Slips and falls are among the most common ways that people can suffer personal injuries. These incidents describe any accident where a person falls and endures an injury while visiting the land of another party. These injuries can occur almost anywhere and for a variety of reasons. Even people who are currently at home may demand payments for their losses if an apartment management company fails to clear hazards from common areas. As a whole, all property owners have a duty to keep their land safe for invited guests.
Even so, collecting proper compensation following a slip and fall can be a tedious and complex process. Injured individuals need to prove that they had a right to be on the land as well as that the landowner failed to keep them safe. A Houston slip and fall lawyer may be able to help to meet this rigorous legal standard.
The Duties of Landowners to Keep Guests Safe
In general, every landowner must take appropriate steps to protect others who enter their land. This includes clearing any temporary hazards such as standing water or loose carpeting that may cause a person to slip and fall.
However, slips and falls fall under the general category of premises liability laws. These laws dictate when a landowner must protect guests and what steps they must take to provide that protection.
Premises liability laws separate visitors into three categories:
- Trespassers are people who enter or remain on land without the owner’s permission. The owner here must only refrain from causing any intentional or wanton injury.
- Licensees are people who enter the land for their own benefit, such as being a houseguest at a party. The property owner must only warn a guest about a known hazard.
- Invitees have the greatest protections under the law. These people enter land for the benefit of the owner, such as to buy a product. Here, the landowner must warn guests of known dangers and regularly inspect their land for hazards.
As a result, a slip and fall claim is more complicated than simply showing that an injury happened on another’s property. A Houston slip and fall lawyer could help to explain the classifications of visitors and how they will affect a claim for damages.
Determining Blame for a Slip and Fall
Once an injured plaintiff establishes that they had a right to be on the land at the time of the accident, the claim must evaluate if the landowner took appropriate steps to provide protection. However, as with all other cases that involve accidents, the injured plaintiff’s actions are also under scrutiny.
Since Texas Civil Practice & Remedy Code §33.003 requires courts to use the concept of modified comparative negligence, it is important for injured people to be able to justify their own actions. Courts will reduce a plaintiff’s award if they believe a plaintiff to share fault for the accident. Defendants may argue that a plaintiff’s distraction by a cell phone, poor choice or footwear, or moving at a speed higher than walking caused the slip. A Houston slip and fall lawyer could help to gather the evidence needed to prove that a landowner was the sole party liable for the fall.
A Houston Slip and Fall Attorney Could Take the Lead in the Case
Slip and fall cases that result in personal injuries can be deceptively complex. You need to not only prove that the injury happened on another party’s land, but you also need to demonstrate that you had the right to be there. This right determines the steps that the property owner needs to take to protect you, and a failure to establish the proper legal status can lead to a failed claim.
A Houston slip and fall lawyer could help you to meet the legal burdens necessary to pursue an effective claim. These claims can demand payments for medical care, lost wages, and emotional trauma. Working with an attorney can help to protect your legal rights while you focus on what is important to you. Contact an attorney today to schedule an appointment.