Who Is Liable When Someone Slips and Falls?
The “slip and fall” is a type of personal injury case that begins when someone slips or trips on another person’s property, and in doing so, sustains an injury. Slip and fall cases typically fall under the broader category referred to as premises liability lawsuits. Slip and fall incidents generally happen on a property that is owned (or maintained) by someone else. When someone sustains an injury after slipping and falling on another person’s property, the property owner may be held liable.
What Sort of Dangerous Conditions Cause Texas Slip and Fall Injuries?
Many dangerous conditions can cause Texas slip and fall accidents and potentially serious injuries. Shoppers in a retail boutique can trip on torn carpeting. Visitors to a hotel may fall due to elevation changes in the flooring. Restaurant goers may sustain an injury due to poor lighting that caused a misstep. Wet floors often cause people to slip, and narrow stairs are a common cause of slip and fall injuries. Some slip and fall accidents occur in more public areas such as a cracked public sidewalk or outdoor stairwell leading to parks or public spaces. Still, other cases originate due to more natural phenomena like the weather. Rain, ice, and snow frequently cause outdoor slip and falls.
How to Prove a Slip and Fall Case:
There is no easy way to prove that someone else is liable for your injuries after you slip and fall. The case will hinge on your attorney’s ability to show that the property owner was negligent and did not exhibit reasonable efforts to remedy a hazardous situation. Property owners are expected to act carefully to ensure guests on their property are not likely to slip or trip, combined with any information about the plaintiff’s ability to avoid the slip and fall accident.
Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Case:
If you are attempting to determine if someone else is at fault for a slip and fall accident, remember you have to prove that there was a hazard, that the owner knew of the hazard (or should have known), and that the owner did not exhibit reasonable effort to remedy the situation. The hazard or dangerous condition must be an unreasonable risk to the person on the property, a condition the injured party would not expect under the circumstances. Visitors to a property are expected to know of and avoid any obvious dangers.
How to Prove a Property Owner Knew About a Dangerous Condition:
Plaintiffs attempting to prove that a property owner knew of a dangerous condition must show that the owner created the condition, the owner knew about the condition and behaved negligently by failing to fix it, or the hazard existed for such a long period of time that it would be reasonable to expect the owner to fix it prior to the slip and fall incident. For a property owner to be liable for injuries, the plaintiff must show that the owner’s negligence created a scenario in which a reasonable individual would expect to create a danger.
Slip and Fall Claims and Responsible Parties:
When filing a Texas slip and fall claim due to an injury sustained on someone else’s property, another party (or responsible party) must have exhibited negligence that caused the plaintiff’s injury. In some cases, a “slip and fall” is simply an accident or an injury caused by the injured party’s own careless behavior. Still, there are plenty of slip and fall injuries that were caused by a responsible party. When a slip and fall injury occurs on a commercial property, the owner or employee of the owner must have caused the spill (or other hazardous condition), known of the hazardous condition and not responded in a reasonable manner, and should have known their failure to respond appropriately would create a dangerous situation. When a slip and fall accident occurs on commercial property, there are often several different people or entities that are responsible or partially responsible for the victim’s injury.
Can a Landlord be Held Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident on Residential Property?
In some cases, a landlord may be held liable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their rental property. In order for a landlord to be liable for a slip and fall, they must have had control over the situation that caused the fall, had the ability to make a reasonable repair (the cost of the repair was not unreasonable), potential injury was an obvious consequence of failing to fix the hazardous conditions, and the landlord’s failure to take reasonable steps to remedy the situation, caused the injury.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Slip and Fall Claim Occurring on Government Property?
If a slip and fall accident happens on government property, the incident is subject to special rules. Under these circumstances, there are stringent notice requirements and a wide array of immunity provisions that can be used to shield government groups from liability for injuries occurring on the property.
If you have injuries from a recent slip and fall accident and you need help to get the compensation you deserve, don’t waste any time. Get in touch with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney at Hudson Law. We can help you navigate the process to defend your legal rights and protect your financial and medical interests. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.