San Antonio Slip and Fall Attorney Helping Injured Clients Protect Their Right to Receive Compensation
Slip-and-fall injuries are perhaps the most common type of personal injury claim, and thus the courts tend to approach it skeptically and expect the plaintiff to present enough evidence to support their claim. Working with an attorney is extremely important for anyone wishing to win their case. Learn how slip-and-fall claims work in Texas and what steps you should take to receive compensation after a slip-and-fall injury.
What Counts as a Slip-And-Fall Accident in San Antonio?
Slip-and-falls are sometimes referred to as slip, trip, and falls. They essentially describe a situation in which someone encountered a hazard such as an uneven floor or slippery area that caused them to slip, trip, or otherwise lose their balance and fall to the ground. Slip-and-fall claims are a type of personal injury claim, and as such, they fall under tort law.
Tort law addresses actions (or failures to act) that could be considered negligence to someone. When an at-fault party breaches their duty of care, i.e., fails to do what is needed to avoid creating an unsafe situation by taking steps to remedy that situation or by not engaging in certain reckless behaviors, that breach of duty of care is usually crucial in establishing causation. In the case of a slip-and-fall injury, an example of a breach of duty of care is when the person responsible for the safety and well-being of customers visiting a store fails to correct a roof leak that caused a wet spot on the floor. Because no wet floor sign was visible, a customer slipped on the wet spot and fell down, injuring their arm and shoulder.
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Slip-And-Fall Claim?
There are a few essential components that are needed for a valid slip-and-fall claim. As explained above, you may need to prove that your accident was a result of a breach of duty of care by someone else responsible for controlling the area where the unsafe situation was present. The breach resulted in a slip-and-fall accident, and you, as a victim, sustained significant damages.
This is important because slip-and-falls are a common accident, and one may claim they are not always caused by negligence. For example, the victim may have been walking around distractedly and looking at their smartphone, then failed to see the posted wet floor signs and ended up falling. The responsibility for the accident would likely fall upon the victim, meaning chances of getting compensated would be slim. If, after the fall, you suffered no major injuries and did not sustain any verifiable damages such as medical bills, you may not have a strong claim in your hands. There are many variables to a valid slip-and-fall claim, and each case is unique, so it is best to consult an attorney to discuss your case if you are unsure about whether to pursue legal action or not.
How Long Do I Have to Initiate a Slip-And-Fall Action in Texas?
Slip-and-fall cases are a type of personal injury case, and because of that, the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies to any slip-and-fall claim. This means victims have up to two years to initiate a lawsuit or an insurance claim, and any action taken after the statute of limitations has run out may not be successful and end up getting dismissed in court.
Two years may seem like a long time, but establishing a strong link between the other party’s negligence and your injury is a task that gets increasingly more difficult the longer you wait to take action. It is harder to prove that your broken bones from thirteen months ago were a result of a wet floor at the grocery store and not a result of a separate event. The sooner you take action, the stronger your chances may be of recovering compensation for your fall. If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, consult a San Antonio slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as you can.
What Happens if I Have a Slip-And-Fall Accident on Government Property?
If you have a slip-and-fall injury on government property, the claim process is somewhat similar to any other slip-and-fall on private property. The victim is still expected to carry the burden of proof and present concrete evidence documenting the accident and injuries. However, it is important to understand that each government entity may require personal injury victims to follow certain procedures to file a claim, and these may vary depending on whether you are dealing with a state, county, or local entity.
Another extremely important aspect of filing a slip-and-fall claim against a government entity is that even though the statute of limitations for slip-and-falls in Texas is two years, many government entities have their own statute of limitations that are often way shorter than two years. In some cases, victims are given as little as 30 days to notify the applicable government entity of their intention to file a claim or take action. If your slip-and-fall injury occurred on government property, it is imperative to seek the help of a San Antonio slip-and-fall lawyer right away, as you may not have much time to take action.
In addition, while you may be entitled to receiving compensation for losses such as medical bills, property damage, or lost wages, claims against a government entity may not always be successful in recovering non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Your attorney may be the best person to advise you on the type of damages you may recover after a slip-and-fall on government property.
How Much Is My Slip-And-Fall Case Worth?
Every slip-and-fall case is unique, and because of that, it is hard to generate an accurate case value estimate without looking into the specifics of each case. In general, you can expect the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages to determine how much money you may be able to receive. The more serious your injuries and the more extensive your damages, the higher your case value may be.
A slip-and-fall injury victim may seek the standard compensable damages typical to any personal injury case. Those are divided into economic and non-economic damages. As briefly explained above, economic damages are quantifiable financial losses directly resulting from your accident. For example, if after your fall you had to be seen at the emergency room, and the doctor took several x-rays and prescribed painkillers, your emergency room bill and any other medical bills you receive throughout the process of treating your injury are all counted as economic damages. If you were unable to work for weeks after the accident, you probably were not able to make your regular weekly wages. The wages you could not earn because of your injury (referred to as ‘lost wages’) could also be a type of economic damage.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are more subjective and are meant to provide compensation for the negative impact the accident and injury have had on your mental health. Non-economic damages can include pain, suffering, mental anguish, and physical or mental distress caused by the accident and even by the recovery process. An attorney can help you prove your damages by relying on evidence such as medical bills, pay stubs, medical reports, and even the testimony of expert witnesses.
Why Should I Work With a San Antonio Slip-And-Fall Lawyer?
When it comes to building a successful slip-and-fall claim, it is best not to try and figure it all out on your own. Slip-and-falls are so common that simply filing a claim without the help of an attorney can be risky – without strong evidence and the legal knowledge a San Antonio slip-and-fall attorney can bring to the table, the chances of your case being unsuccessful are significant.
In addition, if you were hurt, your main focus should be on taking care of yourself and healing so you can get back on your feet. You should not have to be dealing with red-tape, endless phone calls, and all the technicalities that inevitably show up with this type of claim. It really can become overwhelming, and you can end up making a simple yet costly mistake and find yourself receiving much less than what you deserve. Your attorney can handle every aspect of your case for you, giving you the peace of mind of knowing you have a professional fighting for your rights at every step of the way.
At the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team have successfully handled many slip-and-fall cases in San Antonio and surrounding areas. They are ready to apply what they learned with every case to help you maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation, all while being treated with the utmost respect and compassion. If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, do not wait any more time, and contact our San Antonio office by calling (210) 953-7486 and asking to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case. We look forward to assisting you.