Houston Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
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HOUSTON SLIP-AND-FALL LAWYER
Slip and fall accidents can happen to just about anyone. But while some incidents were a result of people’s carelessness, there are also some that were caused by an establishment’s owner or property owner’s negligence. And you will need a Houston slip-and-fall accident lawyer to handle this kind of case.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A SLIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Certainly, going through the experience of a slip and fall accident is indeed a traumatic event. Also, aside from dealing with the trauma, you need to face realities such as physically recovering from any injuries or afflictions caused by the accident. And then, you also have to deal with real-world problems. For example, paying for the bills that are stacking up–whether it’s for your medical treatments or repairs.
But in reality, not everyone has enough money to be able to deal with the effects of slip and fall accidents without processing their claims with their insurance company. Also, another sad fact of the reality is that dealing with insurance companies can be a burden, as well. In fact, the process of reimbursing victims for their losses with your insurance can be tedious with complications.
Also, a great help with all these complications is hiring a good and experienced slip and fall accident attorney. And you may think you don’t need one because you don’t expect to go to court, but representing you in court is not the only thing a slip-and-fall accident attorney can do for you.
Furthermore, one of the major actions your slip and fall accident attorney can do is negotiate with the insurance company. And whether it’s having discussions with your or the other’s insurance company, having someone knowledgeable about the slip and fall accident law can help you get the right compensation for you. Also, having someone you can rely on to discuss legal matters lessens the additional pressure. And minimizes the anxiety of having to deal with matters you are not familiar with.
Nonetheless, as an attorney, he or she can represent you in court, should your slip and fall accident case escalate to that. But, before that even happens, it’s better that you already hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with paperwork, negotiations, and court appearances.
What is an example of a slip and fall?
You are having a bad day. Also, you had a long night at work and didn’t hear your alarm the following morning. And then you wake up an hour before your flight for a business trip that has been scheduled months ahead. Next, you dash to the airport, barely making it in time.
And then you hurriedly check in only to find out that your passport is missing. After that, you go to the nearest coffee shop upon exiting the airport. Because you definitely need caffeine before calling your boss about missing your flight.
Certainly, you head straight to the nearest coffee shop. It’s six in the morning. Furthermore, you order black coffee in the tallest size available. And then you calmly try to craft a script in your head for the ringing phone call.
Also, you make your way toward the counter to grab your coffee. And without noticing a wet spot just a few feet in front of you. But you narrowly miss it upon getting your piping-hot beverage.
And now, still unaware, with coffee in hand, you turn to make your way out of the coffee shop. But this time, you land on the small puddle. And then you slip, off balance, head first onto the floor. Also, spilling your hot coffee all over yourself. Next, you try to get up. And then suddenly realize the excruciating pain from below your legs. As a result, the fall badly twists your ankle.
And so, that was not just an outline of a story but was an example of a horrible day. In fact, one that could not possibly think could get any worse. It is a classic case of a slip-and-fall accident.
What is a slip and fall?
Know someone who got injured in a slip and fall accident? A slip-and-fall accident, also commonly known as a “slip-and-fall,” is a type of personal injury. It involves the victim sustaining physical harm due to dangerous conditions from someone else’s property. This is the result of a property or an establishment owner’s failure to maintain proper safety standards.
This means that properties or establishments that are open to the public have the responsibility to ensure that their areas are safe spaces. The legal principle behind this is called premise liability. As such, owners or the management should be judicious enough to make sure that their spaces do not create any kind of condition for individuals to be injured.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can you prevent slip and fall accidents?
This responsibility involves making sure that the property does not pose any hazards to guests. If ever there are areas that need repair, these should be done immediately. And that is prior to any individual entering the premises.
In fact, establishments should also put up visible notices and warnings to guests. And this is especially if any space within the area poses any kind of risk. That means signs for wet floors or leaky ceilings. For example, signs should be clearly seen by anyone within the area.
If construction is ongoing, warning signs should be properly in place to avoid any kind of injury. Because these measures are meant to clearly and properly inform the public of the possible hazards. Especially within the area, where they are currently and to promptly avoid them.
Victims of slip and fall might feel embarrassed and a bit silly. However, it causes much pain and suffering. A slip-and-fall accident is no laughing matter. In fact, it should be taken seriously.
What are common injuries for victims of slip and fall accidents?
The National Floor Safety Institute with its various data regarding slip and fall accidents. The numbers are quite sobering. Slips and falls have resulted in more than a million people going to the hospital to receive immediate medical attention.
Injuries from falls commonly had fractures as a result of the accident. Hip fractures are the most debilitating type of fracture among fall victims.
Although those individuals with injuries from slips and falls usually get fractures, some might not be so lucky. More serious injuries from falls include spinal cord injuries. Some might even get symptoms of brain damage.
Worse of all, some falls could result in death. In 2005, more than 15,000 elderly people beyond 65 years of age died as a result of fall injuries. According to statistics, falls are considered to be the second leading cause of death brought about by injuries among the elderly, ages 65 to 84 years old.
Can you get slip and fall injuries while at work?
And while senior citizens are quite vulnerable to slip and fall injuries, workers in the middle-age category might find themselves at risk for slip and fall as well.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that falls pose a high risk for employees. This represents five percent of job fatalities for women. For men, the risk seems to be much higher, at a whopping 11 percent.
In addition, reports show slip and fall as the main reason for employees’ lost days in the office. Most surprisingly, slips and falls are the number one kind of occupational injury for workers who are 55 years old or older. Slip and fall claims represent the most number of compensation claims from workers.
What is the difference between slip, trip, and fall?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention differentiates slips, trips, and falls based on definitions from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Basically, a “slip” is defined as an incident where an individual loses his or her footing.
