Understanding Fall Injuries and Premises Liability in Texas
Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common causes of personal injuries in Texas. When an accident causes fall injuries, the injured party may be able to recover compensation under the doctrine of premises liability. This doctrine holds business owners, property owners, government agencies, etc., accountable for the injuries their actions or defects on their property cause.
Establishing a Duty Owed
Texas statutes require the plaintiffs in a premises liability lawsuit to prove that the defendant owed them a legal duty and that they breached this duty. It also requires the plaintiff to suffer damages as a result of the breach. Further, the law requires plaintiffs to be either licensees or invitees with a legitimate reason to be on the property when the accident occurs. This includes employees who suffer a fall in the workplace.
For instance, a public swimming pool or water park operator has a duty to patrons that includes maintaining non-slip surfaces, installing proper lighting, monitoring guest behaviors, etc.
Similarly, businesses owe duties to customers that include providing sufficient lighting in parking areas, conducting prompt clean-up of potential slipping hazards, removing snow/ice from sidewalks and roadways, repairing damaged concrete or masonry on paths, etc.
Even homeowners in Texas have a duty of care to guests in their home. They must repair damaged stairwells, clear ice/snow from walkways on their property, and remove clutter and other tripping hazards.
When these duties are breached, the individual or entity responsible for the property can be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. In some instances, multiple parties may be liable for the fall injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
Documenting Fall Injuries
Prevailing in a premises liability lawsuit boils down to providing substantial evidence that establishes the negligence of the defendant. Photographs and video surveillance are invaluable in this regard. Whenever possible, this evidence, along with eyewitness statements, should be secured immediately after the accident.
Individuals should also receive prompt medical care. Medical personnel can establish the presence of bruises, bone fractures, concussions, and other injuries. Receiving immediate treatment also helps limit the damage caused by the accident and can reduce the recovery time.
Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (800) 494-1916 for more information about premises liability and slips, trips, and fall injuries. Our San Antonio firm can help you understand your rights and start the process of recovering compensation for your injuries.