Premise liability injuries, including slips and falls, are some of the most frequent and serious of all injuries, and if you’ve been injured in a fall on someone else’s property, with the help of a good Dallas slip and fall attorney, you may potentially be able to receive money as compensation for your damages.
Who is Liable for My Injury?
The law in Texas requires that those who own or operate premises open to the public maintain the premises in a safe condition.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability accident. Those in charge of the premises owe a duty of care to anyone legally on the property.
If a property owner, lessee, manager, or maintenance contractor neglects to maintain and properly monitor the premises and fails to make repairs or post warnings, and a hazard occurs and is allowed to remain, if someone visiting the property is injured or killed as a result, the party responsible for the premises may be found liable for the victim’s damages.
If you have experienced a serious injury from a fall, chances are that you are in a lot of pain and are forced to restrict your activities substantially.
You may be unable to work or take care of your regular duties in and around your home, and you have probably incurred piles of medical bills.
When your fall was caused by a hazardous condition on someone else’s property in Texas, you may be able to recover money to compensate you for your economic and non-economic damages.
You will, however, need to prove that the property owner was negligent and caused or allowed a hazardous condition to exist.
This is best accomplished with the help of an experienced law firm and board-certified Dallas premises liability lawyer.
Do I Have a Premises Liability Case?
To have grounds for a premises liability claim, you or your lawyer will have to prove that you were lawfully on the property at the time of the accident, the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant breached this duty of care and you suffered injuries as a result.
The defendant may have owed you specific duties of care or none at all depending on your status as a visitor.
If the property owner expressly invited you to enter the property or implied an invitation (such as at a business), he or she will owe you the strictest standards of care: to search for unknown property defects, repair hazards and warn of possible risks.
A licensee also has the owner’s invitation to enter the property but does so for his or her own benefit, such as a salesperson or contractor. An owner owes the same standards of care to a licensee, other than the duty to search for hidden defects.
A trespasser does not have the landowner’s permission to enter the property. Thus, the property owner does not owe him or her any duties of care. However, a property owner cannot intentionally injure a trespasser and will owe other duties of care if the trespasser is under 18.
Your Dallas premises liability lawyer can analyze the facts of your case to determine what type of visitor you were at the time of your accident.
From there, your lawyer can ascertain the defendant’s duties to you and gather proof of a breach of duty, if applicable. A Dallas personal injury attorney can help you navigate every step of your premises liability claim in Dallas.
What Evidence Do I Need for a Premises Liability Case?
During any personal injury case, the burden of proof rests with the victim. When you hire a premises liability lawyer in Dallas, he or she can take care of this burden for you.
An injury attorney can help you gather evidence that could help you win your case – evidence that will stand up to the scrutiny of a judge or jury.
Your personal injury lawyer will need to show enough evidence to establish the defendant’s fault and your related damages.
Photographs or videos of the property defect,
Property records or leasing agreements,
Property maintenance logs,
Accident and/or police reports,
Statements from eyewitnesses,
Testimony from expert witnesses,
Homeowners insurance policies,
Medical records, and
Income statements and wage records.
The evidence your attorney preserves collects and submits during your claim will need to establish your classification as an invited guest to the property, the property owner’s breach of duty of care, and your injuries or losses due to the owner’s negligence.
Hiring an attorney from the beginning can help you prove your right to compensation under Texas’ premises liability laws. Your Dallas premises liability lawyer can take care of the burden of proof while you focus on healing.
What Compensation or Damages Could I Be Entitled To?
The compensation or damages you could receive through a claim may be enough to help you and your family move forward after a serious property-related accident.
With the help of an experienced Dallas premises liability attorney, you can potentially recover both economic and non-economic damages from a premises liability claim.
Economic damages are those that can be proven with bills, receipts, and employment records:
Medical and rehabilitation expenses,
Lost earnings and benefits,
Cost of medical or assistive devices,
Cost of household help to perform tasks you can no longer do, and
Other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the injury.
Non-economic damages are harder to assign a monetary value. They include:
Physical pain and suffering,
Loss of enjoyment of life.
The monetary value of your case will depend on factors such as how much your injury impacted your life and whether you will continue to need medical care or disability accommodations. It could also rely on what the defendant did to cause your injuries.
