Texas Slip And Fall Law: Misconceptions and FAQs
Slip and fall injuries are incredibly common in America and the world at large. So much so, in fact, that slip and fall injuries have been satirized ruthlessly (e.x. Life Alert jokes).
But slip and fall injuries are no laughing matter—slip and fall accidents result in 9 million hospital visits each year, with potentially millions of more incidents going undocumented. They can range from simple sprains to, in the absolute worst cases, causing severe or fatal injuries.
Although slip and fall accidents are so ubiquitous, they still confuse people when it comes to the law. In Texas, the laws are very strict, so most people aren’t aware when they actually have a potential case.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Texas slip and fall law, and debunk some myths about them so you can be prepared (don’t like this sentence).
Slip and Fall in Texas: A Quick Rundown
Slip and fall cases in Texas law are classified as tort law. Tort law encompasses all acts or lack thereof that leads to harm or injury that rises to the level of civil wrong. Basically, if someone’s or some entity’s negligence led to conditions that directly resulted in harm or injury, you may have a case.
Specifically, slip and fall cases fall under premises liability, which deals with the liability that property owners have to maintain good conditions.
In Texas, though, the link between the supposed negligence and the harm or injury has to be crystal clear for there to be any chance of a winning case. Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding slip and fall.
When Do I Know I Have A Case?
Like all cases, the devil is in the details. Like we stated earlier, there has to be a very clear link between the negligence and the cause of your harm/injury.
For example, if you slip into a pothole on a private parking lot, there would be a clear link between the lack of maintenance of the parking lot and your injury. However, if the pothole was small and easily avoidable, there may not be a strong enough case that their negligence forced you to have an injury.
Similarly, if the pothole was created the night before because of a bad storm, the property owner may not have had enough time to reasonably acknowledge and address the issue. A few other important points include:
- Safety Information Present (like Wet Floor Sign)
- Distractions At Time Of Accident (e.x. Texting)
- Reason For Hazard
- Potential Witnesses/Testimonies
The answers to these questions and many more will determine if you will win your case and if you’ll receive the desired outcome.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Case?
Texas law has a two-year statute of limitations for slip and fall civil actions. So, technically, you’ve got two years to file a lawsuit and get your case started. However, in most cases, you’ll want to file a lawsuit as close to the time of the incident as possible.
This is because if you are seeking compensation, it is easier to paint a clear link between the injury and the incident over a short period of time.
If you’ve gone through a series of treatments over the course of a year, for instance, the defense may argue that much of your treatment was caused by unrelated factors—harming your case for full compensation.
Most firms, including Huerta Law, would prefer filing a lawsuit right away to give you the best chance in court.
What If I Slip On Government Property?
Slip and falls on government property are, in most cases, the same as in private property cases. They require a burden of proof proving negligence and that the negligence directly caused injury/harm. Taking pictures and getting contact information from witnesses can be invaluable to your claim.
After an incident, you will have to file a claim with the particular government agency that the incident occurred under. A lawyer can review your claim to ensure that your claim is filed for the best outcome.
Claiming “general” damages like pain and suffering is difficult, if not impossible with government agencies. Sticking to concrete, quantifiable damages is the best way to win your case.
What Kind Of Payout Can I Expect?
Your payout depends on several factors, like the extent of your injury, the defendant (private or government), the timeline of the claim, and much more.
There’s no way to know just how much you’ll get in a claim or lawsuit, if anything, so working with an experienced lawyer is your best bet to maximize your chances of a successful claim.
Choose Huerta Law For Your Slip and Fall Case
Have you or someone you know been in a slip and fall accident? Huerta Law can help. We are El Paso’s best when it comes to getting desired outcomes for our clients, and we can do the same for you.
Give us a call or visit our office to get started on your case!