Was Your Slip-And-Fall Accident Caused By A Safety Hazard?
Property owners are not automatically responsible if you fall down and get injured. But they may be liable if you slipped or tripped because of a dangerous condition on their property. This is known as premises liability.
Even when slip-and-fall accidents cause serious injury, it is difficult to make property owners pay. You can turn to Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., for skilled and aggressive representation. I have more than 30 years of experience with these tough cases, with many settlements on behalf of people across the Houston area.
Find out if you have a case. Call me today for a free consultation at 281-661-5333.
What Negligence Led To Your Slip-And-Fall?
Under Texas premises liability law, proprietors have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment to anyone who is lawfully on their premises. This includes businesses, property management companies, landlords, homeowners and public entities. Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents often trace back to a hidden or unexpected hazard such as:
- Floors slick from mopping or waxing
- Spills or puddles in walkways
- Squished food or other slippery substances
- Parking lot potholes
- Raised or uneven pavement
- Cords, boxes and other tripping hazards
- Poor lighting in hallways or stairwells
- Missing or broken handrails
- Unexpected step-ups or drop-offs
- Torn carpeting, rugs or mats
- Falling merchandise
I have successfully sued grocery stores, bars and restaurants, retailers, apartment buildings and other commercial entities. I am not afraid to take on corporations or their insurance companies. A good settlement is always preferable to taking your chances in court, but I have tried and won slip-and-fall lawsuits when the other side refused to pay reasonable damages.
When Is The Property Owner Responsible?
Even when there is a dangerous condition, we must prove (a) that you were seriously hurt and (b) that the owner had a legal obligation. For example, if a child threw their food on the restaurant floor shortly before you slipped on it, the owner would not be liable. However, if the workers or manager knew about such a mess and ignored it, the restaurant would be responsible if a patron slipped and fell.
Another example is a wet floor. If management put out clearly visible caution cones and you walked through that area, you may not have a case. But if there was no warning that the floor is slick and your feet go out from under you, the owners could be accountable for your injuries. I have extensive experience with Texas premises liability law. I know how to investigate the circumstances and establish how the owner was negligent.
- Also, see my Frequently Asked Questions page about slip-and-falls.
Comparative Negligence In Texas
Texas uses a comparative fault rule to determine the degree of liability when one party accuses another of committing a negligent act that caused an accident. If it is determined that you were partially at fault for your accident, that could reduce the amount of compensation you may recover.
For example, the property owner may argue that you weren’t paying attention to where you were walking (e.g., looking at your cellphone). That may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that the owner created or should have known about a slipping hazard. If you were deemed to be 25% at fault for your accident, your compensation would be reduced by the same amount. So if your total damages were $10,000, you would only receive $7,500. I know how to counter this narrative and keep the focus on the property owner’s failure to keep you safe to maximize your recovery.