Have you been hurt in a Dallas slip and fall accident? Call the personal injury lawyers at Montgomery Law!
While the cause of your slip and fall accident may seem clear-cut, your ability to recover compensation depends on several factors relating to Texas premises liability law.
Slip and fall accidents can occur just about anywhere (e.g., at the store, in the office, in a parking lot, at someone’s home), but it’s important to understand that liability (and your ability to recover compensation) depends on several factors such as where the accident occurred, why you were there, and whether or not the property owner was aware of the hazard.
Slip and fall accidents in Texas fall under the umbrella of premises liability law. In order to hold the property owner responsible for your injuries and related losses, you must be able to successfully prove that you were owed a certain duty of care while on the premises, that they were negligent in this duty, and that you suffered harm as a result.
In the majority of these cases, insurance companies (or self-insured businesses) will fight slip & fall claims tooth and nail. They know the burden of proof is on you, and without an attorney, they know they hold the upper hand. Insurance companies will often deny trip, slip, and fall claims by default, but our job is to fight for every dine you’re owed. We help victims on a no-win no-fee basis, meaning you never pay us a penny in attorneys fees unless (and until) we win your case.
Don’t let the compensation you deserve slip away. Call Montgomery Law today at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) for a free analysis of your slip and fall injury claim. We’re here to answer your questions 24 hours a day.
Slip and Fall Accidents and Liability
In Texas, a landowner is generally obligated to keep his or her property free of hazards and must adequately warn persons coming onto their property of known hazards that could reasonably lead to an injury. Such hazards can include a slippery floor, trip hazards in a walkway, torn carpeting, an uneven floor, a lack of handrails, or even a malfunctioning elevator or escalator.
The duty of care owed to you by the landowner or business owner—and the legal options available to you—generally depend on why you were on the property in the first place. With regard to premises liability law, every visitor is classified as either an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
If you’re shopping, visiting a store, or otherwise on private property for the benefit of both parties, then you are considered a business invitee. Most commercial businesses impliedly or expressly encourage persons to come onto their property for their own benefit. Accordingly, invitees are owed the highest degree of care, requiring the business to regularly inspect the premises for hazards that can potentially cause injuries, and to remove or remedy them.
If the business is aware (or should have been aware) of a slip, trip, or fall hazard, yet fails to remedy it and someone is injured as a result, they have breached their duty and are thus liable for the victim’s damages. If a hazard is undergoing removal, repair, or cannot immediately be remedied, then the business must sufficiently and adequately warn the invitee of the known hazard (e.g., wet floor signs).
You are considered a licensee if you are lawfully on the property for non-business purposes (such as a social guest at a private residence). Licensees also include those persons such as meter readers, mail carriers, fire fighters, police, and other persons who have a legal right to be on someone’s private property.
In these cases, the homeowner still has a legal duty or obligation to remove or repair known hazards or to warn visitors of them. However, he or she is not obligated to routinely inspect the premises for unknown or hidden hazards.
Trespassers are persons who are not lawfully on the property, and to whom the landowner gave no express or implied permission. Even if the property owner invites a social guest to their home, they may have areas where visitors are not expressly permitted. If such a person does enter that area without permission, then they could be considered trespassing and lose the protections they would otherwise have.
A landowner or business owner still owes at least a minimal duty of care toward trespassers. For instance, the owner cannot construct a trap to injure trespassers or fire a weapon at them unless other facts justifying such actions are present. In other words, landowners cannot commit gross negligence or intentionally harm trespassers.
The Vital Issue of Notice
One element essential to just about every slip and fall claim is the concept of “notice,” which can be either direct or constructive. Before liability can be imposed, a business owner or landowner must have been aware of (or on notice of) the hazard.
If someone alerted an employee of the business of the dangerous condition or an employee directly observed it, then the owner is considered to have had direct notice. If the hazard is shown to have existed for an unreasonably long period of time, then the owner had constructive notice, since in the exercise of reasonable care, they should have discovered and removed the danger or warned visitors of it.
Proving this element of your claim can sometimes be difficult, as businesses will never readily admit to their own negligence. Your attorney, on the other hand, will conduct an independent investigation in order to uncover evidence and testimony necessary to proving this element of your claim.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Slip and fall claims are rarely cut and dry. You face considerable obstacles in recovering compensation following any type of personal injury, but our law firm is experienced in premises liability law and would be happy to evaluate the strength of your claim at no cost to you.
Consultations are always free, and we exclusively work on a contingency (no-win no-fee) basis. Call us today at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) or shoot us a quick email to discuss the facts of your case. At Montgomery Law, our attorneys will work diligently and aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.
Montgomery Law is a Dallas-based personal injury law firm focused on getting clients the justice and compensation they deserve.
Call us toll-free at 1-833-720-6090 to discuss your case today for no cost.