If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you might be able to recover damages if a dangerous condition on the premises caused your fall. However, there are several factors that determine whether you can successfully pursue a slip-and-fall claim.
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Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim
To win a slip and fall lawsuit and recover damages, you must be able to establish that the property owner is liable. Doing so will require evidence of the following:
Duty of Care: The property owner owed you a duty of care to keep the premises reasonably safe.
Breach of Duty: The property owner breached their duty of care by failing to prevent foreseeable harm (e.g., being aware of slippery floors and not fixing or warning visitors of the hazard). In other words, the property owner either knew of or should have known about a dangerous condition (e.g., broken steps, wet floors, potholes, etc.) that caused your fall.
Causation: The property owner’s violation of their duty of care directly caused your slip and fall injury, and your injuries would not have occurred if not for their negligence.
Damages: you suffered financial and/or personal losses because of the slip and fall (e.g., medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering).
Slip and fall cases are challenging to prove, and It is critical that you seek medical care immediately to ensure your injuries are properly documented, report the accident to the manager or property owner, take photos of the area and any unsafe conditions that led to your injuries, and if there are witnesses, ask for their contact information.
Types of Compensation Available
Slip and fall victims can commonly recover the following types of compensation:
Current and Future Medical Expenses: The costs for any medical treatment you needed following the accident, as well as any ongoing care you will require in the future.
Lost Wages: Any income or benefits you have lost while recovering and unable to work, as well as the amount you expect to lose in the future.
Diminished Earning Capacity: If you have suffered a permanent impairment that will impact your ability to earn an income at the same level as before the accident.
Property Damage: Compensation for any repairs to or replacement of your personal property damaged in the slip and fall (e.g., phone, clothing, laptop)
Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain you have had to endure.
Emotional Distress: If you have suffered from any psychological conditions caused by the slip and fall, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, etc.
Punitive Damages: This type of compensation is only awarded in cases involving a property owner who exhibited an extreme disregard for the safety of visitors.
Recovering these types of damages will require thorough documentation to prove your injuries were a direct result of the slip and fall and receipts or bills for the related expenses.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Texas
Under Texas’s modified comparative negligence law, each party to a slip and fall lawsuit will be assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the accident. That percentage will then be deducted from your compensation. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 40% at fault for texting while walking before your slip and fall, you will only receive 60% of your compensation or $60,000. However, if you are found 51 percent or more to blame, you cannot recover any compensation.