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Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident

| Nov 10, 2020 | Firm News

According to the National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and fall accidents are responsible for nearly one million emergency room visits every year. In Texas, when you’re hurt in a slip and fall accident resulting from another party’s negligence, you are within your rights to hold the liable party responsible and recover fair compensation.

The Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., is committed to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to slip and fall accident victims. As an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, I can fight passionately to protect your rights, help prove fault, determine liability, and pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries. I’m proud to serve clients throughout Texas, including Houston, Harris County, and the surrounding areas.

What if the Property Owner Was Negligent?

Slip and fall accidents can occur on residential property, shopping malls, retail stores, public streets, or sidewalks. Unfortunately, another person’s negligence might have played a part in the incident. Negligence occurs when the party at-fault inadvertently or carelessly did something or failed to do something, thus, causing your slip and fall accident.

For instance, if a shop owner failed to clean a spill on the floor, thereby creating a slippery surface that caused you to slip and fall, the actions of the store owner can be considered negligence.

What is Considered Acting Reasonably?

Reasonable care can be defined as the degree of caution and concern for the safety of yourself and other people that an ordinarily rational and sensible person would use in a certain situation. Reasonable care serves as the minimum safety standards that must be met. If failure to provide reasonable care in a specific situation caused an injury to another person, then the cause of the accident may be negligence.

Examples of Negligence

Some common examples of negligence in slip and fall accident cases include:

  • A store owner who fails to mop up a spill.
  • A shop owner who fails to put up a caution sign warning customers about a slippery surface after mopping up a spill.
  • A property owner who fails to replace or repair a broken staircase.

Who’s at Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident?

When a slip and fall accident occurs, any of the following people or entity may be at fault:

  • Property Owner/Homeowner: Property or homeowners are usually liable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their premises.
  • Business Owner: A business owner may be held responsible for the dangerous conditions on the premises that caused a slip and fall.
  • Government Entity: Municipal agencies and government entities may be responsible if your injuries occurred on property owned or managed by the government.
  • Your Own Carelessness: If your carelessness or lack of attention contributed to the accident, the Texas court might shift the blame onto your own carelessness. In such situations, you may have a hard time recovering compensation for your injuries.

Other parties who may be at fault include:

  • Companies that lease their business locations
  • Property management companies
  • Service providers, including cleaning and repair companies
  • Builders and construction companies

How to Determine Fault in an Accident

To determine fault in a Texas slip and fall accident case, the plaintiff must prove the presence of the following elements:

  • The defendant owed you a legal duty of care
  • There was a breach of duty of care
  • The defendant’s actions directly caused your injury
  • You were harmed or injured by the actions of the defendant or the dangerous condition of the property

How Can the Victim Be at Fault?

A victim may be at fault for the slip and fall accident when:

  • The person was trespassing
  • The person had no legitimate reason to be on the premises
  • A careful person is reasonably expected to notice the dangerous condition and avoid the accident
  • The person failed to notice caution sign or warnings of the dangerous condition
  • The person was partially or fully distracted from noticing the dangerous condition

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Texas

Texas uses the modified system of comparative negligence to determine the degree of fault when one party accuses another of causing their accident due to the party’s negligent actions. If you are injured in a Texas slip and fall accident, the amount of compensation that you may recover will depend on your percentage of fault.

For instance, if the total compensation awarded for your injuries was $5,000, the property or business owner may argue that you were distracted while walking (i.e., walking and texting). If that was found to be true and you were found to be 30 percent responsible, you would only receive $3,500 (or 70% of the awarded amount).

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating a slip and fall accident claim in Texas can involve a lot of complexities. Having a knowledgeable premises liability attorney who knows the nuances of applicable state laws is crucial to protect your rights and for help in pursuing your rightful compensation.

I have devoted my career to providing outstanding legal services and protecting personal injury and slip and fall accident victims. As your legal counsel, I will ensure that you receive adequate medical care, review every aspect of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, fight to establish fault, and determine liability. I will fight compassionately to protect your rights and help you seek fair financial compensation for your injuries.

Contact the Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney. I will offer you the detailed guidance and compassionate representation you need and help pursue deserved compensation for your premises-related injuries. I proudly serve clients in Houston and Harris County, Texas.