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Hitchcock Slip and Fall Lawyer

Public spaces are full of hazards that could lead to a fall. If you were hurt in a fall and the property owner’s negligence contributed to the incident, contact a local personal injury attorney immediately.

When you fall and hurt yourself, the negligent party must compensate you for your expenses. Contact a Hitchcock slip and fall lawyer to learn more about what is involved in a civil claim.

Owner Liability Depends on the Injured Person’s Status

The law governing slip and fall accidents is called premises liability. It imposes a duty on property owners to keep their premises safe for visitors but the extent of the duty depends on the reason the visitor is there. For the purposes of a slip and fall lawsuit, the “property owner” could be a lessee or any party with control over access to the property.

Invitees are customers or potential customers of a business. Licensees are social guests or people who enter property with permission but for their own purposes, such as delivery people or utility workers. Property owners owe a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for invitees and licensees.

An owner has no obligation to provide safe premises for trespassers, with one exception. If the property contains an “attractive nuisance,” the owner could have liability if a child trespasser suffers an injury on the property.

Owner’s Duty Toward Invitees

Invitees have the strongest right to safe premises. An owner must regularly inspect the premises for hazards and promptly repair any dangerous condition they discover. If immediate repairs are impossible, the owner must warn of the hazard or prevent an invitee from accessing the dangerous area. An owner who fails to take these steps is negligent and liable for an invitee’s damages.

Owner’s Duty Toward Licensees

An owner’s duty toward a licensee is less stringent than their duty toward an invitee. The owner must warn a licensee of dangers they know about if the danger is not obvious. The owner has no duty to inspect for hazards or repair dangerous conditions, and they need not warn of any hazard that the licensee could observe.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 75.007 describes an owner’s obligations to child trespassers. The owner could be liable for a child’s injury if the:

  • Property contained a dangerous artificial feature that could be attractive to a child
  • Owner knew children were in the area
  • Owner did not take adequate steps to prevent children from accessing the hazardous feature
  • Trespassing child suffered injuries when accessing the feature
  • Child was not old enough to judge the dangers of the feature

A Hitchcock attorney could review a specific slip and fall case and advise the plaintiff on what level of care the property manager owed them.

Preserving Legal Rights After a Fall

Sometimes people inadvertently weaken their slip and fall case by their conduct after the incident. Taking certain steps could enhance the likelihood that a Hitchcock attorney could negotiate an appropriate settlement after a slip and fall.

It is important to seek medical attention immediately. Anyone who experiences pain or feels lightheaded should be examined by paramedics. They should take an ambulance or get a ride to an urgent care center or emergency room rather than drive, even if they claim to feel fine.

If possible, they should get contact information for the owner or property manager, and any witnesses. However, it is important not to speak with anyone about how the fall happened and avoid taking any responsibility for it.

Statute of Limitations

An injured adult has only two years to bring a slip and fall lawsuit in Texas. Although there are some exceptions to the law that are worth discussing with a Hitchcock attorney, most people who miss the two-year deadline cannot pursue legal action against the negligent party.

If a child is hurt, their parents could sue within two years of the injury, or the child could bring a lawsuit anytime between their 18th and 20th birthday.

When a slip and fall happens on government property, acting quickly is critical. The plaintiff must submit a notice of claim to the appropriate agency within six months of the injury or lose the right to sue.

Pursue a Claim With a Hitchcock Slip and Fall Attorney

If you suffered an injury in a fall away from your home, you could get financial compensation from the negligent property owner.

Consult a Hitchcock slip and fall lawyer to find out whether you have a viable claim for damages. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris is ready to work with you.

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