As an injured slip & fall accident victim in Houston, it’s normal to be concerned about how challenging your case will be. Fortuantely, a Houston slip and fall lawyer may be able to help.
As humans, it’s common knowledge that we’re all susceptible to physical injuries now and again. Regardless of that fact, the law requires specific people not to perform any action that hurts others. When such persons fail to protect the people under their care from injuries, they must pay fair compensation to the victims. To ensure that this happens, accident victims can reach out to a Houston slip and fall lawyer to file insurance claims or injury lawsuits.
There are many ways a personal injury claim may arise. They include car accidents, medical negligence, product liability, dog bites, etc. They also involve premises liability claims arising from slip and fall accidents.
Slips and falls refer to mishaps that occur when someone falls to the ground after losing balance, typically because of a wet surface. According to statistics, this type of accident is pretty common, accounting for more than eight million emergency room visits in 2019. Sometimes, falls can cause fatal injuries.
So, if a negligent property owner caused your fall-related injuries, it’s only fair that they pay damages. However, these cases can quickly become too complicated to handle and win. We’ll let you in on why slip and fall accident cases are difficult to navigate in this article.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Houston
A slip (or trip) and fall accident are typically due to a dangerous condition which could be any of the following:
- Wet Floors
Wet or slippery floors constitute an unsafe condition that can quickly cause a slip and fall accident. They are among the leading causes of slip and fall accidents. This typically occurs when liquid or greasy substances spill or after a cleaning activity. The wet surface reduces friction between the footwear and the floor, increasing your risk of slipping and falling.
- Uneven Surfaces
Another common reason for slip and falls is uneven surfaces. From loose floorboards and mats to a broken sidewalk, potholes in parking lots, cluttered floors, etc., rough surfaces are dangerous. They can increase your risk of entering holes and disrupt smooth movement. Trips from uneven surfaces can cause severe injuries, especially when it’s due to clutter from sharp objects.
- Inappropriate Footwear
There are appropriate shoes for different floor surfaces. Wearing the correct footwear for a location isn’t only for fashion. It can provide the support you need to prevent falls. Generally, low or flat heels with soft materials offer the best protection from falls.
Wearing high-heeled shoes on slick surfaces can be disastrous. It’s the same thing when you decide to run while wearing slippers.
- Adverse Weather Conditions
While we can’t control the weather, you must exercise extra caution when moving in dangerous climatic conditions. That’s especially when walking on ice outdoors. Inclement weather can cause dangerous situations that increase your risk of slip and fall accidents.
- Poor House Keeping
Proper maintenance and regular inspections are essential to keep premises safe for use. Unfortunately, some property owners neglect this all-important responsibility to avoid the financial implications. By refusing to remove wastes, fix bad equipment or schedule a regular cleaning, such premises quickly become danger zones. With numerous hazards present, it’s difficult to move freely without accidents.
- Bad Lighting
Bad lighting can make it difficult to notice obstructions on the floor as you walk or run. As such, you can easily trip over an object and fall to the ground.
Common Challenges When Pursuing a Slip and Fall Injury Case in Houston, Texas
As a slip and fall accident victim, it’s normal to wonder what your chances of success are in a legal claim. However, that depends on the specifics of your case. Generally, personal injury claims can be challenging to handle. However, premises liability cases are even more complex for these reasons:
- Liability in Slip and Fall Cases Is Hard To Prove
Proving that a guilty party (property owner) is responsible for your injuries in a slip and fall can be a Herculean task. First, you will have to show that the responsible party is accountable for managing and maintaining the premises. That means the liable parties owed you a legal duty of care.
Next, you must prove a breach of duty. That means you should have enough evidence to show that the defendant was negligent somehow. For example, proving that the property owner didn’t fix a broken rail in a reasonable time can pass for negligence. Lastly, you must establish that your injuries are due to the owner’s negligence and not a pre-existing condition.
Proving these facts is challenging in slip and fall cases because, unlike in auto accidents, there may be no one present but yourself. Even when people are present, slipping over a greasy surface can seem like you fell over nothing. This is also unlike a trip and fall when the obstacle is obvious.
