A serious slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, at any time, and severely derail your life. Perhaps you were food shopping and a wet floor caused you to fall and break a leg. Maybe you were in an office and tripped over a loose cord connecting computers, resulting in a head injury. Poor lighting may have caused you to trip and hurt your back, incapacitating you. A slip and fall accident can lead to permanent disability.
In Texas, it is a property owner’s responsibility to ensure their premises are safe. When a property owner’s negligence contributes to your accident, a San Antonio slip and fall lawyer at Patterson Law Group can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Understanding Texas Slip and Fall Laws
Slip and fall accidents pertain to premises liability law. A property owner may be found negligent if a slip and fall accident happens on their property and the owner did not exercise reasonable care by reducing the risk of harm. To reduce this risk of harm, they must be aware of the condition of the property. If they do not fix the hazardous condition promptly, they must at least warn the public about the hazard via signage or other means.
In other words, if a slip and fall occurs as a result of the owner failing to maintain their property with no warning present, the owner may prove liable.
Keep in mind that Texas premises liability laws apply only to invitees or licensees, not trespassers.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In Texas, you can still collect damages, or compensation, even if you were partially responsible for your accident. The state’s modified comparative negligence rule means that as long as you were found less than 50 percent liable for your accident, you can still collect damages.
For example, if a jury determines you were 25 percent liable and awards you $100,000, the property owner must only pay $75,000.
Statute of Limitations in Texas for a Slip and Fall Accident
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is typically two years from the accident date. If the accident occurred on public property, the statute of limitations is much shorter, often as little as six months.
Because collecting evidence pertaining to your case is vital, consult a San Antonio slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Otherwise, valuable evidence supporting your claim could vanish.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
While there are various causes of slip and fall accidents, they share one thing in common. Had the property owner or manager kept their premises in good condition, it is unlikely the accident would have occurred.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Debris in walkways
- Defective sidewalks
- Inadequate lighting
- Loose cords and cables
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven or broken stairs
- Wet floors
Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Injuries from slip and fall accidents run the gamut. Many such injuries can result in the inability to work or care for your family, either in the short or long term.
Common injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Hip fracture
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Who Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Property owners must maintain their premises in a safe condition. However, under Texas law, a property owner is responsible only if they were aware of the hazardous condition and failed to remedy it in a timely fashion. As an example, if a business’ carpet is torn, revealing gaping holes, the owner must either repair it or remove it to avoid posing a trip threat to visitors.
While a property owner is responsible for the condition of their premises, not every owner is responsible for a slip and fall. If the hazardous condition was obvious to any reasonable person, you may not have a claim. For instance, if the area was cordoned off due to spillage but you walked on it anyway, the property owner can argue that they are not responsible for the outcome.
The defendant will probably argue that you are at least partly at fault for your accident. That is where the right attorney can help. A San Antonio slip and fall lawyer can marshal the facts and build a strong argument in your favor to prove the fault of the other party.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident
Try to take photos of the accident scene right away. It is easy for a property owner to fix the hazard that caused your slip and fall, especially if it involves something as simple as removing debris from a walkway after the fact.
If you are too badly injured to collect evidence, ask a relative or friend to go to the scene right away and take photos. If there are witnesses to your fall, get their names, addresses, and contact information.
Always seek prompt medical attention after a slip and fall accident. You may think initially that your pride was hurt more than your body but many injuries are not apparent immediately. If you do not go to the emergency room or visit an urgent care physician soon after the accident, the insurance company will likely allege that you were not seriously hurt or that your injury resulted from another cause.
Keep the clothes and shoes you were wearing at the time and do not wash or repair them. They may serve as evidence.
Do not try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. You will probably receive a lowball offer to settle the case. A San Antonio slip and fall lawyer knows how to obtain a fair settlement for injured clients.
How Our San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers Can Help You
Our San Antonio slip and fall lawyers are ready and able to investigate your case thoroughly. We will work to obtain surveillance video of the accident, if available. We will interview witnesses, review your medical records, and consult with medical experts regarding your injuries.
We know the value of a slip and fall claim based on your injury and prognosis. While most cases are settled, we will go to trial when necessary.
Contact a San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you were seriously injured in a slip and fall accident due to property owner negligence, you need the services of a San Antonio personal injury lawyer at Patterson Law Group. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation. Se Habla Espanol.