According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a severe injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. If you or someone you love recently suffered from a slip and fall accident in Flower Mound, TX, you should speak with experienced legal counsel immediately. Slip and fall injuries can be severe and significantly affect your life.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall accident can lead to a multitude of injuries. Some can be pretty minor, while others can be catastrophic. Common slip and fall injuries include the following:
- Broken bones,
- Other traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord and neck injuries,
- Wrist fractures and injuries,
- Hip fractures, and
- Chronic pain.
It is common to experience multiple injuries due to a slip and fall. For instance, breaking your wrist and sustaining a neck injury from the same fall is possible. Many potential injuries will require considerable medical treatment, including orthopedic care, physical therapy, pain management, and more.
If you are an accident victim, seeking a slip and fall attorney in Flower Mound is crucial.
What Is a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
A slip and fall victim may file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries.
The plaintiff must prove four essential elements of their claim.
Defendant Owned the Property
As the plaintiff, the very first factor you must prove is that the defendant owned, leased, operated, lived on, managed, or otherwise controlled the property where the slip and fall happened. Sometimes, ownership or control is not immediately apparent and can only be determined through diligent investigation.
This is where an experienced Flower Mound slip and fall lawyer can play a crucial role. Our team will identify the liable party by pulling ownership documentation, requesting lease agreements, investigating land titles, and even subpoenaing necessary legal documents.
Defendant Owed a Duty of Care
The second necessary prong the plaintiff must prove is that the defendant owed them a duty of care. In a slip and fall case, the applicable duty of care will depend on your visitor type.
A visitor can be classified into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Property owners owe each type a different duty of care.
- Invitees: Invitees are owed the highest duty of care and are individuals expected or asked to be on the property. A classic example of an invitee is a department store patron.
- Licensees: Licensees are people permitted to use or occupy a property for a specific reason and purpose. For example, a friend that visits your house for a luncheon will be considered a licensee. Licensees are typically owed a higher duty of care than a trespasser but less than an invitee.
- Trespassers: Trespassers do not have permission or authorization to be on the property. Trespassers are owed the least duty of care, and typically, property owners must only prevent intentional harm to them.
Identifying which category you fall under is not always clear, and a personal injury attorney can help ensure you are not misclassified.
Defendant Breached that Duty of Care
The plaintiff showing that the defendant owned or controlled the property and had a duty is only half the battle. The plaintiff must next show that the defendant breached that duty by failing to maintain the property to keep it safe adequately.
Defendant’s Breach Caused Plaintiff’s Injury
Last, the plaintiff must prove a causal relationship or connection between the defendant’s breach and their injury. In other words, the plaintiff must show the defendant’s conduct caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
Our seasoned slip and fall attorney can help you determine if you have a valid claim.
Slip and Fall Compensation
Whether your case settles outside of court or is tried successfully by a judge or jury, you will be awarded damages to compensate you for your injuries. Potential damages include:
- Present and future medical costs,
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional turmoil, and
- Loss of consortium.
Remember, each case is unique, and the type and amount of damages you can expect will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, insurance policy limits, and applicable law.
What Steps Should You Take After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Immediately after a slip and fall accident, you may be shocked, confused, and slightly embarrassed. That’s ok. If you are severely injured, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
If you are conscious and mobile, you should still seek medical care to ensure you do not have injuries that may not be immediately apparent. It is imperative to at least be examined by your primary care physician to determine if you need additional diagnostic care and treatment.
In addition, you should:
- Notify the property owner or manager of what occurred,
- Document the accident, and
- Seek legal advice from an attorney.
Slip and fall accidents can happen at a moment’s notice when you least expect them; understanding what to do in those frantic minutes after can mean less anxiety and uncertainty.
Flower Mound Slip and Fall Lawyers
Many slip and fall accidents are preventable. If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you may be able to hold them financially accountable. At Hartley Law Firm, our priority is to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases, whether accepting a settlement or seeing a case through to trial.Austin Hartley has been recognized in Dallas Magazine’s 2022 “Best Lawyers Under 40” list and is unafraid to fight for his clients. Contact our firm today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.