Losing your footing suddenly may not seem like a big deal to everyone, but if you fall at the wrong angle or onto an unforgiving surface, a slip and fall accident can cause serious injuries that may have lasting financial and personal consequences. Slips or trips and falls can be even more frustrating when they occur as a result of a property owner or manager’s failure to protect lawful visitors from foreseeable harm.
Fortunately, anyone hurt under these circumstances may have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim filed with the assistance of a capable personal injury attorney. By allowing a diligent and experienced Houston slip and fall lawyer to handle your case, you could substantially improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
When to File a Slip and Fall Claim
Falling and sustaining an injury on another person’s land does not automatically serve as grounds for a slip and fall lawsuit or settlement demand. For a landowner to bear civil liability for a visitor’s trip and fall injury, that landowner must have owed them a duty of reasonable care to protect them from hazardous property conditions, subsequently violated their duty of care in some way, and thereby caused the visitor’s otherwise preventable injury.
Specifically, landowners in Texas may be held civilly liable under state law for injuries caused by hazards that reasonable inspection and property maintenance would have otherwise addressed. For instance, it would not be reasonable to expect a store owner to discover and clean up a spill in an aisle within seconds of it happening, but it would be reasonable to expect that they do so within an hour or more. Someone who slipped and fell in the latter situation would likely have a valid claim for compensation against the store owner or manager at the time, while someone hurt in the former circumstances would not.
The specific nature of a property owner or manager’s duty toward a visitor can vary substantially depending on the specific facts of the case, and how that duty is interpreted plays a big role in any subsequent civil claims. Guidance from a knowledgeable Houston trip and fall attorney may be crucial in anticipating how a local court might interpret the law and preparing the strongest claim possible.
Maximizing Compensation for Trip and Fall Injuries
A landowner who is found liable for a slip or trip and fall accident on their property can be held financially accountable for all forms of harm stemming from that incident, including the plaintiff’s:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Personal property damage
- Lost wages and/or earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Psychological/emotional anguish
- Lost quality of life due to long-term injuries
However, allegations of comparative fault could result in a proportional reduction of a claimant’s final damage award, in accordance with Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §33.012. Specifically, a plaintiff who is found partially at-fault for their own slip and fall injuries would see their compensatory award reduced according to their percentage of blame.
Furthermore, TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §33.001 prohibits recovery altogether for anyone found more liable for their own injuries than all other involved parties combined. For these reasons, it may be critical to work with an attorney who has successfully pursued trip and fall claims in Houston before.
Speak with a Houston Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Civil claims based on slipping and tripping accidents can be uniquely complicated in numerous ways. Even if you have been part of a civil court case or settlement negotiations before, going into this kind of proceeding without support from seasoned legal counsel is never a good idea.
A qualified Houston slip and fall lawyer could be your steadfast ally and provide the guidance you need to achieve the outcome you want. Call today for a consultation.