Did you slip, trip, or fall, and get injured? Did it happen to someone you love? You might have these questions. Find out what they are, and the answers.
Been in a “slip and fall” situation? Have a loved one who has? Just curious?
Slips and falls, or “premises liability” claims as the law calls them, get a bad rap. Remember all those hidden camera shows in the 1990s and early 2000s that exposed people faking these in stores to score a big pay day?
Most Texans are honest citizens like yourself, just looking for fair compensation in the event they’ve been injured due to the negligence of a person or business. After all, if someone else’s carelessness causes your injuries, they should help you cover them.
If you’re in that situation, take a minute to learn more about this type of legal claim:
Slip and fall claims get a little, well, slippery. The outcome of the claim will likely be decided based on your status on the premises at the time you were injured, either as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
- “Invitees” are permitted to be on the property. This includes a customer or client. They have the best chance of winning a claim because the property owner invited them in. Their presence provides a mutual benefit to themselves and the property owner and/or manager, i.e. a grocery store customer benefits the grocery store because they are on the premises to purchase goods they need..
- “Licensees” also have a right to be on the property. They access a property for their own interest. Contractors are licensees.
- “Trespassers” have no right to be on the property. It’s exceedingly rare that a trespasser will win a premises liability claim.
- What if I’m partially at fault for my injuries? Can I still get some compensation?
Prepare for the property owner to say you were at least partially responsible for your injuries, i.e. had actual knowledge yourself of a dangerous condition. Money’s at stake, and it’s in their interest to not pay any more than they have to.
What if they successfully argue you were at least partially to blame for your slip and fall?
Texas follows the “comparative negligence” rule. If you’re found 51% responsible, or more, for your injuries, you can’t recover anything. Less than that, however, and you can still recover at least partial compensation if you were an invitee on the premises. If you were a licensee, however, the licensor does not owe you a duty to warn if evidence conclusively establishes that you perceived the alleged dangerous condition.
- How soon after my accident should I contact a lawyer?
ASAP. That’s always the answer. Here’s why:
- In Texas, you have just 2 years from your date of injury to file your claim. Wait longer than that, and law bars you from pursuing it.
- A slip and fall on government property has varying time limitations. Regardless, they’re much shorter – 30 to 180 days.
- The minute your accident happens, the other party begins preparing their defense. Wait until months after, and it’s harder to prepare a successful case.
- Premises cases often hinge on the premises owner not destroying evidence in its possession. It is important to quickly retain an injury attorney who can instruct them to preserve all evidence in their possession or control.
- If your claim has to go to trial (just 10% do), judges and juries believe injury victims who act fast. If you act slow, it doesn’t look good and makes your claim harder to win.
Anyway, those are some of the most common questions slip and fall victims ask us. If you, or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall, call the best personal injury lawyer you can find immediately.