When you go to the grocery store, enjoy a meal with friends or family at a restaurant, or visit a family member at their apartment complex, you should feel safe. You shouldn’t be concerned with constantly watching your step or looking out for potential slip or trip hazards. That’s because, in Texas, homeowners and business owners are responsible for maintaining their premises. If they don’t, and someone is seriously hurt, they can be held liable via a premises liability claim.
Property owners in Austin have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for their visitors. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you could be entitled to financial compensation. The Austin personal injury lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS can help you fight to ensure they are held accountable. Message us online or call (512) 800-0000 today to schedule a free consultation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average 1 million people slip and fall every year. You may be eligible for compensation for your slip and fall case, but you need to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
Part of premises liability law, slip and fall cases are challenging because you must prove three elements, all of which are critical. These include establishing that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, directly resulting in your injuries, as well as financial losses.
Although this may seem straightforward, it can be quite challenging to collect evidence that demonstrates the property owner knew or should have known about the danger and was therefore negligent. Property owners are likely to argue that you had some or all of the fault in your accident and that you are responsible for your injuries, which can ultimately reduce your compensation.
Taking on your slip and fall claim by yourself can make this already uphill battle even harder. An accident attorney working on your behalf can help you with every aspect of your case. They have the resources to gather compelling evidence to establish negligence, negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault property owner’s insurance company, or fight for a favorable verdict in court.
When it comes to slip and fall accidents including multiple parties, local Texas courts follow a comparative negligence fault rule. Every state has different laws and regulations. That is why it is so important to get an attorney that specializes in slip and fall cases in Texas.
Slip and fall claims are commonly related to:
One out of five falls causes severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, broken bones, or sprains and strains. Slip and falls often occur in restaurants, supermarkets, retail stores, hotels, malls, parking lots, sidewalks, office buildings, and other people’s homes. The CDC has also shown that slip and fall accidents can be even more fatal for the elderly.
If you want to recover damages in a Texas premises liability claim, you need to prove the following:
Your status on the property at the time the incident occurred will determine whether the owner or occupier owed you a duty of care. In Texas, there are four possible categories:
In general, if you are an invitee or licensee injured on someone else’s property after they fail to take reasonable steps to keep it safe, you may be able to take legal action against the owner or occupier for damages you suffered as a result.
It can be extremely expensive and distressing to recover from a slip and fall. Physical injuries are not only painful, but you may need extensive medical treatment to get better. You may also be unable to enjoy or engage in life activities due to the emotional trauma caused by the incident. A temporary or even permanent inability to work can put you in a very difficult financial situation. Fortunately, compensation may be available through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Slip and fall victims in Austin may be entitled to recover the following types of compensation:
Slip and fall cases are rarely straightforward. It will be vital for you to involve an Austin personal injury attorney in your case as soon as possible to recover the fair compensation you deserve.
Clients often ask us what their slip and fall case is worth. The answer is that your claim’s value is determined by a number of factors, including:
In general, regular damages such as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering are not capped in Texas. In cases where a property owner was especially reckless or negligent, you may be able to sue for punitive damages. Your personal injury lawyer will help you seek these damages if they apply to your case.
Following a slip and fall, you should immediately take the following steps to strengthen a future personal injury claim.
Identify the exact cause of your fall. Was the sidewalk uneven? Was the carpet bunched? Was there an unmopped spill? Snap a picture with your phone. If your phone is damaged, you can borrow someone else’s and ask them to send you the images.
If you are injured, you should contact the property owner as soon as possible to let them know about the hazard and the injury. Ask a manager to help you complete and file an accident report if you were in a public place like a store or shopping mall. You can use this document as evidence in a future claim.
Obtain the names, contact information, and email addresses of any witnesses to your accident. As well as helping you prove your version of events, they can also verify that a hazardous situation existed.
Go to the hospital or your doctor’s office as soon as possible, even if you don’t appear to require emergency medical assistance. Many types of injuries, including those to the brain, do not manifest themselves immediately. Having a medical report proves that you were injured and documents the type and extent of your injuries, which an attorney can use to determine a value for your claim.
Keep a written record of your version of events, along with any information about the conditions that may have contributed to the accident. For example, if a store employee says, “It’s been so busy in here we didn’t have time to mop that spill,” this statement can prove that the manager should have known about the hazard and corrected it before someone got hurt.
An attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost income, reduced earning ability, and other economic and noneconomic losses. Your lawyer will evaluate your claim, assemble evidence, work with experts, and negotiate a settlement or fight for an award that is fair compensation for your injury.
In Texas, you have up to two years to file a claim for a slip and fall accident. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have unexpected medical bills, be forced to take days or even months off work, and face other expenses. This can be financially devastating, so you should consult with a slip and fall attorney in Austin as soon as possible.
There are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations, but the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can receive the money you need to cover your medical costs and maintain financial security while you recover.
There are special rules that apply if a person slips and falls on a property that belongs to a local, state, or federal government entity. The first is a formal notice requirement, meaning that you must file a notice of injury with the appropriate governmental entity before you can proceed with a lawsuit. Depending on which entity is involved, you usually have six months to file your claim, but in some municipalities, the time period is much shorter: for example, in the city of Austin, the time limit is only 45 days.
If you have been injured due to a slip or fall on government property, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who has experience with such cases. The legal team at Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, has the track record you are looking for. We will guide you through the legal process of filing a claim against the government, ensuring all legal formalities are closely observed.
Slip and fall accidents can occur in a matter of seconds, but the impact of your injuries can last a long time. It might be weeks or months before you can walk, play with your children, or do those things that you thought you could do forever. In some cases, you may be left permanently disabled and need lifelong care. When these injuries are due to a property owner’s negligence, you deserve justice.
If you or someone close to you have suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident in Austin, or if you have questions about your legal rights, contact the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS. We offer free initial consultations, call (512) 800-0000 today.