Premises liability laws are among the most complex and complicated state statutes. Under Texas law, commercial establishments are responsible for keeping their property safe from dangerous conditions. In a case involving a wet floor, this could be from an unintentional spill, a defective condition where a leak occurred or routine maintenance such as mopping the floor. In legal terms, this means management has a duty of care to warn (wet floor signage) others that a dangerous condition exists. If a manager fails to do so, the breach of that responsibility could be grounds for a negligence claim.
Although most people have a picture in their mind of large financial awards when they hear the words "slip and fall", Texas statutes have a clear exception to the state's premises liability laws. The property owner or management must have known that a dangerous conditions exists and had an appropriate amount of time to take corrective actions. Since much of the evidence gathered is subjective and employees are often slow to participate or reluctant to provide exact details, proving an accident claim can be tricky. For example -- Did the manager clearly mark the danger as well as clean up the spill within a reasonable amount of time?
If your injuries only included a bruised ego or minor sprain, you may be able to negotiate a simple settlement after the insurance adjuster contacts you for a statement. After all, many falls are not much more than an embarrassing situation where the victim jumps up and declares "I'm okay". Although it is best to never make such a statement, it does not dismiss the liability especially if your injuries are discovered after the initial shot of adrenaline wears off. So following an accident, you should immediately ask someone to call 911 if you think you're injured and always ask to speak with the manager before leaving the accident scene.
The appropriate manager is responsible for completing an incident report. If you are physically capable, this is the time for you to record evidence of the scene with your cell phone and to gather information and crucial timelines from any witnesses. Assuming the "wet floor" sign was promptly placed to notify people that a danger existed, documenting the amount of time that passed as well as the what actions were taken to eliminate the dangerous conditions are critical pieces of evidence. Since most insurance carriers understand the burden of proof you have in proving their client's unreasonable actions, it is almost impossible to successfully represent yourself throughout the tort claims process.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured due to a slip and fall, it is prudent to contact a Houston personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case. He or she can help you determine your best course of legal actions. For one-on-one representation of your slip and fall in The Woodlands, Humble or Houston TX, contact Grossman Law Firm for a free consultation.