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Slip and Fall Lawyer

Slip and Fall Lawyer

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Slips, trips, and falls kill thousands, seriously injure hundreds of thousands, and account for more than a quarter of all days away from work in a typical year.

Because they’re such frequent occurrences, there can be misconceptions about slips and falls, including the common myth that they’re the fault of the person who fell. But there’s nothing routine about falling, getting hurt, and having to file a slip and fall claim against a property owner for negligence.

People typically don’t lose their footing for no reason. A fall on someone else’s property can give rise to complex legal questions that may require help from a premises liability lawyer.

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Slip and Fall Accident Data and Statistics

Texas doesn’t keep official statistics on slips, trips, and falls that occur among the general population. But national statistics and state workplace slip and fall data offer perspective on these incidents.

  • According to the Texas Department of Insurance, slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries year-after-year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of preventable injuries in the United States and the third-leading cause of preventable deaths, reports the National Safety Council.
  • Falls accounted for nearly 7 million emergency department visits in 2021, according to the CDC.
  • Nearly 1 million patients are hospitalized each year due to a fall injury.
  • 1 out of 5 falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury.
  • Falls are the top cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Medical costs for falls total more than $50 billion each year.

Arguably the most tragic aspect of fall-related injuries is that falls are 100% preventable, says the NSC.

A fall, whether at work, in a public place like a store, or in a private location like an apartment, can result in serious injury and disability in a split second.

Slip and fall injuries that occur in the workplace are typically handled by workers’ compensation and, in some cases, a third party work injury lawsuit. But when they happen outside of work, the only recourse may be to hire a slip and fall lawyer and file an injury case.

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How Slip and Fall Cases Work

Property owners have a legal duty to prevent slip, trip, and fall accidents by recognizing potential hazards and taking steps to keep guests safe. But property guests have duties, too.

Proving who is responsible for a slip and fall can be challenging. Whether you can recover financial compensation for an accident on another’s property could come down to a few key points.

What You Need to Prove in a Slip and Fall Claim

To prove property owner negligence, one of the following must apply:

  • The property owner (or an agent of theirs, like an employee or property manager) knew about a dangerous condition that could possibly lead to a slip and fall accident.
  • The property owner or agent should have recognized the existence of a dangerous condition (e.g., a spilled substance on the floor, a loose floor mat, or an icy sidewalk) that presents a slip or trip hazard.
  • The owner or his or her employee was the cause of a dangerous property condition.

Questions to Ask in Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Aren’t sure whether a property owner was keeping their premises safe? Here are some additional questions to ask that can help to establish negligence.

Did a dangerous condition exist?

A dangerous condition is a design or condition that creates a significant risk of injury when a property is used in a reasonably foreseeable manner.

For example, a broken step on an apartment building staircase is a dangerous condition because it creates the possibility that somebody going up or down the stairs could trip on the broken step.

Did the property owner know (or should they reasonably have known) about the dangerous condition?

A dangerous condition alone isn’t enough to establish liability on the part of a property owner. The owner must also have knowledge of the condition.

Returning to the broken stair example, a key question would be: for how long was the step broken? If it’s been broken for days or weeks, it is reasonable to assume that the property owner or somebody working for them knew—or should have known—about it. But supposing that the step was broken shortly before a guest walked on it, the owner’s knowledge of the defect would be less clear.

Did the owner take proper steps to address a hazardous condition?

It’s not enough for a property owner and/or their workers to recognize the existence of a dangerous condition. To keep patrons safe, they must additionally take steps to address the hazardous condition, such as fixing broken stairs or putting up a “slippery floor” sign. If they knew an area was potentially unsafe to walk on but did nothing to correct the situation in reasonably short order, the owner of the property could be liable if a fall occurs.

Did your own actions contribute to the accident?

slip and fall at work

In premises liability cases and other personal injury matters, Texas law uses a comparative negligence rule that weighs the actions of each party. Under this rule, the person making an injury claim can recover compensation as long as their level of fault is 50% or less.

However, a Texas slip and fall victim found to be more than 50 percent at fault may be unable to recover compensation.

The comparative negligence doctrine is intended to increase fairness in the legal system, but it gives property owners an incentive to shift blame to slip and fall victims. If your claim is disputed or denied, or if you have questions about a premises liability claim, contact an experienced slip and fall attorney at Jim Adler & Associates for a free case evaluation.

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Myths About Slip and Fall Accident Cases

myths about slip and falls

The average person takes thousands of steps per day and millions per year, adding up to around 75,000 miles over a lifetime. But it only takes a single bad step to suffer a serious injury.

Adding insult to injury, slip and fall cases are often seen as frivolous. Slip and fall accidents happen frequently—but they don’t “just happen.”

When somebody slips or trips and falls, there is a reason why they lost their footing. They weren’t just “clumsy” or “not paying attention.” More likely, there was a hazardous condition that caused the accident.

Slip and fall claims may be common, but they’re almost never simple or straightforward, in part due to the many myths that surround slip and fall injury cases.

Myth #1: Slips and Falls are Not Serious

Everyone has, at some point, taken a spill. Many falls result in little more than embarrassment and some soreness. But a slip and fall can cause much more than wounded pride.

Slips and falls often result in sprains and strains, cuts and bruises, broken bones, head injuries, and other serious injuries. They can even be deadly. In fact, falls are the third-leading cause of preventable death, causing nearly as many fatalities per year as car accidents.

