Do my shoes matter in slip and fall cases?

Slip and Fall Lawyer

Often, the dispute in a slip and fall case is centered upon whether a substance or liquid was present on the floor at the time of the incident, and whether that substance created an unreasonable dangerous condition. However, another factor that should be considered in negligent slip and fall cases are the shoes worn by the injured individual. Characteristics of a shoe that may be of interest in a slip and fall case include: the type of shoe, the condition and age, the type of soles, and the intended use of that type of shoe.  The age and condition of the shoe may have an impact on the stability of your shoe. In addition, the shoes worn during the incident may have valuable information on if a substance was present at the time of the incident.

Shoes may contribute to an individual slipping or could increase the severity of an injury resulting from a slip and fall. Victims of a slip and fall accident should preserve the shoes they were wearing at the time of the incident in case they are requested to provide them for litigation. 

Some types of shoes may be considered inappropriate for specific environments. As Texas is a modified comparative fault state, the shoes worn at the time of the incident could be considered to have contributed to the injury. If your shoes are determined to be a contributing factor in an injury, the damages awarded for the incident could be reduced.  

Texas has had a handful of cases consider the victim’s shoes at the time of the slip and fall. The results have been mixed with some cases finding liability to the injured individual based on the shoes worn, resulting in a reduction or elimination of damages awarded to the victim.  

In Crowell-Gifford v. Cloutman, a woman fell down a flight of stairs after slipping on a rubber mat located on the stairs. Defendants denied liability for a multitude of reasons including the defense that the plaintiff’s very long and high heels contributed to her injury. The jury disagreed with this allegation and found that the shoe was not usually high, and the plaintiff recovered damages.  

In Harsha v. Renfro Drug Co., the jury found that both the plaintiff and the defendant was negligent in the slip and fall case. The defendant was negligent in mopping the floors resulting in an unsafe condition. However, the plaintiff was negligent too by wear high heels that were worn down and in poor condition. The jury concluded that the heels contributed to the fall. The jury found nothing for the plaintiff due to the negligence on the plaintiff’s part. 

In conclusion, it is important for injured parties to preserve the shoes they were wearing at the time of the incident. While the courts have come to mixed conclusions on the contribution of shoes to an injury, it is important that an injured individual can show they did not contribute to the injury through the shoes they wore if they are asked to produce them. Consulting with an experienced slip and fall Lawyer, in Dallas TX, like the office of Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, will help with your case.