Slip-and-Fall Accidents Attorney in Austin, Texas
Slip-and-fall accidents happen frequently. Although some are truly accidental, many others occur as the result of someone’s neglect in maintaining their property in a way that avoids hazardous conditions. If the latter is the case, you can hold someone responsible for the injuries you sustain in a fall. However, proving negligence in slip-and-fall accidents is notoriously challenging.
I have helped clients in Austin, Georgetown, Marble Falls, and Bastrop, Texas, pursue personal injury claims resulting from slips-and-falls and trips-and-falls for nearly 30 years. My clients work directly with me as I use my years of experience to handle the details of their cases. That way, they can focus on recovering from their injuries and getting on with their lives.
What Is Premises Liability?
The concept of premises liability is based on the expectation that those responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property will indeed do so. If they are negligent in that duty of care and someone is injured as a result, they are legally liable for the victim’s damages in a personal injury claim.
Premises liability claims arise from a variety of unsafe conditions. Some common examples include:
A failure to clean up substances from floors or clearly mark potential hazards which leads to someone slipping, falling, and sustaining injuries
An uneven walkway the owner fails to repair, paint, or otherwise clearly mark as hazardous which causes someone to catch their toe, trip, fall, and injure themselves
Retail store shelves stacked precariously with items that fall on a customer and injures them
A loose stair railing that gives way when someone grasps it, causing them to fall down the stairs
An exterior ramp with no tread strips to prevent someone from slipping and falling
Personal injury claims, including those stemming from a slip-and-fall accident, must be either settled with the negligent party’s insurer or a lawsuit filed in the appropriate Texas civil court within two years from the date of the fall.
Who Can Be Liable for a Slip & Fall Accident in Texas?
Fault for a slip-and-fall can be assigned to various individuals and entities, including:
The owner of the private or business property who invited you onto it without maintaining its safety;
The owner of the business, even if they do not own the property, since they are responsible for maintaining its safety for business invitees;
A governmental entity, such as a municipality, county, or the state or federal government if they are responsible for maintaining the premises; and,
You can be liable if you failed to exercise reasonable care while on a property. For example, if you run around the deck of the city pool and slip and fall, you could be held responsible. You could also be held responsible if you ignore signs warning of potential danger or if you were wearing inappropriate shoes that compromised your own safety.
How Do You Prove Who Was at Fault?
As with any other personal injury claim, you must prove negligence on the part of another person or entity. Doing so in a premises liability claim requires three areas of proof:
The owner caused the hazardous condition by doing or not doing something to properly maintain its safety;
The owner failed to repair or obviously warn of a hazardous condition; and,
The owner knew of the unsafe conditions or should have known about it as any reasonable person would have.
Do I Have a Claim if I Was Partially At Fault?
If you are 50% or less at fault for the slip-and-fall that caused your injuries, you can still pursue compensation from the other negligent party under Texas’s modified comparative fault rule. Your recovery, however, will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, you slip and fall on a ramp outside a business. The ramp has a loose handrail and no non-skid treads but since you were wearing high heels and chose the ramp instead of the steps, you are assigned 20% of fault. If a jury values your total damages at $50,000, you would receive $40,000 which reflects the $10,000 reduction for your share of fault.