and suffered harm because of negligence. Call today to schedule your free consultation with a hard-working Columbia public property injury lawyer. We understand the challenges you must overcome and could help you hold the careless party legally and financially accountable.