Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence, and they can result in serious injuries. In Texas, slip and fall cases are typically governed by premises liability laws. If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. However, in order to recover damages, you will need to prove that the property owner was negligent. This is where the burden of proof comes into play
What is the Burden of Proof?
The burden of proof refers to the responsibility of a plaintiff to prove their case. In other words, if you’re seeking compensation for a slip and fall accident in Texas, it’s your responsibility to prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
In a slip and fall case, negligence means that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to maintain their property in a safe condition. For example, if a property owner knew that there was a spill on the floor but failed to clean it up or warn customers, they could be considered negligent.
Proving Negligence in Texas Slip and Fall Cases
To prove negligence in a slip and fall case in Texas, you must establish the following elements:
- The property owner had a duty to maintain a safe environment.
- The property owner breached that duty by failing to take reasonable steps to maintain a safe environment.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
- It’s important to note that the burden of proof in Texas slip and fall cases is not as high as in some other types of personal injury cases. In Texas, you only need to prove that the property owner was more than 50% responsible for your injuries in order to recover damages.
How to Prove Negligence in a Texas Slip and Fall Case
Proving negligence in a slip and fall case can be challenging. However, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of success:
Seek medical attention immediately after your accident. Not only is this important for your health, but it also establishes a record of your injuries.
Document the scene of the accident. Take photos or video of the area where you fell and any hazards that contributed to your fall.
Collect witness statements. If there were witnesses to your accident, collect their contact information and ask them to provide a statement.
Keep track of all expenses related to your accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and gather evidence to support your case.
Defenses Against Negligence Claims
Property owners in Texas may defend themselves against slip and fall claims by arguing that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to their injuries. Under Texas law, a plaintiff’s damages may be reduced by their percentage of responsibility for the accident. However, if the plaintiff’s responsibility exceeds 50%, they may not recover damages.
To defend yourself against accusations of contributory negligence, it’s important to show that you exercised reasonable care for your own safety. For example, if you were texting on your phone while walking and failed to notice a warning sign, the property owner may argue that you were partially at fault for your fall.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims in Texas
If you’re considering filing a slip and fall lawsuit in Texas, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit, and it varies depending on the type of case.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, you may lose your right to recover damages.
The burden of proof in Texas slip and fall cases can be challenging to meet, but with the right evidence and legal representation, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. To succeed in your case, you’ll need to prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. It’s also important to be aware of the defenses that property owners may use against your claim, as well as the statute of limitations for filing your lawsuit. With these factors in mind, you can take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights and seek the compensation you deserve.
As a personal injury law firm with extensive experience representing clients in slip and fall cases in Texas, at Willumsen Law Firm PC, we can help you with the burden of proof by conducting a thorough investigation of your case to determine the cause and gather evidence to support your claim. We can then use this evidence to build a strong case on your behalf, hiring expert witnesses to testify about the property owner’s duty of care and how it was breached. We can negotiate with the property owner’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries, or take your case to court and argue it in front of a judge and jury if necessary. Throughout the legal process, we can provide the legal guidance and support you need to make informed decisions about your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you with your slip and fall case.