Dallas Premises Liability Lawyer
Dallas premises liability lawyer Doug Goyen has represented residents of Dallas, Texas in personal injuries from auto accidents since 1997. We have settled thousands of cases and recovered millions of dollars for our clients in settlements. For our clients, the Law Office of Doug Goyen provides experienced, aggressive, and powerful representation.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen is a personal injury attorney in Dallas who focuses on premises liability cases in which dangerous conditions have resulted in an injury. Slip and fall cases are examples of premises liability cases.
- Do you have medical bills from your accident that you are concerned about paying?
- Do you require medical treatment for your injury but are unsure where to go or how you will pay for it?
- Have you lost income as a result of your injury due to missed work, or are you concerned that you may need to miss work as a result of your injury?
- Do you want the full settlement value of your personal injury claim paid to you?
- Do you want a personal injury lawyer who will get you the maximum settlement amount for your claim?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you should contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen. We produce results for our customers. We get them the money our clients deserve for their injuries. Attorney Doug Goyen has handled thousands of injury cases, including slip and fall injuries, and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. He has held a valid Texas attorney’s license since 1997.
Thousands of people are injured in the North Texas area each year as a result of premises issues that cause a “slip and fall.” If you were injured on business property in the Dallas area due to a dangerous condition, you are probably looking for a Dallas slip and fall lawyer. The majority of personal injury lawyers in Dallas handle premises liability and slip and fall cases. When it comes to slip and fall cases, the Texas Supreme Court has carved out some rules that protect business owners while making consumer recovery more difficult. You will almost certainly require the assistance of a lawyer to help you recover in your case.
Slips and Falls fall under the category of “Premises Liability.” In Texas, premises laws govern who can and cannot recover for a slip and fall or other injury caused by a dangerous condition on the premises.
The owner of the property is liable for an injury that occurs on their property if it can be proven that the injury was caused by the owner’s negligence. If you have unpaid medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, or other injuries or damages as a result of a property owner’s negligence, you may be able to recover from that property owner if your lawyer can identify the negligence or dangerous condition that caused your injury. The sooner you hire a slip and fall injury lawyer, the more likely it is that your injury lawyer will be able to obtain the necessary evidence to ensure that you are able to recover in your case.
Slip and fall injuries, dangerous conditions on a property that cause an injury, dog bites, and exposure to mold or other toxic/hazardous substances are all examples of injuries that can occur on the property. In a premises liability case, the injured person must demonstrate that the dangerous condition that caused the injury was either created by the property owner or was actually known by the property owner but nothing was done to prevent an obvious hazard from injuring someone.
A “premises liability case” is one in which a dangerous condition on the premises causes someone to be injured. There are numerous laws and factors that must be considered when determining whether or not the person in charge of the premises is responsible. These laws are constantly changing as a result of new and clever ways for courts to interpret the law. Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court has made a habit of ruling in favor of bad-actor premises owners and businesses while ruling against those who have been victims of those bad actors. Because this has been the trend for the last 25 years, business owners and property owners’ insurance companies have become extremely aggressive in defending premises cases. That is, they frequently will not make any offers at all for the injury caused by the property owner’s negligence. This forces the injured party’s hand – you have two options: 1) walk away and have medical bills that were not your fault ruin your credit and possibly force you into bankruptcy, and suffer your injury without adequate funds to treat that injury, or 2) hire a personal injury lawyer and force them to accept responsibility and pay for the injuries caused on their property.
Premises liability cases are those in which someone has been injured as a result of the condition of the property (as opposed to situations in which someone’s activity on their property causes an injury). Keetch v. Kroger Co, 845 S.W.2d 262, 264 (Tex.1992). In premises liability cases, negligence must be proven. A premises liability case requires more elements to be proven than most negligence cases.
The distinction between Premises Liability and Negligent Activity Cases: In the Keetch case above the plaintiff claimed that their injury was caused by a fall due to a slick spray that had been applied some thirty minutes earlier to some plants that fell on the floor. The plaintiff attempted to prove their case by pointing to the property owner’s negligence. A negligent activity case requires only the typical proof of negligence on the part of the property owner. The Texas Supreme Court determined that because the activity was not currently in progress at the time of the fall, the claim was a premises liability case (a condition on the property). If the activity that caused the injury is no longer taking place, it is a premises liability case if a dangerous condition on the property causes an injury.STATUS OF THE PLAINTIFF – INVITEE, LICENSEE, OR TRESPASSER
Depending on whether the person injured was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, the property owner owes different duties to them.
1) Invitee: An invitee is someone who enters a property with the express or implied consent of the parties for the mutual benefit of the parties. Anyone who goes shopping is an invitee. They were invited onto the property for business purposes, in order to exchange money for goods.
2) Licensee: A licensee is someone who is on the premises with the express or implied permission of the possessors. They are present for the licensee’s convenience or for the benefit of someone other than the possessor. This is typical behavior for a visitor to someone’s home or property.
3) Trespasser: A trespasser is someone who is on someone else’s property without the possessor’s legal right or consent. They are there for their own reasons or simply out of curiosity.
