Slips and falls are a leading cause of personal injuries on other people’s property. Landowners must keep their land safe for visitors and may be civilly liable if an injury occurs on their property.
However, the simple fact that an injury takes place on another’s land does not entitle an injured person to payments. In fact, collecting compensation following a slip and fall requires people to prove their right to be on the land and the defendant’s failure to keep them safe. A San Antonio slip and fall lawyer could help you meet this high legal standard. At Ryan Orsatti Law, our dedicated attorneys work to explain the classes of visitors under slip and fall laws and gather the evidence needed to demonstrate defendant negligence.
What are a Person’s Rights After a Slip and Fall?
The first step in any slip and fall claim is to examine the injured person’s rights under the law. Generally, landowners must protect all people who enter their property. However, more specific laws define the extent to which this protection extends.
The law separates visitors on land into one of three categories. Each of these categories defines the extent to which a landowner must protect against slips and falls. These categories are:
- Trespassers: These are individuals who enter or remain on land without the owner’s knowledge or permission. In these cases, the landowner must only refrain from causing willful or wanton harm to the visitor.
- Licensees: Licensees enter land for their own benefit. For example, a guest at a house party is a licensee since they enter with permission but not to provide the owner with a profit. Landowners must warn guests of all known hazards that may cause a slip and fall.
- Invitees: These people enjoy the highest level of protection. Landowners must warn the guests of all known hazards and take steps to inspect their land for potential defects. Invitees are people who enter land for the benefit of the landowner.
A skilled San Antonio lawyer could evaluate the rights of a slip and fall victim under the law and help pursue a claim for damages.
Landowner Liability for a Slip and Falls in San Antonio
Even if a visitor enjoys protection under the law, they must still be able to prove that a landowner’s negligence was the source of the injury. For example, licensees must demonstrate that the landowner knew of loose carpeting but did nothing to provide a warning.
Other examples of landowner negligence that may lead to slips and falls include:
- Failing to clear a spill in a grocery store aisle
- A broken stair that causes a visitor to fall
- Not clearing ice or snow following a winter storm
- Allowing a freshly polished floor to remain without warning signs
Further complicating matters is the state law concerning time limits in these cases. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 says that most people must pursue claims for compensation no more than two years from the date of the fall. Speaking with a nearby slip and fall attorney as soon as possible gives them the best chance of providing effective help.
Talk with a San Antonio Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you suffered a severe slip and fall while visiting someone else’s land, you deserve the right to seek compensation for your losses. This can include payments for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma. However, collecting these payments can be difficult without legal support. State laws require a plaintiff to prove that they had a right to be on the land and that the landowner failed to provide proper protection. Making matters worse, landowners can argue that your own carelessness contributed to your injury.
Working with a San Antonio slip and fall attorney is the first step in achieving a positive outcome. The team at Ryan Orsatti Law could work to establish your rights under the law, perform a full investigation into how the slip and fall occurred, and demand appropriate payments from at-fault landowners. Contact us today to learn more.