Slipped On Ice, Can I File An Injury Lawsuit?
29 November 2017No Comments
If you slip and fall on ice, you can suffer severe injuries that result in life-altering, permanent injuries. Common injuries in a fall caused by ice include broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injury, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. It is very important that you understand your legal rights regarding a premises liability claim for a slip and fall injury.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, your first priority is to seek medical attention for your injuries. It is important for your health and for your accident claim that you see a physician as soon as possible after the fall. You need to document your injury, and you do not want to give the insurance company any reason to claim that your injuries were not sustained in the fall because you delayed medical treatment.
Your next step should be consulting an experienced Texas slip and fall attorney. Property owners have varying degrees of care that the owner must take to protect visitors entering the property. However, falls on ice can be difficult to prove if the court views the accumulation of ice as a natural accumulation of ice or an “Act of God” instead of negligence. Our experienced attorneys are very familiar with the current Texas case law regarding slip and fall accidents on ice and how to use the evidence to help build a persuasive case to prove owner liability for your injuries.
Proving Fault in a Texas Slip and Fall Accident
When you are injured in a fall, you must prove certain elements to be successful with a premises liability claim. To hold a property owner liable for damages after a fall, you must prove:
- An unsafe condition or hazard existed on the property;
- The property owner knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed;
- Despite the knowledge of the condition, the owner did nothing to warn visitors of the danger or correct the condition;
- The dangerous condition was the proximate cause of your injury; and,
- You suffered damages because of the injury.
If you can prove the elements of a premises liability claim, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, physical pain, permanent disability, disfigurement, and emotional suffering. However, proving fault for ice can be more difficult than proving fault for other dangerous conditions.
For example, if the forecast calls for freezing temperatures but there is no forecast for precipitation, does the law require the property owner to take precautions for ice? On the other hand, if the forecast calls for rain and below-freezing temperatures, should the property owner anticipate the likelihood that the parking lot, sidewalks, and other areas of the property may be covered in ice? Another potential scenario could be if the owner did not turn off the automatic sprinklers knowing the temperatures would be below freezing thereby creating the icy conditions.
As you can see, it can be a bit trickier to determine the property owner’s duty of care when ice caused your fall than it can be to determine the duty of care in other slip and fall claims. You must take into consideration all relevant facts surrounding the slip and fall accident instead of just the fact that the ice existed on the property and you fell on the ice.
What Should You Do If You are Injured Because of a Fall?
If you are injured in a fall you need to:
- Report the fall to the property owner immediately;
- Seek immediate medical attention;
- If you can do so, take photographs or videos of the accident scene because ice can melt quickly;
- Ask for the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses;
- Do not agree to provide a statement to the insurance adjuster for the property owner or sign any releases; and,
- Call our office for a free consultation with a Corpus Christi slip and fall attorney.