Almost all of us have experienced some form of slip and fall accident at least once in our lives. Unfortunately, though, not every slip and fall accident is a minor ordeal.
Sometimes, a fall can be fatal. This is especially true when the person is older, slips from a height, or hits their head. At other times, a slip and fall accident can lead to long-term and even lifelong losses.
In these situations, it’s important to know your legal options. Not every slip and fall accident gives rise to a legal claim, but many of them do. When certain factors are present, an injured person can seek out compensation for their losses.
To determine if those factors exist in your situation, it’s best to consult with a Texas slip and fall lawyer who can go over the specifics of your case with you. Learn more about slip and fall injuries, how they can lead to a claim, and how the attorneys here at DFW Injury Lawyers can help you determine the best path forward below.
About 8.9 million individuals visit emergency rooms across the nation every year as a result of falls.
What is a Slip and Fall Injury?
Slip and fall accidents are a category of incidents that describe a trip, slip, fall, stump, or other type of loss of balance that results in an injury. Slip and fall accidents can happen from a height, or they could occur at the same ground level. For instance, both falling off of a ladder and slipping on a wet grocery store floor would be considered forms of slip and fall accidents.
The Texas Department of Insurance reports that about 15% of work-related fatalities are directly related to slip and falls. What’s more, about 8.9 million individuals visit emergency rooms across the nation every year as a result of falls.
Injuries that stem from slip and fall accidents range in severity. They can be life-altering or only result in minor, short-term losses. When a slip and fall accident does lead to substantial losses, it may be worth investigating whether a claim can help. Seeking financial compensation can help facilitate your recovery. A Texas slip and fall lawyer can help you determine if it may be possible for you to receive compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or more.
Is a Slip and Fall a Premises Liability or a Negligent Activity Claim?
Before setting out to file your claim, it’s good to review the various Texas slip and fall laws that impact premises liability claims.
In general, slip and fall accidents are premises liability claims. Premises liability claims arise as a result of injuries that happen due to the condition of the property. On the other hand, negligent activity claims arise as a result of the hazards presented by the activity itself.
Under premises liability laws in Texas, property owners have a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of guests who come onto their property. When property owners don’t take this duty of care seriously and that results in an accident, the injured person can hold the property owner responsible for their losses.
Can You Sue for a Slip and Fall in Texas?
Following a slip and fall accident in Texas, analyze where your accident happened, when it occurred, what you’ve lost, and if any negligence existed. All of these factors will work together to determine whether you can file a lawsuit for your accident.
Another factor that could impact your ability to file a slip and fall claim will be your own actions during the accident. Were you partially at fault? If so, then that may impact your claim.
Texas courtrooms operate on a modified comparative fault rule. Under this standard, Texans can seek out compensation when they are less than 50% at fault. Their overall settlement award will be reduced based on their own level of fault.
Example of Texas’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule
For instance, let’s assume that you slipped and fell in a grocery store and filed a slip and fall lawsuit. The court determined that the grocery store was 75% at fault because they did not respond to a spill in a reasonable time frame.
Since you were on your phone and not paying attention to your surroundings, the court factored that in too. They deemed your fault at 25%. In this hypothetical situation, you’d still be eligible to collect up to 75% of your losses.
Determining Fault in Texas Slip and Fall Cases
It’s crucial to understand how fault is determined so that you know whether it’s worth your time to seek out a slip and fall claim. In Texas, you likely won’t be able to collect any compensation if courts determine that you were at least 50% at fault for the accident. When you’re deemed mostly at fault, you’ll be the one to bear the costs of your losses.
Clearly, slip and fall cases in Texas are complicated. With that in mind, legal representation matters. The slip and fall lawyer you hire can make a huge difference in your claim, especially if you’re going up against an institution with a team of skilled lawyers.
Texans can seek out compensation when they are less than 50% at fault. Their overall settlement award will be reduced based on their own level of fault.
How Do Slip and Fall Cases Work?
Slip and fall cases arise after an accident happens and the injured party starts to incur significant losses. The injured party often talks to local slip and fall attorneys to determine if they may qualify to pursue compensation. If so, then they make their case.
