- wet or slippery floors,
- uneven or defective surfaces,
- torn or damaged carpeting or flooring,
- falling objects or debris in walkways,
- merchandise cluttering pedestrian pathways,
- broken stairs, staircase railings, or banisters, and
- inadequate lighting.
Your Legal Status Matters
To seek compensation for a slip, trip and fall accident in Texas, you’ll need to identify what duty the property owner owed you. The duty owed is dependent on your legal status relative to the property, which will be categorized as one of the following:
An Invitee is any employee, customer, postal worker, or other person who’s on the property with the owner’s knowledge because that person’s presence is mutually beneficial to both parties. The property owner owes a significant duty of care to invitees. This means the property owner must either warn invitees of hazardous conditions on the property or address those hazards beforehand to make them safe. This goes for any condition the owner knows about that poses an “unreasonable risk” to invitees.
A Licenseeis a social guest, salesperson, or other visitor who enters a property for his or her own, personal benefit. The property owner must either warn licensees of any onsite condition that could harm them or correct that condition to make the property safe. Again, this applies to any condition posing an “unreasonable risk” of harm that the owner knows about but the licensee does not.
A Trespasser is anyone who enters a property without the owner’s permission or right to do so legally. The property owner owes the lowest duty of care to a trespasser. All that’s expected, by law, is that the property owner not intentionally injure trespassers or hurt them as a result of the property owner’s gross negligence.
An exception to the rule about trespassers is when the accident involves children. Because of their age and because they are likely unaware of the dangers of trespassing, children could be owed a duty of care from a property owner under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Essentially, this states that property owners must reasonably protect children from harm on their property, even if those children are there without the owner’s knowledge. This applies particularly when artificial property features are present like swimming pools, playground equipment, and other such attractions that could appeal to children and do them harm if they trespass and use these features without permission or supervision.
Compensation for a Slip, Trip and Fall Accident
While it might be evident to you that a property owner owes you compensation for a slip, trip and fall accident, getting fair compensation is seldom a simple matter. As mentioned above, you’ll first have to demonstrate your legal status relative to the property before it can be determined what duty you’re owed.
You’ll also have to prove that the property owner had knowledge of the hazardous condition that caused your accident, which can be challenging. This is particularly difficult to prove in Corpus Christi since the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Keetch vs. Kroger established that businesses in the state no longer have a duty to inspect their premises for defects.
While the Keetch vs. Kroger ruling makes it more challenging for plaintiffs to prove that a property owner was aware of a defect or hazardous condition, doing so is not impossible. An experienced slip, trip and fall lawyer like Attorney Joe Brad Brock can help prove your claim and recover compensation including (but not limited to) …
- medical bills (both past and present),
- lost wages from missed work,
- loss of future earnings (if you’ve become disabled),
- loss of quality of life, and any
- pain, suffering, and post-traumatic stress.
Your South Texas Slip, Trip and Fall Advocate
For more than two decades, Attorney Joe Brad Brock has been a trusted advocate for those who’ve been injured in South Texas, and he has specific experience handling cases of slipping or tripping and falling.
Keep in mind, though, that the time to take legal action on your slip, trip and fall claim is now. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Texas is two years from the date the accident occurred. Because it takes time to investigate and build a substantial claim, you should call Joe Brad at (361) 884-1086 for a consultation or otherwise contact The Law Office of Joe Brad Brock as soon after your accident as possible.