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Slip & Fall Claims in Texas: Who Is Liable?

Caution Wet Floor sign

When a person visits another person’s property, they should be able to do so without fear of being injured. In the state of Texas, property owners can be held liable for injuries a visitor, employee, tenant, or customer should sustain on their property as a result of their negligence. In legal terms, this is known as premises liability. While the concept of premises liability can apply to many different types of accidents from dog bites to toxic chemical exposure, slip and fall accidents are among the most common.

Slip and falls can result from a wide variety of hazards, including wet floors, potholes, debris on walkways, carpet snags, or unmarked hazards, causing serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord damage, head injuries, and neck and back injuries. But under what circumstances can a property owner be held liable for a slip and fall?

In Texas, property owners can be held liable for injuries stemming from a slip and fall if:

  1. The plaintiff was lawfully present on the defendant’s property
  2. The defendant was an owner or possessor of the premises
  3. A condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm
  4. The property owner knew or had reason to know about the hazard
  5. The defendant failed to fix the hazard or adequately warn of its presence
  6. The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury
  7. The plaintiff suffered real damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.)

It is important to note that a plaintiff’s own level of contributory negligence is taken into consideration when determining liability. If a plaintiff cannot prove that the defendant is at least 50 percent or more at fault for their injuries, they will not be able to recover compensation. For example, say a handrail on a flight of stairs in an office building were to be broken and in need of repair. The property owner knows of this defect, yet does not erect any warning signs or take steps to fix the problem in a timely manner. During this time, an office employee decides to show off to his coworkers and slides down the rail, falling off and breaking his arm. While the property owner did indeed have a duty to fix the handrail, the employee’s conduct can be seen as being equally negligent, thereby nullifying their claim to compensation.

Slip & Fall Lawyers in Midland, Texas

Since the circumstances surrounding slip and fall claims can vary so greatly, it is important you consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine your legal options. At Dean Law Firm, our skilled Midland personal injury lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of injured clients and can help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Pursue justice for your suffering today – call (432) 214-8125.

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