If you have been involved in a premises liability accident, then you need to hire a slip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible. Not only can evidence for the case disappear fast, but you will likely need help paying for medical expenses for your injuries. A lawyer can help you receive your settlement more quickly.
Why You Should Get a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible After an Accident
As a general rule, anytime you are involved in an accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer quickly. There are several reasons why a slip and fall accident lawyer in Houston can be helpful after an accident. For example, a lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes, collect evidence, prove liability in your case, and more.
What may seem like a minor action to you can actually be a major mistake in your slip and fall case. For example, refusing initial medical treatment after an accident, posting about your accident on social media, or even uploading pictures of yourself after your accident can all cast doubt on your case. A lawyer will advise you on how to talk to the insurance company and how to conduct yourself in a way that won't undermine your personal injury lawsuit.
Collect Evidence and Witnesses
One of the biggest tasks a lawyer has is collecting evidence and witnesses for your case. Evidence related to slip and fall accidents can disappear quickly, sometimes because the property owner wants to cover up the accident by making the property safer. Evidence can also disappear because witnesses to the accident are hard to track down.
A lawyer will launch a formal investigation of your accident to collect all relevant evidence, including photographic evidence and testimony from anyone who witnessed your accident. Other evidence your lawyer collects can include your medical documents starting from the date of your accident. These medical records will prove that your injury was caused by the accident, which will be useful when your lawyer needs to negotiate your settlement.
In a slip and fall personal injury case, your lawyer will need to prove liability. Specifically, a lawyer must prove that the property owner had a legal responsibility to ensure their property was safe, and that negligence contributed to the accident. In other words, your lawyer must provide evidence to prove that your slip and fall accident occurred through no fault of your own.
Avoid Statute of Limitations
Finally, it's important to contact a lawyer quickly so that you can avoid the statute of limitations on your case. For slip and fall cases in Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. After this point, you will no longer be able to launch a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner who is responsible for your injury.
What Elements Must Be Proven in Slip and Fall Cases?
Slip and fall cases are often related to premises liability, which means that several elements must be proven in your case to establish negligence and liability. The three main elements to be proven in your case include duty to the victim, known potential danger, and damages from injuries.
Duty to Victim
Duty to the victim is an element that is related to liability. Specifically, Texas law states that property owners or managers have a duty to all guests to ensure there are no harmful or dangerous conditions on the property that could potentially cause injuries.
To remain in compliance with the law, property owners and managers must post appropriate signage, including wet floor signs, that will alert guests of potential hazards. Property owners and managers must also keep the premises free of hazards. Failure to do so is considered negligence and establishes liability in your case.
Known Potential Danger
Your lawyer will have to prove that there was a known potential danger that contributed to your accident. For example, a tripping hazard, poor maintenance on the property, or hazardous material are all evidence of known potential dangers. In this case, when property owners and managers do not make the effort to warn visitors of known potential dangers, they are contributing to the potential harm of guests on the property.
Damages from Injuries
Your lawyer will also need to prove that your damages are related to your accident. Specifically, your lawyer will need to provide sufficient evidence that your injuries are caused by the slip and fall accident and not by other medical conditions. A diagnosis is from a physician and medical records are usually adequate to establish this element of a slip and fall case.
It's essential to contact a slip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible after you've been injured in a premises liability accident. A lawyer will help you avoid the statute of limitations and negotiate an appropriate settlement for your damages.