A wet floor is a common sight in establishments, such as supermarkets, restaurants and apartment complexes, for various reasons. Rain or snow can break through doors, windows or gates as people come and go. A patron may inadvertently spill a drink or a liquid product. Further, leaking pipes could form water puddles and flood the facilities.
These hazardous scenarios can result in severe slip-and-fall injuries. Thus, retail or residential business owners must exercise a duty of care to their customers and visitors if they wish to avoid potential liabilities. Conversely, victims must gather proof if they want to prove that property owners acted negligently.
How injured parties can establish premises liability
Texas law expects individuals to act reasonably for personal protection when entering someone else’s estate. Similarly, owners must reasonably prevent people on their premises from harm.
If an injured party believes an owner is responsible for their accident, pursuing a premises liability claim means they must demonstrate the following elements:
- The property’s condition caused an unreasonable risk to them
- The owner knew or must have reasonably known said condition
- The owner failed to show reasonable care to protect them from danger
- The owner’s failure led to their injuries
If none of these factors exist, the owner may argue they are not at fault. Further, they may contend that they had appropriate wet floor signage to warn customers and visitors of slippery areas. These preventive signs must meet industry standards in terms of color and design. Common best practices also specify placing it in a way prominently visible in all directions.
Why self-representing may be a slippery slope
Slip-and-fall victims may go against powerful public companies or private owners. When this happens, they may take on these owners’ insurance companies trying to lure them into a low settlement. This enticing and seemingly harmless offer can quickly create a chain of unfortunate events if faced without valuable counsel. A legal advocate can help secure injured victims’ rights to a fair compensation, which can pay for mounting medical expenses.