Slips, trips, and falls annually top the list of most common workplace accidents on statistics compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Of course, such accidents don’t happen just at work. They can occur in your own home, at someone else’s residence, on a public walkway, or in a small or large business and can result in painful, sometimes permanent, injury.
Generally, there are significant differences between falls caused by slips and those by trips. Slips occur when you walk into something slick on the floor, often a liquid substance, and you fall backward. This can result in physical damage to the back, spine, neck, or head. A trip, in contrast, usually involves inadvertently walking into a physical object on the floor that propels you forward, so you can thwart the effect of the fall by use of your hands and arms to cushion the descent.
At the Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. I have the experience and resources you need to fight for fair compensation when you are injured in a fall. I provide comprehensive guidance and dedicated representation to personal injury victims. Contact me today for a free consultation. I proudly serve clients in Houston and Harris County, Texas as well as the surrounding area.
The Different Consequences of Slips and Trips
A slip backward puts one in jeopardy of serious injury to the back, spine, neck, or head. This can result in long-term issues with mobility and cognitive functions. If a slip occurs on property that is not your own, whether at work or elsewhere, you may be eligible to recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and more.
A fall that occurs as the result of tripping forward onto unimpeded flooring, depending upon how one braces for it, can result in injuries to the hands and arms, or if not fully cushioned by use of one’s hands, minor or even major injuries to the face or head. Tripping is thus somewhat less threatening than a slip. Still, if injuries occur at work or on property that is not your own, there may be some level of legal liability.
Premises Liability Laws in Texas
Premises liability is a legal concept that generally applies in personal injury cases where the injury was caused by an unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property. The plaintiff, or injured party, must show that the property owner was negligent in their care of the property. Furthermore, it must be shown that the property owner knew or should have known that an unsafe condition existed and that they failed to fix the problem or alert people of the danger.
If the incident occurs at someone’s residence, liability depends on the status of the injured visitor. Texas law distinguishes among types of individuals visiting another person’s property. Licensees and invitees are categories covering guests and those who are on the property for business purposes. The owner has a duty of care to inform them of any known hazards to prevent legal liability. Trespassers, on the other hand, have no claim unless the owner willfully harms them.
Generally speaking, an injured party in Texas can seek recovery for:
- Past and future medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Emotional scarring
- Legal costs (in some cases)
- Punitive damages if the injury was intentional or the result of gross negligence
What to Do If You’re Injured by a Fall
The number-one priority, if you’re injured, is to seek medical evaluation and treatment immediately.
In addition, for the sake of filing a claim, you should:
- Document everything and obtain copies of all medical records
- Collect the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of all potential witnesses
- Report the accident to the owner, manager, or landlord of the property
- Refrain from making statements, just report the incident – and stay silent on social media too
- Not answer insurance company questions before speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney
The Importance of Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
Texas imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, but if you’re suffering, you’re clearly going to want to take legal action immediately. Vested interests, including the business owner and the insurance companies, are going to try either to reject your claim or low ball your compensation, which is why you never want to go it alone.
Contact me at the Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. to schedule a free consultation with an experienced, dedicated, and aggressive personal injury attorney. I will help you fight to recover fair compensation for injuries resulting from your fall. I represent personal injury victims in Houston, Harris County, and surrounding Texas communities.