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Houston Slip and Fall Lawyer

Houston Slip and Fall Lawyer

It may not be the capital city of the Lone Star State, but boasting over 2.2 million residents, Houston is the largest city in Texas. When you include tourists or other visitors who come to see the many historical sites and museums, it means a lot of foot traffic on properties, which means property maintenance should be performed more frequently. But often, it isn’t, and properties quickly develop hazards.

Falls can happen to anyone at any time, walking up a broken step outside a store or tripping over an uneven tile in a restaurant. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe, and when they don’t, these types of accidents can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. If you or someone you know was injured in a fall accident on someone else’s property in Houston, don’t pay the price for someone else’s mistake. Reach out to our team of experienced slip and fall lawyers at Barrera Law Group LLC.

How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?

While a fall can occur anywhere, there are some factors that contribute to falling, especially on someone else’s property, such as a restaurant, shopping center, or apartment building. Property and building safety is the responsibility of property owners, and when they ignore or delay repairs or regular maintenance, it can cause devastating injuries. Some of the most common causes of falls are:

  • Broken or uneven steps
  • Missing or broken handrails
  • Uneven or cracked walkways
  • Wet floors
  • Potholes or broken pavement
  • Dimly lit hallways or walkways
  • Trash or other items blocking a walkway

These are just a few scenarios that can cause slip-and-fall accidents, but these types of injuries can be quite serious and often lead to costly medical treatment and care. People injured in fall accidents are likely to miss work or have restrictions on daily activities and tasks. If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, contact Barrera Law Group LLC today.

Slip and Fall Accident and Injury Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the elderly (over age 60) are more susceptible to fall-related injuries. Still, it’s important to note that anyone can suffer from a slip-and-fall accident. Here are some statistics on falls and the injuries they can create:

  • 20% of falls result in serious injury
  • Each year, more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury, usually due to a head injury or broken hip
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • More than 25% of older people fall each year, and falling once doubles a person’s risk of falling again

Although many falls don’t cause major injuries, one out of five falls does cause a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a head injury. Other common injuries from slip and fall accidents include:

  • Broken or fractured bones, such as wrists, arms, ankles, or hips
  • Head injuries (even a small head injury can lead to a dangerous traumatic brain injury)
  • Bruising or lacerations
  • Emotional injuries, such as fear of falling again or fear of walking up stairs or walking without the assistance of another person, handrail, cane, or walker

Most falls are entirely preventable, either by keeping a property maintained and clear of debris or clutter or by having proper signage about known hazards and providing a safe walkway around them. When a slip and fall accident occurs due to hazardous property conditions, the injured person is fully justified in pursuing legal action, and our Houston premises liability lawyers are here to assist in recovering costs related to resulting injuries.

What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

When you fall on someone else’s property, the immediate aftermath of your accident may be confusing and painful, but there are some important steps to try and follow as best you can:

  • Get help. Even if you don’t think your fall was that bad, any slip-and-fall accident can lead to serious injuries, so it’s a good idea to wait for emergency services to arrive before you get up and go on with your day.
  • Gather picture evidence. If possible, you or someone with you should take photographs or videos of the area or hazard where your fall took place from as many different angles as you can.
  • Gather witness information. Get a record on paper or a note in your phone of anyone present who is willing to share their contact information and give their version of the events when you file your claim.
  • Seek medical attention. After being seen on-site by emergency services, make sure you visit a doctor and follow a proper course of treatment for injuries you sustained.
  • Document everything. Save every piece of information regarding your accident: medical bills, photographs, video, witness reports, and any correspondence or pay stubs showing missed work. Write down any details you can remember about your fall as soon as you can.

If you aren’t able to get all of the previously mentioned information or follow these steps, that’s okay. Our team of slip-and-fall lawyers at Barerra Law Group, LLC, will still help you with your case and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.

