El Paso, Texas is a bustling city of about 670,000 people, as well as a major entry point for trade with Mexico. At any given moment, you might be one of several hundreds of thousands of people out and about, doing business and enjoying the local amenities. Unfortunately, it only takes one act of negligence to trigger a devastating fall that completely upends your life.
At Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC, we understand that pain and frustration of dealing with a severe slip and fall injury. Our El Paso slip and fall accident attorneys have helped many people like you obtain the compensation they deserve from negligent landlords and business proprietors. While you work to recover from your injuries, our skilled attorneys can manage your legal needs, focusing their experience and effort to get the highest amount of compensation possible – to restore your quality of life.
For a free review of your slip, trip, or fall claim, contact us at (915) 206-5154. We serve all of Texas and New Mexico.
Common Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall, or trip and fall, is the common term in the legal profession for an accident that happens when a landlord has a hidden hazard on the property, knows about it or reasonably should have known about it, but does not take reasonable steps to correct the problem or alert the public.
A hidden hazard is one that is not open and obvious to a visitor, such as:
- Broken or loose floor tiles
- Dark passages or stairwells
- Exposed electrical cords
- Missing handrails
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven pavement
- Wet floors
Common places where these accidents occur include supermarkets, restaurants, big-box stores, shopping malls, theaters, stadiums, sidewalks, and parking facilities.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip & Fall Accident?
An injured party who files a claim for a slip and fall accident must prove that, under the circumstances, the person in control of the premises was unreasonable with respect to the hazard.
Elements of a successful case include proof that:
- The hazard was hidden. If a dangerous condition is readily apparent, such as a demolished staircase, the landlord has less of a duty to remove or repair it, since a reasonable person will simply avoid the hazard. However, a landlord can still be liable for an obvious hazard if circumstances require a visitor to encounter the hazard because there is no reasonable way around it.
- The landlord knew or should have known of the hazard. A landlord can only address a problem he is aware of or has ample opportunity to become aware of the issue. With this element, an injured plaintiff must show the landlord had actual knowledge something was wrong or a reasonable person in his place would have discovered the problem through due diligence.
- The landlord was unreasonable in failing to cure the hazard. Whether the landlord acted reasonably depends on many factors. Timing is one important factor the court considers. It is easier to say a landlord was unreasonable for not cleaning up a spill that happened an hour ago than one that happened just two seconds before a customer slipped. The relative costs of potential remedies are also a factor. It might be perfectly reasonable for a restaurateur to paint the edge of a step yellow, even though that does not remove all danger to customers of a sudden change in levels, if the court considers the cost of re-grading the floor might be prohibitive.
Involve a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
Your slip and fall accident may seem like an open-and-shut case to you, but you can be sure the landlord’s insurance company will vigorously defend the case and try to settle with you for as little as possible. To get the most from your accident claim, you need the assistance of a skilled and experienced El Paso slip and fall lawyer. If your medical bills are piling up and you’re losing additional money from being out of work, you need to do everything you can to maximize your claim. That starts with getting the right personal injury attorney for the job.
Contact Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC today at (915) 206-5154 to see how we can help.