Premises Liability Attorney Houston TX
When Property Owners Are Negligent, Serious Injuries Can Occur
Everything you ever wanted to know about premises liability and more
Let’s first talk about what the subject of “premises liability” actually is. Basically, if a person steps foot on a property, the person will not be harmed.
Now what happens if the person does not legally own the property they live on?
It’s simple. Even though the person might not legally own it, he or she still has the legal obligation to ensure the safety of the property. The person is still responsible to a certain degree.
Premises Liability Example:
Say that you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice, especially during the winter times. It is going to be in your best interest to make sure your driveway is kept clean and clear. You might have visitors that come to see you. The mailman delivers your mail to you every day. This is part of the premises liability logic. If you don’t keep your driveway clean and clear, a person could get hurt.
While the above is true, you can’t always prevent someone from being careless. Sometimes others will injure themselves on your property, while blaming it on you. Now there’s no way to escape this. You can’t control what others do and say, you can only control yourself. It’s sometimes difficult to prove what others are responsible for. In other words, you really have to have the proof to back it up.
What about a burglar?
Trespassers are not allowed on your property in any way, shape or form. So, technically they are in violation. However, you are not allowed to cause “willful damage” to these people, even if they do come on your property.
Now do you see where the contradiction comes into play here?
What should I do if I slip and fall in a store?
Every business has a legal duty of care to keep their establishments safe and hazard-free for the people who enter. This includes retail establishments. But, as any premises liability attorney in Houston TX can attest, businesses often fail to do this. A breach of that duty of care, either by the business or by a specific employee, can result in someone’s injury.
When a customer is injured in a slip and fall incident, they are entitled to pursue damages against the owners under their state’s premises liability laws. If you find yourself a victim of a retail store slip and fall accident, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure your claim against the store is protected. The following is a brief overview of those steps. For more specific details, contact a premises liability attorney to discuss what your legal options are.
The first step you should take when you slip and fall is to document the accident. Use your phone to take pictures of the area where you fell, including any items that may have contributed to the fall, such as debris or an area of liquid. If you are physically able, see if there is an employee in the area so you can tell them what happened. Make sure to get the employee’s name. If there are any witnesses to the fall, such as other shoppers, see if they will provide you with their contact information.
The next step you want to take is to seek medical attention. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to call an ambulance. If you do not need an ambulance, decide whether you need to go to an emergency room or if you can wait to see your own physician. Medical records will be critical to your personal injury case, since these will be official documentation of your injuries.
Once you have addressed immediate medical needs, you will want to file a claim with the store. This will be different than whatever notification you gave to the employee at the scene of the fall. The manager of the store should be able to provide you with the information of who you should officially file an accident report with. Make sure to document the name of every employee you speak with. This could be important if the store tries to claim you did not notify them of the incident.
If you have any social media accounts, do not share any information about the accident with anyone online. Many people are tempted to photos of injuries or vent about their experience, but this can be used against them in a lawsuit.
Once you have taken the above steps, you will want to contact a premises liability attorney to find out how you should proceed. An attorney can investigate your accident, collect evidence, and determine what type of compensation you may be entitled to. Your attorney should also know how to deal with a large corporation (if the retail store has a parent company) and their insurance company — something that can be intimidating for a lay person.
Talking to a Premises Liability Lawyer in Houston
If you are involved in a situation where this happening, it’s best to talk to a lawyer. Never take this situation into your own hands. Many people have gotten hurt “legally” by thinking they know the law, even when they don’t. Contact John K. Zaid & Associates today to schedule consultation with a premises liability attorney Houston TX residents know and trust.