The LeBlanc Law Firm
To prevail in a premises liability case involving a dangerous condition,
the owner or occupier of the premises must have known or should have
known of the dangerous condition in order to impose liability on the
owner or occupier.  Proving a dangerous condition alone is not enough to
impose liability.  We have experience handling these cases.  
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Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer
Dallas, Texas
SLIP AND FALL LAWYER
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DALLAS SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

"Slip and fall injury" or "trip and fall injury" is the generic term for an injury
that occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or
hazardous condition on someone else's property. Sometimes, these injuries
may also be referred to as "slip, trip and fall" injuries. Slip and fall injuries can
result from such problems as water, rain, ice, snow, grease or an other
slippery substance on the walking surface, as well as abrupt changes in
flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see hole in
the ground.  Slip and fall / trip and fall / slip, trip and fall accidents are
considered "fall down accidents," and any injury arising from such an accident
is considered a personal injury.  

These cases fall under the broader category of cases known as "premises
liability" cases. The term "premises liability" refers to a situation when an
individual is injured on a property, or "premises" owned or maintained by
someone else, and the owner or possessor of the property is held liable for
such injury.  The LeBlanc Law Firm has a
Dallas slip and fall attorney that
handles injuries as the result of fall down accidents that occur in Texas.  

Many debilitating injuries arise from people slipping or tripping on wet,
slippery or greasy surfaces, as well as unexpected holes in sidewalks that
result from missing manholes or utility covers, and other hidden hazards on
areas that residential and business property owners as well as local, city, state
and even federal government entities should be properly maintaining.  

There are four generalized categories under which fall down accidents are
grouped:

1.  Trip and fall accidents, where there is a foreign object in the walking  path;

2.  Stump and fall accidents, where there is an impediment in the walking
surface;

3.  Step and fall accidents, where there is an unexpected failure or hole in the
walking surface; and

4.  Slip and fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails.


SLIP AND FALL CAUSES

Some slip and fall accidents can be caused by:

Structural Defects – As buildings get older, normal wear and tear can create
dangerous conditions for visitors.  Cracked sidewalks, torn carpeting and
uneven steps are just a few hazards that can cause injury to visitors.

Weather Hazards – Property owners generally have a duty to make reasonable
efforts to minimize the dangerous conditions caused by rough weather.  For
example, property owners should shovel snow and salt steps and sidewalks to
avoid slip and fall accidents in cold and icy weather conditions.

Building Code Violations – A property owner who fails to ensure that the
building is up to code may be liable to a slip and fall victim who is injured as a
result of the building’s non-compliance.

If you are on someone else's property in Texas and you injure yourself as a
result of a dangerous condition on the property, the land owner or business
proprietor may be liable for your injuries.   

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT TIPS

The U.S. Department of Labor has compiled these tips for preventing a slip
and fall accident:

Keep floors clean and dry;

Provide warning signs for wet floor areas;

Where wet processes are used, maintain drainage and provide false floors,
platforms, mats, or other dry standing places where practicable, or provide
appropriate waterproof foot gear;

Walking/Working Surfaces Standards requires all businesses to keep all places
of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition;

Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good repair, with no obstruction
across or in aisles that could create a hazard;  

Keep exits free from obstruction;

Ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately;

Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or have become bunched to prevent
tripping hazards;

Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement and
should be kept clear at all times;

Provide adequate lighting especially during night hours;  

Instruct workers and other visitors to your property to use the handrail on
stairs; and

Eliminate uneven floor surfaces that could cause someone to trip and fall.


An accident report should be completed at the time of the slip and fall accident
noting what happened, who witnessed both the slip and fall accident and the
conditions that caused the slip and fall, along with any other relevant
information such as lighting, weather (if accident occurred outdoors) or
hidden hazards.  

If you are injured in a slip and fall down accident, contact a personal injury
lawyer right away to learn your legal rights and options. Time limitations
apply, so contact a
lawyer as quickly as possible. Also, if the at-fault party is a
local, city, state or federal government entity, different laws may apply which
may affect your rights as an injured person.   

