A slip and fall accident can result in serious, incapacitating injury. Such accidents are not always the fault of the victim. If the accident occurred on another person’s or entity’s property, they may be liable for enabling the conditions causing the fall. A Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury attorney specializing in slip and fall accidents can help you get the compensation you deserve if the injury occurred through no fault of your own.
What is Slip and Fall?
A slip and fall occurs when a person encounters some sort of unsafe condition, causing them to fall. Technically, they may twist, stumble or trip, but the result is a fall and an injury. In legal terms, the fall may result from a defect on the premises – such as holes in the pavement – or a negligent activity occurring on the site, such as spraying a substance on a walkway that results in slipping. Texas property owners or their licensees have a duty to “exercise reasonable care” in maintaining the safety of the property. If a property owner doesn’t exercise such care, they may be liable for injuries to visitors. One caveat: Under Texas law, slip and fall liability does not pertain to trespassers, in most situations.
In a slip and fall lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, the person filing the suit. The plaintiff must prove that one of these situations existed at the time of the incident:
- The property owner produced the dangerous state
- The property owner was aware of this condition and did not remediate it
- The property owner should have realized this was a dangerous condition, as any reasonable person would.
The plaintiff’s own actions come into play in a slip and fall case, as any reasonable person should also avoid obvious dangers.
A slip and fall doesn’t just involve your own injuries. The fall could cause you to break your arm, but also your very expensive watch. Pricey coats or clothes may require extensive, specialized cleaning or complete replacement. The lawsuit might seek damages to repair or replace such items.
Slip and Fall Accidents Occurring on Government Properties
For most slip and fall accidents, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years from the date of the incident. That’s not the case for accidents occurring on any government property. If your accident occurred on public property, the statute of limitations is much shorter and the government entity’s liability much narrower. Any claim must be filed within 60 days of the accident, and you must follow strict noticing requirements. Government properties include public school grounds, parks and certain sports facilities, military bases and any lands belonging to municipal, county, state or federal agencies.
What Should I Do In The Event That I Slip and Fall?
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a slip and fall injury. If necessary, have someone call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room. It is also crucial to document the conditions under which the fall took place. If you are able, use your phone to take video of the conditions and situation. If you aren’t able to do that, have a relative or friend visit the scene as soon as possible and take photos or videos. You want documentation proving that there were dangerous conditions on the property that the owner failed to mitigate. In some situations, such as icy pavement, those conditions can disappear within hours.
What Are Conditions That May Induce A Slip and Fall Injury?
Various conditions can cause a slip and fall injury, and not all of them are the fault of the property owner. A court may find the property owner responsible if the following conditions existed:
- Poor or nonexistent lighting
- Icy sidewalks
- Careless maintenance of walkways, stairwells, etc.
- Wet floors
- Torn carpeting
- No signs indicating danger or hazards at construction or similar sites.
Bonneau Law Firm Slip and Fall Lawyer in Dallas, TX
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, call The Bonneau Law Firm at (972) 325-1100 for a free consultation.