Everyone has encountered one of these accidents. A shopper slips on a grape in the produce aisle of a grocery store. Someone trips on the bunched-up carpet in a house or business. Many of these incidents are innocuous, inflicting only embarrassment. Others, however, can cause serious and lasting injuries that result in massive medical bills, long periods off of work, and permanent physical disabilities. Bone fractures, spinal injuries, facial cuts and gouges, and soft tissue strains & sprains are all possible from even seemingly minor falls. If you’ve suffered a slip, trip or fall accident due to the negligence of others, contact our knowledgable Houston premises liability lawyers today.
Common Conditions Causing Slips & Trips
There is literally no limit to the kinds of defects that can cause a slip or trip. The most common defects that result in injuries and later lawsuits include:
- Slippery substances on the floors (like the grocery store grape)
- Floors wet from mopping, tracked in snow & rain, etc.
- Objects on the floor
- Uneven floor surfaces (holes, cracks, bunched rugs, warped flooring, raised nails and screws, etc.)
- Poor lighting which makes it hard to see the floor
- Warnings about any of the above which are inadequate to let the visitor know the actual nature of the danger
A well-versed premises liability attorney in Houston can help you get adequate compensation in the event of a slip and fall injury.
Responsibility of Property Owners
Those who own or occupy a property (the “premises”) have a duty to all the people they invite onto the premises and all those deemed by the law to have a “license” to enter the premises. “Invitees,” for example, include employees and customers; “licensees” include people delivering the mail and other items to the premises. Some duty is owed to just about everyone whom the owner/occupier should expect to enter the premises.
It’s easy to say the premises owner/occupier “has a duty,” and another thing altogether to establish exactly what that duty was under the circumstances, and whether the owner/occupier fulfilled that duty under the circumstances.
Getting compensation for injuries from trip, slip & fall accidents in Texas requires that the victim be able to show that the party responsible for the condition that caused the fall knew about the dangerous condition, and knew about it long enough to have done something to fix it or to adequately warn visitors. Fortunately for visitors, the law also requires property owners to inspect their property for dangerous conditions and to maintain the property to prevent them from occurring.
It’s All About the Facts
It should be obvious by now that claims for compensation based on a trip, slip & fall are all about the facts. Important facts include:
- The exact nature of the defect
- How dangerous the defect was
- Whether the owner/occupier “knew or should have known” about the defect
- Whether negligent maintenance of the property produced the defect
- Whether the defect actually caused the victim’s fall and the claimed injuries
The last fact can get pretty complicated all on its own when fall victims were also acting unreasonably. For example, was the victim, at the time of the fall, carrying too many things to be able to see the floor, operating a mobile computer or similar device, or talking on the phone?
Get Help after a Serious Fall
Fall accidents can get very complicated very quickly in modern life. A business may be subletting space from another business which is leasing space from a landlord. The accident may occur right at the dividing line between two different premises. And efforts to recover for injuries always involve many, many facts.
If you have been the victim of injuries from this kind of accident, the sooner you get legal advice the better. And until you have talked to an experienced Houston premises liability lawyer, do not sign anything that releases the premises owner or occupant from liability in exchange for a sum of money.
At the law firm of Lapeze & Johns, LLPC, we have been handling serious injury claims in Houston and far beyond for a combined 35 years. And we handle them successfully: 95 percent of our cases reach a good settlement or a favorable conclusion in the courtroom.
If you need a smart, aggressive Houston personal injury lawyer for your slip and fall or trip and fall case, give us a call today. Don’t wait, because doing so could cause you to lose your right to recover money for your damages.