Falls are a leading cause of serious unintentional injuries in the United States. Not only do millions of people visit emergency departments each year due to fall-related injuries, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are a major cause of unintentional deaths. Injuries from falls can result in serious injuries. Never take them lightly.
Falls do not have to involve high places—in fact, most falls take place on even ground. One moment, you can walk along—and the next, you can slip on something and end up on the floor. Slips and falls take place every day and can derail your life in an instant.
You need an attorney who can stand up for your rights as a slip and fall victim in a potentially challenging and hotly contested case, so please contact the law office of Stewart J. Guss to discuss your case.
Texas Slip and Fall Claims
Some clumsy or inattentive people simply lose their balance, slip, and fall. In this day and age of texting, many people end up getting hurt by engaging in distracted walking. If your slip and fall accident was your own fault, you bear responsibility for the costs of any resulting injuries. If a business caused your fall, however, the law allows you to hold that business responsible for the costs of your injuries.
A business or retail store that invites customers inside accepts a legal duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes inspecting the facility for possible hazards, promptly addressing anything that may cause harm, and properly warning customers about any potential hazards that owners or employees cannot immediately fix.
Unfortunately, many businesses—especially larger establishments—do not take the time to regularly and thoroughly inspect the premises for possible injury risks or address hazards in timely ways. When a business allows a dangerous condition to persist, any customer who suffers harm can hold that business responsible for all costs arising from the injury. Negligence in a slip and fall case requires proving:
- The business owner or management knew or should have known that a potential hazard existed
- They failed to take action to fix the situation or warn customers about the situation
- That hazard then caused you to slip and fall, resulting in injuries and damages
Businesses, of course, fight against slip and fall liability. Often, they try to claim that management or staff could not have known about the hazard in time to address it. For instance, if something spills on the floor in a grocery store and a customer slips on the spill 10 seconds later, the store probably did not have adequate time to address the matter before the fall. On the other hand, if something spilled and someone slipped 10 minutes later, the store likely should have cleaned up the spill or put out signs warning about the wet floor. If the business failed to do so, injured customers should hold the business liable for any resulting harm. In many instances, an attorney must evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis and make complex determinations as to whether a given store should have known about a hazard.
To make matters more complicated, the law often leans toward the business in a slip and fall case. Courts do not want every person who slips and falls taking legal action—that would drain the resources of businesses and the justice system. Therefore, you need an attorney who knows how to overcome those obstacles to prove that the business was at fault and that you deserve compensation for your losses.
Common Slip and Fall Hazards
Many different hazards in stores or other businesses may lead you to slip and fall. Common examples include:
- Spills that employees do not properly clean up
- Floors wet from mopping with no warning signs
- Flooring slick from overuse or polishing
- Carpets that can slip out of place
- Ramps that lack adequate non-slip floor materials or handrails
- Clothing or other potentially slick items on the ground
In addition, obstacles in businesses can cause you to trip and fall, including:
- Cords or wires that nobody secured to the wall
- Shelving or other obstacles that protrude into walkways
- Rugs that nobody affixed to the ground
- Small steps or door jambs without proper warnings to “Step Up”
- Boxes, items, or debris left on the ground
- Uneven floor panels
If any of the above obstacles caused your accident, you may have a viable legal claim for compensation.
Slip and Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
Whether you slip or trip, surprisingly serious injuries can result. While some people may walk away from their falls and simply laugh them off, injuries may disrupt other lives for some time. Common slip and fall injuries follow:
Concussions - A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury that can result in many symptoms, including disorientation, headaches, irritability, sensory issues, trouble with cognitive functioning, and more.
Soft tissue injuries - Anytime you twist or stretch your soft tissue in any way, your ligaments, tendons, or muscles can strain, sprain, or even tear. Soft tissue injuries can hurt with surprising intensity and can limit your movement.
Fractures - Any bone that hits the ground or another object when you fall may fracture. Fractures usually require you to refrain from using that body part while it heals and may even require surgery in serious situations.
