This is the next post in a series of articles discussing slip and fall accidents in Laredo, Texas. My previous post provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of retaining an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in such matters. Slip and fall cases are highly fact-specific and a lawyer handling your case must be knowledgeable about the applicable laws, rules, and regulations. They must also have the skills and resources necessary to negotiate favorable settlement terms or litigate the case on your behalf. In this article, I will discuss whn a property owner may be held liable for a slip and fall accident that occurs on their premises. If you have been injured in an accident, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Commercial property owners and operators have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for visitors. This responsibility includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that no hazardous conditions exist which could lead to an accident. If an injury results from a dangerous condition created by an owner’s failure to take such reasonable steps, such as a patron slipping on a wet floor or tripping over debris, the owner or operator may be held liable. In such situations, the victim may be entitled to compensation due to the owner’s negligence. What constitutes “reasonable steps” will depend on the specific facts of the case. Depending upon the type of property involved and applicable safety policies or regulations that apply to the industry, the property owner’s obligations may differ. For instance, a factory owner may have different responsibilities for cleaning floors or repairing walkways than would apply to a gas station or shopping mall. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the owner failed to take the requisite action to maintain the property in a safe condition and that such failure is what caused the accident.
Based on the specific facts applicable to the property owner, a person who is injured on their property is not automatically entitled to damages. Consider the following examples. A grocery store owner has a policy that every aisle must be checked for spills on an hourly basis and all issues or reported spills must be recorded in their daily inspection log. A shopper is injured in the store when they slip and fall in a puddle of milk. If the store actually complied with their internal safety policy and the accident was simply an unfortunate event, the victim may have a difficult time proving that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the hazardous condition. Now assume that the victim obtains the inspection logs and can demonstrate that no aisle inspections had taken place on the day of the accident. The owner’s failure to comply with its own policies and keep the store safe for visitors may constitute negligence.
In addition to the potentially complicated issues referenced above, premises liability cases can involve large corporate defendants and serious injuries to victims. Such matters can be complex and should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. My office has extensive experience representing victims and their families after slip and fall accidents and is dedicated to helping our victims receive just compensation from those responsible. If you need assistance, contact us today to speak with a Laredo lawyer. I also serve clients in other areas of south Texas.