Slip and Fall Premises Liability in Houston
Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC represents slip and fall victims in Houston, TX. Call 713-489-4410 to schedule your free consultation.
If you are injured in a slip and fall, what you do in the first days and weeks matters. A slip and fall incident may seem to cause nothing more than bruises and scrapes, only to have more serious injuries manifest later. Texas personal injury law can be complicated, so contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer right away to help you through the process.
In Texas, two major laws affect slip and fall cases. Here is what you should know.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations specifies how long you have to file a lawsuit. Texas slip and fall cases, like all personal injury cases in the state, have a two year statute of limitations.
The clock starts on the date of the incident, even if you do not discover property damage or hidden injuries until much later. Therefore, even if you plan to settle the case with the property owner, you should leave yourself enough time to go to court should your settlement plans fall through. In very rare circumstances, the clock might “toll,” or pause, but you will need a skilled attorney to take advantage of such a situation.
To collect damages in a slip and fall case, you must prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries. After all, it is everyone’s obligation to pay attention to where they are walking, and it would be unreasonable to expect that every potential hazard be cleared from your path at the precise moment it occurs. Therefore, you must prove one of the following:
- The property owner or someone employed by him or her directly caused the hazard to occur
- The property owner or employee knew about the hazard but chose not to remove it
- The owner or employee should have known about the hazard because it would have been found and corrected by a “reasonable person” caring for the property
However, even if you can prove that the property owner is liable, you must still contend with Texas’ comparative negligence statutes. The theory is that in nearly any accident, the victim contributed in some large or small way. Your damages will be lowered by whatever percentage you are found at fault for your own injury.
There are innumerable ways in which you might be found at fault, including:
- You were in an off-limits area
- You were on your phone or otherwise distracted
- Your footwear was not appropriate for the circumstances
- You went around signage, ropes, cones, or other barriers designed to block off the hazard
- You did not take actions that a “reasonable person” would have taken to avoid the hazard
If your at fault percentage is found to be 50 percent or less, your damages will be reduced by the percentage at which you are at fault. If your at fault percentage is 50 percent or more, you are not entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Naturally, insurance companies and defense attorneys are motivated to raise your at fault percentage as high as possible to reduce your award. Therefore, it is essential to hire a skilled slip and fall attorney even if you plan to settle. We will fight back to ensure you receive every dollar you deserve.
If you were the victim of a slip and fall in Houston, contact Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC today at 713-489-4410 (English) or 713-766-0000 (Español) for a free case review and consultation.