You’ve Got One Shot At Your Slip And Fall Claim
Our slip and fall attorneys will make it count
Many people think of slip and falls as minor incidents, but that’s not always the case. Each year, millions of people wind up in the emergency room due to a slip and fall accident. These serious injury-causing accidents are often avoidable results of dangerous conditions caused by negligence.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and your claim. Hoover Rogers Law, LLP offers free injury case evaluations to slip and fall accident victims. Contact us and we can explain how the law applies to your case and how to recover money for medical bills and other losses.
Where slip and falls happen
While they can happen anywhere, you are more likely to slip and fall in some places than others. The most frequent locations for slip and fall injuries include:
- Shop or supermarket aisle
- Internal stairs
- External walkway or pavement
- Internal corridor or walkway
- Storeroom or warehouse
- Escalators and other passenger conveyances
- External stairs
- Entrance to a shop or store
- Walk-in freezer or refrigerator
The things people are most likely to slip and fall on include stairs, uneven ground, temporary obstructions, liquid or food spills, recently cleaned floors, snow, and ice.
Serious slip and fall injuries
Slip-and-falls can cause serious injuries that take a long time to heal. Sprains, strains, ligament, muscle and tendon damage are all common injuries that may require surgery as well as physical therapy to repair
Joints at risk of serious injury in a slip and fall include the ankle, knee, elbow, and shoulder.
The most common injuries from a slip and fall include:
- Nerve damage
- Swelling and bruising
- Strain and sprains
- Spinal injuries, herniated disc
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) like concussions
Unfortunately, some slip and falls are fatal. Indeed, falls are the third-leading cause of accidental death in America, behind only poisoning (a category that includes drug overdoses) and motor vehicle accidents.
What it takes to win a slip and fall case
Slip and fall accidents fall under the legal category of premises liability, which is the portion of personal injury law concerning a property owner’s responsibility to people on the property. To win a premises liability case, your lawyer must prove:
- The property owner owed the injured person a duty of care
- The property owner failed to meet the standard of care
- This failure led to your injuries
- You have damages because of your injuries
Whether you were invited to a property makes a big difference to your claim.
Premises law identifies three main classes of visitors to another’s property — invitee, licensee, and trespasser. The reason you were on the property affects the property owner’s duty of care and thus your legal rights if you are injured.
Invitees are invited to a property for a business purpose, implicitly or explicitly. Common examples of invitees are grocery store and retail shop customers, repairmen, restaurant diners, hotel guests, and gas station patrons.
Texas: In general, the duty of the property owner here is to protect the invitee from dangerous situations. Negligence can be established if: the property posed an unreasonable risk, the owner knew about or should have known about the risk, ordinary care to prevent injury was not taken, the property owner’s failure to warn invitees of risks led to an injury.
Oklahoma: Property owners are responsible for providing a reasonable duty of care to prevent injury. However, the property owner has no responsibility to warn or protect against risks that present “open and obvious” dangers. To file a personal injury claim, you must establish that your injury is the result of the owner or operator’s negligence, the injury-causing situation existed for a “sufficient” duration of time such that the owner should have noticed and addressed the problem, and/or the owner failed to use an “ordinary” amount of care in maintaining or patrolling the property. Negligence per se may be established when an injury is caused due to a property owner’s failure to provide reasonable care, which rises to the level of a violation of the statute created to prevent said injury.
Oklahoma has special standards that reduce the liability for landowners who allow their property to be used for recreation like hiking, hunting, and fishing.
Licensees are on a person’s property with their approval for the visitor’s benefit, not the owner. A licensee might be a social guest, or someone who has gotten an owner’s okay to go fishing or hunting on their property or use an easement.
Texas: Unlike invitees, a property owner is only responsible for warning licensees about risks of which they are already aware. A reasonable amount of care must be taken by the property owner to address risks to licensees.
Oklahoma: An owner must warn a licensee about known risks on the property. There is no duty to alert the visitor about hidden dangers of which the owner is not aware. Nor is the owner responsible for inspecting the property for potential risks. If the owner knows about a hidden danger, like a snare or traps, they have a duty to inform a licensee.
Trespassers are not invited and are unwanted on an owner’s property. While trespassers have much less legal protection than invitees and licensees, they still have some rights.
Texas: There is no duty to warn or provide a reasonable level of safety to a trespasser. Just about the only responsibility property owners have to trespassers is to not intentionally and willfully injure them.
Oklahoma: Just like in Texas, in general, the only duty the property owner has to a trespasser is to not intentionally injure them. However, a property owner can be held accountable for “gross negligence” in cases where a risky premises condition is known, and it is reasonably foreseeable that a “technical” trespasser could be injured by it. A technical trespasser is usually someone briefly on the property of another without their permission — like a child cutting across a lawn on their way home.
The ”attractive nuisance” doctrine
Children are a special consideration in premises liability matters. An attractive nuisance doctrine says that property owners are responsible for preventing potential, foreseeable harm to children who are too young to identify dangerous situations.
What qualifies as an attractive nuisance is subjective. In general, for an attractive nuisance case to go forward, the following things must have happened:
- There is an attractive nuisance – that is, something that is likely to attract children – on the property, such as a swimming pool.
- The owner knew or should have known that the attractive component would draw the interest of children.
- There was inadequate or no attempt to secure the property.
- The child did not understand the risks.
- The child was injured.
- Those injuries can be attributed to the attractive nuisance.
A lawyer can do the research, cite the precedent, and make the argument that can nail down an attractive nuisance case.
Texas: The Lone Star State has an “attractive nuisance” rule that, in general, applies only to “artificial” property features that an owner knows or should know would be attractive and dangerous to a child.
Oklahoma: The attractive nuisance rule in Oklahoma applies to any type of condition that would be irresistible to children too young to comprehend the danger of a situation — natural or artificial.
Get started on your slip and fall claim now
At Hoover Rogers Law, we take slip and fall accidents seriously. We know how critical it is for you and your family to get every dollar you deserve after a bad accident. We stand up to liability insurance companies and negotiate for maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf. If necessary, we will take the insurance company to trial and fight for your legal rights in court.