The Difficulty of the Grocery Store Slip and Fall Case in Texas
Texas Grocery Store Slip and Falls
Grocery store slip and fall accidents are often difficult cases to win in Texas. We receive calls about them quite often in Houston. Just because you fall down and get hurt on someone’s property does not mean they are liable. As in any personal injury case in Texas, you must prove that the landowner was negligent and that the owner’s negligence caused you to fall.
Spills on the floor tend to be a common cause of grocery store slip and fall accidents. The problem we face as as slip and fall lawyers is trying to prove exactly how the spill got there. The injured party always carries the burden of proof in these cases. This means, the attorney for the injured person must prove:
- there was a dangerous condition (i.e. a spill);
- the landowner (and/or his employees) knew or should have known of the condition, and:
- the owner failed to act as an ordinary prudent person in cleaning it up.
Proving Knowledge Can Be Challenging
In these cases you can either prove actual knowledge by the store and/or its employees or you can prove the condition was there long enough they should have known. Neither one of those are particularly easy. Sometimes it can be done through another witness who saw the spill–but those rarely come forward. Occasionally an employee will admit to the injured person they knew of it by saying something like “I was just about to clean it up.” But most are trained to keep quiet. In cases involving major corporations such as a Walmart slip and fall case, the companies know how to vigorously defend these claims by denying knowledge.
Using Store Video to Prove Knowledge
It can also be done by a video if the store had video cameras in place. However, videos are often “recycled” in accordance with 30 day or less recycling policies set by the store. Thus, if the injured person does not know to hire a Houston premises liability attorney fast, the evidence will be long gone by the time of trial. This is why it is important for you to consult an attorney about your legal rights promptly after an injury. The longer you wait, the harder it is to locate witnesses and evidence.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.