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Navigating a Slip and Fall Accident Claim in Texas

Posted by Jimmy Sunosky | May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

“Slip and Fall,” also called “trip and fall” is the common term given to an incident when a person slips or trips and falls on someone else's property. Simply put: if you slip or trip and fall while on someone else's property, you may have a legal claim against the owner or possessor of that property. The fancy legal term for this type of lawsuit is called a premises liability case.

For example, if you slipped and fell at a restaurant, grocery store, mall, or any other property owned by someone else, you may have a claim for the damages you sustained as a result of the slip and fall incident. However, it will be tricky to maneuver through the many issues presented in “slip and fall” cases. This is why you will need experienced attorneys, like those at Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP to handle these issues, investigate and evaluate and negotiate your claim with the insurance company that insures the property owner and the attorneys that will surely defend the lawsuit.

Is a property owner responsible for my injuries after a slip and fall accident?

Texas has very strict laws in place for a property owner to be found at fault for injuries caused by a slip and fall accident. The property owner has to have knowledge the substance was on the floor when you slipped or the pavement where you tripped was in an unreasonably dangerous condition. Depending on what you were doing on the property at the time you fell determines what duties and responsibilities the property owner owed you at the time. These concepts of actual knowledge or constructive knowledge, i.e. the property owner should have known, are intricate and require the knowledge and experience of slip and fall lawyers. It is difficult for you to battle the insurance company on your own. In these types of cases, proving the property owner had the required knowledge of the dangerous condition is the key to a successful claim. It is more difficult than it sounds, which is why you need the experienced slip and fall lawyers at Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP.

What are the common causes of slip and fall accidents?

Some of the most common hazards that can cause slip and fall accidents include:

  1. Surface conditions, such as:

    -Uneven walking surfaces with no warning signs

    -Loose flooring, rugs or mats

    -Recently mopped, waxed or polished floors

    -Floor treatments and chemicals on floors

    -Spills that are not cleaned up

    -Splashed grease or oil that is not cleaned up

    -Potholes in parking lots

  2. Environmental conditions, such as:

    -Trash or debris on the floor

    -Cords running across a walkway

    -Poor lighting

    -Bright lighting that causes a glare on a shiny floor

    -Transitions from one type of surface to another, i.e., from carpet to wood floor

  3. Ladders and stairs, such as:

    -Lack of handrail present

    -Loose handrail

    -Worn or warped steps

    -Waxed or polished stairs without non-skid surfaces

    -Debris and trash on stairs

  4. Certain occupations, such as:

    -Construction workers

    -Manual laborers

    -Industrial plant workers

    -Kitchen workers

    -Factory workers

    -Housekeepers and other custodial staff

What are common injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident?

Every case is different, but slip and falls can lead to injuries ranging from broken bones and sprained ankles or wrists to spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even death. Let the Top Rated Houston Slip and Fall lawyers at Hernandez Redden Sunosky evaluate your claim. Assuming the property owner failed to comply with his duties or responsibilities, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost pay from work, and other damages related to your pain, suffering and mental anguish.

What should I do after a slip and fall accident?

Insurance companies are sophisticated and employ well-trained people to save money. They'll make you fight before having to pay full value for a claim following a slip and fall accident.  To protect your health and preserve your legal claim, do the following after a slip and fall accident:

  • Report the slip and fall accident to the property owner or manager - Falling can be embarrassing.  Don't immediately leave the property until you report the incident and request a copy of the incident report.

  • Don't apologize - Some people may feel to urge to apologize after an accident, even if it is not their fault.  Don't.  An investigation will occur to find out what caused you to fall.

  • Talk to witnesses - Identify who saw you fall and ask for their contact information.  Their statements may be helpful to your slip and fall injury claim.

  • Collect evidence - Most everyone has a cell phone.  You should take, or ask someone else to take, photographs of the area where you fell, particularly the hazard that caused you to fall.  This will help you prove your slip and fall claim.

  • Seek medical treatment - Don't ignore your pain, no matter how minor.  If you are seriously injured, you should call, or have someone else call, an ambulance.  If you are not taken by ambulance from the scene, call your doctor and report the accident and your injuries.  To preserve the value of your injury claim, it is important to document the accident and your injuries.

  • Follow your doctor's treatment plan - The goal is to get better.  Skipping doctor's appointments and physical therapy sessions may jeopardize your health.  Also, it could jeopardize the value of your slip and fall injury claim.  Insurance companies don't want to pay you full value.  Don't give them an excuse to say you weren't really hurt because you didn't follow your doctor's treatment plan.

  • Don't provide a recorded statement - Insurance companies will ask you to give a recorded statement of what happened.  Don't.  The insurance company is trying to gather evidence to deny or minimize your claim.

  • Don't sign any documents from the insurance company - Insurance companies use your inexperience in claims to their advantage.  There is no legal obligation for you to sign any documents.

  • Contact an experienced slip and fall attorney for help - Slip and fall cases can be complex. Don't fight the insurance companies alone. Find an experienced attorney knowledgeable in the premises liability laws in Texas.

Contact Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP for help. Free Consultation.

The attorneys at Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP include ex-insurance company lawyers who know the tricks and tactics insurance company use to minimize or deny slip and fall claims. The insurance companies taught us, but now we are using that knowledge against them. Call us at (713) 981-4100 for a free case evaluation. We will help you understand your legal options and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

We work only on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront fees for our services. You only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your case. 

About the Author

Jimmy Sunosky

Jimmy Sunosky is an AV Preeminent rated lawyer and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, a Top Lawyer by Houstonia Magazine and a Top Lawyer H by Texas Magazine. He is dedicated to helping accident victims and their families find justice and obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries or death. Before co-founding Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP, he worked as an insurance defense lawyer. He applies the knowledge and experience gained while working with insurance companies to his work as an advocate for the injured.

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