Talented Lawyers Serving Slip and Fall Victims in Humble
Millions of people fall each year, but most of them can get back up without any injuries. For those who are seriously hurt, however, they face expensive medical bills and an uncertain future. At The Stano Law Firm, we help slip and fall victims receive compensation when a negligent property owner caused the fall.
These are fact-intensive cases. The legal analysis turns on the type of hazard that caused you to slip, as well as why you were on the property. Below, we provide an overview of Texas slip and fall law. You can also schedule a consultation with our slip and fall lawyer in Humble for a case review targeted to the facts of your case.
Where People are Hurt in Slip and Falls
People can slip and fall almost anywhere in Humble, including:
- Grocery stores
- Restaurants and coffee shops
- Parking lots
- Apartment buildings
- Private residences
- Government buildings
Hazards that Cause People to Slip
Many things can send a person tumbling, such as:
- Snow, ice, and rainwater. Although Texas doesn’t get bad winters, we still see a fair amount of freezing, as well as the occasional snowstorm. Even heavy rainwater can make floors slick, especially when people track water into a store.
- Spilled liquids. Someone might spill liquids in a grocery store aisle when they drop a jug of milk. Or ice from a soda machine dispenser can melt on the floor of a fast-food restaurant.
- Trash or debris. Paper, food, and receipts can litter the floor, causing someone to slip.
- Waxed or washed floors. A store should put up a sign to warn visitors that the floor is slick.
- Worn carpeting or steps. Any worn surface is slick and can send a person tumbling. Stores might not replace carpeting until it is worn completely through.
- Poor lighting. Lights that are too low or even too bright can cause someone to make a misstep, which might lead to a fall.
These are some of the most common slip hazards. Many visitors will also trip or stumble due to carpet edges, uneven floorboards, and extension cords on the floor. A trip-and-fall is just as serious as a slip and fall.
Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
Falls are very dangerous. Many people fall backwards, so they don’t have a chance to brace their bodies for impact. If no one is around, they could lie there unconscious for several minutes.
Some of the most serious slip and fall injuries include:
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Striking the head when falling backwards is a huge risk. Some people will lose consciousness for a few minutes. A TBI’s symptoms can make it hard to go about your business and might impair movement, memory, or the ability to talk.
- Back injuries. A victim could sprain their back or fracture a rib. Sometimes, they suffer a fracture in the vertebrae or otherwise end up damaging nerve roots. The most extreme injury would impact the spinal cord and could result in paralysis.
- Neck injuries. Pinched nerves, whiplash, and cervical fractures can immobilize the neck, making it hard for someone to leave the house.
- Organ damage. A fall down the stairs could cause serious organ damage, including collapsed lung or a heart contusion.
Sometimes, slip and fall victims don’t feel anything the matter for a few hours or even days. That doesn’t mean you aren’t injured. Instead, your injuries could take longer to manifest. We have seen back injuries and brain injuries degenerate over days until a person cannot leave bed.
Can You Sue for Compensation?
Generally, property owners need to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. However, the level of care they must provide will depend on certain factors. One of the most important is your “legal status,” which is determined by why you are on the property.
If you are visiting a business open to the public, then you are entitled to a high level of protection as an “invitee.” This makes perfect sense. The store has invited you in to do business and make money. Because they know you are coming, they should take certain steps to protect you from slip-and-fall hazards, such as regularly inspecting the premises and fixing any defects they find.
If you are visiting a friend or family member socially, then you are a “licensee” who is owed less protection. Essentially, the property owner must warn you of hazards they know about or should know about.
If you are on the property without permission, then you are a “trespasser” and owed very little protection. It is rare for a trespasser to have the right to bring a slip and fall case.
A slip and fall attorney in Humble can analyze whether you can sue. For example, you might have slipped in a bathroom because water was all over the floor. Based on our investigation, we might find that the floor had been wet for hours and staff never inspected it. We might also find out people complained to staff about the floor. If you slip and fall, you can probably seek compensation.
Slip and Fall Accidents with Child Victims
Children can also be invitees, licensees, or trespassers. If they are trespassing, however, they have more rights than an adult. In particular, a child might have a right to sue if an attractive nuisance drew them to trespass onto the property where they were injured.
At The Stano Law Firm, we will help Humble parents analyze whether their child can bring a slip and fall claim. We will need to establish:
- There was an artificial feature on the property that would entice your child to trespass, such as a swing set, pool, abandoned appliances, and things of that sort.
- Your child lacked the maturity to assess the danger.
- The owner knew that children might trespass or should have known.
- The cost of building a barrier to block access was not unreasonable when judged against the risk to the child.
For example, your child might trespass on a neighbor’s property to look at a swimming pool. The owner didn’t put a fence around the pool, so your child gained access and then slipped, falling into the pool and almost drowning. Although your child had no right to be on the property, you still might have the right to sue.
Compensation: What Can You Receive?
Slip and fall accidents tend to be disruptive. You might not be able to work or even leave bed for months. If you suffered a serious TBI, you might be in the intensive care unit for weeks as doctors monitor your vital signs.
We always strive to get our clients fair compensation when they are hurt due to the failure to maintain property. For example, we usually request money for:
- Medical care, including imaging tests, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, doctor visits, surgical costs, and transportation.
- Future medical care if you suffered a permanent disability.
- Lost income, including loss of earning capacity if you can’t return to work.
- Pain and suffering, for physical pain caused by your injuries.
- Emotional distress or mental anguish, including depression or irritability caused by your injuries.
One limitation on your compensation is your own negligence. Section 33.012 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code says a claimant’s monetary damages are reduced proportionally based on their percentage of responsibility. So if you were 30% at fault, you will receive 35% less.
Shared responsibility crops up when victims are looking at their phones while walking or when they deliberately confront a dangerous hazard. If you are more than 50% to blame, Section 33.001 says you can’t receive any compensation, so you should expect a defendant to raise this issue.
Ensuring You Meet all Deadlines
If you hope to receive compensation, then you will need to meet all time limits for filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Texas gives anyone hurt in an accident only two years to file a lawsuit. That is a hard deadline. If you go over, then you can lose the ability to sue altogether. True, there are some exceptions to this statute, but we encourage victims not to expect that a judge will extend the deadline. Instead, contact an attorney quickly to review.
Victims hurt in government buildings will have other deadlines. You will need to submit a claim to the relevant agency to review before you have a right to file a lawsuit in court. The deadline is 6 months after the accident, not the two years other people get. The Stano Law firm can protect your rights by submitting a claim to the proper agency in a timely manner.
Contact Our Humble Slip and Fall Lawyer for Further Review
Falling in public is embarrassing, but countless people also suffer serious, sometimes life-changing physical injuries. At The Stano Law Firm, we help slip and fall victims get back on their feet. We have years of experience negotiating settlements with businesses and other property owners, and we can get to work vigorously protecting your rights. Please call us today to schedule a time to talk.