Slip & Falls Attorney in Denton, Texas
Every year, numerous Texans suffer injuries from slips and fall accidents. In fact, slip and falls result in more than 1 million emergency room visits annually and represent the primary cause of lost days from work, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Properties such as stores, gas stations, restaurants, parking lots, businesses and apartment buildings are often improperly maintained, thus leading to severe injuries from slip and fall accidents.
A premises liability claim is a specific type of negligence action brought as the result of alleged injuries caused by a condition of real property. A slip and fall injury can be very serious, as it can cause you to suffer from related injuries for years after the accident. Slip and fall accidents can cause significant injuries to your back, brain, hips, arms, knees, toes and/or legs. While it is hoped that you will be able to get back to full function, many times you are faced with having to miss a substantial amount of time at work or even quit your job, due to long term symptoms or even a permanent disability.
Slip and falls can cause severe bodily harm and result in chronic pain, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, impairment, disfigurement and costly medical treatment. When Texas property owners fail to fix or warn people about potentially dangerous conditions on their property, they may be held liable for injuries under Texas premises liability law.
Texas Premises Liability Law: Status of Victim
In Texas, not everyone who slips and falls on someone else’s property will have a viable claim against the property owner for their injuries. The nature of the victim’s relationship to the property owner will be important to determining whether a claim exists.
Texas premises liability law makes a clear distinction between the following types of visitors to a property:
- An invitee is a person who enters the possessor’s premises in response to an expressed or implied invitation by the possessor and for the benefit of both parties. Some examples of invitees include:
- Business patrons
- Club members
- Church members
- Child with a parent
- Working social guest
- Tenant’s guest
- Meter readers
- Mail Carriers
- Newspaper-delivery person
- Garbage collector
- Public-safety inspector
- Public-safety officer
- A licensee is a person who enters the premises with permission of the possessor for the licensee’s own convenience or on business for someone other than the possessor. Some examples of licensees include:
- Member of household
- Social guest
- Visitor to business establishment
- Public-safety officer
- Volunteer rescuer
- Off-duty employee
- Door-to-door salesperson
- A trespasser is a person who (1) enters the property of another, (2) without any right, lawful authority, or express or implied invitation, permission, or license, (3) not in performance of any duties to the owner (4) but merely for his or her own purposes, pleasure, or convenience. Some examples of trespassers include:
- Child without permission
- Subtenant without permission
- Employee without permission
- Friend of employee
- Hunter without permission
- Recreational land user
Elements of a Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall claims must have some specific elements in order to be valid in Texas. These elements include that:
- The victim (i.e., plaintiff) was an invitee or licensee when the accident occurred.
- The defendant was responsible for the property at the time of the accident. This can include property owners, landlords, building managers or others who are “possessors” of the property.
- A condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm to the invitee or licensee.
- The defendant knew or reasonably should have known of the danger.
- For a licensee, the plaintiff did not have actual awareness of the danger.
- The defendant breached its duty of ordinary care by
- Failing to adequately warn the plaintiff of the condition or
- Failing to make the condition reasonably safe
- The defendant’s breach of duty proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove these elements which pertain to a slip and fall claim and is key to a successful outcome. Our attorneys at Ross Law Offices, P.C. will provide invaluable help when it comes to establishing all of these elements in your slip and fall case.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
A property owner will do anything they can to avoid liability for your slip and fall accident and injuries. As such, it is extremely important to carefully document the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Immediately following a slip and fall accident you should do the following:
- Take pictures of the scene. Immediately after your accident, take pictures of the accident scene and the condition of the premises that caused your fall. Gather proof that the unsafe area was not marked off or that uneven or wet floors did not have proper warning signs.
- Gather witness statements. Obtain recorded statements of any witnesses regarding what they saw.
- Visit a medical professional. Always immediately seek medical attention from a medical professional. Some injuries are not immediately apparent after an accident, but a medical professional will be able to detect such issues and provide the necessary medical treatment for those injuries.
- Contact our personal injury attorneys at Ross Law Offices, P.C.. When you get hurt in a slip and fall accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.
At Ross Law Offices, P.C., we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and go over every option you may have. Don’t hesitate. Contact us online now or call us at (940) 230-2400.