Tolerated Trespassers: Some trespassers will be considered licensees if the possessor tolerates repeated trespassing. If a possessor tolerates repeated trespassing, and injured trespasser’s status may be upgraded to licensee. A possessor who tolerates intrusions on its land may be held to have implicitly allowed a trespasser to enter its premises only under the following conditions:
a) Actual knowledge. The possessor had actual knowledge of the trespassing. General Mills Rests., Inc. v. Texas Wings, Inc., 12 S.W.3d 827, 835 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2000, no pet.); Mellon Mortg. Co. v. Holder, 5 S.W.3d 654, 672 (Tex.1999); Restatement (d) of Torts sections 335, 336. A possessor cannot implicitly invite trespassers if it does not know about them. City of El Paso v. Zarate, 917 S.W.2d 326, 331-32 (Tex.App.-El Paso 1996, no writ)(city was held to have implicitly invited boy to swim in pond because city did not fence area, put up barricades, or post warning signs; boy’s status was that of licensee); Mellon Mortg., 5 S.W.3d at 672 (consent to enter not implied unless owner know people have been entering land).
b) Prevent or discourage. The possessor did not take steps to prevent or discourage the trespassers after it learned of them. General Mills, 12 S.W.2d at 835; Mellon Mortg., 5 S.w.3d at 672. Smither v. Tex. Texas Utils. Elec. Co., 824 S.W.2d 693 at 694-95. (even though D knew about repeated trespassing by fishermen, P was trespasser because D fenced land, repeatedly repaired holes in fence, and posted signs that the area was dangerous), and Jannette v Deprez, 701 S.W.2d 56, 58 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1985, writ ref’d n.r.e.).(even though D knew about trespassers who swam in water-filled quarry, P was trespasser because D fenced land and posted signs), City of El Paso v. Zarate, 917 S.W.2d 326, at 331-32 (Tex.App.-El Paso 1996, no writ)(P was licensee and not trespasser because city made no attempt to keep trepassers out), and Murphy v. Lower Neches Valley Auth., 529 S.W.2d 816, 820 (Tex.App.-Beaumont 1975)(fact question as to whether owner implicitly invited boy to swim on property because owner knew boy was swimming on property and did nothing to prevent it), If the steps to discourage or prevent trespassers would be unduly burdensome or futile, the possessor is not required to take them. General Mills, 12 S.W.3d at 835; Mellon Mortg., 5 S.W.3d at 673.
Emergency Trespassers: If the plaintiff enters the property as a trespasser but does so in an emergency, the entry may be justified and the plaintiff’s status may be upgraded from trespasser to licensee.
Volunteer Rescuer Trespasser: If there is a cry for help on the property and someone responds, their status is upgraded to invitee even if they did not have permission.
Unexpected Departure: A plaintiff’s status can be reduced from invitee to licensee or even trespasser. This occurs when a person is granted permission to enter one area of the property but then enters another area of the property where permission was not granted.
Attractive Nuisance Trespassers (children): If the injured trespasser is a child and the cause of the injury on the property was an enticing nuisance, the possessor’s duty to the child changes to that of an invitee.
Recreational Use of Property: According to TCPRC Chapter 75, the possessor of property owes a duty not to injure a person who enters the property for recreational purposes through gross negligence, malicious intent, or bad faith.
It makes no difference what the plaintiff’s status is in the following types of cases (if invitee, licensee, or trespasser).
Statutory duties include: Low-hanging power lines are one example; if the line is lower than the statutory height, it is illegal.
Use of an easement: If a property has an easement (a pathway, walkway, or road that allows access through the property), the owner does not have exclusive possession and only owes the ordinary duty of care to anyone who uses the easement.
The premises are connected to public property, such as a sidewalk or a roadway. The case is filed as a negligence claim rather than a premises liability claim.
Invitee: If the plaintiff entered as an invitee, such as a shopper, and the condition that caused the injury posed an unreasonable risk of harm, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the possessor had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition or reasonably should have known about the condition. In light of the dangerous condition, the possessor must exercise ordinary caution. The plaintiff’s awareness of the hazardous condition is only relevant to their proportional responsibility. The Possessor is responsible for inspecting and repairing any dangerous conditions, as well as providing adequate warning.
If a licensee (such as a guest) enters the property with permission and the condition poses an unreasonable risk of harm, the plaintiff must show that the possessor was aware of the danger. If the plaintiff was aware of the hazardous condition prior to the injury, they are not entitled to compensation. In light of the dangerous condition, the possessor must exercise ordinary caution. The possessor is exempt from the requirement to inspect their property for a licensee. They must, however, secure any dangerous conditions on the property that they were aware of.
Trespasser: If a trespasser enters the property without permission and is injured by a condition that poses an unreasonable risk of harm, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the possessor was aware of the dangerous condition. The plaintiff’s knowledge of the hazardous condition is relevant to the issue of proportionate responsibility. The possessor is under no obligation to exercise ordinary care. They must refrain from intentionally, wantonly, or grossly negligently injuring a trespasser. There is no obligation to inspect or secure the property in advance of trespassers.
