Slip & Fall Cases: What You Need to Win Your Slip & Fall CaseMay 23, 2017
When negligence contributes to slip and fall accidents, victims may have a premises liability claim. Understanding how to prove negligence and liability for these claims is important to:
- Holding the negligent party, such as a property owner or manager, accountable
- Securing financial recovery for the injuries and losses sustained.
The following reveals some important information about slip and fall claims and laws in Texas.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Amaro Law Firm when you need answers related to your slip and fall accident and potential claim. Our attorneys are experienced at representing slip and fall victims and helping them pursue the compensation they deserve. We provide free consultations and actionable legal advice to help put slip and fall victims on the path to recovery and justice.
Texas Premises Liability Law: Invitee vs Licensee vs Trespasser
Not everyone who slips and falls on someone else’s property will have a claim against the property owner (or another responsible party). The nature of the victim’s relationship to the property owner will be important to determining whether a claim exists.
Specifically, Texas premises liability law makes a clear distinction between the following types of visitors to a property:
- An invitee is someone who has been given express or implied permission to enter a property for the mutual benefit of the property owner and the invitee. Some examples of invitees include:
- Customers of retail stores
- Tenants of rental properties
- Cleaning or repair professionals who have been asked to come to a property and perform some service.
- A licensee is someone who has been granted express or implied permission to enter a property for his or her own benefit. Some examples of licensees include:
- Off-duty employees.
- A trespasser is someone who has not been given permission to enter a property.
Texas law generally holds that property owners owe a duty of care to invitees and licensees. No duty of care is owed to trespassers (i.e., those who have illegally entered a property).
Premise Liability in Texas: Property Owners’ Duty of Care
In Texas, property owners are required to exercise “reasonable” care to maintain safe premises and to limit the risk of injury to invitees and licensees. This duty of care will include all of the following elements for invitees (and only the first two elements for licensees):
- The duty to avoid gross negligence
- The duty to warn invitees or licenses of known risks or dangers on the property
- The duty to inspect the property in order to warn invitees of risky conditions.
Failing to honor the duties owed to a particular visitor can open the property owner up to liability if – or when – a slip and fall happens.
Elements of a Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall claims must have some specific elements in order to be valid in Texas. These elements include that:
- The victim (i.e., plaintiff) was an invitee or licensee when the accident occurred.
- The defendant was responsible for the property at the time of the accident. Please note that defendants can include property owners, landlords, building managers or others who are responsible for a property.
- An unsafe condition on the property created a risk of harm to the invitee or licensee.
- The defendant knew about the unsafe condition.
- The victim was not informed about the unsafe condition, or no attempt was made to rectify (or close off) the unsafe condition. This constitutes a breach of duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident and injured the plaintiff.
Proving that these elements pertain to a slip and fall claim is key to a successful outcome. An attorney can provide invaluable help when it comes to establishing all elements of a slip and fall case.
Get Answers about Your Legal Options after a Slip & Fall: Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall (or another accident) at someone else’s property, it’s time to contact a Houston personal injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm.
Call (713) 352-7975 or email us to set up a free consultation and discover more about your options for financial recovery.
Our attorneys are ready to go over the facts of your accident, explain the law and advise you how to move forward. We are also ready to provide you with effective, aggressive representation to help you position a slip and fall claim for any possible recovery.