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Slips and falls are one of the most common ways that people suffer injuries in a public setting. While most people suffer only minor injuries, others sustain severe head, neck or back injuries, or require surgery that prevents them from returning to work for weeks or months. The cost of treatment and lost wages in these cases often quickly exceeds what the victim and their family can afford.
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall, you may be eligible to file a claim or a lawsuit to collect compensation for your damages. A slip and fall lawyer in Austin from Lovins Trosclair can help you determine the strength of your case, and help you recover the money you deserve. Call us at 512-535-1649 to schedule your free initial consultation.
What can cause a slip and fall accident?
Slip and fall incidents outside the home are rarely entirely the fault of the victim. While some people may occasionally “trip over their own feet,” most suffer injuries because of some inherently dangerous condition in their environment.
When these conditions occur in a business, the business or property owners are responsible for recognizing these hazards and either rectifying them as soon as possible or warning people of the danger. Some of the most common reasons these accidents occur include:
- Torn or damaged carpets or problematic rugs
- Uneven floors, or missed steps
- Other trip hazards
- Spills or tracked water
- Ice or snow
- Broken handrails
- Poor lighting
- Mopping floors without warning customers
Who is liable for my injuries?
If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property due to a hazardous condition, liability for your injuries may lie with the owner or manager of the business, the landlord of the property, or the resident who lives there.
Under Texas law, owners, tenants, lessees, and other occupiers have a duty to maintain their properties in a safe condition free from hazards. This includes cleaning up spills as soon as possible; ensuring visitors receive warning about uneven floors, steps, or other hazards; and eliminating all other hazards.
When the property occupier or owner fails to uphold this duty and injuries result, s/he is responsible for covering the costs related to these injuries. Victims can hold negligent property owners liable through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Determining liability can be difficult, especially if ownership or management of the property is up for debate. Our team will examine all aspects of your case to determine all liable parties.
What do I have to prove to win compensation?
Under Texas law, any person who enters someone else’s property falls into one of three categories: an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Property owners and occupiers have a greater duty to protect invitees than they do trespassers. Most places you go, you will fall into this category with greater protection, including any private home where you are a welcome guest or public place of business.
As an invitee, you must meet six elements to prove the property owner or occupier is liable. This includes:
- You were an invitee, not trespassing in restricted areas (e.g., you were a customer, a friend invited you over, etc.).
- The other party had control of the premises.
- A dangerous condition existed on the property.
- The other party had — or should have had — knowledge of the dangerous condition.
- The other party failed to warn you of this condition, or to limit your unreasonable risk.
- This failure led to your fall, and your injuries.
Proving these six elements often requires a number of documents, which we will help you collect. Evidence to support your claim may include:
- Your medical records
- Documents from first responders
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness statements
- Photographs or videos of the scene
- Other items to prove the hazardous condition
- Other documentation of your injuries
What damages are recoverable?
The type of damages recoverable in an Austin slip and fall claim varies widely based on the nature and severity of your injuries. Victims who suffer from a knee injury that temporarily limits mobility have different accident-related expenses than those who suffer major traumatic brain injuries and require ongoing nursing care for the rest of their lives.
Your lawyer should help you determine all your recoverable damages based on the specifics of your case, but some common damages after a slip and fall injury include:
- Ambulance or other emergency transportation costs
- Hospitalization expenses
- Surgery costs
- Other medical bills
- Inpatient rehabilitation expenses
- Outpatient physical therapy costs
- In-home assistance costs
- Lost wages
- Costs associated with mobility aids or other adaptive equipment
- Estimated cost of ongoing medical care
In addition to the economic costs of this type of incident, Texas law also allows you to recover compensation for noneconomic costs in some cases. Determining the value of noneconomic damages can be difficult as there is no standard value system. Common noneconomic damages in these cases include:
- Pain and suffering
- Stress and anxiety
- Loss of quality of life
Our team regularly works with financial and medical experts to determine an adequate value of our clients’ noneconomic damages.
When you file a claim and request a certain payout based on your damages, you must provide the evidence to support the economic damages included in this claim. While this varies depending on what is available in your case, this may include:
- Witness statements
- Copies of all medical bills, including ambulance, hospital, surgical, and rehabilitation bills
- Applicable medical records
- A report from your doctor showing your future prognosis
- Receipts from in-home nursing or other care costs
- Receipts from any other accident-related expenses
How can Lovins Trosclair help me?
The Austin slip and fall lawyers at Lovins Trosclair can help you win your claim against a negligent business owner or other property occupier, holding the party who was responsible for your fall liable for the injuries you sustained. We understand how complicated these claims may become, and can handle all of the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
We know how stressful it is to worry about your family’s financial future, especially when the damages occurred because of someone else’s careless actions. We can help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve, covering your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Call us today to schedule a consultation and let us go to work for you: 512-535-1649.