Liability for Slip and Fall Cases in the Lone Star State

To build a successful premises liability case for your slip and fall accident, you must establish and prove the following:

  • A legal duty owed to you by the property owner
  • Breach of that legal duty
  • Damages caused due to the breach of that legal duty

The specific duty owed to an injured person in a premises liability case depends on the type of classification. The three distinct classifications are:

  • Licensee: A person to whom the property owner has the most legal duty to warn them of any hazard and/or make the correct repairs. This is someone who has been invited to the property for their own benefit, such as a guest or a salesperson.
  • Invitee: This is someone who has permission for the mutual benefit of both themselves and the property owner, such as a customer at a store or patron at a restaurant.
  • Trespasser: A person to whom the property owner only has the duty not to cause injury willfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence. This is someone who has not been given an invitation or consent from the property owner to be on the premises.

Who Will Be Held Responsible for Your Fall?

According to Texas property laws, property owners in Houston and everywhere in the Lone Star State have an obligation to maintain their property in a safe condition for all visitors and guests. So, if a slip and fall accident occurs on their property, the owner is most likely to be held liable for injury or damage, even if the owner isn’t on site. An owner, as defined by Texas law, can be an individual (a homeowner), a business (the owner of a store), or a government entity (the owner of a city pool).

Although it may be clear that the property owner is negligent, most property owners will attempt to do whatever they can to not be held liable. They may try to say that you were aware of the hazard beforehand or that you weren’t supposed to be on the property or in that area of the property. Another way a negligent property owner may try to avoid responsibility is to say that the hazard was open and obvious.

An Important Condition to Texas Premises Liability Law

However, as with most laws or rules, there are conditions. One of the most important conditions of premises liability is the “open and obvious” condition. This means that if the hazard that caused a fall should have been seen and avoided by a reasonable person, the property owner might not be held liable.

This condition can sometimes make premises liability cases confusing, depending on all of the situational circumstances. Because while the hazard might have been in plain sight during the daylight hours but was hard to see at night, was located in a dimly lit walkway, or obscured by trash or debris placed in front of any warning signage, the hazard becomes less obvious, and this condition can be harder to prove.

Do You Need a Lawyer To File a Slip and Fall Claim?

The quick answer is no, you are not required by state law to hire a lawyer in order to pursue a legal case against a property owner for a premises liability claim. However, having an experienced lawyer on your side who is familiar with premises liability laws will only help your case. Your attorney will know the details of the law and be able to:

  • Investigate the details of your case
  • Gather evidence in support of your case
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and the property owner
  • Defend you to a judge or jury if your case ends up in court

Having an attorney present will show the negligent party that you’re taking your case seriously and are willing to pursue all courses of legal action available to you. Additionally, if you are the family of someone who was killed due to a property hazard, your lawyer can assist with the often more intricate details of a wrongful death claim to secure compensation for funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and other such damages.

How Much Compensation Will You Get?

So, you’ve suffered an injury due to a slip or fall, and you’ve got a lawyer on your side to hold the negligent party accountable, but you still want to know how much compensation you may receive. Unfortunately, there is no set monetary amount for slip and fall claims in the state of Texas; however, your lawyer will ensure you receive the maximum amount possible for your case.

There are generally two types of damages for which you can receive compensation in Texas:

  • Economic: These are financial losses or losses that have a definitive price tag on them, such as medical bills, lost wages, or loss of future income.
  • Noneconomic: These are losses that are harder to put a price tag on, as they differ from case to case, such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more.

One other category for compensation is punitive damages. This is only awarded in cases where the property owner or defendant is proven to be grossly negligent or intentional.

Most slip-and-fall cases will award compensation, and with our team at Barrera Law Group LLC fighting for you, you’ll get more compensation than if you were to pursue litigation on your own.

Barrera Law Group LLC – Just a Phone Call Away

If you or someone you know has suffered a fall due to unsafe property conditions in Houston or anywhere in the Lone Star State, you don’t have to deal with pursuing legal action on your own. Our team at Barrera Law Group LLC understands how serious fall injuries can be. We’ll help you with your personal injury claim against a negligent property owner, not only holding them accountable but also getting you compensation for medical or other costs—compensation you deserve.

Call our office today or contact us online and let us hear about your slip-and-fall case in a free, no-obligation consultation so that we can fully understand the best way to help you. Don’t hesitate to seek justice for your injuries.

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