Running errands, shopping at your favorite stores, or enjoying your day out in Texas should be carefree, with no harm done. The last thought in many people’s minds is what to do if you slip and fall in a store. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of slipping and falling in Texas, it is important to do the right thing afterward.
Of course, your well-being and recovery should be your main priority. When it comes down to it, there are legal steps that should be taken when facing a slip and fall injury in a Texas store.
What Texas Defines as a Slip and Fall Accident
The injuries and losses sustained in a slip and fall accident fall under what’s known as premises liability. In Texas specifically, this area of law is defined as a landowner’s or occupier’s legal responsibility to prevent an unsafe or dangerous condition on their property.
Ultimately, landowners and those who own any type of business in Texas need to take reasonable steps to make sure that all who enter are safe. These accidents can occur on any type of property, public or private. When one does occur, Texas law states that the property owner can be held liable for any injuries and damages if they are aware of the hazard and choose to ignore it. One example of how property owners protect their visitors,
However, as with any rule, there are caveats, which is why it is helpful to know what to do if you slip and fall in a store. Are wet signs required by law? In premises liability law, the level of care and liability will fully depend on the victim; and, there are three categories of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
- Invitee: An invitee is a person who has been given permission to enter a certain space or has implied permission. This generally includes all people, including those who go shopping at the mall or stop by their local stores on the way home. When an owner knows about any type of hazard on their property and a person gets injured, the property owner is held accountable.
- Licensees: These people have permission to enter the premises for specific reasons. This will include a plumber, electrician, or a specialized worker. If this type of person gets injured, the landowner isn’t always fully liable. However, they are expected to warn them of things that they might be aware of that could cause injury.
- Trespassers: These are individuals who break into someone’s property without any permission. In this case, landowners won’t be legally responsible to trespassers because they shouldn’t have been on the property in the first place.
The Immediate Steps to Take After Slip and Fall Injuries
Is a store liable for a customer injury? There are important steps that must be taken in the event of an injury in a store. Once the accident has occurred, it’s important to take a breath and realize what has happened. Take note of all the surroundings and the situation that led to the slip and fall. You should ask yourself what directly caused your fall, whether it could have been prevented, and where the slip occurred.
It’s smart to try to document all these things and any further details you notice in your surrounding area. Once this is done, you can complete the following steps:
- Report the accident to the property manager: No matter where your slip and fall took place, it needs to be reported immediately. The person in charge of the space should be notified, and an official report should be filed. This incident report will need to be detailed and filed before you leave the property.
- Find witnesses and get their statements: In cases such as this, it’s important to find people who were there when the injury occurred. Because Texas holds landowners responsible, witnesses who were there to see dangerous conditions resulting in injuries can greatly help when filing a claim.
- Collect all evidence you can: Of course, with any injury, this is the most important thing that you need to do. If you can, take pictures of the scene, any injuries you may have, and the hazards that caused the fall. Sometimes, videos can also help to better understand the property manager’s or owners’ lack of care.
- Seek medical attention: Gathering medical documents and ensuring your well-being are the next most important things. Are you injured? Is there a need for medication? This should be established, and any injuries should be documented. The more specific and detailed this documentation is, the better off you are moving forward in the legal process.
- Don’t speak with insurers: As with many accidents, insurance companies aren’t always there to help. Adjusters may call and try to visit you to see injuries and obtain recorded statements. Slip and fall injuries don’t require this, so you must steer clear of these individuals and get legal assistance on your side quickly.
- Look into legal options: With injuries on someone else’s property come the need for a legal claim. When you sustain injuries, it’s best to know what legal path you should take. If the owner was at fault for your injuries due to hazards or unsafe conditions, speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer from Wolf Law, PLLC as soon as possible.
Is There a Time Limit to File Your Slip and Fall Claim?
Most states have statutes of limitations for these types of claims. This legal time limit outlines how long after a person sustains injuries they can attempt to collect compensation for the resulting losses. Personal injury cases have different time limits depending on the circumstances.
What Property Owners in Texas Need to Do to Ensure Safety
As a general rule of thumb, most property owners do the bare minimum to maintain safety for all who enter their facilities. This means that many who own stores in Texas will ensure locks are working, floors are dry, stairs are in place, and security measures are taken. However, let us break this responsibility down a bit more.
First and foremost, safety must be prioritized in all public facilities. This will make sure that the environment is hazard-free. Are floors dry after cleaning? Are there uneven surfaces? Are substances in the way of foot traffic? Is there proper signage if needed?
Property managers must address these important concerns before anything else is done on the premises. If property owners don’t do so, they will be responsible for slip and fall injuries, where victims claim negligence.
Apart from these basic concerns, property owners and managers should inspect their properties regularly. This will help mitigate any injuries and show a proactive approach to a safe environment. With these basics being done at Texas stores, those can ensure there are no unforeseen problems.
For Any Questions You Need Answered, We Are Here for You
When you seek our help from Wolf Law, PLLC, you can rest assured you’re in good hands. Running errands, shopping at a grocery store, or enjoying your day out shouldn’t come with fear or stress of injuries. If you have been hurt or faced any type of loss from a slip and fall injury in Texas, get in touch with our Dallas premises liability lawyers. Contact us to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced team members.