Houston Slip And Fall Accident Lawyer

Houston Attorneys for Slip and Fall Accident Victims

A slip and fall lawyer fights to hold a negligent landowner liable when he ignores a slippery hazard on the floor of his residence or place of business but invites people onto the property.  This most commonly involves a store owner or business operator who makes his place of work open to the public without making sure it is safe for the public. It may also involve a private residence opened up to people but with hidden defects or dangers of which the owner fails to warn others. Irrespective of how your slip and fall accident happened, talk to a Houston slip and fall lawyer to determine your rights today by calling 800-298-0111.

The law firm of Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury and Accident Lawyers has been helping slip and fall victims recover money damages for injuries, medical bills, lost income, impairment, and mental anguish since 1979. Call us to arrange a free consultation near you.

Why Choose Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.?

At Simmons and Fletcher, we have been helping victims of slip-and-fall accidents since 1979.  Our Houston law firm has stood the test of time fighting exclusively for the rights of the injured. Talk to a lawyer who knows the importance of preserving the evidence fast and how to do it. We have recovered millions of dollars from negligent property owners and business owners. Let us fight for you.

 Client Review

Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ” I would recommend Simmons and Fletcher to anyone! From start to finish my case was handled properly! Amanda Johnston handled my case so well, as well as communicated with me throughout the entire ordeal, and even after everything was over, she still contacted me asking how I was. They understood my pain, and always made sure to keep me in mind when handling my case! The entire process was fair, and there wasn’t anything to worry about keeping Simmons and Fletcher in mind. If I worked for a company, I’d hope for it to be like Simmons and Fletcher. Their professionalism and mannerisms are astonishing!!” -Christashaia W., an actual client.

Texas Slip and Fall Accident Law

Liability Dependent Upon Classification Of the Injured Person

Texas law states that the duty a person in control of real property owes to a person who enters the property is determined by the injured party’s legal status.  This duty may vary drastically depending upon the injured person’s status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.  Here is what each of those classifications of legal status means:

  • Invitee – An “invitee” is defined by the law as a person who enters the property of another for the property possessor’s benefit.  A retail customer is an “invitee.”  A social guest at a home or an apartment is another example of an invitee.
  • Licensee – A “licensee” is defined by the law as a person who enters the property of another for the mutual benefit of the landowner/possessor and the individual visiting.
  • Trespasser – A “trespasser” is defined by law as a person who enters the property of another without any invitation or right.   It is important to know that the status of a person who enters as an invitee can become a trespasser if he leaves the authorized area to which he was invited. For example, if a customer were to find his way back into an “employee only” area such as a workspace, warehouse, or lunchroom without anyone having granted her permission, she would be considered a trespasser even though she originally entered the store as an invitee.

Classification determines the duty that the person with the right of control over the property owes to the injured person. The duties are:

  • Duty to an Invitee – A landowner owes the duty to exercise reasonable care to provide a safe premise upon which to visit. The person in control of the property is obligated to disclose all unreasonably dangerous conditions of which he is aware and those that he should know had he conducted a  reasonable inspection of the property. This is a “knew or should have known” standard known as “constructive knowledge.”  If the landowner has actual or constructive knowledge of an unreasonably dangerous condition posing a slip-and-fall hazard, he must either eliminate that danger or warn the public of the danger.  Failure to do one or the other results in liability for injury caused by the unreasonably dangerous condition. Furthermore, the warning given needs to appropriately make the visitor aware of the risk of harm posed by the condition.
  • Duty to a Licensee – A premises occupier owes a duty to licensees to disclose known dangerous conditions.  There is no duty for the land occupier to conduct any inspections to make the property reasonably safe for a licensee because a licensee is not as protected as someone the landowner invited to come.
  • Duty to a Trespasser – This is the least duty. A person in control of the premises owes a trespasser the duty to not intentionally or willfully cause that person harm.  Trespasser premise liability cases are some of the most difficult cases to prove. As a result,  they often find themselves looking for an exception to the trespasser status–some of which are discussed below.

