While movies and cartoons make sudden falls look like amusing embarrassments, the reality is that an unexpected fall has the potential to cause serious and lasting physical harm. If you tripped and fell because a landowner did not maintain a safe property, you might be able to hold that landowner financially liable for the negative impact of the injury on your life.
However, holding a property owner legally liable for an accident on that happens on their land can be complicated, especially if you work without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you want a fair shot at getting a good case result and collecting the compensation you deserve, hiring and working closely with a West Lake Hills slip and fall lawyer is crucial.
Like other types of personal injury litigation, slip and fall claims are generally built around the theory of negligence. Therefore, getting a successful case result usually requires proving that a defendant violated their duty of care and directly caused the person filing suit to get hurt. Importantly, though, property owners in Texas owe different duties of care to people, depending on why the person is visiting their property to begin with.
In general, landowners are obligated to provide advance warning of hazards they know about to all lawful visitors on their property, and to fix those hazards within a reasonable amount of time. In some cases, landowners can be liable for hazards they should have known about if they had regularly inspected their property in the way a responsible landowner would have. Trespassers generally cannot file suit over slip and fall accidents unless they can prove a landowner deliberately created a hazard that was likely to harm trespassers.
If a slip and fall victim needs help proving negligence or determining their legal status at the time of a visit, they should reach out to a knowledgeable attorney in West Lake Hills.
In addition to proving a landowner bears responsibility for causing a plaintiff to trip and fall, the person who actually fell and got hurt must show they did not contribute to causing their own injuries through negligence of their own. For example, if someone slipped because they were wearing shoes that had no traction or running where they were not supposed to, they might face some liability for their own injuries. If a civil court finds that an injured plaintiff holds a percentage of total fault for their own damages, that court may reduce that plaintiff’s total available compensation or even bar them from recovering anything, in accordance with Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §33.001 through 33.017.
On the other hand, someone who can prove a landowner was wholly at fault for their slipping or tripping accident can hold that landowner liable for the full value of their ensuing losses, including medical bills, property damage, lost work income, and various forms of physical and psychological suffering. A slip and fall lawyer in West Lake Hills could provide further guidance about what losses may be compensable in a specific case.
Make no mistake: sudden falls can be serious and life-changing accidents. Additionally, holding a landowner legally accountable for causing such an accident can be prohibitively difficult for any injured person to manage on their own.
Fortunately, help is available from a dedicated West Lake Hills slip and fall lawyer with the experience and expertise necessary to effectively enforce your rights. Call today to discuss your options.