Texas law clearly requires landowners to protect guests who enter their property. People who suffer injuries from slipping and falling may be able to demand that a landowner and insurance provider issue compensation for their harm. This can result in the receipt of payments to cover medical bills, lost wages, and reductions in your quality of life.

Even so, not every slip and fall case is the same. The amount of protection that a landowner must provide to a guest varies based on whether the guest had permission to be on the land and the visitor’s motivations for entering.

A Houston slip and fall lawyer is prepared to defend your legal rights after a fall. Our talented attorneys at Roberts Markland LLP could take every step necessary to pursue your case for all appropriate compensation.

Classification of Visitors Under State Law

As a general rule, landowners must protect guests on their land. However, state law separates those visitors into three classes. The class into which a slip and fall victim falls determines their rights under the law.

People who enter land without the owner’s permission are trespassers. Landowners must only avoid causing harm to trespassers that results from wanton or intentional actions. To prevail in a slip and fall case, a trespasser will need to prove that a property owner set a trap or acted in a way that was likely to cause an injury.

The next group of visitors is licensees. These people have permission to be on the land but do so for their own benefit. Social guests are usually licensees in the eyes of the law. Property owners have a duty to warn licensees about all hazards to their knowledge.

The final group of visitors is invitees. These people enter land with the permission of the owner and for the owner’s benefit. This usually involves guests in businesses. Here, the landowner must warn guests about known hazards but also inspect the land for potential harm. A Houston attorney may help injured individuals to identify their status under the law and evaluate the actions of landowners that led to them slipping and falling.

Defining Negligence in a Trip and Fall Case

When a property owner has been negligent regarding his or her property’s maintenance and repairs and should have known about a hazardous condition, and the owner failed to alleviate or repair the condition or alert visitors to the danger, a slip and fall injury victim may recover compensation for a variety of damages. Slip and fall cases in Texas are governed by the statute of limitations. Most statute of limitations allow the victim to file a lawsuit up to two years after learning of his or her injuries. however. with slip and fall accidents we have to consider what is called the ‘two-year clock’. This means the clock starts running on the date the slip and fall occurred, regardless of how much later you determine the extent of your injuries or property damage. There are very rare instances that might “toll” (pause) the clock, but a Houston attorney experienced with slip and fall cases is almost always required to take advantage of these circumstances.

Slip and fall accidents can be caused by all types of hazardous property conditions such as:

  • wet or freshly waxed floors
  • rain or snow, especially when it accumulates in walkways and doorways
  • an object or clutter obstructing an aisle or walkway
  • curled or improperly placed floor mats or doormats
  • damaged, aging, or uneven stairs, especially wooden stairs
  • large cracks or craters in pavement
  • unlit or poorly lit walkways and parking areas

What Losses Do Negligent Property Owners Owe Injured Guests?

Proving that a landowner was liable for a slip and fall is only one part of a successful case. It is just as important to be able to show how that incident impacted your life. This centers around the physical injury in the case. It is not unusual for people to suffer broken bones, concussions, and separated joints in a serious fall.

Liable property owners must provide compensation for all necessary medical care. Defendants are also responsible for an injured person’s other losses. These may include missing income from lost time at work, emotional traumas, and lost quality of life.

However, under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 33.001, defendants may argue that plaintiff’s actions contributed to their fall. This may involve allegations of running, improper footwear, or being distracted by a cell phone. If a defendant can successfully make this argument, a court may reduce the awarded compensation or dismiss a case entirely. Hiring an accomplished attorney in Houston could help to prove that a landowner was entirely to blame for a slip and fall.

Contact a Houston Slip and Fall Attorney Immediately

Slip and fall accidents make up a significant number of premises liability claims in Texas. In many cases, victims suffer serious injuries that result in significant medical expenses as well as several weeks, months, or even years of physical therapy. This is where a civil attorney could help.

Every person who suffers an injury because of the negligence of another deserves the compensation that they need to set things right. A Houston slip and fall lawyer could help you put together a strong claim to receive the compensation that you deserve.

Regardless of whether a slip and fall injury occurs on public or private property, the insurance company for the property owner is very likely to contact the victim soon after the incident for a statement; refuse to make a statement and let them know your attorney will be in touch. If you have suffered from a severe fall, it is in your best interest to have legal representation from Houston slip and fall lawyer before discussing the incident with an insurance company. Call now.