Knowledge-Based Defenses

  •  Actual Knowledge Defense – Awareness or knowledge of a dangerous condition by the injured plaintiff is a legal defense to liability that can be raised by the person in control of the premises.  This makes perfect sense if you think about it. A landowner can discharge their obligations by warning the visitor of the unreasonably dangerous condition. The point of a warning is to give a person knowledge. If he already knows there is no need to warn him.  As a result, actual knowledge by the injured party of the dangerous condition is an absolute bar to liability for a slip and fall accident.
  • Open and Obvious Defense – If a hazard is “open and obvious”  for everyone to see the risk, then the person in control of the property is no longer required to remedy it or warn the person of the danger. An example of this might be when a person tries to walk across a frozen pond.  However, this defense is not effective when a person has no choice but to encounter the hazard due to circumstances under the property owner’s control.  An example of this is an unlit stairway that is the only way for an apartment resident to get out of his apartment. A good slip-and-fall attorney can effectively argue that a warning is wholly inadequate when the fall victim has no other alternative than to encounter the risk or when the person can honestly say “there was no reasonable alternative route near me.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Accidents

How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Slip and Fall?

The statute of limitations on a Texas slip and fall case is two-years from the date of the fall for adults but minors under 18 have until their 20th birthday.

Are Business Owners Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents?

Wet floor signThe owner of any place where the general public is invited to come and shop or conduct business has a duty to conduct reasonable inspections to keep the premises safe for their patrons and may be held liable if they are negligent in carrying out their obligations. Failure to conduct reasonable inspections to identify unreasonably dangerous conditions and either remedy the condition or warn the public of the condition may result in the business owner’s liability for a patron’s injury thereby. Thus, business owners must take steps to prevent slip and falls in their business.

Spills and leaks in machines often cause hard-to-notice slip and fall hazards in public places. In addition to wet floors, faulty railing, rotten balconies, and steps, poor lighting, holes, and elevation changes in walkways all may lead to a serious injury from an unanticipated fall. Properties that frequently expose people to slip and fall accidents include:

  • Hotels
  • Water Parks
  • Neighborhood and Community Recreation Centers
  • Amenity Lakes, Ponds, Swimming Pools, and Playgrounds
  • Gas Stations
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Banquet Halls and Wedding Venues
  • Office Buildings and Corporate Campuses
  • Grocery Stores, Malls, and Department Stores
  • Outlet Malls in Katy & Cypress

These businesses expect these falls to happen and they often have risk management teams who know how to take action to hide the evidence of their liability. If you wait to hire a slip-and-fall lawyer to take action on your case, there is a strong possibility that the problem will be repaired and the evidence will disappear. Contact a slip and fall attorney who will investigate the scene right away, before the negligent party can change or repair the faulty condition on the premises.

Are Homeowners Liable for Falls On Their Property?

Watch Your StepHomeowners and landowners are also responsible for eliminating and/or disclosing known hazards and hazards of which they should know upon reasonable inspection to their social guests. They must tell their guests about the potential risks they encounter when they are invited in. Failure to do so can result in civil liability for personal injury damages.

Also, licensees and even certain trespassers have a right to be warned of known dangers if their presence can be anticipated. A dangerous condition on a property that is likely to draw children or others onto the property because of its allure or appeal is an example of this known as an “attractive nuisance.” Properties with swimming ponds, trails, or tracks that might be reasonably anticipated to draw people onto the property may fall under the attractive nuisance doctrine if they conceal a hidden danger.  Additionally, if a landowner is aware of people regularly trespassing and he does nothing to stop them (such as a farm owner allowing school kids to cut across a field), the trespassers may become licensees or even invitees under the eyes of the law–allowing a lesser burden of proof for liability.

Does a Warning Sign Preclude Recovery in a Slip and Fall Case?

Because knowledge of the danger is a defense in a premise liability case, the presence of a warning sign such as a wet floor sign or other marking that clearly draws attention to the danger may preclude discovery. However, the real question is conspicuity. Was the sign placed and designed in such a way that it should draw the attention of an invited guest or shopper? A warning sign that no one notices because it is away from the areas where foot traffic travels does not preclude liability. Likewise, a warning sign that blends into the surroundings so that your attention is drawn by the sales displays vs the warning at a grocery store will not discharge the duty to warn. Our slip and fall accident attorneys have obtained justice for victims where warning signs were present but were not placed in a proper line of sight.  Talk to a slip and fall accident lawyer if you never saw a sign but were only told one was there by the adjuster or an employee after the fall happened. If it was nowhere near you as you followed the natural walking path, it was probably not sufficient to preclude a recovery.