TEXAS LAW

The law of negligence applies to a slip and fall accident, and a key issue in
some cases is what duty the property owner owed the injured person in terms
of protecting him or her from injury. Traditionally, the law distinguished
among four categories of people who might be on someone else's property: 1)
invitees (for example, a delivery person); 2) social guests; 3) licensees
(someone who is on the property solely for their own benefit); and, 4)
trespassers (for example, a vandal).   The amount of care the property owner
was required to exercise to protect a person from injury depended on how the
person was categorized.   In most cases, an injured party must prove that the
subject premises was in a "dangerous condition" when the injury occurred,
and that the owner or possessor of the property knew or should have known
of the dangerous condition.  

In order to establish that a property owner or possessor knew or should have
known of a dangerous condition, it usually must be shown that: 1) the owner
created the condition; 2) the owner knew the condition existed and negligently
failed to correct it; or, 3) the condition existed for such a length of time that
the owner should have discovered and corrected it prior to the incident in
question.

For a property owner or possessor to be held liable, it must have been
foreseeable that his negligence would create the danger at issue. For instance,
if a can of paint falls to the ground and spills into an aisle in a hardware store,
and one day later, the store has not noticed or cleaned up the spill, and
someone slips in the paint and is injured, one might argue it was foreseeable
that the store's negligence in failing to inspect its aisles, and clean up spills
would result in someone slipping and injuring himself on a spilled item.

For a plaintiff (the injured person) to be successful in a slip and fall accident,
the plaintiff must typically prove the following:

1.  there was a condition of the defendant's (landowner) property which
presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;

2.  the defendant knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known
that the condition of his property involved an unreasonable risk of harm to
persons on the premises;

3.  the defendant should have anticipated that persons on the premises would
not discover or realize the danger, or would otherwise fail to protect
themselves against it;

4.  the defendant was negligent;

5.  the plaintiff was injured;

6.  the condition of the defendant's property was a cause of the injury to the
plaintiff.

Occasionally, a plaintiff can prove negligence by showing that the property
owner violated a relevant statute. For example, a building owner must ensure
that his or her building's structure is in compliance with applicable building
codes. For example, building codes often dictate when and where handrails
and other similar features must be installed. If you fall on a stairway that
lacked appropriate handrails, and the lack of the handrail caused your injuries,
you may have a valid claim against the building owner based on his or her
building code violation.  


POTENTIAL PARTIES

In slip and fall cases, there are often a number of people or entities that may
be held responsible for someone's injuries. For instance, if a business rents
space from a property owner, both the property owner and the tenant (the
business) may be named as defendants by someone injured on the property. In
that case, the tenant is known as a possessor of the property, and has a duty
to use reasonable care to prevent injury to those on the premises under its
control. A possessor might also be a party who manages or maintains the
property, such as a management company.

When an injury occurs on property owned by a local, state, or federal
government entity, special rules will apply, and it is important to consult a
Dallas lawyer to protect your rights. Specifically, there are very stringent
notice requirements and broad immunity provisions that sometimes shield
government entities from liability for injuries that occur on their property.


PURSING A PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM

If you have been injured on someone else's property due to the fault of
another, and are considering filing a claim against the responsible party, there
are certain procedural matters of which you should be aware, and which you
should discuss with an attorney. First, every state has a "statute of
limitations," which limits the amount of time one has to bring a personal injury
action.  Second, if you were injured on public property, Texas requires that
you give notice to the appropriate governmental entity, such as the city, within
a very short time period, sometimes within as little as 180 days from the date
of injury. If you fail to give the appropriate notice or bring your legal action
within the relevant time frames, you might lose your ability to recover for your
injuries altogether.  

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The LeBlanc Law Firm is located at 3102 Maple Avenue, Suite 450, Dallas, Texas.  For
directions,
click here.   

We serve  all areas of North Texas, including Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton
County, Collin County including the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Grand
Prairie, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Carrollton, Farmers Branch,
Lewisville, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine, Coppell, Colleyville, Duncanville, DeSoto,
Cedar Hill, Lancaster and Rockwall. We also accept cases throughout the State of Texas
including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Tyler, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Amarillo, Corpus
Christi, Brownsville, Beaumont, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Laredo, Midland, Odessa, Texarkana
or any other city in Texas.

Examples of personal injury cases handled by The LeBlanc Law Firm:  
truck accident,
automobile accident, premises liability (slip and fall), medical negligence, nursing home
negligence, dental negligence, wrongful death, defective product, defective drug, false
imprisonment, construction accident, employment related injuries.

Please visit our other websites:  
General Practice and Business and Employment law sites.
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