Texas property owners are expected to maintain their property in a safe condition that does not expose visitors to injuries. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident while on another property, you may be able to sue for the damages you sustain in the accident. However, the question often is not “Can you sue for slipping and falling?” but rather, “Can you successfully recover compensation for the damages you sustained?” The answer to this latter question often has to do with the proof that you are able to produce to show your entitlement to compensation, as well as the knowledge and skill of the slip and fall attorney you retain to handle your claim. You will need to be able to establish the following legal elements to recover compensation for your damages.
The Property Owner Owed You a Legal Duty to Prevent Slips or Falls
The first element you will need to establish is that the property owner owed you a legal duty. The duty he or she owed you depends on your relationship, including:
- Trespasser – A trespasser is someone who does not have express or implied permission to be on someone else’s property. Section 75.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code states that property owners do not owe a legal duty to trespassers and are not liable for injuries trespassers suffer on their land other than for willful or wanton acts of gross negligence.
- Licensee – A licensee is a person who does have permission to be on the property, but they are usually on the property for their own benefit, such as a social guest or salesperson. Property owners must warn licensees about dangers on the property the owner knows about but that the licensee does not.
- Invitee – An invitee is a person who has permission to be on the property and the owner usually invites him or her onto the property for the owner’s benefit, such as a customer in a store. Property owners must warn invitees of known dangerous conditions on the property and must also correct these unsafe conditions.
Establishing that you were a licensee or invitee can often make a significant impact in your case, so it is important that you work with a lawyer who can help you demonstrate this information.
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Proving an Unsafe Condition on the Property Caused Your Slip or Fall
Next, you must be able to prove that there was some dangerous condition on the property. Examples of dangerous conditions that might lead to slip and fall claims include:
- Liquid or slippery substances left on the floor in a commercial building like a store
- Loose steps
- Holes in the ground
- Uneven flooring
- Sharp objects jutting out of the floor
- An “attractive nuisance”
The Property Owner Caused, Knew About or Should Have Known About the Dangerous Condition
The third thing that you must be able to prove is the legal basis for why the property owner should be held liable for your damages. This is typically established by showing one of the following:
- The property owner caused the dangerous condition. In this situation, the property owner knows about the dangerous condition because he or she created it.
- The property owner knew about the dangerous condition. Under this legal claim, the owner had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition.
- The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition. Had the property owner conducted a reasonable inspection, he or she would have been aware of the dangerous condition.
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You Suffered Damages When You Slipped and Fell Due to the Dangerous Condition
If you can prove the elements above and that the dangerous condition and the property owner’s failure to fix it or warn you caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you sustained, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
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Premises Liability Cases Are Often Complex
Our lawyers are familiar with premises liability cases and the legal burden you must meet to help you recover compensation. In some cases, this is even more difficult. For example, Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code states that property owners are not liable for injuries that independent contractors sustain while working on their property unless the owner is in control of the work performed and the owner has actual knowledge of the danger. Our lawyers will work tirelessly to help you establish the legal elements of your claim through convincing evidence. We can also handle negotiations with the defendant or insurance company for your fair compensation.
Contact Our Office Today to Learn How a Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help Your Case
If you or a loved one was injured because of a dangerous condition on another person’s property, you may be wondering, “Can you sue for slipping and falling?” The team from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can answer this question for you during an in-depth consultation. Learn more about your legal rights and options by calling 800-777-7777.