Getting Compensation When You Fall Near a Wet Floor Sign
Businesses that see a lot of foot traffic, like shopping malls, are very aware of the law regarding slip-and-fall accidents. Those companies employ expensive lawyers to protect them from having to pay for claims and lawsuits if a customer is injured as a result of their negligence. One potential way companies try to minimize their liability is to put out signs warning customers of potential dangers. For instance, putting up a sign that reads “wet floor” after an employee has cleaned an area. Can you sue if you fall and there’s a wet floor sign? Perhaps. It will all depend on the facts of what happened, because sometimes the plastic caution sign isn’t enough.
What Happens When You Slip on a Wet Floor
A slip-and-fall accident might seem like one of the least serious injuries that could happen to you – comical even. However, what could happen when you slip on a wet floor is not a joke. You could suffer broken bones, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or a spinal injury that can keep you out of work for months or years.
If you do fall in a store or restaurant, they will typically send an employee out to try to help you and, possibly, to create a formal incident report. They’ll ask if you need an ambulance (and may call for one anyway). They will ask you what happened, and they’ll start recording everything, including the employees on duty and the condition of the area where you fell.
You don’t have to answer any of their questions beyond whether you need medical attention. Always err on the side of getting checked out. Many people who fall in public feel so embarrassed or ashamed, their instinct is to try to get up and leave as quickly as possible. And they may also be in a state of shock, where they are so startled that they don’t realize they have been injured. Or, some injury victims without health insurance may try to tough it out rather than incur medical bills. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your initial treatment to understand your rights after a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property.
What Happens When You Talk to a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
If you do experience a slip or fall anywhere, whether it is at a business, a private residence, or on a public street, you should seek medical attention. You need to make certain that there are no injuries you might have suffered that don’t present themselves as causing pain immediately. It may take a few days for you to realize you have a serious injury. Doctors have a variety of diagnostic tools at their disposal to look past the surface and determine exactly how you were injured by your fall.
You should speak with a lawyer, whether or not you seek medical attention right away. The conversation will be confidential and you will get to tell your side of the story to someone with your interests at heart.
After discussing the incident with an attorney, they will be able to determine whether or not you can move forward with a claim and potential lawsuit. An attorney will tell you why you can file a claim, what the process will entail, and the compensation you may receive for slipping on a wet floor.
What is a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
There are several elements of a slip-and-fall lawsuit that must be met before a lawyer will consider filing a claim on your behalf:
There is some issue with the area where you fell, and it was someone’s duty to take care of the issue.
They failed to take care of the issue, and the danger was not open and obvious to you.
You suffered some injury as a result of the fall.
If these conditions are met, you may have grounds for a slip-and-fall lawsuit. You may not have to go to court, however. You may be able to settle your lawsuit out of court.
What Kind of Compensation is Available in a Slip-and-Fall Case
Recovery available under Texas law
According to the Texas civil code, there are several types of compensation available in a slip-and-fall case.
You may ask the court to provide compensatory and/or punitive damages, these could include:
Economic Damages – To compensate you for expenses you might incur related to the injury or loss from missing work because of the injury.
Non-economic Damages – To compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced because of the slip and fall.
Exemplary Damages – in Texas, the law refers to punitive damages as exemplary damages. If the person responsible for the injury you suffered was grossly negligent or intentionally caused your injury, you could receive exemplary damages.
The amount you receive depends on many factors.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for Slipping on a Wet Floor?
Texas Law Can Complicate Your Ability to Recover Damages in a Slip-and-Fall Case
There are several factors that will affect the financial compensation you receive for your injuries in a slip-and-fall case. Among them are:
The extent of your injuries
The amount of time you miss work
How your injuries and lost wages affected your mental health (pain and suffering)
Whether the person responsible was grossly negligent or intended for you to fall.
These issues, and others, may determine the amount an attorney may ask for on your behalf in a lawsuit for a slip and fall. There are also other practical issues to consider.
If the place where you fell is a business, it is likely that the business will have insurance to cover the matter. You may deal with an insurance company rather than a person.
If you in any way contributed to the fall, you may not be eligible to receive as much compensation as you believe you are entitled to.
If there was a warning regarding the safety of the conditions where you were moving at the time of the fall, you may not be eligible to recover as much.
The latter two issues relate to issues in Texas law regarding negligence and fault.
Comparative Negligence in Texas and a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit
Can You Sue If There is a Wet Floor Sign When You Fall and Injure Yourself?
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that the court will observe the behavior of both parties in determining who is at fault. In general, this would mean that if you were deemed 30% at fault for your accident, you could only receive 70% of the recovery.
However, in Texas there is a bar on recovery under its comparative negligence rule. The bar is 51%. So then, if you were 51% (or more) responsible for your injuries, you could not be compensated at all for your injuries.
If there was a warning sign on the premises telling you that the floor was wet, but you walked on it anyway and fell, then that may diminish your chances for recovery. A court might believe that you were at fault for your injuries. However, the person responsible for placing the sign might also be at fault. They may have placed the sign behind a huge stack of canned goods, where it was difficult to see. They might have failed to pick it up when a customer knocked it over so that you never saw the sign at all. It may be possible for you to recover compensation for injuries in a slip-and-fall case even if there was a wet floor sign nearby. However, there are also situations where the warnings suffice – and the danger was open and obvious.
Our Attorney Can Help You Receive Fair Compensation
Get Help If You Have Suffered an Injury
If you have been injured in a fall and you need help regarding medical bills, your regular bills if you miss work, and dealing with insurance companies, you can get help from an experienced slip and fall lawyer. Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law as soon as possible at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 to get the legal help you need.
Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]