The most common type of personal injury case is the slip and fall case. These occur when someone is on someone else’s property and they slip, fall, and become injured. In some cases, this can be the grounds for a lawsuit.
Slip and Fall Cases
In order to determine the best course of action, it is important that you understand which type of slip and fall case you are going to pursue. This depends predominantly on the location and the circumstances under which you fell.
In the state of Texas, someone who slips and falls in a public area is possibly able to pursue a premise liability case. Premises liability cases can be tricky. When a person becomes injured on someone else’s property, that does not automatically open the owner up to a premises liability case. In order to pursue a premises liability case, three things must be proven.
- There must be some duty of the property owner to keep the plaintiff safe.
- The property owner has to breach that duty.
- And finally, that breach of duty has to lead to the plaintiff becoming injured.
At-work Injury (Personal Injury Case)
If you were injured while at work, then the case can become a personal injury case. Personal injury cases can be difficult because of Texas’ modified comparative negligence law, and because many employers carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Finally, if you were injured while working on someone else’s property, this would be considered a third-party lawsuit. These cases are less common and typically occur when outside contractors or subcontractors are hired for certain jobs. In those cases, the person must identify a third party who can be held liable for their injuries.
I slipped and fell while at work—can I sue?
In the state of Texas, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer, but there are specific limitations that make it difficult.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In most slip and fall cases, the worker can simply file a workers’ compensation claim to be reimbursed for the damages caused by their workplace injury. Worker’s compensation insurance is bought by the employer and is designed to compensate workers who have been injured while on the job. This protects the employer from a lawsuit and protects the employee from financial hardship.
For worker’s compensation claims, you do not need to prove that you were not “at fault” for the accident; but you do have to notify your employer of the injury within 30 days of the accident. In the state of Texas, however, employers are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
No Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance this can open them up to a lawsuit. However, this type of personal injury lawsuit can be difficult to prove.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the state of Texas, if you slip and fall while at work, and your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, you can sue your employer. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer can be tricky though since in many cases, your employer will try to find reasons not to pay you.
In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, you will have to prove negligence or recklessness on the part of your employer. Like in a premises liability case, you will need to prove that
- Your employer owed you a duty of care.
- The employer breached that duty.
- And finally, that breach of duty led you to become injured.
Your employer could breach that duty of care by:
- Not providing you with accurate safety training/tools.
- Not placing signage in dangerous areas.
- Not blocking off a hazardous area
Unfortunately, in the state of Texas, there is a modified comparative negligence law that can make personal injury lawsuits difficult.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In the state of Texas, both parties can share the blame for the slip and fall incident. Prior to filling a slip and fall claim, your employer will likely try to place the blame on you. Instances of modified comparative negligence:
- You are in an area you are not supposed to be in.
- Your fall was due to being distracted (such as texting and walking).
- Inappropriate footwear was used.
- There was signage that warned you of the hazardous condition.
- The hazardous conditions should have been obvious.
You can still file a lawsuit for the slip and fall injury as long as you are deemed less than 50% responsible for the accident. Similarly, the amount of compensation you receive from the settlement will be directly related to the percentage of fault you are found to be in.
Finally, there is a statute of limitations in the state of Texas. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit or a worker’s compensation claim. As stated earlier, worker’s compensation claims have to be filed within 30 days of the accident. However, the deadline for personal injury lawsuits is two years after the accident.
Slip and Fall Attorneys in Texas
If you have slipped and fallen at work, you are able to sure your employer. It can be difficult to prove that your employer is “at fault” since Texas follows the modified comparative negligence; however, it is not impossible and it can be done—with the help of a slip and fall attorney. The personal injury lawyers at Paxton Law have helped thousands of people prove their innocence in a slip and fall case. With our team of knowledgeable attorneys, we can help you get the monetary compensation you deserve. Call us at (281) 978-2244, or visit our website for a free consultation. Don’t suffer in silence, let the attorneys at Paxton Law fight for you.