Accidents frequently occur, and injuries are typically the result. But
when the accident and injury were caused by something (or someone) that
was out of your control, you may be wondering if you are eligible to pursue
When it comes to
slip and fall accidents, however, it is sometimes difficult to prove who is at fault. In order
to win your case, you must prove that someone else—often the property
owner—is liable for your injuries.
To hold another party accountable for injuries caused by a slip and fall
accident, a victim must often prove one of the following:
- A property owner (or their employee) should have recognized a hazardous
condition, such as a wet surface or an uneven walking surface, and removed
or repaired the potential danger, but failed to do so. It is imperative
to determine whether a reasonable person would have identified the condition
as dangerous and whether the defendant had plenty of time to fix the situation
before the accident happened.
- A property owner (or their employee) actually caused the dangerous condition
which resulted in the slip and fall accident and it was reasonably foreseeable
that someone would slip and fall due to the dangerous condition.
As mentioned above, in order to show that a property owner is liable for
your injuries, you need to demonstrate—at some point—the “reasonableness
“of the property owner’s actions. That’s because, in
order to be held “negligent,” a property owner must have failed
to act as a reasonably prudent person would have acted under the circumstances
similar to those leading up to the accident.
The following are some questions that you or your lawyer will want to discuss
prior to starting a case:
- How long had the defect or hazard been present before the accident?
- What kinds of daily cleaning activities does the property owner (or their
employee) perform? If the property owner claims that he or she oversees
the property daily, what kind of proof can he or she show to support this claim?
- Was there a reasonable justification for the creation of the potential
danger? And if so, did this justification still exist at the time of the
slip or fall?
- Could the dangerous condition have been made less hazardous by performing
preventative measures (e.g. preventing access to that location, relocating
the hazard, or placing proper warning signage)?
- Was poor lighting or limited visibility a factor?
However, the property owner may argue that the victim is partially (or
completely) at fault for the accident which led to the injuries. This
type of argument is made under the legal concept known as “comparative
Texas is one of 21 states which adhere to a modified comparative fault
law—commonly known as the “51 percent bar rule.” This
means that an injured party cannot recover any damages if it is 51% or
more at fault. So if the property owner can prove that the victim likely
caused the accident through his or her own carelessness or clumsiness,
winning a personal injury claim may not be a possible outcome.
If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident caused by a
negligent party in Fort Worth, TX, request a
free case evaluation with the
Law Office of James M. Stanley today.