Legal Framework

San Antonio’s legal framework for slip and fall cases is a complex system of laws and regulations that determine the rights and responsibilities of property owners, victims, and insurance companies. This framework includes relevant laws, statutes, and case precedents that establish the legal basis for slip and fall claims.

Statutes and Laws

* Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 95 governs premises liability, including slip and fall cases.
* Texas Property Code Chapter 92 governs the duties of property owners to maintain safe premises.

Case Precedents

* Strickland v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 920 S.W.2d 581 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1996, pet. denied) established the “open and obvious” defense, which can bar recovery in slip and fall cases where the hazard was readily apparent to the victim.
* Watson v. H.E.B. Grocery Co., L.P., 159 S.W.3d 603 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2005, pet. denied) held that property owners have a duty to inspect their premises for potential hazards and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents.

Proving Liability

In a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to others. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care.
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

In a slip and fall case, the defendant typically owes the plaintiff a duty of care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty of care may arise from the landlord-tenant relationship, the owner-invitee relationship, or the occupier-licensee relationship.

The defendant breaches that duty of care if they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable hazards from causing harm to others. For example, a store owner may breach their duty of care if they fail to clean up a spill on the floor in a timely manner.

The defendant’s breach of duty must cause the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, the plaintiff must show that they would not have been injured if the defendant had not breached their duty of care.

The plaintiff must also suffer damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Comparative Negligence

In some states, the plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced if they are found to be partially at fault for their own injuries. This is known as comparative negligence. For example, if a plaintiff slips and falls on a wet floor, but they were also wearing high heels, the plaintiff’s recovery may be reduced because they were partially at fault for their own injuries.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

san antonio slip and fall lawyer

San Antonio, with its bustling downtown and charming River Walk, presents various potential hazards for slip and fall accidents. Identifying the common causes of these incidents is crucial for both accident victims and property owners seeking to prevent such occurrences.

Slip and fall accidents often result from a combination of factors, including environmental conditions, property maintenance, and human behavior. Here are some of the most prevalent causes in San Antonio:

Uneven Surfaces and Obstacles

  • Broken or uneven sidewalks, especially in older areas of the city, can create tripping hazards.
  • Loose tiles or bricks on patios or walkways can shift underfoot, causing falls.
  • Cluttered walkways, such as those in busy shopping areas or construction zones, can obstruct clear passage and lead to accidents.

Wet or Slippery Floors

  • Rainwater or spilled liquids on sidewalks or in public spaces can create slippery surfaces.
  • Inadequate drainage systems can cause water to pool in areas where people walk, increasing the risk of slips.
  • Businesses or property owners may fail to clean up spills or place warning signs promptly, creating hazardous conditions.

Poor Lighting

  • Dim or inadequate lighting in parking lots, walkways, or stairwells can make it difficult to see obstacles or uneven surfaces.
  • Property owners should ensure sufficient lighting to illuminate potential hazards and enhance visibility.
  • Lack of lighting can contribute to falls, especially at night or in poorly lit areas.

Property Owner Responsibilities

Property owners have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes addressing potential hazards that could lead to slip and fall accidents. Some preventive measures include:

  • Regularly inspecting and repairing sidewalks, walkways, and other areas accessible to the public.
  • Cleaning up spills or hazardous substances promptly and placing warning signs.
  • Providing adequate lighting to illuminate potential hazards.
  • Removing obstacles or clutter from walkways.

Damages Recoverable in Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and fall accidents can result in various types of damages, both economic and non-economic. Understanding the potential damages recoverable can assist you in evaluating your claim and determining fair compensation.

Economic Damages

These damages compensate for financial losses incurred as a direct result of the accident, such as:

Medical expenses: Past, present, and future medical bills for treatment, rehabilitation, and medications.
Lost wages: Income lost due to missed work or reduced earning capacity.
Property damage: Repairs or replacement of damaged personal property, such as clothing or electronics.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages compensate for non-financial losses that impact your well-being and quality of life:

Pain and suffering: Physical and emotional pain and discomfort experienced as a result of the injury.
Emotional distress: Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the accident.
Loss of enjoyment of life: Inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed due to the injury.

Calculation and Award of Damages

Damages are typically calculated based on the severity of the injury, the impact on your life, and the defendant’s negligence. Economic damages are usually more straightforward to calculate, while non-economic damages are more subjective and may require expert testimony to determine a fair amount.

Awards for damages are made by a jury or judge after considering evidence presented during a trial or settlement negotiations. The amount awarded aims to compensate you for your losses and deter the defendant from engaging in similar negligent behavior in the future.

Hiring a San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyer


Engaging the services of a competent slip and fall lawyer in San Antonio offers numerous advantages. They possess the legal expertise and experience to navigate the complexities of personal injury law and effectively represent your interests.

Hiring a lawyer ensures that your rights are protected, and you receive fair compensation for your injuries. They will gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your best interests throughout the legal process.

Finding and Evaluating Potential Lawyers

Selecting the right lawyer is crucial. Consider the following tips:

– Seek referrals from friends, family, or other professionals.
– Research online lawyer directories and read client reviews.
– Schedule consultations with several lawyers to assess their experience, communication skills, and fees.

Working with a Slip and Fall Lawyer

Once you hire a lawyer, they will typically:

– Investigate the accident scene and gather evidence.
– Determine liability and identify responsible parties.
– Calculate your damages and negotiate a settlement.
– File a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
– Represent you in court and advocate for your rights.

Resources for Slip and Fall Victims


After experiencing a slip and fall accident, it’s crucial to seek support and guidance. Here are some local organizations and resources available to assist victims:

Local Organizations

  • San Antonio Bar Association Pro Bono Project: Provides free legal services to low-income individuals, including assistance with slip and fall cases.
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments: Offers a range of social services, including legal aid and financial assistance for victims of accidents.
  • San Antonio Legal Services Association: A non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income residents, including representation in slip and fall cases.

Contact Information and Website Links

Accessing Legal Aid and Financial Assistance

These organizations can help you connect with attorneys who provide pro bono or low-cost legal services. They may also offer financial assistance to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your accident.