When you trip and fall over something on someone else’s property, you expect the property owner or their insurance company to cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the accident. However, the property’s owner is not automatically legally responsible for covering your losses.

To prevail in court, you must prove that the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition on their property that caused you to fall. This is also known as proving notices in Houston slip and fall cases. One of our experienced slip and fall attorneys could search for evidence and build a solid claim for compensation.

What is Actual Notice?

Actual notice means that a property owner actually knew about the hazard on their property and failed to take action to fix it or, at a minimum, warn unsuspecting visitors about it. A plaintiff could establish liability by proving that an owner or someone else caring for a property had actual notice of a dangerous condition on their property.

Creating the Hazard

Sometimes, homeowners and business owners cause problems that lead to slip-and-fall accidents on their properties. For instance, a homeowner creates a slipping hazard if they wash their kitchen floor and invite their neighbor over for a drink without telling them that the floor is wet and slippery. If their neighbor slips on the wet floor and experiences a head injury, the homeowner could be liable because they had actual notice of the hazard they created.

Actual Knowledge

Other times, premises owners are liable for accidents when someone else creates a hazard on their property, but they know about it. For example, suppose a store manager has a contractor to replace the carpeting in their store, and someone trips over the loose carpeting remnants. The store manager could be liable because they knew the carpeting could have posed an unreasonable risk to an unsuspecting customer.

A well-versed attorney in Houston could investigate the accident and learn what kind of hazardous condition caused the claimant to slip and fall. They could speak with people familiar with the property to learn about whether the property’s owner had actual notice.

Constructive Notice

In certain circumstances, a property owner can be liable for the cost of someone’s injuries from falling on their property, even without knowing the dangerous condition that led to the fall. A court would deem that a property owner has constructive knowledge of the condition if another reasonable property owner had learned about the hazard through routine inspections and property maintenance. Constructive notice means that a property owner should have known about the hazard even if they did not.

For instance, if one customer spilled their drink in a grocery store and another customer slipped on it, the injured customer might be able to sue the store for the cost of their injuries. The customer would need to show that the store had constructive knowledge of the spill, even if they did not know about it. To show constructive notice, the customer must show that the spilled drink had been left on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time.

A Houston lawyer could find out how long the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall had been left untended in pursuit of proving notice. They could speak with other customers and store employees to learn about the store’s practices. They could check whether the store regularly inspects aisles for problems or if they had a history of allowing the store floor to be messy. The legal team could also meet with other customers that day to find out if they noticed the wet floor.

Talk with a Houston Attorney About Notices After a Slip and Fall

Slip and fall injuries can result in significant financial burdens. If your accident happened on someone else’s property, they might be liable for your expenses. However, you must prove that the property owner knew or should have known their property was dangerous. Seasoned attorneys know how to prove notices in Houston slip and fall cases. Talk with the legal team today.