How Often Do Slip and Falls Occur at Work?

According to OSHA, slip and falls account for 230,000 injuries on the job.  An estimated three times that many non-work slip and falls occur every year as well. With that many occurring, you know that businesses are prepared to act immediately to bury harmful evidence of their negligence and help them avoid liability. Take the first step to protect your rights Now. Call a  slip and fall attorney immediately.

What are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries?

Injuries from slip and fall accidents can range from very minor to extremely severe. Age and infirmity play a huge role in the body’s ability to “bounce back” from a fall on a concrete floor or a polished tile floor as is often found in supermarkets, malls, and stores.  Some of the common injuries our slip and fall accident lawyers see include:

  • Injuries to the lower and mid back are extremely common when your body is torqued due to a slip and fall. These may range from muscle sprains to severe spinal injuries.
  • Falls onto hard floors due to a slippery walking surface commonly produce bone fractures such as broken legs, hips, and arms due to the impact.
  • Banging your head on the floor is a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
  • In addition to TBI, skull fractures may result from the impact between your head and the floor.
  • Torn ligaments such as the menisci are common when the leg slides on a slippery substance and twists or turns before you fall.

What Damages Can I Recover From a Slip and Fall Case?

When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to make a claim for your lost earnings and earning capacity, medical bills, future medical care, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, and scarring that you sustain as a result of the fall.

How Do I Determine What is a Fair Settlement For a Slip and Fall?

There is no easy way to determine the settlement value of a slip and fall case. But here are some key factors to determine the value of your slip and fall case for settlement purposes.

  • Were you invited or otherwise on the property with permission?
  • Do you have evidence that the store owner was aware of  a dangerous condition before you fell on it?
    • If not, can you prove that the dangerous condition was present so long that a reasonable person should have found it before you fell?
  • Were you aware of the dangerous condition before you fell on it?
  • Was the dangerous condition open and obvious?
  • Did you sustain an serious injury–such as broken bones, torn ligaments, ruptured disks–vs soft tissue type injuries?

If the answer to the first question is “no” your case is likely worth zero because they owed you only a very limited duty if any.

If the answer to the second question is “no” your case is likely worth zero because you cannot prove the prerequisite (knowledge0 to liability.

If you answered the second two questions “yes” then you case is likely worth zero because there is no duty to warn you when you already know.

Lastly, if you sustain a substantial injury and the above questions do not exclude you, then you are entitled to fair compensation for the injury you sustained.

In our experience, slip and fall cases with good liability facts tend to settle for a higher amount than a car accident producing the same injury. This is because you are dealing with a commercial general liability insurance policy in most premises liability cases and many of these have what is known as a self-insured retention. This means that the first 50,000 or 100,000 that the company is liable for must be paid by the company, not the insurer. However, the insurer typically gets to decide what amount, if any, will be paid. Because it is not their money, they can often be more willing to pay a little more to settle vs litigate since once it exceeds the self-insured retention amount, the insurance carrier must spend their own money.

Let Our Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Fight for You

At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. in Houston, Texas, we act quickly and advocate relentlessly on behalf of serious injury victims and their families. Each case is treated according to the unique needs of each client. Call us today to speak with an experienced, trusted slip and fall accident attorney regarding your injury claim: (713) 932-0777. Our office is conveniently located for Houston and Katy residents next to the Memorial City Mall on I-1o. The initial consultation is always free and we do not charge any attorney fees or litigation expenses unless we win your case! Get your free case evaluation today.

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ABOUT OUR FIRM

Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., rooted in Christian values, exclusively handles personal injury cases, advocating for the rights of accident and negligence victims. Our Houston-based team, dedicated to compassion and excellence, handles cases across car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other types of cases with a commitment to personalized care. Upholding integrity and client-focused service, we strive for impactful legal outcomes. For a detailed understanding of our approach and team, visit our attorneys page.

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