Many times, security footage and police reports aren’t available to prove that the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition. You may have only first-hand accounts to rely on. In the absence of substantial proof, the success of your claim hangs on a thin thread.
- Insurance Companies Are Difficult To Deal With
Another hurdle you will have to cross in slip and fall cases is negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Usually, the insurance companies will deny responsibility for your injuries and engage fierce lawyers to defend them. One possible defense is that you are responsible for your injuries.
There are also challenges when discussing financial settlements. The insurance adjuster is likely to offer you low compensation amounts and refuses to give you the money you deserve. If you lack impeccable negotiation skills, you may not navigate this stage successfully.
- Going To Trial Comes With Its Peculiar Challenges
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is the last resort when every other legal option fails. It’s also one of the most strenuous. Besides being time-exhausting, you may find it challenging to present your case convincingly before a jury. Again, if you don’t have enough evidence to prove the defendant’s gross negligence, going to trial will be a waste of time.
What Amounts To Fair Settlement in a Premises Liability Claim?
Medical care for your slip and fall injuries can result in severe financial losses.
- Medical Bills
Many fall-related injuries require emergency medical treatment. Houston personal injury laws compel the defendant to foot those costs. This may include the cost of physical therapy, hospital stays, prescriptions, medical equipment, etc.
- Loss of Earning Capacity
When your injuries are debilitating, premises liability compensation covers your lost wages and lost future earnings due to your inability to work.
When your injury affects your appearance permanently, you can receive compensation for the disfigurement in a lawsuit.
- Physical Pain and Suffering
Slip and fall accidents typically inflict excruciatingly painful injury on victims. This causes untold suffering for them. Such injured persons can get pain and suffering damages in a lawsuit
- Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
The effects of a severe injury can be psychological and affect your mental and emotional health. Mental anguish and emotional distress can be more challenging to recover from than physical injuries. The court can award you compensation for such mental injuries.
What Are the Likely Physical Injuries Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents Will Suffer?
Injury victims suffer different types of physical hurt in a slip and fall accident. Such injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Knee injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
Do I Need an Experienced Houston Slip and Fall Lawyer?
Here are some reason that hiring an experienced slip and fall attorney in Houston, TX may be a good idea for you:
- Legal Advice
As an injured victim, having adequate knowledge of personal injury law will help your claim be successful. If you have little idea on how to navigate the tricky situations that will arise, it might be a good idea to hire someone with the experience and wisdom. A slip and fall lawyer in Houston is in the best position to give you quality advice on how to handle your case correctly.
- Aggressive Representation
Experienced accident attorneys have the courage it takes to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies. They are the perfect match for the fierce lawyers that insurance companies will employ to defend themselves. Your attorneys will carry this energy to trial and convincingly present your case to the jury.
- Evidence Gathering
As we mentioned earlier, getting adequate evidence to prove your premises liability case can be a hassle. Fortunately, an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Houston may be able to help gather the evidence required to prove your case. From your medical records to calling expert witnesses, they’ll go to the extra length to prove all the elements of your case.
- Reduced Costs
It’s easy to think that hiring an attorney to represent you is too expensive. However, that’s not usually the case. Many lawyers will be happy to take on your case on a contingency fee basis. That means you wouldn’t have to pay anything until you receive compensation. Also, you get to lose nothing if you don’t win your case.
- Higher Settlements
A slip and fall lawyer in Houston will fight to get fair compensation for your injuries. So they will not let you accept anything less than what you deserve.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney in Houston, TX for Quality Legal Representation Now!
Premises liability lawsuits or claims can become too complicated to handle all by yourself. Even if you make any progress alone, you’ll likely end up with a meager financial settlement. Moreover, you can’t invest adequate time and energy into your case while recovering from your injuries. As a result, you’re likely to burn out and complicate your situation even more.
An experienced team of legal professionals will offer you exceptional representation and moral support. That’s precisely what you get by hiring a Houston slip and fall lawyer from our law office. Our track record of success speaks for itself.
So, if you’re interested in seeking legal assistance from a slip and fall attorney in Houston, TX, contact our law firm today and we’ll see if we can assist with your case.