Slip and Fall Lawyer in Austin

If you tripped, slipped and fell on the property of another person, and you find that he or she was unable to ensure that the premise was not taken care of in such a way that it would not have caused in an accident, then the owner would likely be found as responsible for your injuries. In this article, we'll take a look at common examples of outdoor slip and fall accidents, the conditions that make them possible, and the rules that make up an owner's responsibility about such conditions. Contact our Austin personal injury attorneys for help today.

Snow Outside a Building

Generally speaking, owners are not required by law to remove snow or ice that has accumulated outside the premises of the building, especially if it is due to the weather. However, if there are certain conditions on the property that caused the unusual accumulation, and they failed to action on it, resulting in injuries in pedestrians, then they may be found liable for a slip and fall accident. Here are some conditions in which the owner could be responsible for:

  • The rough, slopping surface of the building's parking area becomes a puddle, and freezes into ice patches during winter.
  • Ice that accumulates in the roof of the building, eventually melts and drips off as a result of a clogged drain, and refreezes when it hits the ground.

Inadequate Lighting Outdoors

When it comes to parking lots, stairs, curbs, and uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting may be grounds for an establishment to be sued for personal injury. If it can be proven that the owner knew that there was inadequate lighting in the area, and that correcting this problem would have prevented injuries from happening, then he or she can be liable for personal injury.

Parking Spaces

A parking space owner has the responsibility to ensure that the space is well-maintained that customers, pedestrians and other individuals are safe while in there. Maintenance could involve patching and filling cracks and holes that can be potentially dangerous especially if paired with poor lighting.

Furthermore, for multilevel parking lots, the elevation going from one level to another should be subtle and gradual to prevent injuries from those who are walking through the ramps.

Sidewalks

Sidewalks are typically owned by the town or the city, and are usually not a part of an establishment's area of responsibility, per se. However, if a condition on the establishment exists, that creates a problem in the sidewalk and ends up causing injuries to people, and then it is possible that they could be liable for personal injury. An example of which is if the establishment occupies the sidewalk that pedestrians are forced to walk on the street. Had the established not occupied the sidewalk (which is not their property anymore), the individual would not have walked on the street and therefore avoided possible injuries.

Slip and Falls from Shopping

There are different kinds of injuries that can occur while shopping. Some of which include:

  • Head and body injuries due to falling objects, out-of-reach displays, retail displays and other possible mishaps.
  • Slip and fall injuries due to wet floors, poorly lit areas, escalator malfunctions and torn flooring.
  • Shopping cart injuries due to the unstable carts that could tip over.
  • Parking lot injuries, which can happen as a result of poorly-designed parking systems as well as failing to remove snow and ice.
  • Overcrowding injuries, which can happen in an emergency situation and a stampede occurs.

Those who are injured on commercial property may file for a personal injury claim, provided that the establishment was found to be negligent of its duties, which caused the accident to occur. The law of premises liability states that establishments have a duty to its customers to exercise reasonable care to ensure that they are safe from potential situations or dangers that can result in an injury. As an example, a restaurant should clean up any spilled food or drinks immediately to ensure that no other customers slip and fall because of it. This also includes the installation of security systems to ensure that the customers are safe while in the establishment.

In proving that an establishment is responsible for the injuries sustained, the following must be established:

  • The establishment was aware that there was a dangerous condition in the property.
  • The establishment did not regularly check the property for any possible dangers.
  • The establishment did not provide adequate maintenance and repair to amend the danger.
  • The customer would not have been injured if not for the said dangerous condition.
  • A direct link can be drawn between the danger found and the injury that came out of it.
  • The customer suffered damages as a result of the injury.

For the establishment on the other hand, they can raise the following defenses to a claim being made against them:

  • There is no dangerous condition that exists within the property.
  • The owner of the establishment had no previous knowledge of said danger.
  • The owner of the establishment made reasonable steps to amend any dangerous situation.
  • The dangerous condition was too obvious not to avoid.
  • The dangerous condition did not cause the customer's injuries.
  • The injury took place in an area restricted against customers.
  • The customer assumed the risk and acted negligently nonetheless.

