How Do You Recover Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall injury cases happen every single day across the country, but in the state of Texas, just because you fall down and get hurt on someone else’s property, does not mean that they are liable. Just as with any other personal injury case in Texas, you must prove that the landowner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury.
Texas also has its own set of laws regarding slip and fall cases which may come into play if you are attempting to recover damages for your slip and fall accident.
Statute of Limitations
The state of Texas imposes a two-year statute of limitations on filing a slip and fall case. While this time limit only applies to filing court cases, and does not apply toward insurance claims, it is of utmost importance that you file a claim as soon as possible. In some instances, an insurance claim may drag on or hit a snag, and the statute of limitations for your case could run out before you have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim.
Texas uses a “modified comparative fault” rule which can affect how cases are handled when the injured party may have partially caused the slip and fall accident. This shared fault rule can reduce or even eliminate any chance of recovering damages.
For instance, if you were distracted and talking on your phone when you fell, the other party may argue that you were partially at fault due to being distracted. If the insurance adjuster or a jury finds you to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, and you were to be awarded $50,000, then your damages would be reduced by 20 percent for a total of $40,000. If you were found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, then you would not be eligible to receive any damages from a slip and fall case.
Proving Knowledge of a Hazard
The main obstacle faced in many Texas slip and fall cases lies in trying to prove exactly how the hazard got there, as the injured party always carries the burden of proof in these types of cases.
In order for a case to be successful, the injured party must prove that there was a dangerous condition (such as a spill), that the landowner or an employee knew about or should have known about it, and that they failed to fix the condition within a reasonable amount of time. The difficulty often lies in whether the condition was there long enough that they should have known, and how that can be proved in a court of law. In some cases, this can be proved via witnesses or via in-store video cameras. Often these witnesses can be tough to track down or these video camera systems are set to recycle their recordings every thirty days or less, which is why it is crucial to act fast in a slip and fall case.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall in the state of Texas, then you need the experienced guidance of an Austin personal injury attorney like those at Fears Nachawati. Our team is ready to go over the facts of your accident, will explain the law to you, and help you decide the best course going forward during a free, no obligation legal consultation. Please call (866) 705-7584, or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.