In many cases, slip and fall lawsuits are filed against the negligent party’s insurance provider. Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be complicated. Thankfully, your Texas slip and fall lawyer will handle the communication and negotiation process for you.
How Long After a Slip and Fall Case Can You Sue?
There is a time limit, or a statute of limitations, placed on individuals who want to file a claim for compensation against a negligent party. Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, individuals have up to two years from the date of their accident to file a legal claim. When those two years pass by, the person forfeits any right to sue.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For one, minors who are involved in an accident that causes an injury have up to two years after they turn 18 to pursue a claim.
Due to the time limits associated with filing a slip and fall lawsuit, it’s usually best to contact a Texas slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. A local personal injury law group will know state-specific laws and time limits associated with your slip and fall accident.
Average Slip and Fall Settlement in Texas
The average slip and fall settlements in Texas are substantial, but it’s important to understand that every case is unique. In general, you won’t be able to collect more compensation than the losses you’ve endured.
Slip and fall lawyers work to ensure the compensation you get matches your losses. Still, the overall settlement will vary depending on the circumstances of your accident, your percentage of fault, and the severity of your injury.
You may wonder, how many slip and fall cases go to trial? Most claims are settled outside of court, but it’s hard to predict which cases will go to trial and which ones won’t. For that reason, it’s wise to look for a lawyer with trial experience and proven results.
The legal muscle you need to win
Texas Slip and Fall Laws
To successfully file your claim, one must leverage local slip and fall laws. In order to do that, enlist the help of a local slip and fall attorney with extensive experience doing exactly that.
Get an overview of these laws below:
What to Know About Premises Liability
Under premises liability laws in Texas, property owners have a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of people on their grounds. A property owner may be considered negligent when they fail to uphold that duty of care. In those instances, they can be held legally responsible for any injuries that arise from an accident.
When you’re considering a claim, it’s best to first consult with a Texas slip and fall lawyer.
What Are Three Status Classifications in Premises Liability Claims?
Under Texas law, three status classifications determine the types of people that are on a property.
Here are the classifications:
- Invitee: This group included individuals who enter onto a property for the property owner’s benefit. For instance, a customer at a business would be considered an invitee. Under these circumstances, property owners have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to secure the invitees’ safety by adequately warning of dangerous conditions and making such conditions reasonably safe.
- Licensee: This group includes social guests, someone visiting a property, and others with a right to be there. Property owners must adequately warn licensees of dangerous conditions or make such conditions reasonably safe.
Trespasser: This group includes individuals who don’t have a right to be on a person’s property. Under Texas law, property owners have a legal duty not to injure a trespasser willfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, there are about 25,000 slip and fall accidents every day.
Below are some of the most common causes of fall accidents in Texas:
- Weather-Related Conditions
- Floor Conditions
- Trip Hazards
- Poor Visibility / Lighting
- No Handrails / Defective Handrails
- Failure to Promptly Clean Up Spills
- Floor Materials
Common Injuries from a Slip and Fall Accident
Spine, hip, and back of head injuries are the most commonly reported injuries from a slip and fall accident, but they aren’t the only ones.
Other injuries after slip and falls can include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Hip injuries
- Brain injury (including a traumatic brain injury)
- Disc injury
- Broken bones
- Severe cuts
- Soft tissue injury
- Wrongful death
According to D Magazine, the average cost for a hip and knee replacement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is about $14,578 to $54,285. GoodRx suggests that the average cost for a hip replacement in Dallas is about $50,000. Not only can these injuries be incredibly painful and life-altering, but they can also greatly impact a fall victim’s finances.
According to the National Safety Council, there are about 25,000 slip and fall accidents every day.
Where Can a Slip and Fall Accident Occur?
One of the biggest potential factors influencing a slip and fall case is where the accident occurred.
Slip and fall claims are often seen attached to accidents at these kinds of locations:
Private property owners have a duty to provide for the safety of guests on their property. When a slip and fall happens on private property, the injured person can pursue a claim against the property owner or the owner’s insurance policy.
Commercial property owners also have a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of visitors on their property. When an accident happens, the injured person can pursue a claim against the property owner, the business, or the business’s insurance policy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fall-related fatalities at the workplace is on the rise. One major cause of work-related accidents is a failure to adhere to safety standards.
