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What Are My Rights If I am Injured in a Store?

Jan 17, 2013 - Slip and Fall by

Many people assume in Texas that if you trip or slip on a substance in a store, the store is responsible for your injury and must pay your medical bills.  Unfortunately, that is not the law in Texas.  In fact, the law in Texas is that the store owner is not liable unless you can prove that they were negligent and their negligence caused you to fall.

To establish this, there are two things you must prove in Texas.  The first is that an unreasonably dangerous condition existed in the store.  That’s right, in Texas it is alright to have a dangerous condition in a store, it just cannot be unreasonably dangerous.

Second, you must prove that the store owner knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known about the unreasonably dangerous condition.  This means the spill on the floor must have been there long enough that the store owner should have found it and cleaned it up.

If the substance was spilled two minutes before you stepped in it and fell, then chances are the store owner will not be liable because they did not have an opportunity to discover and clean up the spill.  If, on the other hand, the spill had been there for 30 or 40 minutes, and the store owner nor its employees ever discovered the spill or cleaned it up, then a jury could find that they should have known about it had they been inspecting their store properly.

The difficult thing for a Texas consumer is proving how long the substance has been on the floor.  The Texas Supreme Court has held that a consumer cannot guess how long the spill was there.  There must be a witness to prove how long the spill was there.  Finding that type of witness is almost impossible in a crowded store.

Fortunately, with increasing technology, the very thing that was designed to protect the stores is now helping injured consumers.  Those are those always-present surveillance cameras that are scattered throughout the store.  These cameras are always there and always watching the floor.  These cameras can see when the spill occurred, how much time passed before the consumer stepped in the substance and fell.  They can prove whether or not the owner knew or should have known about the spill by determining how long the spill was on the floor.

The personal injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have been representing people injured in premises claims for over 30 years.  Whether it’s a fall in a grocery store, an injury at a construction site or an oil field accident, the attorneys at Roberts & Roberts have the experience to help injured consumers.  As always the initial consultation is free.  You do not have to pay the attorneys unless they obtain a settlement for you.

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