Your Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Rights in TexasTexas Accident News
If you’ve been injured or someone you love has been injured by slipping or tripping and falling, pain may be the least of your worries. Unplanned medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses could put a real dent in your bank account. Fortunately, if you live in anywhere in Texas, you may find relief on all counts. That’s because Texas property owners or managers can be held liable for slip, trip and fall injuries incurred on their properties. And they may owe you fair compensation for your injuries if it can be shown that they knew in advance of the hazard that caused your fall but failed to properly warn you of it.
Causes of Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
Falls from slipping or tripping are some of the most common types of injury claims under a specific area of personal injury law known as premises liability. Such accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and are often the result of …
- 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 Licensee is 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 the property owner knew of the hazardous condition that caused your accident. This can be challenging anywhere, but especially in Texas. That’s because of the Texas Supreme Court ruling in Keetch vs. Kroger that Texas businesses no longer have a duty to inspect their premises for defects.
Proof isn’t impossible, though. Not for an experienced slip, trip and fall lawyer like Attorney Joe Brad Brock. He 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 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 slip, trip, and fall cases.
Keep in mind, however, 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