More than one million slip and fall accidents occur in the United States every year. People suffer traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and other life-altering outcomes which require surgeries and rehabilitation. Slip and fall accidents cause death and also result in many lawsuits being filed.
Property owners and their managers have to deal with a lot when it comes to day-to-day running of their premises. Each property has it’s own vulnerabilities and concerns. Careful attention to injury-prevention and safety of employees, customers and visitors is essential for the continued success of any enterprise.
Whether you decide to file a third-party insurance claim with the property owner’s insurer, or take the matter to court right away via a personal injury lawsuit, a number of Texas laws and legal doctrines will almost certainly affect your case. Two of the most important of these are the statute of limitations deadline for filing a slip and fall lawsuit, and “shared fault” rules that can affect your right to recover compensation if you bear some amount of responsibility for the accident.
If your slip and fall case goes to trial in Texas, the state’s “modified comparative negligence rule” will determine how much you can still receive from the property owner. Under this rule, any damages award you receive will be reduced according to the percentage of your fault, as long as your share is 50 percent or less. So, let’s say the jury finds that you are 20 percent to blame for your slip and fall. They also find that your damages total $50,000. In that situation, the property owner will only be on the hook for $40,000 (that’s the original $50,000 minus 20 percent).
LIABILITY IN A HOUSTON SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT.
A very large percentage of slip and fall accidents are caused due to some sort of failure on another parties’ behalf. This could be the other party’s failure to clear debris, maintain even walkways, clear spilled water regularly, or not warning people of hazards using appropriate signs. For your claim to succeed, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The property owner and his or her employees owed you a duty of care.
- They breached the duty of care.
- The breach caused your accident and injuries too.
- You suffered damages resulting from the accident.
You will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- The property owner and his or her employees should have known of the dangerous or hazardous conditions prevailing on their premises.
- The property owner and his or her employees did nothing to fix or remove the dangerous or hazardous conditions, or
- The property owner and his or her employees caused the dangerous or hazardous conditions.
If you or a loved one has been injured or seriously hurt after slipping, tripping or falling on someone else’s property because of the owner’s negligence, you are entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, time you were off-work and even for pain and suffering. Contact a board certified Houston experienced slip and fall accident attorney to help you get adequate compensation.
STEPS TO TAKE RIGHT AFTER A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT.
If you or any of your loved ones have been in a slip and fall accident, it is important to remember and follow these steps after the unfortunate incident:
Seek medical attention.
Even if you feel ‘fine’ or feel you can ‘tough it out’, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Medical evaluation ensures that injuries you have suffered are diagnosed and treated immediately. It also helps you to document your accident through medical records.
Report the accident.
Report the accident to the appropriate and liable party. These may include a commercial property owner or manager, a store manager, a landlord, or his supervisor. You should ask the concerned person to make a written report containing details of the incident, your statement, witness reports, and their contact information. Request a copy of their report for your records.
Document the accident scene.
If possible, document the scene of the accident. Write a description of what occurred while details of the accident are still fresh in your mind. Take photographs of the location as property owners or their employees might try to remove the dangerous and hazardous conditions prevailing on the premises after you have reported the accident.
Communicate with representatives of the property owners.
Insurers or representatives of the property owners may try to lure you into making a quick settlement. You have the right to decline making statements to them. You can choose to communicate through an attorney instead.
Speak with a board certified Houston attorney.
Initial consultations with attorneys are free. Experienced attorneys like us possess decades of experience and extensive resources to take on property owners and their insurers who will try to pay you as little as possible or nothing.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS.
- Many slip and fall accidents are work-related and are a common reason for lost days at work. 22% of these cases require more than 31 days off. Slip and fall accidents are most common in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries.
- According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of deaths for those between 65 and 84 years.
- According to National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), 2000 people are treated in emergency rooms for slip and fall accidents everyday which accounts for 12% of all emergency room visits in the country.
- The CDC has revealed that slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of brain injuries. The effects of these Injuries can linger on and result in severe impairments.
- The CDC estimates that the average hospital costs for a slip and fall injury is over $30,000. Snow-related accidents average up to $48,000 according to the Snow and Ice Management Association. Fall-related medical bills in the country exceed $34 billion annually.
- According to Bureau of Justice statistics, just 2% of personal Injury cases go to Court to face a jury trial.
DANGEROUS AND HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS ON A PROPERTY.
There are numerous dangerous and hazardous conditions that can cause injuries to employees, customers, and visitors if they are not removed or fixed right away. These conditions include:
- Cracked or broken flooring.
- Wet floors.
- Missing handrails.
- Uneven steps.
- Not enough lighting.
- Loose rugs or mats.
- Torn or bulging carpets.
- Potholes in parking lots or on sidewalks.
- Ice or snow on sidewalks or walkways.
COMMON MISTAKES THAT CAN COMPROMISE YOUR SLIP AND FALL CLAIM.
If you have been a victim of a slip and fall accident, common mistakes that you should avoid include:
- Signing an Agreement that curtails or limits your right to sue or absolves the wrong-doer of blame.
- Failure to collect or preserve evidence.
- Defendant’s admission of guilt not recorded or documented.
- Not suing the right parties to the claim.
- Taking too long to file a claim and ending up being barred by the statute of limitations prevailing in your state.
DAMAGES THAT YOU CAN CLAIM IN AN SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT.
The obvious damages that you can file a claim for include:
- Hospital bills.
- Medical expenses (doctor’s fee, Diagnostic tests, Prescriptions, etc.)
- Costs of medication.
- Costs of ongoing physical therapy.
In addition to the above, our Houston slip and fall accident lawyers seek to get maximum compensation for the victim of an accident and help him or her explore other options and alternative ways to seek additional compensation for injuries sustained. Our skilled board certified attorneys seek compensation for damages such as:
- Physical pain, scarring, and emotional trauma.
- Nursing/attendant care. (In many cases, care is necessary round-the-clock.)
- Compensation for time and effort of family members taking care of the injured loved one.
- Cost of making the home accessible for the disabled victim or making home wheelchair-friendly.
- Compensation for short-term and long-term loss in productivity.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and breakdown of personal relationships.
CONTACT A HOUSTON SLIP AND FALL LAWYER AT OUR NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED FIRM.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident anywhere in the country due to the carelessness or negligence of a property owner or his or her staff, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. Call an experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.