What Monetary Compensation is Available in Slip and Falls?

Disfigurement

If you were hurt in an accident that left you deformed or disfigured, you can sue the plaintiff on the grounds that knowledge of the permanent physical damage is giving mental anguish.

Future Medical Bills

When settling, you don't want to just present the current medical receipts and bills. Instead think about the medical changes that have resulted from this accident-in this case you will want to relate how often you will need to see a doctor in the future to your current settlement suit.

Household Services

Sometimes included in the medical bills, these charges include compensation for having someone come over to take care of daily household things such as cleaning or cooking while the patient was recovering.

Loss of Consortium

If the injured party is married, he or the uninjured spouse may claim they suffer from a loss of consortium, which may include solace, comfort, intimacy, and sexual relations as a result of the accident. If the marriage was stable before the accident and certain forms of connection are now lost, the parties may due for these types of damages.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

This may mean an inability to enjoy the daily comforts or joys of the world that could previously be seen. This means that if a victim typically plays golf every day and finds great comfort from it and it had been an integral part of the lifestyle, and finds himself no longer able to enjoy the game, he has experienced a loss of enjoyment.

Lost Earning Capacity

If a victim of an injury can prove that he or she will not be able to find the same caliber job that they enjoyed before the accident and can no longer make as much money or will be unable to work, they can sue on the grounds that they no longer can earn what they would have made without the injury.

Lost Wages

Similar to the lost earning capacity, lost wages refer to the unearned wages specifically between the time of injury and time of settlement.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses include bills and expenses for doctors, hospital visits, treatments and surgeries, ambulances, etc. The medical expenses must be the direct result of the injury in question.

Mental Anguish

And mental suffering or emotional distress is considered mental anguish and may include fright, terror, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, worry, humiliation, mortification, feeling of lost dignity, embarrassment, grief, and shock.

Slip and Falls for the Elderly

While slip and fall accidents are always a concern and can cause injury to even the youngest children, senior citizens are shown to have an increased risk of fatal falls. A study recently reported that the number of people aged 65 and over who have died following a slip and fall incident has increased in the past years. With an increasing lifespan this only means more slip and falls that result in a fatal or permanent injury. For those wanting more information about this phenomenon, check out the facts associated with senior slip and falls:

  • Slip and falls are the most common cause of fatal injury among the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries, which can put a painful halt on life for seniors who already may have decreased mobility.
  • About 24,000 seniors died from slip and fall accidents in 2012, which is the last time this data was calculated. This number is up almost 200% from the data recorded in 2002.
  • In 2012, 2.4 million seniors were taken to the ER because of slip and fall accidents. This number is up 50% since one decade ago, indicating that slip and falls are on their way towards becoming a daily fear for older Americans.
  • In good news, senior care facilities appear to be taking measures to avoid slip and falls. As a result of the increased slip and fall related injuries more senior care facilities and retirement housing centers are avoiding being the center of these injuries by installing better lighting and repairing any unpatched floors. Additionally, some centers are helping seniors develop better balance and agility through exercises.
  • Slip and fall accidents may lead to personal injury lawsuits. While your primary concern when dealing with the slip and fall of a loved one or yourself is to get better, as the medical bills pile up and the injured person is unable to work it may be necessary to receive monetary compensation. If the injury occurred on a premises that assumed responsibility for keeping patrons safe, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that owns the property. Additionally, if the slip and fall was the result of negligence or reckless behavior, the endangering party could be on the other end of a suit. In the event of a fatal injury, the family of the victim might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the deceased's behalf. In any case, you should not go through the legal process alone. An attorney can be the first step to making sure your expenses are taken care of.

Austin Slip and Fall Attorneys

There are many other types of suits that can be filed, so if you are considering a personal injury lawsuit and are wondering what kind of damages you may be able to recover, call our office today so we can discuss the best settlement available to you. Our Austin personal injury attorneys offer free consultations.

If you or a loved one have suffered from injuries due to the negligence of other parties, then we encourage you to contact Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP for a discussion of your possible case.