Slip and falls can be extremely devastating to victims and often result in traumatic injuries. These falls can happen suddenly, with the victims frequently landing on their elbow or back. The surfaces are often hard and the forces involved when falling on a hard surface can cause life changing injuries. The risks of suffering from a slip and fall accident can be great, and even more so during the winter weather in Texas.
As all Texans know, winter in Texas is completely unpredictable. While we may not see much snow, we certainly are familiar with ice. The risk for a slip and fall accident drastically increases during the winter months in Texas, and the number of these accidents increase as well. These cases can be difficult in determining who is at fault.
Who is Liable for a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
Texas premises liability law states that property owners and property managers have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe. Unfortunately, the law in Texas is tough when ice is involved, and our Texas Supreme Court has consistently stated that a property owner or manager is not responsible for the natural accumulation of ice and these cases may be unrecoverable. Texas courts have consistently extended protection to business owners and tend not to hold business owners for ice that may accumulate on the sidewalk or parking lot. This does not mean that the injured party cannot recover compensation.
There are many factors that go into establishing whether or not a property owner may be liable. For instance, was this a repeat problematic area that the owner had been warned about? Did the injured party fall at the entryway where the business owner had control of the conditions? Were the floors in the store wet due to the inclement weather? Had the ice accumulated naturally, or did it accumulate from something like a leaky gutter or a sprinkler system? There are many factors that can be considered when someone is hurt in a slip and fall during the winter months or during inclement weather.
How can you prevent slip and falls during winter weather?
Winter in Texas is unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for slippery conditions. Knowing that a business may not have to remove the ice on sidewalks and in parking lots means that you should be aware of the weather conditions, especially those that are elderly and at a greater risk of a slip and fall.
Walk with caution.
Plan for your day accordingly when you know the weather will be adverse. Choose durable, slip-resistant shoes or boots without a high heel (you can always pack dress shoes and change into them once you reach your destination). It is a good idea to keep your phone put away. Phones can distract us from paying attention to our surroundings.
Take the safest route.
If you see an area that looks as though it may be a hazard, avoid that area, or take an alternative route.
Contact an Experienced Dallas Slip Trip and Fall layer
Despite the tough laws in Texas, if you feel as though your fall could have been prevented and the property owner should have taken appropriate precautions to prevent it, you should contact the slip and fall experts at Genthe Law Firm, P.C.
Our team is experienced in litigating these cases and offers a free consultation on these types of cases.