Myth #2: Slip and Fall Victims are Mostly Old and Frail

Age is just one risk factor that can contribute to falling. Falls—and serious injuries from falls—are more of a problem for people over the age of 65. But a major contributing factor to falls is a dangerous condition, such as an icy sidewalk or slippery floor, which can cause anyone, of any age, to have a slip and fall incident.

  • Baylor University recently settled with a former student who slipped and fell on ice and injured his knee as he was walking across campus.
  • Burger King paid nearly $8 million to a 48-year-old man who slipped and fell in the restaurant’s bathroom.
  • Star NFL running back Reggie Bush recovered $12.5 million in a slip and fall accident lawsuit.
  • Professional basketball player Aron Baynes severely injured his neck when he slipped on a tile floor in the locker room.

Myth #3: Slips and Falls are “Accidents”

Russell Kendzior, a former flooring salesman from Texas and the founder of the National Flooring Safety Institute, says that “Accidents are not predictable and not preventable. Most slips and falls are not accidents. They’re incidents.”

As an expert witness in slip and fall cases, Kendzior is called upon to testify for slip and fall victims about the negligence of property owners, such as:

  • Clutter, debris, and obstacles in walkways/hallways
  • Flooring that lacks the same degree of traction in all areas
  • Lack of handrails on stairways
  • Loose or unanchored mats
  • Poor lighting
  • Spills
  • Uncovered cables
  • Weather hazards
  • Wet or oily floors
  • Wrinkled carpeting or rugs

Myth #4: You Can’t Recover Money If a Slip and Fall Was Your Fault

Somebody who files a slip and fall claim against a property owner might receive a response to the effect of, “You should have looked where you were going.”

With large numbers of people walking around looking at their smartphones, there may be some truth to this argument in some cases. But even if somebody is distracted, and they slip and fall, it doesn’t mean that a property owner wasn’t negligent as well, and that they can’t recover compensation for a slip and fall injury.

Let’s say a supermarket shopper slips and falls on a slippery substance while checking their phone, and it is determined that their own actions contributed to their personal injury. It would then have to be determined what percentage of blame belongs to each party.

If the shopper is owed $100,000, for example, and their share of the blame is 25%, compared to 75% for the supermarket, the reward would be reduced by one-quarter, to $75,000.

Myth #5: You Can’t File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit if the Incident Occurred At Work

Slip and fall injuries are a major contributor to days away from work.

  • Falls on the same level (as opposed to falls from height) caused 144 worker deaths in 2022, as well as more than 414,000 cases involving Days Away from Work, Job Restriction, or Transfer (DART), mostly due to shoulder, arm, back, and knee injuries, reports the National Safety Council.
  • The Liberty Mutual Insurance 2023 Workplace Safety Index found that falls on the same level, including from hazards like wet, slippery floors, cost employers $8.9 billion, while slips and trips without falls resulted in $1.92 billion in workplace injury claims.

Usually, an injured worker cannot sue their employer for a workplace injury and must instead make a claim with the workers’ compensation system. But if the injury was caused by a third party, such as a contractor, it may be possible to file a work injury lawsuit and file a workers’ comp claim.

Third party work injury claims can occur in construction and other industries where employees are working alongside people employed by other companies, or among members of the public, such as motorists.

Myth #6: The Insurance Company Will Accept Your Claim

A slip and fall injury that causes minor injuries like bumps and bruises might not be worth filing a claim. But if you’re badly hurt in a slip and fall, making an injury claim may be necessary.

When a property owner is negligent, the owner’s insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. But don’t assume the insurance company will accept your claim. They might say it’s your fault that you fell, denying your claim or paying only a fraction of the amount you’re asking for.

At the same time, you are under no obligation to accept their offer—or lack thereof. You have the right to dispute the insurer’s valuation and demand more.

Myth #7: You Don’t Have to Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer

You’ve decided the insurance company isn’t treating you fairly. Now what?

You can first try negotiating with them and presenting supporting documentation of why their settlement offer or denial is unfair. If that doesn’t work, your options are limited.

The Texas Department of Insurance only assists with complaints against your own insurance company—not somebody else’s. Insurance appraisal for resolving disputes also can’t be used to resolve disagreements with another person’s insurance company.

If you’re unsatisfied with the insurance claims process, your best option—and indeed your only option—may be to seek legal help from a Texas premises liability lawyer.

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Get a Free Consultation from a Slip and Fall Lawyer

Jim Adler and Bill Adler - Personal Injury Lawyers

Hurt in a slip and fall? Property owner not taking your claim seriously? Insurance company giving you a hard time? Not sure where to turn for help?

Our law firm will review your case. We’ll tell you what your legal options are and how we can assist you in the claims process.

Remember: you have limited time to initiate a legal claim.

Call 1-800-505-1414 or contact us today for your FREE consultation.

4 Convenient Texas Locations Near You

Houston Office

Houston Office

1900 W Loop S 20th Floor, Houston, TX 77027

Dallas Office

Dallas Office

2711 N Haskell Ave. Suite 2500, Dallas, TX 75204

San Antonio Office

San Antonio Office

7330 San Pedro Ave Suite 700, San Antonio, TX 78216

Channelview Office

Channelview Office

12605 East Fwy Suite 400, Houston, TX 77015

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