Missouri City Slip & Fall Lawyer
When we go out shopping, the biggest things we should have to worry about are whether we remembered our shopping list, coupons and reusable bags. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether the employees have left a puddle of liquid on the floor for somebody to slip on. Unfortunately, slipping hazards in grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, shopping malls and other premises are all too common. A slip and fall accident is not just an embarrassing moment. A slip and fall can be very painful and cause serious injury, including a fractured hip or other broken bones, back trouble, nerve damage, facial lacerations, muscle tears, strains and sprains. Some of these injuries will heal over time while others can cause permanent disability. If you’ve been hurt in any slip and fall accident, be sure to document the incident with the store manager, get thoroughly checked out by a doctor or hospital, and contact an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you are fully compensated for the harm caused to you by a negligent property owner. For help in Missouri City, Pearland, Sugar Land and other communities in Brazoria, Bend and Harris counties, contact the experienced Missouri City slip & fall lawyer at Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm for immediate assistance.
Texas Law on Premises Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries
Premises liability refers to a property owner’s liability for injuries that occur on their premises. In a slip and fall accident, whether the owner is liable for the injury or not depends on the legal status of the victim and whether or not the owner was negligent. The duty of care owed to persons on the property differs depending on their status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
- An invitee is someone who was invited to enter the premises by the property owner. Customers at places open to the public are considered invitees, as are social guests. Property owners owe their highest duty to their invitees. The owner must make regular inspections of the premises to make sure they are safe, clean and clear of any slipping hazards. Owners are liable for any slipping hazards that they created, knew about, or should have known about through reasonable inspection. If these hazards are not cleaned up or warned about promptly, then the owner can be held liable for injuries that result in a slip and fall.
- A licensee is someone with a lawful right (a license) to enter the property for business purposes, such as to deliver mail or packages, make a sales call, make repairs on the property, read the meter, install equipment, etc. A property owner’s duty toward a licensee is to warn them about hidden dangers the property owner knows about. The owner doesn’t have a duty to fix the problem or inspect the premises to discover problems, but they are liable for injuries caused by a hidden danger they didn’t warn the licensee about.
- A trespasser is someone with no lawful right to be on the property, including private property closed to the public, going into areas marked “Keep out” or “employees only,” or staying in a store after it has closed. Property owners aren’t liable if a trespasser slips and falls, so long as the owner wasn’t grossly negligent or willfully trying to harm the trespasser by creating a dangerous situation. Property owners can also be liable to trespassers hurt in a slip and fall if the owner didn’t take any measures to keep out a trespasser, such as by posting signs, erecting fences, locking doors, etc.
Common Slip and Fall Dangers
- Food and drink spills by customers
- Leaking pipes, refrigerator cases or air conditioning units
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Missing floor mats at entrances or near wet areas like produce departments
Common Trip and Fall Dangers
- Broken steps
- Unmarked steps or ramps
- Merchandise left on the floor
- Display stands sticking out into the aisle
- Inadequate lighting
- Missing handrails
- No signs before sunken areas
- Torn carpets
- Mislaid floor mats
- Cracked or broken sidewalks
You Need a Lawyer After a Slip and Fall Accident in Missouri City
After a slip and fall in a commercial establishment, the store will likely do one of two things: they will either offer you money in exchange for agreeing not to sue them, or they will deny the accident was their responsibility. If they offer you money, the amount might seem attractive in the moment, but you have no way of knowing how serious your injuries are, what your medical expenses will be, if you will miss work or lose your job, and how much pain, suffering and inconvenience the injury will cause. A personal injury attorney will make sure you get the medical care you need and will not try to settle your case until all your damages are known so that you are not short-changed.
If the owner (or their insurance company) disputes liability, they are probably either going to claim that you weren’t seriously injured or you had some pre-existing condition that caused your injury, or they’ll say you weren’t looking where you were going and are at least partly to blame for the slip and fall. If they can convince you or a jury that you are partially at fault, this reduces the amount they have to pay you, and if you are considered 51% or more at fault, then you cannot recover any compensation at all. A personal injury attorney will make sure your injury and the property owner’s liability are properly documented so you can receive all the medical care and compensation due to you.
Contact Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm Today
The Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm is dedicated to helping premises liability victims recover the full amount of compensation when they’ve been injured by the negligence of another. We treat our clients with compassion and personalized service as we aggressively pursue maximum compensation on their behalf. Call our experienced Missouri City slip and fall lawyer today.