When you go to the store or enjoy a meal at a restaurant, you shouldn’t have to worry about watching your step and identifying potential tripping hazards. That’s because, in Texas, owners are responsible for maintaining their premises. If not, a slip-and-fall lawyer can bring a premises liability claim.
If you believe a dangerous condition on another person’s property caused you to slip and fall, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. The slip-and-fall lawyers at Hartley Law Firm can help you understand your rights and estimate your possible compensation. Speak with a Fort Worth slip-and-fall attorney today!
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur for several reasons. At first, you might think that slip and fall injuries aren’t serious. However, even a small sprain or strain can lead to lost work time and several hundreds of dollars in medical expenses. The most common causes of slips and falls include:
- Liquid and food spilled on the floor;
- Oil or grease on the floor;
- Water from leaking ceilings;
- Water tracked in from outside;
- Recently mopped floors;
- Loose rugs, mats, or carpets;
- Snow, ice, sleet, and hail accumulation;
- Potholes and cracks in parking lots and sidewalks; and
- Stairs without handrails.
Any careless or hazardous condition can cause slip-and-fall accidents.
What Should I Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you don’t take quick action on your case and instead wait to hire a slip-and-fall lawyer, there is a strong possibility someone will repair the problem, and the evidence will disappear. As such, after a slip and fall accident, we strongly recommend taking the following steps:
- Seek medical treatment;
- Take pictures of where you fell, including any hazards you identify as causing your fall;
- Gather names and contact information for witnesses;
- Avoid sharing the details of your slip-and-fall accident on social media or with too many people; and
- Contact a slip-and-fall attorney.
A slip-and-fall lawyer can advise you on how and when to communicate with the property owner. For example, a grocery store may require you to report the fall immediately. When they require this, only state the facts involved in the fall before you speak with an attorney. Do not add any commentary or say anything like, “I’m sorry.” Words like this may be used against you in the future.
Who Is Responsible After a Fall?
Under Texas law, anyone partially at fault in a slip-and-fall accident can be financially liable for the consequences. Depending on the location of the fall, you may have a legitimate legal claim against:
- The property owner,
- The business owner,
- The manager,
- The landlord,
- A product manufacturer, and
- The person renting the land.
You may also have a claim against other guests on the premises who acted negligently.
Duties Property Owners Owe to Others
Property owners owe people a duty of care. The extent of that duty depends on whether you are a visitor on the property or a trespasser. A personal injury lawyer, like those at Hartley Law, can explain these distinctions if you were injured on someone else’s property and aren’t sure about your visitor status.
Although some exceptions exist, trespassers are rarely entitled to compensation for a slip and fall when they enter another’s property without permission. If an owner is unaware of the trespasser’s presence, correcting any hazards on their premises would be difficult. Owners only owe trespassers the duty not to cause injury intentionally. They also must not maintain their property in a way that involves a high risk of danger or harm.
Moreover, when you visit a friend’s or a family member’s house, the owner doesn’t have to go to great lengths to keep you safe. Rather, they have to fix the hazard when it arises and warn you if they know about any danger.
On the other hand, when the general public visits a business or property, the owner owes a higher duty to these visitors. The owner must warn the visitor of any dangerous conditions on the property known to the owner that may not be known to the visitor, like holes in the ground or loose steps. Alternatively, the property owner can simply correct the dangerous conditions.
What Can I Recover After a Slip and Fall?
When a property or business owner fails to take the steps necessary to keep you safe, they can be considered negligent. Once an owner is deemed negligent, compensation may be awarded for the following:
- Medical costs,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Future medical care,
- Mental anguish,
- Physical impairment, and
These situations can seem hopeless as you fight to prove the property owner’s or manager’s liability. With Hartley Law on your side, there is no reason to fear the matter. A slip-and-fall attorney can help you prove liability and recover damages in a slip-and-fall lawsuit.
Slip-and-Fall Attorney in Fort Worth
The experienced attorneys at Hartley Law Firm can help you understand your legal options in a slip-and-fall accident. They can also help you pursue compensation against a negligent property owner. Our attorneys have received numerous awards, including being members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Contact Hartley Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.