A “trip” on the other hand, is an incident where one’s foot gets caught up in another object. Lastly, a “fall” is an incident where a person suddenly goes down and lands on a surface.
All three injuries could be from a variety of reasons. Common causes of slip and falls accidents in Houston could include establishments or properties that have poorly lit areas, wires and cables that were haphazardly strewn on the floor, wet surfaces, or uneven floors.
Slips, trips, and falls can be occupational hazards. Many workers suffer from injuries from these. The National Safety Council reports that in 2020, approximately 211,640 workers have injuries from falls, causing them to take days off work to recuperate. In the same year, there were reports of 805 people dead as a result of fall injuries.
Who is liable in a slip and fall accident?
The owner of the establishment could be held liable for a slip and fall injury.
However, some owners of spaces might not be the ones who are actually occupying the property. Let’s go back to the previous example above. The coffee shop definitely has an owner and manager. However, that person might not be the one who actually owns the space.
Suppose the coffee shop owner is renting the space from a landlord. If the wet floor that was causing the accident was due to the coffee shop owner’s negligence, then that person is the one liable in this scenario.
However, if for any reason, the floor is leaking water by no fault of the person renting the property, then the property owner or landlord could be at fault. This is where things get a bit tricky. It should demonstrate the property owner’s failure to inform the renter that there was damage on the floor. Thus making it a safety hazard.
Another instance when the property owner could be held liable is if the contract between the owner and the person renting the space specifies that the owner should cover repairs and other such matters in relation to maintaining the area.
One instance where the owner could be liable is when he or she still retains control of the property, despite having somebody else rent it. An example of this would be when the owner maintains control of the operation. And then the maintenance of common toilets in an establishment that is for rent by different people.
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TOP QUESTIONS | SLIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENTS
How do you prove negligence in a slip and fall?
Cornell Law defines negligence as a person’s failure to behave with the same kind of reasonable care that is exercised by a normally prudent individual.
Negligence is grounded on four principles. First, the law prescribes to establish that the defendant is responsible for duty towards the plaintiff. In dram shop cases, for example, commercial establishments have the legal duty to refuse to serve alcohol. And that is to stop serving obviously drunk individuals who could pose harm to themselves. Or even worse, to other people as a result of their excessive alcohol intake.
The second basis for establishing negligence is proof that the defendant was remiss in his or her legal duty towards the plaintiff. This lack of responsibility led to the plaintiff suffering an injury, which is the third basis for prima facie negligence.
The fourth one is evidence establishing causality: that the defendant who was remiss in his or her legal duty is the direct cause behind the injury of the plaintiff.
What is an example of negligence in a slip and fall?
In slip and fall accidents, establishments have the legal responsibility. And they are to ensure that their spaces are safe for any individual who enters the establishment’s premises. Let’s go back to the introductory imaginary incident earlier.
The victim who slips on the wet floor and sustains physical injuries has every right to file for a slip and fall claim. And let’s say that the owner of the coffee shop is renting the space from a property owner. In fact, both the renter and the landlord have the legal responsibility to ensure that the property is safe. And that’s keeping everything safe for everyone who enters it.
However, supposedly during the course of the investigation, it was established that the cause of the slip and fall accident was a damaged floor. And that somehow water leaks onto the surface of the floor.
It was found out that the landlord was actually aware of the damage. And with the failure to report it to the coffee shop owner who was renting the space. In this case, the property owner could be found negligent and liable for the slip and fall injury.
Can I sue my landlord for slip and fall?
Property owners are bound by law to ensure that their properties adhere to safety standards. If you are renting an apartment and sustained slip and fall injuries due to the landlord’s negligence, then you could sue your landlord in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Can you sue your apartment complex for slip and fall?
If the owner of the apartment complex maintains control of the property, failed to disclose damages or other areas that could pose safety threats and lead to injuries, or agreed in the contract to be responsible for repairs and other tasks related to maintaining the apartment complex as a safe area, then yes, you could sue the owner of the apartment complex.
However, it should be clearly established that it was the apartment complex owner’s negligence that contributed to the slip and fall injuries, and not the person renting the apartment.
What to do after a slip and fall accident?
If you are suffering from a slip and fall injury, the first thing you need to do is get an attorney fast. The statute of limitations only covers a certain period for filing lawsuits. That’s why you have to make sure that you are able to do so quickly before the statute of limitations expires.
After getting a slip and fall lawyer, the next thing you have to do is to present documentation that provides evidence of the slip and fall injury.
This could mean anywhere from gathering pictures of the area. Also, looking for any evidence that would cause the accident. And as well as witness statements confirming that the area is indeed unsafe. Witness statements of people who saw the actual accident could also be helpful, as well as CCTV footage of the day of the slip and fall accident.
It would also be helpful to compile all medical records confirming the injuries sustained from the slip and fall accident.
Your slip and fall accident lawyer will then build your case for you, establishing that the property owner’s negligence is the cause behind the slip and fall injuries. Afterward, your attorney could arrange a meeting with the defendant for a settlement. If both parties cannot reach an amicable agreement, then you could go to trial.
I need help with a slip and fall injury. What should I do?
Are you a victim of a slip and fall injury? Do you know someone with injuries from a slip-and-fall accident in Houston? Need a lawyer to contact a slip and fall accident in Houston? Do you want to file a slip-and-fall accident in Houston? Are you looking for a Houston slip-and-fall lawyer?
Get in touch with the Roxell Richards Injury Law Firm right now! Atty. Roxell Richards heads the personal injury law firm and has a strong reputation among Houston personal injury lawyers.
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