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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

What Are the Elements of a Slip-and-Fall in Texas? | Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

Slip-and-fall accidents are common in Texas and can happen to anyone. The consequences of such an issue can sometimes be devastating and leave victims with medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

To file a slip-and-fall case, the plaintiffs must know what elements they need to find to prove negligence and hold the property owner responsible.

In Texas, such accidents are judged under the premise liability law, which holds property owners responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. The duty of care is an essential concept in such claims.

The law requires landlords, managers, and caretakers to provide a safe environment for anyone who enters their property.

This means they are responsible for fixing hazardous conditions or warning visitors of potential issues. Property owners are responsible for any resulting injuries when they fail to meet this duty of care.

What Is Considered a Slip-and-Fall Case in Texas?

What Is Considered a Slip-and-Fall Case in Texas?

The elements of a slip-and-fall case in Texas are the same as any other personal injury lawsuit. To prove negligence, the plaintiff (victim) must show the following:

  • The defendant (property owner) owed them a duty of care.

  • There was a hazardous condition on the defendant's property.

  • The landlord knew or should have known about the obstruction.

  • Lastly, the victim was injured as a result of the hazardous condition.

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in a variety of settings. Some common causes include:

  • Wet or slippery floors

  • Uneven or cracked sidewalks

  • Poorly maintained staircases

  • Insufficient lighting

  • Loose or torn carpeting/flooring

Noteworthy Elements in a Slip-and-Fall Claim

Property owners have a duty of care to maintain their premises safely and warn visitors of any unsafe conditions.

  1. Hazardous Condition

The defendant is responsible for identifying and addressing any problematic conditions on the property that could pose a risk to visitors.

A hazardous issue can include a wet floor or a broken handrail. If the owner or defendant knew about the situation and did not take adequate steps to prevent an accident, they may be liable for any injuries. The at-fault party would also have to pay a slip-and-fall settlement to the victim.

  1. Knowledge

To prove negligence, a victim must show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangers. This can be established through witness testimony, maintenance records, or other evidence that show the dangerous condition existed for a sufficient time.

  1. Damages

If a plaintiff can prove that a breach of duty caused their injuries, they may receive compensation for various slip-and-fall case damages, including:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

The state's civil court system follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that a victim's slip-and-fall claim compensation is reduced if they contributed to their injuries.

The Most Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents are more common than most people think. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional death in the United States.

These incidents can result in serious injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses. Sometimes, a victim may file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages incurred. The duty of care is a legal obligation between the property owner and any person who sets foot on the premises.

Some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall cases that lead to personal injury claims include the following:

  • Slippery Floors

Landlords are responsible for maintaining a safe floor. Owners need to clean up spills and leaks. They should also place warning signs around the affected area.

  • Uneven Surfaces

Bumpy paving stones, broken concrete, and potholes can cause people to trip over and fall.

  • Poor Lighting

Insufficient illumination can make it difficult for passersby to see obstacles and hazards in their path.

  • Loose or Torn Carpeting

Worn-out carpeting that is loose, rippled, or frayed can be a tripping hazard.

  • Cluttered Walkways

Objects such as boxes, papers, and rubbish left in walkways can cause people to fall over and injure themselves.

In some cases, a victim may file a slip-and-fall case in a civil court system. An experienced slip and fall law firm can help the plaintiff navigate the legal process and protect their rights.

Under the comparative negligence rule, if the claimant is found to be partly responsible for the accident, their slip-and-fall settlement may be reduced to their percentage of fault.

Proving Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Accident

A victim of a slip-and-fall accident may file a personal injury claim against the property owner where the accident took place.

Proving liability in a slip-and-fall claim is not an easy task. Still, with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, it's possible to build a strong suit and receive compensation for injuries sustained.

  • Medical Attention

Injuries resulting from a slip-and-fall accident can be severe, and victims need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The medical bills and records can also work as evidence in a slip-and-fall case.

In addition, plaintiffs should document the details of the fall, including the location, time, and circumstances, and inform the property owner as soon as possible. Claimants should also contact a personal injury lawyer to help with their slip-and-fall claim.

  • Witness Statements

Proving negligence in slip-and-fall cases can be complex and challenging. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to assist with the investigation and navigate the civil court system is often necessary.

To show liability in a slip-and-fall injury claim, a personal injury lawyer can help the victim gather evidence, including photos, witness statements, and medical records.

  • Prove Innocence

It is important to note that some states, including Texas, follow a modified comparative negligence rule.

This means the victim's compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. If the plaintiff is 25% at fault for the slip-and-fall accident case, the Texas supreme court will reduce the fall settlement by 25%.

In such cases, the court will assess the degree of liability of both parties to determine the compensation the plaintiff will receive for the personal injury cases filed.

Who Are Property Owners Liable to in a Slip-and-Fall Injury Case?

According to Texas law, landlords have a legal duty to maintain safe premises for anyone who visits their property. If a person slips and falls inside the property due to someone else's negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "Is Light Duty considered lost time?"

To recover damages for a slip-and-fall injury, the plaintiff (or injured person) must prove that the defendant breached their legal duty to maintain safe premises.

This shows that the owner knew about the unsafe condition but failed to fix it or warn invitees and licensees about the hazard. However, property owners are not liable for the injuries of trespassers.

It's important to note that even if the landlord was unaware of the unsafe situation, they are still legally liable for not doing regular maintenance or inspection.

Most slip-and-fall lawyers offer free case evaluation sessions to determine the strength of the victim's case. With their help, clients can hold the owner responsible for their breach of duty and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

The Average Payout in Slip-and-Fall Claims

The Average Payout in Slip-and-Fall Claims

In general, slip-and-fall claims can result in payouts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 or more. However, it's important to note that every issue is unique, and the actual payout amount will depend on the individual circumstances of each case.

If a slip-and-fall accident happens on someone else's property, the victim may be able to file a claim to seek financial recovery for damages, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering (emotional and physical).

Typical causes of such accidents include wet floors, uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, and torn carpets. Slip-and-fall victims' most common injuries are fractures, sprains, and head injuries.

Older people with vision issues are more prone to slipping and falling, which usually results in a higher payout.

Final Words

A slip-and-fall claim or lawsuit falls under premises liability cases. This refers to a landlord's legal responsibility to ensure safety for anyone who enters the property lawfully, including invitees and licensees - and, less commonly, trespassers.

When an unsafe condition on someone else's property leads to a slip-and-fall accident, the injured party may have a potential claim against the property owner or occupier.

This may sound like a simple formula, but slip-and-fall cases can be complex to prove. Defendants, often represented by an insurance company, will fight hard to avoid financial liability.

They may argue that the plaintiff was responsible for the accident due to their negligence or that the hazardous condition was so apparent that the plaintiff should have seen and avoided it.

To successfully pursue a slip-and-fall claim in Texas, victims will need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, preferably someone with a track record of success in such cases. They can advise on questions like, "What is the biggest cause of slip accidents?"

A qualified slip-and-fall attorney will be able to assess the strength of the case and advise claimants on the best course of action, whether it be a settlement or a lawsuit.

With a slogan as strong as "We Go to War for You," Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help slip-and-fall victims claim legal action for their economic and non-economic damages.


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