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Premises Liability2018-08-29T15:10:40+00:00

Premises Liability


Property owners in Missouri must avoid unreasonably endangering visitors. Customers shopping at a store or patrons dining at a restaurant need to feel safe. Columbia premises liability attorney Matt Uhrig has significant experience helping accident victims pursue full and fair compensation for their injuries. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, the Law Office of Matt Uhrig may be able to help.


Missouri law charges landowners with varying levels of duty, depending on the status of a visitor. For example, a property owner owes a very different duty to a business customer than to a trespasser.

Two of the most common kinds of visitors are invitees and licensees. These visitors can be thought of in common terms as business guests and social guests, respectively. A business guest is a person invited on the property for the benefit of the owner, such as customers shopping at a grocery store. A social guest is on the property for the guest’s own benefit, such as someone attending a friend’s birthday party.

This distinction is important because a business owner owes a higher duty to a business guest than a social guest. In Missouri, a property owner must fix or warn of hazards affecting business guests about which the owner knew or should have known. Only known risks are covered by a property owner’s duty to protect social guests

If a customer at a store, a diner in a restaurant, or a guest in a hotel is hurt, that person may hold the property owner liable for breaching a legally imposed duty. Injured business guests must prove four elements:

  • There was a dangerous condition on the property;
  • The property owner knew or should have known of the condition;
  • The owner did not warn of or fix the condition; and
  • The business guest was injured by the condition.

There are many things that can be considered dangerous conditions. A wet floor, a broken staircase, dangerously stacked merchandise, or even inadequate security might all be considered dangerous conditions, depending on the circumstances.

Property owners with business guests on their premises may need to actively inspect the property for these types of hazards. Grocery store owners must have employees inspect the store for spilled liquids. Warehouse club owners must avoid stacking goods dangerously high. Whether the owner should have known of the hazard will depend on the circumstances, such as how long the floor had been wet before the accident.

If an owner fails to meet this standard of care, and a customer is harmed as a result, the owner may be liable for the customer’s injuries. A person who brings a successful premises liability suit may be entitled to compensation for physical, emotional, and financial injuries. Hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress are all considered compensable injuries.


If you have been injured on the property of a business or other entity, seek help from an experienced attorney immediately. Do not talk to the property owner’s lawyers or insurance company. Their only objective is to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. A person injured on the property of a negligent business owner has a right under Missouri law for full compensation. Jefferson City personal injury lawyer Matt Uhrig can help you seek full value for your medical bills and injuries. We have years of experience helping injured people from Ashland, Jefferson City, Columbia, and throughout Missouri seek the damages they deserve. To start discussing your case, call (573) 657-2050 or fill out our online form.

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Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys
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