Per OSHA standards, any change in flooring height that exceeds ¼ of an inch is considered a trip hazard. OSHA’s standards also categorize workplace safety falls in the same grouping as elevated falls. Safety falls can lead to injuries that are just as severe as elevated falls.
If a contractor or property owner ignores or deliberately skirts safety standards that results in an accident, it might be possible to seek a claim against them.
Similarly, if you’re involved in a work-related accident, you may be able to pursue a claim against your negligent employer if they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance.
How to File Slip and Fall Lawsuits
Here is how to file a slip and fall lawsuit:
- Tell The Property Owner or Manager What Happened
- Collect Contact Information from any Witnesses
- Take Photographs and Request Video
- Seek Medical Care
- Obtain Legal Representation: Hire a Texas personal injury lawyer
- File a Slip and Fall Claim
What Not to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
There are a few things that you want to avoid doing after a slip and fall accident to avoid dismantling a potential lawsuit.
Here is an overview of what not to do:
- Never give an insurer a recorded statement or sign anything. (Keep in mind that Texas has one-party consent audio recording laws.)
- Don’t miss medical appointments.
- Don’t apologize.
- Don’t post about the accident on social media.
- Don’t discuss your accident with others.
What Compensation May Be Available for a Slip and Fall Injury?
After a slip and fall accident, you will likely experience numerous losses. Damages you can seek out compensation for in a claim include:
FAQs: Recovering From a Slip and Fall Case in Texas
Do you have more questions about slip and fall accidents or filing an injury claim in Texas? Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Immediately after a slip and fall accident, you need to prioritize your safety. When the situation appears to be an emergency, don’t hesitate to call 911. Alert nearby individuals, employees, property owners, or managers on duty about the situation while you wait for medical care.
If your situation isn’t an emergency, you can begin to collect evidence. Take photographs of the scene, ask for the contact information of nearby witnesses, and inquire about any surveillance camera footage that may be available. When possible, seek out a full medical physical to check the extent of your injuries.
Once you know the extent of your losses, get in touch with experienced lawyers, like those at DFW Injury Lawyers. A Texas slip and fall lawyer will assist you with your next steps. These steps might include filing the right paperwork, documenting your losses, and negotiating with the responsible parties or insurance adjusters.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Case?
Hiring an injury lawyer is usually in your best interests. By relying on your lawyer’s knowledge and experience, you’re more likely to secure a favorable legal outcome.
How Much Does a Top Accident Lawyer Cost to Hire?
When it comes to slip and fall claims, many lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, like those at DFW Injury Lawyers.
That means you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Once you receive your settlement check, your lawyer will receive an agreed-upon percentage of that pay. Under this type of arrangement, you don’t pay anything until you also get paid.
How Do I Find Slip and Fall Attorneys Near Me?
Top-rated slip and fall attorneys are often located using online resources. While browsing online, be sure to look for a law firm in your local area with extensive experience handling slip and fall claims and impressive reviews.
Talk With a Texas Slip and Fall Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Have you or a loved one recently been injured in a slip and fall? Once you’ve ensured your immediate safety and sought out proper medical care, evaluate what happened and the extent of your losses. That way, you can make a better decision on how to move forward.
At times, someone else’s negligence may have caused or contributed to an accident. When a legal duty of care exists, that person can be held liable for that accident through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, the injured person can receive compensation for losses like the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Slip and fall accidents are often very complex. Not only will you have the burden of determining whether you may be able to pursue legal action, but you’ll also need to come up with the proof that backs up all your claims. The plaintiff must prove they were injured, show that the other party was negligent, bring receipts regarding losses, and more.
Hiring a Texas slip and fall lawyer is one of the best decisions you can make after experiencing a slip and fall accident, as they can tackle all of this for you. Your attorney will go over everything that happened. Then, they’ll help you determine whether pursuing a slip and fall lawsuit is in your best interests.
If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and you’re interested in learning more about your recent accident and potential legal options, then we invite you to reach out to our team here at DFW Injury Lawyers. Leave your contact details on our online form now to schedule a free consultation.