As long as you were not a trespasser, “Actual Knowledge” is usually required in Texas to hold a property owner liable for a dangerous condition – this is what your personal injury lawyer will need to prove your case. That is, the property owner must have known about the condition (and a reasonable person in that situation would have known it was dangerous) and failed to remedy it. Alternatively, if it is demonstrated that a dangerous condition existed and that it was actually created by the property owner, the property owner is liable for any injuries caused by the dangerous condition they created.
Take notes on any conversations you have with people who were on the property, particularly those who worked there, to help determine whether those people were aware of the dangerous condition or created it.SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
Property owners may be held liable if a visitor or person living on the property is injured. It must be demonstrated that the injury was caused by the owner’s negligence. The status of the person on the property (invitee, licensee, or trespasser) changes the duties of the possessor of the property. An injured person who slips and falls as a result of another’s negligence may be able to recover the costs of lost income and medical bills, as well as compensation for pain and suffering or physical disability, among other “damages.”
The injured person bears the burden of proving that the person in charge of the property created the unsafe condition that caused the injury, was aware of an unsafe condition but did nothing about it, or that whatever they did was insufficient to warn or make the condition safe.
The owner must have “actual knowledge” of the dangerous condition that caused the injury in Texas (or they somehow created the dangerous condition). This can be difficult because store employees or property owners do not want to admit that they saw an unsafe condition but did nothing about it. There is frequently evidence of their knowledge that can prove they knew about or created the condition that caused your injury. You will need the assistance of an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer to identify that evidence.
If you need a slip and fall injury lawyer or were injured by a dangerous condition on a business or individual’s property, call the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen handles personal injury cases throughout the state of Texas. This includes car crash cases (automobiles, 18 wheelers, motorcycles, pedestrians struck by vehicles, etc.), premises cases (such as injuries caused by a dangerous condition on a property), dog bite cases (or other animals where the owner let their animal loose or had a dangerous animal and the owner’s negligence causes injury to someone else), workplace injuries, and other injuries caused by the negligence or harmful acts of others.
We deal with the insurance company and protect your rights while you focus on what you need to do to get better and take care of yourself and those around you.
Large commercial trucks do serious damage and cause serious injuries. We will fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve and protect your rights while you recover.
Drunk drivers cause serious injuries and death every year. We fight their insurance companies to get you compensated for the damage and injury they have caused you.
Pedestrians struck by vehicles can suffer serious injuries. We represent people injured in by negligent drivers and help our clients get compensation for their injury.
Bicyclists are at risk of serious injury if they are hit by a vehicle. We represent bicyclists who have been hit by careless drivers.
When bars or restaurants continue to over-serve drunk people, and those people cause accidents that result in injuries, we assist clients in obtaining compensation for their injuries.
We fight for the rights of motorcyclists who have been hurt by careless drivers. We are fighting for full compensation from the insurance company.
When someone dies as a result of negligence from a motor vehicle accident, the family and estate have a claim against the negligent parties. We represent families and estates in obtaining restitution for their losses
FREE CASE REVIEWS
If you are needing a slip and fall injury lawyer you need to call today for a free phone consultation and free strategy session regarding your case with a Dallas injury attorney. During the strategy session, we will summarize the facts of your case, identify legal issues revealed during the session, and then identify those legal issues that are most important in maximizing your recovery in your case. We will email a copy of this strategy session to you for your records.
Case: Shopper falls over pallets left in the aisle at office supply company: (The store left pallets in the shopping aisle. Our client tripped over the pallets as he was looking up at products on the shelves. Investigation of the scene showed the placement of the pallets in the aisle became a dangerous condition that caused our client’s injury). Follow the link for more details: Pallet left in the shopping aisle at an office supply company caused a fall and injury.
Case: Child injured on the automatic gate at apartment complex: (An apartment complex had left guard off of the chain mechanism that opened and shut their automated gate. This caused severe injuries to our client’s child. The apartment denied that they knew about the condition. Neighbors living at the complex and repair orders both confirmed that the apartment in fact did know about the condition for weeks yet had not fixed it yet. The apartment complex then decided to settle the case). Follow the link for more details: Child injured by the automatic gate at an apartment complex.
Case: Employer causes a dangerous condition that causes a serious injury to its employee: (Employer causes a dangerous condition that causes serious injury to an employee. Employer denies they did anything wrong. Evidence is produced at trial proving our client’s case and a large verdict is awarded by the jury). Follow the link for more details: Employer causes a dangerous condition that causes a serious injury to its employee
If you were injured in the North Texas / Dallas area and need a Dallas premises liability lawyer call us (972) 599-4100 for a FREE consultation.DIRECTIONS TO OUR OFFICE
Law Office of Doug Goyen
15851 Dallas Pkwy #605
Addison, Texas 75001
(972) 599 4100 phone
(972) 398 2629 fax
Directions to our office: We are on the southbound side of the service road to the Tollway. Stay on the Dallas North Tollway until you come to the Keller Springs exit. Take the Keller Spring exit. Stay on the service road on the southbound side and go just past Keller Springs. Our office is the 2nd building south of Keller Springs, located on the service road to the North Dallas Tollway in the Madison Business Center on the 6th floor.
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