Contusions - While a bruise may seem like a minor injury, fall victims can suffer serious bruises that require extended recovery periods. Bruised bones can hurt—especially bruised tailbones, which are common for slip and fall victims.
Back and neck injuries - Anyone who has suffered any type of back or neck injury knows how much they hurt. These injuries can prevent you from working—or even walking—until you undergo a course of physical therapy or other necessary treatments.
Spinal cord injury - Trauma to the spine can damage its tissue and disrupt messages sent from your brain, through the spinal cord, to many body parts. When any damage occurs, a victim can lose sensory or motor functioning below the point of injury—sometimes completely and sometimes permanently.
If you feel any pain or soreness after a slip and fall injury, or if you hit your head, always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Get a swift diagnosis and begin necessary treatments for your injuries. These medical records can also help prove your injuries and losses in a subsequent legal claim.
The losses incurred by a slip and fall victim will depend on the seriousness of the injuries and any lasting effects. Common losses include:
Medical expenses - If you received medical treatments in recent years, you know healthcare costs are expensive. Your health insurance—if you have any—may expect you to pay deductibles, copays, or even a significant percentage of your expenses. Many slip and fall victims require emergency department treatments, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medications, and more. Some injuries may require hospitalization and surgeries, particularly for older slip and fall victims, who may then need to spend time in assisted care facilities. The costs can add up quickly.
Lost income - Many jobs require people to lift or move objects, stand on their feet all day, sit in one place all day, or engage in other physical or laborious activities. Even the slightest injury can often make work difficult and serious injuries may require an extended period away from work. Even if you can still work, you may need to take time off for doctor appointments or rehabilitative therapies. All of this can result in lost income, which can upset your financial situation.
Other damages - Aside from medical bills and lost income, some slip and fall victims with severe injuries may also seek noneconomic damages. These can include physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and any permanent disabilities that injuries caused. Lasting injuries can cause a lost enjoyment of life and lost professional and earning opportunities if an impairment prevents someone from returning to work. Hire an attorney who has handled cases involving catastrophic injuries and can calculate these complicated damages.
If you do not believe your slip and fall injuries are that serious at first, you may change your mind as the losses begin to add up, so discuss a possible claim with a slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can after your fall.
Choose a Texas Slip and Fall Attorney You Can Trust
You have many choices when it comes to retaining a personal injury attorney, and you want to make sure the law firm you choose has the experience and resources needed to successfully handle your slip and fall cases. Plaintiffs may file slip and fall claims against large and established businesses or institutions with insurance companies and legal teams searching for any way to limit or avoid payment to slip and fall victims.
Stewart Guss and his team of attorneys understand how these businesses try to avoid liability. We have our own strategies to prove that negligence caused your slip and fall so that, despite a company’s best efforts, you can successfully recover compensation for all of your losses. We can handle a claim with the company’s liability insurance or take your case to civil court if needed. We bring decades of combined experience to every case and you can trust we will work tirelessly to protect your rights.
Companies will often try to get you sign an agreement before you hire legal representation. While they may seem like they are trying to help, they are probably attempting to get you to agree to a much smaller sum than you ultimately deserve. If you sign, these agreements often waive your rights to take further legal action, thereby leaving you without much of the compensation you need to pay for your losses.
Before you sign anything, have one of our attorneys assess your case. We can estimate the value of your claim so you will know if you receive an adequate settlement offer. We will also handle all negotiations for you and advise you when you may need to take further legal action.
How a Texas Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Can Assist You
Did you slip and fall and now face a long recovery from serious injuries? Do you believe that a Texas business may have caused your fall? If so, the law office of Stewart J. Guss is here to help. We know that businesses have the resources to fight liability, making many slip and fall cases challenging. We will not back down when it comes to the rights of our injured clients. We have the skill and experience to successfully pursue this type of claim and will explore every possibility to help you recover compensation.
You have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation with the attorneys at the law firm of Stewart Guss. We can discuss your accident and advise you of your rights. We expect no payment unless we successfully obtain compensation for you, so please call our office at 800-898-4877 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.