Slips, trips and falls can happen anywhere – to anyone. Commonly, people end up slipping and falling due to spills on a tile floor that haven’t been wiped up, but they can also happen due to loose carpeting and rugs, clutter left on the floor in walking areas and poor lighting in stairwells (among other causes).
Under the law, when a property owner fails to maintain the premises and make sure that walking areas are safe, they can be held liable for a victim’s injuries. So, why does the other party’s insurance company want to know about the shoes you were wearing when you fell?
Texas uses a proportionate responsibility law
It isn’t always 100% clear who is responsible for an accident, so each state takes its own approach when it comes time to divide up the liabilities. In Texas, the law says that you can sue for damages even if you partially contributed to your own injuries in some way – so long as you are not more than 50% to blame.
Essentially, the insurance company is asking about your shoes to see if they can throw some of the blame for your fall on you. They may do that by saying that your footwear was somehow inappropriate for the situation or in such disrepair that it contributed to (or outright caused) your fall.
For example, if you wear wearing flip-flops with a smooth bottom, the insurance company may try to say that your footwear was clearly too dangerous to wear into a grocery store with a tile floor. Or, if your sneakers were worn-out, they may say that you could have tripped over the loose sole of your shoe.
If you’ve fallen due to someone else’s negligence, you have every right to ask the responsible party to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages. It’s wise, however, to get some experienced legal guidance to protect your rights before you discuss anything (including your footwear) with the other party’s insurance.