Texas residents who take legal action after suffering injuries in slip-and-fall accidents usually file premises liability lawsuits against the owners or occupiers of the properties where the accident took place based on the civil tort of negligence. To prevail in court, the plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit must prove that the defendant failed to take adequate steps to remedy a dangerous situation that they either caused, knew about or should have known about. They must then convince the jury that the defendant’s negligent behavior was the direct cause of their injury, loss or damage.
Causation and foreseeability
Damages are only awarded in slip-and-fall lawsuits when the consequences of the defendant’s negligent actions are shown to be foreseeable and the direct cause of the accident. Arguments over foreseeability can be especially contentious when premises liability lawsuits stem from a dangerous condition that the defendant should have known about or a situation that was made worse by the acts of a third party.
The defendants in slip-and-fall lawsuits often claim that the plaintiffs acted recklessly and would have avoided injury if they had taken reasonable precautions. They may also point to signs they placed that warned visitors to be careful. However, such signs could also be used to establish that property owners or occupiers knew that dangerous conditions existed. Accident victims who acted negligently may still recover damages, but the amount they receive will be reduced according to their degree of fault.
Pursuing civil remedies
The legal arguments raised in premises liability lawsuits are sometimes complex, which is why it may be prudent for slip-and-fall accident victims to consult with experienced personal injury attorneys before initiating litigation. After studying the facts of the case, attorneys may provide insight about possible defense strategies and explain the arguments that might be made to counter them.