Austin Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you got hurt from a slip and fall accident on another person’s commercial or private property, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Gibson Hill Personal Injury can represent you in your case and help you hold the property owner liable. Property owners are supposed to keep people safe by maintaining the property and removing hazards promptly. If they fail to do so and someone sustains an injury, they become responsible for the victim’s resulting injuries and losses.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we have a team of experienced Austin slip and fall lawyers that fights tenaciously for our clients. When you hire us, we’ll use aggressive tactics to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. You can depend on us to seek justice for the trauma you experienced. Call us at (737) 249-6300 to find out more about our firm or schedule a free consultation.
Why Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
The term slip and fall refers to an individual who sustains an injury from slipping or tripping on someone’s property. It falls under the category of premises liability, which includes any type of accident caused by the property owner’s negligent actions.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floor
- Defective sidewalk
- Loose carpeting or rug
- Icy pavement
- Poor lighting
- Uneven or cracked surface
- Damaged or missing handrail
- Defective staircase
As long as you’re not at fault for your own injuries, you could file a claim with the property owner’s liability insurance company and pursue the maximum settlement. Business owners typically purchase general liability policies with coverage that can compensate injured parties after an accident.
However, sometimes a slip and fall happens because of an employee or third party, such as a cleaning service. In those kinds of situations, there are additional legal options for pursuing compensation.
The Role of Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
You’re not automatically entitled to compensation from the property owner just because you fell and got hurt. You must prove negligence existed at the time of the accident. The legal theory of negligence refers to one party failing to exercise a reasonable degree of care to reduce the risk of injury to another. The five main elements of negligence include:
- Duty: The property owner owed a duty to act or not act in a certain way;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: The injury wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for their breach;
- Proximate cause: Their action or inaction was the direct cause of the injury; and
- Damages: There was actual harm suffered.
There’s a rule known as modified comparative negligence in Texas that reduces the accident victim’s compensation by the percentage of responsibility they share. For example, if you incurred $100,000 in expenses but were 20% to blame, the highest financial award you could recover would be $80,000. If you’re more than 50% at fault for the slip and fall accident, you wouldn’t be entitled to any amount of compensation.
Instances where you could be partially at fault for your injuries include:
- Your footwear was unsafe or inappropriate for the situation.
- You entered into an area where visitors aren’t allowed to go.
- The hazard that caused your slip and fall accident had adequate signs and cones around it.
- You became distracted while you were walking, such as reading an incoming text on your phone.
- The danger was obvious, and something you should have noticed.
Damages Available in an Insurance Claim
Whenever anyone gets hurt because of someone else’s negligence, it usually leads to damages. Two main types of damages refer to the losses associated with an accident: economic and non-economic. Those that are available in a slip and fall case include:
- Past medical bills
- The estimated cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional pain
- General inconvenience
- Loss of consortium
Economic damages are actual expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses. Since non-economic damages are difficult to calculate, an insurance adjuster will use the factors such as the following to determine a fair monetary value:
- Type of injury
- The severity of the injury, such as minor strain, a broken bone, or paralysis
- Duration of recovery
- Impact on daily life, relationships with family, the ability to maintain employment, etc.
- Permanent disability caused by the injury
- Availability of medical evidence
- Degree of shared fault, if any
- Emotional or mental suffering endured
- Liability coverage listed on the property owner’s insurance policy
Damages Available in a Lawsuit
Economic and non-economic damages are also available in a lawsuit. But there’s a third type of damage that you can’t seek in an insurance claim: punitive damages (also called exemplary damages). This doesn’t intend to compensate the injured party for their losses. Instead, it punishes the at-fault individual for their actions and aims to prevent similar future behavior.
Juries rarely award punitive damages to accident victims. You must show that the defendant acted with gross negligence, malice, or fraud by providing clear and convincing evidence to the court.
When you’re preparing to file a lawsuit, you must comply with the state’s statute of limitations. It’s a deadline for bringing civil action against another party. The statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents in Texas is two years. In other words, you have two years from the date of your injury to sue the property owner or other liable party. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after the two-year deadline, the judge will probably dismiss your case.
What an Austin Slip and Fall Lawyer From Gibson Hill Personal Injury Can Do For You
You can attempt to recover a financial award from the at-fault party without legal representation, but it will be challenging. Slip and fall cases are complex and confusing for anyone who hasn’t handled one before. Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims to save money. If they find out that you didn’t hire a lawyer, they might take advantage of that, leaving you with a lowball settlement offer or no money at all.
When you hire us, we’ll protect your rights, ensure opposing parties treat you fairly, and handle each step of the legal process, so you don’t have to.
Investigation. First and foremost, we’ll need to perform a thorough investigation into the event. We have experience investigating slip and fall accident scenes and examining evidence to determine the cause.
Evidence. We’ll use our resources to obtain crucial evidence that proves the property owner’s negligence caused your injury. Examples include:
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Accident scene photos
- Incident reports
- Security camera footage
- Maintenance and repair logs
- Copies of your medical records
Settlement. We prepare calculations for your economic and non-economic damages to determine an appropriate settlement amount to demand from the insurance company. If we’re unable to reach a settlement, we can discuss other legal options.
Lawsuit. Our Austin slip and fall lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skills to litigate cases like yours. If the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount or denies your claim, we’ll file a lawsuit for compensation.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury Legal Fees and Costs
We understand the financial burden you’re facing. When you get hurt in a slip and fall accident, you have to pay for medical treatment, take time away from work, and still find a way to support yourself and your family. It’s a stressful experience to go through.
We know you’re already feeling overwhelmed, and the last thing we want is to add to your financial problems. That’s why we take cases on contingency. There are no upfront fees or costs for legal representation. We don’t expect payment of our legal fees unless we resolve your case favorably. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
We also provide an initial free consultation to prospective clients. There’s no risk to speak with us about your slip and fall accident and find out your legal options. One of our Austin slip and fall accident lawyers will review the details you provide and advise how we’ll help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury Now
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries. We understand the trauma you endured. We’ll work efficiently to reach a positive outcome in your case so you can move forward with your life. Throughout the legal process, we’ll provide quality customer care, support, and guidance. Our Austin premises liability team is available 24/7, so you can speak with us whenever you need us.
You won’t be alone in this fight. We’ll be by your side from start to finish and help you seek the justice you deserve. We care about our clients and want to make sure the party that caused your injuries is held accountable for their negligent actions. We’ll dedicate our time and attention to every aspect of your case, so nothing falls through the cracks. You can count on us to work hard until we reach your legal goals.
Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 to discuss your slip and fall accident. We’ll begin working on your case immediately and help you get on the road to recovery.