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Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Slip and Fall, Premises Liability Attorneys

Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth Slip and Fall, Premises Liability Injury Attorneys

Every year, numerous Texans suffer injuries from slips and fall accidents  In fact, slip and falls result in more than 1 million emergency room visits annually and represent the primary cause of lost days from work, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Properties such as stores, gas stations, restaurants, parking lots, businesses and apartment buildings are often improperly maintained, thus leading to severe injuries from slip and fall accidents.

A premises liability claim is a specific type of negligence action brought as the result of alleged injuries caused by a condition of real property.  A slip and fall injury can be very serious, as it can cause you to suffer from related injuries for years after the accident. Slip and fall accidents can cause significant injuries to your back, brain, hips, arms, knees, toes and/or legs. While it is hoped that you will be able to get back to full function, many times you are faced with having to miss a substantial amount of time at work or even quit your job, due to long term symptoms or even a permanent disability.

Slip and falls can cause severe bodily harm and result in chronic pain, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, impairment, disfigurement and costly medical treatment. When Texas property owners fail to fix or warn people about potentially dangerous conditions on their property, they may be held liable for injuries under Texas premises liability law.

Texas Premises Liability Law: Status of Victim

In Texas, not everyone who slips and falls on someone else’s property will have a viable claim against the property owner for their injuries. The nature of the victim’s relationship to the property owner will be important to determining whether a claim exists. 

Texas premises liability law makes a clear distinction between the following types of visitors to a property:

  1. An invitee is a person wo enters the possessor’s premises in response to an expressed or implied invitation by the possessor and for the benefit of both parties. Some examples of invitees include:
  • Business patrons
  • Club members
  • Church members
  • Child with a parent
  • Working social guest
  • Tenant
  • Tenant’s guest
  • Employees
  • Meter readers
  • Mail Carriers
  • Newspaper-delivery person
  • Garbage collector
  • Public-safety inspector
  • Public-safety officer
  1. licensee is a person who enters the premises with permission of the possessor for the licensee’s own convenience or on business for someone other than the possessor. Some examples of licensees include:
  • Member of household
  • Social guest
  • Visitor to business establishment
  • Public-safety officer
  • Volunteer rescuer
  • Off-duty employee
  • Door-to-door salesperson
  1. trespasser is a person who (1) enters the property of another, (2) without any right, lawful authority, or express or implied invitation, permission, or license, (3) not in performance of any duties to the owner (4) but merely for his or her own purposes, pleasure, or convenience.  Some examples of trespassers include:
  • Child without permission
  • Subtenant without permission
  • Employee without permission
  • Friend of employee
  • Hunter without permission
  • Recreational land user

Property Owners’ Duty of Care 

In Texas, property owners and/or possessors can be held liable for injuries to persons who enter upon their property. This is known as premises liability. The most common premises liability claims involve slip and falls, and/or injuries caused by disrepair of the property.  In fact, property owners are required to exercise “reasonable” care to maintain safe premises and to limit the risk of injury to invitees and licensees. Failing to honor the duties owed to a particular visitor, depending on his or her status, can open the property owner and/or possessor up to liability if a slip and fall happens.

A property owner owes the following duties:

  1. Victim is an invitee:
  2. Duty to inspect
  3. Duty to warn or make safe
  4. Duty to refrain from gross negligence
  5. Victim is a licensee:
  6. Duty to warn or make safe
  7. Duty to refrain from gross negligence
  8. Victim is a trespasser:
  9. Duty to refrain from gross negligence
  10. Duty not to intentionally injure

A possessor of property does not a duty of ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition for trespassers; however, when ta possessor tolerates repeated trespassing, an injured trespasser’s status may be upgraded to licensee. 

Elements of a Slip and Fall Case

Slip and fall claims must have some specific elements in order to be valid in Texas. These elements include that:

  1. The victim (i.e., plaintiff) was an invitee or licensee when the accident occurred.
  2. The defendant was responsible for the property at the time of the accident. This can include property owners, landlords, building managers or others who are “possessors” of the property.
  3. A condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm to the invitee or licensee.
  4. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known of the danger.
  5. For a licensee, the plaintiff did not have actual awareness of the danger.
  6. The defendant breached its duty of ordinary care by
    1. Failing to adequately warn the plaintiff of the condition or
    2. Failing to make the condition reasonably safe
  7. The defendant’s breach of duty proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove these elements which pertain to a slip and fall claim and is key to a successful outcome. Our attorneys at Chandler | Ross, PLLC will provide invaluable help when it comes to establishing all of these elements in your slip and fall case.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

A property owner will do anything they can to avoid liability for your slip and fall accident and injuries.  As such, it is extremely important to carefully document the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Immediately following a slip and fall accident you should do the following:

  1. Take pictures of the scene.Immediately after your accident, take pictures of the accident scene and the condition of the premises that caused your fall. Gather proof that the unsafe area was not marked off or that uneven or wet floors did not have proper warning signs.
  2. Gather witness statements.Obtain recorded statements of any witnesses regarding what they saw.
  3. Visit a medical professional.Always immediately seek medical attention from a medical professional.  Some injuries are not immediately apparent after an accident, but a medical professional will be able to detect such issues and provide the necessary medical treatment for those injuries.
  4. Contact our personal injury attorneys at Chandler | Ross, PLLC.When you get hurt in a slip and fall accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. Our team of Slip and Fall Attorneys at Chandler | Ross, PLLC will help you gather evidence of the accident and fight for the compensation you are entitled to receive. 

Most Common Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slip and falls may result from a variety of unsafe property conditions, including:

  • Unmarked wet floors
  • Slippery substances on floors or ground
  • Inadequate ice or snow removal on sidewalks
  • Broken or uneven floors
  • Broken or missing steps
  • Cracked or partially missing sidewalks, flooring and/or parking lots
  • Poor lighting
  • Failure to comply with building codes

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

While some victims of slip and falls accidents are fortunate enough to walk away with minor bruises and scratches, many suffer serious injuries such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Arm, leg, and/or foot injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Dislocated shoulders

Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys

Injuries from slip and fall accident can radically change the course of your life. At Chandler | Ross PLLC, our attorneys are experienced at helping people get the compensation they deserve from property owners in premises liability and/or slip and fall accidents. Whether your injuries are due to the negligence or deliberate actions of someone else, we are here to help you through your case.

With offices in Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas, Chandler | Ross, PLLC is well positioned to provide the most effective and highly-skilled Premises Liability – Slip and Fall Attorneys possible.  Don’t wait, and don’t compromise – contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation and see how we can help you.  In most cases, you pay nothing unless we settle your case or win a verdict.  Contact Us now at (940)-800-2500 or support@chandlerrosslaw.com to schedule your free personal injury case evaluation and consultation