Premises liability refers to the liability of a property owner or occupier for a physical injury caused by an unsafe condition. Injuries that fall under premises liability are often referred to as “slip and fall” injuries. These types of injuries often occur from a plaintiff who fell and injured due to a slippery or unstable condition. However, these injuries are not only caused by dangerous conditions on the floor. Premises liability may arise from injuries caused by any condition on the property.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries in Texas
In retail stores and restaurants the floor can have spilled food and drinks, merchandise and other slippery conditions that can cause injury. These injuries do not always occur on flat surfaces, they can occur on stairs and ramps, which can be particularly dangerous. Property owners have a duty of care to their guests to make sure the floors are not hazardous. This includes cleaning spilled liquids, removing items obstructing safe walkways, repairing torn carpets and mats, and posting signs of dangerous conditions (such as wet floor signs).
The duty of care extends beyond interior floors. This includes taking steps to remove ice and snow from walkways and repairing holes and damaged steps. Even shared exterior space must remain in a safe condition.
Individuals have the same duties to their social guests, whether they live in a house, apartment, town home, condo, or mobile home. Individuals have to provide safe conditions for social guests and alert their guests of any dangerous condition not immediately fixed. You can suffer injury in a home by broken steps, falling items, icy driveways and other conditions.
Falling objects can be just as dangerous
Wal-mart began its “falling prices” advertising campaign in the 1990s with black and yellow construction theme, as though the falling prices were so dangerous you needed to be on the alert for objects falling on your head. They were right. You do need to be on alert for objects falling on your head. Shoppers are at risk of objects falling from the tops of displays, shelving units and other high reaching storage space on the retail floor.
Of course, Wal-mart isn’t the only store accused of falling merchandise injuring customers. Merchandise is at risk of falling on customers in any store or office where businesses store objects above eye level. These injuries can and do happen to customers at other businesses. Property owners, businesses and homeowners, have a duty to protect their guests from dangerous risks above as much as below.
Slip and fall injuries in Dallas and Fort Worth can be serious
Many people first think of a slip and fall injury as a minor stumble that gives the victim an excuse to claim fictitious injuries to make a lot of money off of nothing. There are always going to be some people trying to make a dishonest buck; but slip and fall accidents can be very dangerous.
Texas courts interpret the law generously for property owners and businesses. That has made the property owners, businesses and their insurers very aggressive in refusing to settle these cases. That means trying to represent yourself in these cases is almost a guarantee that you will lose. Your choice is really between walking away with your own medical bills to pay (if you can pay them) or hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you and stand up to the responsible party.