You're going about your day and walking on a street in Texas and suddenly, you've become victim to an unsafe sidewalk and you slip and fall. That's the worst thing that can happen to anyone as they're just going about their day. Slips and falls can result in physical injuries, and the injured party may require financial compensation to recover.
Let's define a slip and fall injury first:
What is a Slip and Fall Injury?
In legal terms, a slip, trip, or fall is called a Tort. In short, if you slip for some reason and fall, and sustain an injury due to this fall, you've had a slip and fall injury. Slip and fall injuries are actually a leading cause of injuries for Americans and some of these can lead to severe after-effects while most are non-fatal and mild injuries. Such an injury can result in a grocery store, someone's house, a public sidewalk, a parking lot, an icy sidewalk, or spilled liquids on any premises.
What Can Cause a Slip and Fall Injury on a Sidewalk?
Slip and fall accidents have a wide range of causes and types depending on the premises. The following could be the reasons for a person falling on a sidewalk:
- Ice on sidewalks
- Defects in sidewalks
- Broken sidewalk
- An uncovered meter box
- Oil or water spillage
These are some unsafe conditions that can lead to a sidewalk slip and severe injuries for the victim.
What Are Common Injuries Caused By a Slip and Fall?
A slip and fall due to a dangerous condition on a sidewalk can lead to severe injuries. These injuries can have a long-term effect on the victim's ability to lead a normal life. They can cause emotional distress, property damage, like losing a valuable piece of jewelry or an expensive watch, and result in mounting medical bills for treatment.
Some of these injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord and back injury
- Sprains and strains
- Abrasions and bruises
- Limb injuries
Very rarely, the victim may hit their head hard enough to sustain a traumatic brain injury and this can result in death and wrongful death claims against the negligent parties.
If you suffer from a slip and fall injury, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. You must be able to prove negligence if you want insurance companies and the negligent party to compensate you for the injuries.
Establishing Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
If you want to win a slip and fall case, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent. If you can't prove that you slipped on a defective sidewalk due to the negligence of the property owner, you can't hold them liable and you can't win the personal injury attorney claim against them. Simply because you fell on a sidewalk that wasn't in a good condition that day, doesn't mean that the municipality or the private property owner was negligent either.
So how do you prove negligence? The answer is simple, the sidewalk must be in an unreasonably unsafe condition and the property owner or the municipality must have had knowledge of this unreasonably defected sidewalk.
Who Is Liable?
Now that you've established that the responsible party was negligent, you have to establish who the responsible party is. If it is someone's house, then the owner of the residential property is responsible. If you fall on a public sidewalk, then the city is responsible. And, if the slip and fall happened on private or commercial property, then the owner of that property will be held liable for your slip and fall injury.
What happens when you slip and fall on a public sidewalk? Who is responsible then? Let's look at this in detail below:
What If You Slip and Fall on a Public Sidewalk?
Every state has different laws when it comes to establishing liability for slips and falls on a public sidewalk.
In some cases, it's the municipality that's held liable for slip and fall cases on a public sidewalk, and in other states, it could be both the property owner and the municipality that's responsible.
Texas Law is a little stricter when it comes to slip and fall injury victims claiming compensation for their losses. All premises liability cases must have clear proof against the defendant of being negligent. Otherwise, the injured person can not win the slip and fall case.
What Are Some Special Rules When a Municipality Is Liable?
If you fall due to a sidewalk separation or any other reason on a public sidewalk and want to sue the municipality, then you should be aware of two things. Every state has a specific time period in which you can claim compensation and file a notice of claim. The amount that you can recover from the municipality is also capped in every state law.
The state of Texas has a two-year statute of limitations defined for slip and fall cases. If for any reason, comparative fault is discovered during the investigation, then the injured person will receive deducted compensation based on the percentage of their contribution to the fall. If the fault is determined to be more than 50%, the injured victim will not be able to get any compensation.
What Should You Do Right After a Slip and Fall?
If you slip and fall on a Texas sidewalk, there are some reasonable steps you should take right away to ensure your premises liability attorney has the best chance of winning your case:
Make sure you take pictures of the scene and your clothes, and broken belongings, and your injuries as soon as you can to document evidence right on the spot. This information will help your personal injury attorney build a robust case for you.
Gather Witness Testimony:
If someone in the vicinity has witnessed your slip and fall on a sidewalk, it is best to ask them if they want to submit a statement in your favor.
As soon as you can, get proper contact information from the property owner. This will include the insurance company information, the contact numbers, and the names of the property owner or owners. You also need to let them know that you fell on a sidewalk that falls under their property.
Do Not Talk Unnecessarily
Try not to talk to the property owner or an insurance agent on your own as you can end up saying something that could harm your case in the long run. In this case, it is always best to simply inform the property owner that the accident has happened and then go seek medical attention after taking their contact information.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Make sure you seek medical attention immediately and have a professional look at and record your injuries and the treatment needed. This record will prove vital for your personal injury attorney as they will build a case for your compensation. You should also keep a journal and a full record of how you feel after the accident and how the injuries heal over time.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Accident in Texas?
Any kind of accident and the injuries sustained from it can hamper your ability to lead a normal life for a while. You will be off from work and that means lost wages. You will suffer from stress and anxiety. As a victim of someone else's negligence, you have every right to file a premises liability suit against the responsible parties to recover all economic and non-economic damages.
A good personal injury attorney will dedicate time to building a robust injury claim for you and get you a fair settlement from insurance companies and the negligent party. They will help you calculate the worth of your expenses, pain and sufferings, current and future lost income, and other variables that you might not be able to do alone while you're recovering from serious injuries.
How Can Glenn Law Help You Win Your Slip and Fall Case In Texas?
You've just suffered from a slip and fall injury and now you have to go through the overwhelming process of filing a notice of claim and a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party? We understand that this is a challenging time for you and you need to rest instead of being tangled in the legal process.
This is where our skilled attorney will come into the picture and do all this on your behalf. We will negotiate with the responsible party and the insurance company and focus on getting you maximum compensation. We believe in the best attorney-client relationship management and we work on a contingent basis, which means, we get paid only when you win your slip and fall case in Texas.
Have us by your side to fight your slip and fall case.
Call Glenn Law now.