In Texas, falls are the 19th most common cause of death among people of all ages according to World Life Expectancy. While falls can happen to anyone, they are especially common cause of both injuries and fatalities among seniors 65 and older. In addition to causing a large percentage of fatal injuries, falls are also a leading cause of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and other serious and costly damage to the body.
Falls can happen in any location, from a private residence to a construction site to a nursing home. After a fall happens at work or on someone else's property, it is important for the fall victim and his or her family to understand the laws protecting their rights. A victim or surviving family members may be able to make a personal injury or wrongful death claim if they can show someone (like a property owner or nursing home operator) was liable for causing the fall to occur.
Making a Personal Injury Claim for Fall Injuries
A premises liability claim can be made for injuries based on a fall if the victim or surviving family members can show the defendant who they are pursuing a case against had an obligation which he failed to fulfill. For example, property owners have certain obligations to visitors which are determined based on the relationship with the visitor. The highest duty is owed to those who come to a property for commercial purposes, while an intermediate duty is owed to casual guests and a very limited obligation is owed to trespassers.
It is up to the victim to prove the extent of the property owner's obligation, as well as to show the defendant did not fulfill the obligation in such a manner that the failure led to the fall. Usually, negligence on the part of the property owner or operator has to be shown as part of the case. If the fall happens at work and the victim is covered by workers' compensation, however, negligence is not a factor - but the benefits that can be recovered through workers' compensation are fairly limited in scope. If the victim's employer is a non-subscriber or a third party was responsible for the fall, the victim can file a personal injury claim for additional damages.
In any lawsuit resulting from a fall where the victim has to prove negligence, there are different kinds of evidence which could be useful for proving liability. Victims of a fall injury could have experts testify about the coefficient of friction, which is a scientific measure used to assess slipperiness. Experts could also testify about building code violations, while eyewitnesses could testify about the conditions they observed and the observed cause of the fall. The stronger the evidence and the more evidence available, the more likely it is the victim will be able to successfully make a personal injury claim claim for full compensation for fall losses.
Accident lawyers in Houston can help after your injury. Call today at (800) 632-9404 or visit https://www.h-nlaw.com to schedule your free consultation with The Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood. Serving clients in Houston, Galveston, Alvin and throughout Texas.