What Is Texas Law for Pursuing Compensation After a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
As part of premises liability law, Texas courts have held property owners and occupiers to a standard of “reasonable care” to prevent injury to those entering the premises. Property owners are responsible for exercising reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risk of harm created by unsafe property conditions they know or should know about.
The specific responsibilities of a property owner or occupier depend on the status of the person visiting their property:
- Invitee – An invitee enters a property for the mutual benefit of themselves and the property owner, such as a customer in a store. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, which includes the duty to fix or warn against any dangerous conditions on the property that the owner is aware of or should be aware of, but the invitee is not.
- Licensee – A licensee enters a property with the owner’s consent and for their own benefit, such as a door-to-door salesperson. A property owner’s duty to a licensee is not to cause them harm and to warn them about any known dangers.
- Trespasser – Trespassers are those who enter a property without permission. Property owners owe the least duty of care to trespassers and must refrain from intentionally injuring or setting traps for trespassers. However, Texas does require landowners to exercise reasonable care in mitigating foreseeable risks of harm to children posed by artificial conditions or “attractive nuisances,” such as unattended swimming pools.
To recover compensation through a slip-and-fall claim, a plaintiff must prove that the owner knew or should have known of some dangerous condition on the premises, failed to correct or warn against it, and this failure resulted in injury.
With a successful slip-and-fall insurance claim or lawsuit, your Houston personal injury lawyer could seek compensation for the following types of injury-related losses:
- Past and future medical expenses related to the slip and fall incident
- Incidental expenses, such as travel costs for fall-related medical visits
- Lost income from any missed days at work due to the slip and fall
- Losses in lifetime earning capacity due to long-term or permanent impairments
- Subjective losses like pain, suffering, and lost quality or enjoyment of life
What to Do If You Were Hurt in a Fall on Someone Else’s Property
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall on someone else’s property, it’s crucial to follow the proper steps to protect your potential legal claim:
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Slip-and-Fall Accident in Texas?
In Texas, with few exceptions, you generally have two years from the date of a slip-and-fall accident to file a lawsuit against an at-fault party. If you miss the statutory two-year deadline, you could lose your right to seek compensation in civil court. It’s also worth noting that the deadlines for filing claims against an insurance policy, such as a homeowners or business liability insurance policy, can be even tighter. Some insurers require claims to be filed within days of an accident.
Given the consequences of missing these deadlines, it’s wise to consult a seasoned slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible if you get hurt. Your lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine which time limits apply. They can also prepare your case to meet all necessary deadlines and other applicable filing requirements.
What Is the Timeline for a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
A slip-and-fall lawsuit timeline can vary significantly based on many factors, including the complexity of the case and the willingness of the involved parties to negotiate or settle. Some cases might resolve within a few months, while others could take several years. Given the variability of these scenarios, the best way to understand the potential timeline for your specific case is to consult a skilled Houston slip-and-fall attorney.
How Can a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer Help Me?
A skilled slip-and-fall lawyer in Houston can assist you by:
- Investigating the slip and fall to pinpoint contributing factors and liable parties
- Identifying all possible sources of compensation for the slip and fall losses you incur
- Communicating effectively and assertively with insurance companies on your behalf
- Collecting, preserving, and presenting essential evidence to support your case
- Working with medical experts to establish the severity and impact of your injuries
- Negotiating a just settlement that fully accounts for your current and future needs
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf if an insurance settlement isn’t feasible