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Determining owner’s liability in slip and fall accidents

February 22, 2018

After people suffer injuries in slip-and-fall accidents, some may assume that they can sue the owner of the property where the injury occurred for their damages. In many instances, this is a successful path to resolving the matter. But that is not always the case.

Texas law requires slip-and-fall accidents — and all other premises liability lawsuits — to meet certain standards in order to justify suing property owners for any damages that allegedly occurred on the premises. Any injured parties considering filing personal injury litigation should fully understand the legal issues at hand, including how to preserve their rights.

If you are not sure whether your injuries justify filing a premises liability suit, or if you are simply unsure, you can seek legal guidance. Once you better understand your rights under Texas law, you can decide how to proceed.

Proving property owner liability

A property owner may hold liability for an injury suffered on the premises if it occurs because of a hazard of which the owner or employees were aware but failed to address. If a hazard existed on the property, but the owner could not reasonably have known about or addressed it, the claim may not stand up in court.

Likewise, if a property owner should reasonably have known about a hazard, he or she may be liable for any injuries and damages that ensued. In many cases, the claim revolves around whether or not it’s reasonable for the victim to expect that the owner or employees had knowledge of the hazard. As one can imagine, that’s not always simple to ascertain.

If the owner’s actions created the hazard, either directly or indirectly, this may also imply liability. For instance, if an owner avoids some type of upkeep or maintenance, such as the repair of potholes in a parking lot, any damage caused by the potholes may be the lot owner’s responsibility.

Building a strong slip-and-fall-claim

As soon as an accident occurs, it is important to seek professional medical attention. Victims may suffer injuries that do not cause pain immediately, and the sooner they are properly treated, the less likelihood they could worsen.

Once victims deal with immediate medical concerns, it is time to gather evidence to build the claim. Documenting the scene of the accident as soon as possible is prudent so no evidence gets overlooked or altered.

Many victims find that the prospect of pursuing a medical claim is too much to handle while they also are focusing on their physical recoveries from their injuries. A victim’s legal team can offer guidance during the claims process and beyond, like helping to identify viable strategies for seeking full compensation and not settling for less.

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