We all visit other people’s property, and when we do, those property owners have a responsibility to ensure there are no hazards that can cause someone to slip and fall. If an injury occurs and a property owner is at fault, the injured person has the right to pursue damages.
However, as a personal injury attorney could further explain, many variables go into determining blame in a property liability case. A San Antonio slip and fall lawyer could help you understand the legal basis for these lawsuits and pursue a claim against negligent property owners or their insurance companies.
WHEN ARE PROPERTY OWNERS LIABLE FOR A SLIP AND FALL?
To determine whether a property owner is liable for a slip and fall accident, the court will first investigate why the injured plaintiff was on someone else’s property. Many injuries occur to residents or guests who were invited onto private property. Slip and falls also happen on property that is held open to the public. Whenever someone visits a public property, such as a mall, movie theatre, or store, they are known as invitees.
Property owners who have residents, guests, or invitees on their land maintain a legal duty to protect them against any known hazards, including inspecting the property for potential dangers. Common slip and fall hazards that property owners need to address include spills, broken stairs, or potholes in parking lots. Whether a property owner knew of the hazard and took any steps to fix it are key pieces of evidence in slip and fall cases. As a knowledgeable lawyer could further explain, slip and fall plaintiffs in San Antonio may not be eligible for compensation if they were trespassing at the time of the accident.
POTENTIAL CHALLENGES IN SLIP AND FALL CLAIMS
A plaintiff’s actions before falling can impact their injury claim because San Antonio is in a modified comparative negligence state. In short, this means the defendant can try and avoid paying fair compensation by arguing that the plaintiff’s own actions contributed to their injuries. For example, if a plaintiff slips on spilled water, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff wore inappropriate shoes for the weather or was recklessly running on the property. To dispute allegations of shared fault, an experienced San Antonio attorney could help demonstrate an owner was negligent in the care of their property and that this was the primary cause of a plaintiff’s slip and fall injuries.
An attorney could also help a plaintiff file their claim in a timely fashion to ensure they are eligible for compensation. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, people seeking compensation after a personal injury must file their case within two years of the accident.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT
In other personal injury cases, like car crashes, the police always respond to the scene and create an independent report. Conversely, slip and fall accidents often feature few witnesses or little police involvement. This lack of support might seem problematic, but there are a few things that slip and fall claimants can do to help their case.
First, our team recommends taking pictures of the property where the accident occurred as soon as possible. Most people have cameras on their smartphones, and photographic evidence of the hazard or the lack of any warning signs can be essential evidence. A determined San Antonio lawyer could also gather evidence from security cameras, business incident reports, and employees of the business to help determine the cause of a slip and fall.
Anyone injured in a slip and fall accident should also obtain medical treatment. A major part of any civil claim is medical documentation. Doctors’ notes can be essential to proving injuries were the result of a fall and for helping plaintiffs recover fair compensation for their losses.
LET A SAN ANTONIO SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEY HELP YOU
Even minor slip and fall accidents can force you to miss time from work and experience pain for several weeks. The most serious cases can result in paralysis and other life-altering consequences.
A San Antonio slip and fall lawyer recognizes the impact of these injuries and understands how state law allows you to pursue damages. Contact us today to discuss how we could help you get the compensation you deserve.