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Fort Worth Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Slip and fall accident lead to an incredible amount of injuries and monetary losses every year. In the United States falls are the number one cause for a person going to the hospital and result in over 20 percent of all emergency room visits. In addition, falls are estimated as the source of $13-14 million worth of injuries per year. While you should be vigilant every time you are on someone else’s property there are certain factors and conditions on property that have classically lead to more injuries each year. Some of these include:
- Slipping on a wet or improperly dried floor
- Tripping over obstacles left on the ground
- Improperly installed handrails
- Improperly concealed and covered wiring such as extension cords
- Uneven or improperly maintained sidewalks
- Poor and deficient lighting
If you have fallen due to an unsafe or hazardous condition such as any of these examples, then you should consider contacting an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the confusing legal requirements to recovering for your injuries.
Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers
It may seem logical that every person who is on another’s property should be protected from certain dangerous and hazardous conditions. However, this is not true under the law, and Texas law has identified and distinguished three broad classifications of people when they are on the property. Often slip and fall accidents happen in public places or places that are held open to the general public such as stores, malls, and parks. Under Texas law, a person’s status when they are on property or in a store will determine what level of care they are owed. Because there are three separate classifications there are thus separate duties that a property owner may owe ranging from comprehensive duties to warn of all conditions, to almost no duty to warn. The following classifications encompass the different types of people who may be on a piece of property.
Invitee – Invitees are one of the most common classifications that are assigned to a person when they are on another's property. Someone who enters another's property for their benefit, such as when you are a customer in a store, are generally considered to be an “invitee.”
Generally, a person who is in control over a piece of property that has invitees on it will owe each of them a duty to exercise reasonable care to provide safe premises. This means that the land or property owner must disclose all unreasonably dangerous conditions on the property. Often in a slip and fall case, liability will be determined on whether or not the property owner were aware and or should have knowledge of the dangerous condition if they had conducted a reasonable inspection of the property. However, there are times when a landowner has actual knowledge of a dangerous condition as opposed to just a duty to inspect their property, in these case if the landowner has actual or constructive knowledge of an unreasonably dangerous condition, he has a duty to either remedy the danger or warn the invitee of the hazard.
Licensee – The licensee is the second major category of entrants on another’s property. A person who enters another property for the mutual benefit of the landowner or owner can be considered a licensee. As opposed to the broader duty of care that a landowner owes to an invitee, a person in control of the premises owes a licensee a duty to disclose only known dangerous conditions. Generally, there is no duty to inspect the property to make it reasonably safe for a licensee.
Trespasser – Trespassers round out the third category of entrants on another's property. As you can imagine they are owed the least amount of care from the property owner. This is often because as a trespasser they are someone that the property owner did not want on their property, or they have exceeded their invitation and entered an area they were not supposed to be in. There are only a few exceptions to the general rule that a property owner only owes a minimal duty of care towards trespassers, and generally, a property owner will not be held liable for a slip and fall injury of a trespasser unless they caused the accident intentionally or willfully.
Proving liability in any slip and fall case often revolves around what type of entrant a person is considered. Property and store owners will often assert that a person was in an area where they were not supposed to be in an attempt to avoid liability and to escape having to pay for injuries as a result of their negligence.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Emergency room visits, medical exams and procedures, ongoing therapy, and disability accounts for a disproportionate amount of money that Texans in Fort Worth lose every year as a result of slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents are more than just something to joke about on television commercials. As noted above, slip and fall accidents can lead to injuries ranging in severity from sprains and strains to severe injuries and even death. If you have been injured you are all too familiar with how quickly bills can add up, in addition, you may be unable to return to work which can make you feel like you are drowning in a sea of payments and expenses you did not plan for. Fortunately, Texas law provides slip and fall accident victims and their families with a means of recovering for these unplanned lost expenses. By filing a premises liability lawsuit, you can gain financial security as well as a sense of closure in knowing that the party or parties responsible for your injuries will be held accountable by a court of law.
Money damages that take into account the following may be available to those who were injured on the property of another:
- Past and future medical treatment that results from a slip and fall
- Emotional as well as physical pain and suffering.
- Lost wages because of work missed after an accident;
- Reduced earning capacity due to permanent disability; and
Contact a Fort Worth Slip and Fall Accident Attorney of Queenan Law Today
Slip and Fall accidents are no joke and if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident you should not wait to contact an experienced attorney. Queenan Law represents personal injury victims across Texas, including Arlington, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. Even if you are unsure whether you have a case or need an attorney, we encourage you to contact our law offices for a free, friendly, and completely confidential consultation regarding your legal matter. Call Queenan Law at (817) 476-1797 to get an assessment of your case today.