What Happens When a Business Doesn't Remove a Trip Hazard?

Walking into a trip hazard can ruin your day. Not only can it cause significant pain and suffering, the cost of medical bills, lost income, and disruptions to your lifestyle can quickly add up. Businesses in Texas have a duty to protect both their employees and patrons from trip hazards. They are liable for damages when they breach this duty and cause a slip and fall injury resulting in pain, suffering, and financial expenses.

Common Trip Hazards in San Antonio

Poor lighting is one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents. Poor lighting makes it difficult or impossible to see obstructions. Loose cables are a common trip hazard. These can be strewn about offices, construction sites, and retail businesses. Similarly, loose or damaged flooring can easily cause a trip and fall. Other trip hazards to watch for include potholes, damaged sidewalks, and wet floors that are not properly cleaned and marked.

Liability for Slips and Falls

Property owners, franchisees, franchisors, entities leasing commercial space, property management companies, and others may be liable when a trip hazard causes an injury. To establish liability in a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must show that the entity who owns, controls, or manages the property was aware or should have known, that a trip hazard was present. The plaintiff must also show that the liable party failed to take the appropriate action to remove the hazard, notify individuals of the presence of the hazard, deny access to the hazard, or otherwise protect individuals from the hazard.

Timeliness Matters

Businesses, property owners, etc. are responsible for inspecting their property for trip hazards with reasonable frequency. When a hazard is present, they have a duty to address the hazard promptly. For example, if there is wet flooring due to weather conditions or cleaning operations, they must mop it up and mark it so that people don't slip, trip, and fall. For hazards that require more significant remedy, such as a pothole or damaged sidewalk, they must promptly mark the danger and take reasonable steps to deny access to the hazard. Failing to do this constitutes negligence and is crucial for establishing liability.

Contact Welmaker Injury Law in San Antonio at (210) 828-6033 for more information about slip and fall claims in Texas. It's our pleasure to answer your questions and tell you more about the legal services we provide.