When you were a child, you may have thought nothing of tripping and falling. In fact, falling down may have even been part of your outdoor play, and your knees and elbow gave evidence to that. However, falling down is no longer fun, and you may take every reasonable precaution to remain on your feet.
While you may be cautious, the unfortunate truth is that those around you may not be as concerned about your safety. For example, the owners of property to which you are invited or welcome have an obligation to keep their property as safe as possible from slipping and tripping hazards. If you should fall on someone else's property, you may have many questions about who is responsible for your injuries.
What constitutes liability?
Proving that a property owner was negligent in preventing your fall is not always easy. You must show that the owner caused the hazard that resulted in your fall, knew about the hazard or should have known about it. You must also demonstrate that despite having knowledge of the danger, the property owner did nothing to remove the hazard or to at least warn you to avoid it. Some examples of this include the following:
- For a significant time, a property owner allows a water leak to create slick areas on floors, stairs or walkways.
- A property owner does not create a schedule for housekeeping tasks that would bring hazards to his or her attention.
- Hallways, landings and aisles accumulate clutter or debris that a property owner neglects to attend to.
- Cleaning crews leave floors over-waxed or slippery with soapy water, or the property owner fails to provide signage to warn customers and visitors of wet floors.
- A property owner neglects to change light bulbs, leaving halls and stairways dangerously dark.
Of course, in addition to proving negligence on the part of the property owner, you may also have to defend against accusations that your own carelessness played a role in your accident. For example, you can expect questions about the shoes you were wearing, whether you were focused on your cell phone when you fell and your purpose on the property in the first place.
Because of the complicated and challenging nature of slip-and-fall liability, you may be concerned about your ability to successfully present the Texas court with a solid case for negligence. This is why many who decide to pursue a premises liability claim find it beneficial to rely on a skilled and experienced attorney.