When you enter into an establishment you expect it to be maintained in a reasonably safe condition and free from harm. The term “slip and fall” is a broad term used in personal injury law that often refers to a person slipping or tripping on a hazardous condition, and as a result, falling and causing them injury. Slip and falls are a painful and surprisingly common occurrence that can result from:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Loose or broken stair railings
- Poorly placed fixtures
- Debris on the floor
- Inadequate lighting
- Uneven or damaged floors
- Cluttered surfaces
- Broken or uneven sidewalks
When a hotel, restaurant, or retail establishment fail to clean up a wet substance, repair a loose or broken stair, or fail to have reasonable safety measures in place to warn or protect against hazards, a slip, trip or fall can happen quickly and without any warning. These events can often lead to serious injuries resulting in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost earnings, and can cause a severe financial burden on the injured person and their family.
Under Texas law, property owners (or persons in control of the property, such as a manager), have a responsibility and obligation to ensure that their property does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to their guests or customers. If the property owner (or person in control of the property) fails to warn, eliminate, or make the hazardous condition safe, and causes you an injury, they must be held responsible.
What can you do if you been injured by a hazardous condition in an establishment? First, and most importantly, you need to seek immediate medical attention. This is important not only for your physical health and recovery, but is also critical evidence of your injury that will be essential to your case. Second, report the incident to the owner or manager of the establishment and request a copy of the incident report. Third, gather as much evidence as possible related to the hazardous condition. If you are seriously injured, request a friend or person who witnessed the incident to take photographs of the hazard. If there are people who witnessed the incident, ask them for their contact information in case they need to make a statement to help you prove your injury claim.
While a slip and fall can feel like an embarrassing and painful moment, it can also be a confusing time. Many people naturally tend to say “I’m sorry” or “I was clumsy” even though it might not be their fault. Resist the urge to apologize or admit to fault or clumsiness as those statements may be later used against you. Most establishments have procedures in place to protect against, or limit, their liability by requesting you to give a written or recorded statement. Do not give any written or recorded statements that can later be used against you. Most importantly, never agree to sign anything from the establishment until you consult with an attorney.
If you or someone you love have been the victim of a slip and fall at an establishment, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the longest standing personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist you with your claim.