If the defendant was guilty of malice, fraud or gross negligence, you could receive additional compensation in the form of a punitive damage award. Speak to an injury attorney to learn what your case might be worth.
What to Do to Protect Your Right to Compensation for an Injury
If you’ve fallen on someone else’s premises, taking certain steps can improve the likelihood that you will eventually receive money for your injuries.
These are some of the things that you will benefit from doing (and avoiding). Clearly, your ability to do some of these things will depend on how badly you’ve been hurt.
Report the fall to property management without delay.
Take notes: record the name of the person you informed of the accident if it was someone other than the manager or owner.
Record the exact time and place your fall occurred.
If anyone saw your accident, get their name, address, and phone number.
Take pictures of the area, including the hazardous condition that resulted in your falling. If you don’t have a cell phone with a camera, ask someone else to get some pictures.
See a doctor of how and where your fall occurred.
Save the clothes and shoes you were wearing and don’t clean them.
Don’t give a recorded statement or sign any paperwork for the premises management or their insurance company’s representative. If they ask, tell them they will have to talk to your lawyer.
Make an appointment to speak with a certified Dallas premises liability injury attorney for a case analysis. You will find one of the state’s top-rated Dallas premises liability attorneys by calling the law offices of attorney Aaron Herbert.
Do allow an insurance adjuster or company representative to record a statement from you, and do not sign anything unless your attorney tells you to.
Premiss Accident Statistics
Slip and fall accidents send nearly nine million people to the emergency room each year, and the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show the annual number of fatalities in the United States to be 30,208.
That’s right behind motor vehicle accidents (In 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes) as a cause of death.
Here are some more statistics about fall injuries that illustrate the extent of the problem and the negative impact on the lives and health of many Americans:
In addition to the more than 30,000 annual fatalities, the CDC reports that about 9 million people suffer non-fatal injuries from falls annually in the United States, serious enough to require emergency room treatment.
Falls are the number two most common cause of death on the job, second only to motor vehicle crashes.
Workplace slip and fall accidents are responsible for, on average, more than 300,000 injuries every year.
Every two minutes, another American is injured in a workplace fall.
Falls are also the number two most common cause of fatalities in senior citizen communities and private homes.
The Most Vulnerable Sector of the Population to Falls
Although a person of any age can be injured in a fall, the most vulnerable are our senior citizens. They are naturally frailer than younger people and tend to suffer from more serious injuries when they fall, often leading to loss of mobility, loss of independence, and a decreased life expectancy.
Where and How Falls Occur
Falls are most common on public walkways, they can occur anywhere: on stairs, ladders, job sites, restaurants, malls, store aisles, and driveways.
They can be caused by fallen merchandise, food spills, potholes, and floors that have been over-waxed or are slippery and wet because of icy or rainy weather, or in areas that are strewn with items that create a tripping hazard.
Stairs may be in poor repair or may lack handrails, or lighting conditions may be poor. There are many conditions that can cause a person to fall, and many things a property owner can and should do to prevent falls and the injuries they cause, for example:
Providing adequate lighting,
Removing electrical cords out of areas where there is foot traffic,
Cleaning any spills without delay,
Posting warning signs or cordoning off any area that contains a hazard, such as a wet floor or fallen merchandise, until the problem has been cleared up,
Keeping stairways free of tripping hazards,
Providing handrails on stairways,
Filling potholes and cracks that create uneven surfaces on sidewalks and in parking lots, and
Aiming irrigation heads away from walkways.
Why Choose Aaron Herbert for Your Case?
We have been helping clients navigate through difficult situations for over 10 years, including taking dozens of premises liability cases.
We have a long record of success in and out of the courtroom and a lead attorney who has negotiated thousands of personal injury claims.
We put accident victims first, focusing on what the client needs based on in-depth conversations with him or her.
We are happy to help clients on a contingency fee basis, with no attorney’s fees unless we succeed in obtaining a financial award.
Contact a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can seriously disrupt your life. To get the compensation you need and deserve when your injury was someone else’s fault, call Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. to discuss your case with a top-rated, board-certified personal injury attorney.
To contact our law firm for additional information regarding premises liability claims, please call us at (214) 200-4878 or fill out our free online form.
If you’re in the San Antonio area reach out to our San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers.