Practicing as slip and fall lawyers in San Antonio, we’ve found that a common misconception is that these cases are easy to win. Many individuals mistakenly believe that if you slip and fall at work or on someone else’s property when you’re not working, you’re going to win a legal suit against them.
In reality, court statistics reveal that at trial only about one in five slip-and-fall cases lead to a financial award to the injured party. Consequently, knowing you probably won’t win a jury trial, insurance companies often make little effort to arrive at an out-of-court settlement.
Texas Slip and Fall Laws
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claims, and in Texas property owners are only liable for slip and fall accidents if the owner was aware of a hazardous situation and failed to take reasonable steps to address and fix it.
Further, Texas law requires property owners to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property for all visitors, but the level of care required depends on the visitor’s status on the property. Under Texas slip and fall law, there are three categories of visitors. These are invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
- Invitees – They have permission to enter the owner’s property and do so for the owner’s purposes. Examples would be customers entering to purchase goods or services or employees coming to work on the premises. Invitees are entitled to the highest standard of care from property owners who must:
- Check their property for undetected or hidden hazards.
- Repair all known or discovered property defects.
- Post warning signs pertaining to potential hazards.
- Licensees – They have permission to be on the property, but they do so without the solicitation of the property owner. Examples would include individuals like construction or maintenance workers or a salesperson coming in to sell goods or services. Licensees are owed a certain level of safety, but property owners do not have to check for hidden hazards before licensees enter their property.
- Trespassers – This is someone who enters property without the owner’s permission or their legal authorization, and under Texas slip and fall law, property owners have no duties regarding trespassers. Consequently, trespassers may not have any basis for a slip and fall claim unless they were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.
Texas Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Injuries
Anyone who has been injured in slip and fall accidents in San Antonio or anywhere else in Texas generally must file their claim within two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to meet this time requirement, your claim will probably be barred by the courts, meaning you may miss out on your only opportunity to collect damages for the injury you’ve suffered.
Also, it’s very important to remember that property owners and their insurers are much less likely to settle with you out-of-court after the two years have passed as they know you have little chance of filing a successful claim for compensation in the courts.
Types of Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
You can, of course, suffer severe injuries in a slip and fall accident, and if you can prove your injuries resulted from the property owner’s negligence, you can seek damages for things such as:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Lost income.
- Reduced earning ability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
Things to Do and Not Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
At Hernandez Law, we’ve practiced slip and fall law in San Antonio and surrounding areas for many years, and we want to suggest several things to do, as well as some things not to do, if you suffer this kind of injury.
- Get immediate medical treatment for your injuries and carefully follow the physician’s instructions.
- Keep complete records of your medical treatment.
- Don’t give the property owner’s insurance company a recorded statement. Insurance claims adjusters ask questions to try to get you to downplay the extent of your injuries and the liability of the other party. Pleas try not to fall for this maneuver.
- If you’re injured in a place of business, don’t talk to company representatives. Please do not give them any information or any kind of statement. Just like statements given to claims adjusters, your words may come back to haunt you.
- Preserve as much evidence as possible. Keep the clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident and preserve any photos you took.
- Keep notes about the injury, such as where it happened, the time and date, what you were doing, what you think caused the fall and what you did afterwards.
- Be careful what you post on social media. A casual statement downplaying your injury, for example, or a picture showing you doing something physical after your accident can provide evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you have claimed.
- On the other hand, don’t exaggerate the extent of your injury. Insurance adjusters are good at detecting exaggerations, and once they’ve detected them, it becomes difficult to settle a claim. If you go to trial, the exaggeration of your injuries could come back to hurt you.
Expert San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers
Finally and very importantly, you should hire an experienced slip and fall attorney in San Antonio, Texas. They will pursue your claim as you rest and recover.
If you’re looking for one of the best slip and fall attorneys in the state, then we urge you to seek the assistance of Hernandez Law.
All of our personal injury attorneys want you to obtain full and fair compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. In pursuit of that objective, we will carefully review all your medical records and consult with appropriate medical experts about the cause, extent, and costs of your injuries.
Regardless of whether you’ve experience a fall accident at work, another residence or business, we will reject any and all efforts by a property owner or their insurer to minimize your claim. This includes any attempt on their part to assert that you were in some way responsible for the injuries you’ve suffered and the medical bills that resulted from your fall.
Finally, if you think you may also be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, we can assist you with that claim as well.
Expert legal counsel is crucial in pursuing your slip and fall injury case. We’ve handled many slip and fall injury cases in San Antonio over the years, and we want to help you in every way possible to secure the compensation to which you’re entitled.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, time is of the essence, and we urge you not to delay. Contact the Hernandez Law firm today for your free, no obligation case evaluation.
Hernandez Law Office
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