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DALLAS SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEY

Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere at any given time. While many of these accidents result in only minor bumps and bruises, some slip and fall accidents can leave people with broken bones or other severe injuries. The hazardous conditions that lead to these kinds of accidents are preventable and very typically occur because of someone’s negligence – whether it is the property owner or the manager in charge at the time, they have the responsibility to ensure a safe environment for their guests or customers.

At The Benton Law Firm, our Dallas slip and fall attorneys believe that no one should have to face the consequences of an accident that occurs due to someone else’s negligence. Almost all slip and fall accidents are preventable if given a reasonable warning, but when no such warning exists it is understandable why so many people suffer from these accidents every day.

Why You Need a Lawyer

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you’re already dealing with injuries that may be severe and medical bills that are mounting. You don’t have the time or resources on your own to deal with insurance companies and research the complexities of the law regarding your slip and fall accident. We understand how overwhelming accidents can be. With that said, it’s important that negligent property owners responsible so that you can receive just compensation.

That’s why you need to hire an experienced slip and fall accident attorney to work on your case. While the details of your case may seem simple, the nuances of the law can complicate what might be an otherwise straightforward case.

For example, it isn’t always clear who is at fault when a slip and fall accident happens. Even if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you may also be partially at fault depending on the details. Property owners sometimes make this argument to downplay their own negligence in slip and fall accidents.

A seasoned slip and fall accident lawyer can help determine who exactly was legally at fault and work with you to build a strong case. What’s more, a lawyer isn’t just there to help you interpret the law. A knowledgeable slip and fall accident attorney can also take depositions, conduct research on your behalf, and deal with insurance companies too. It’s important to remember that no matter how overwhelmed you may be, you are not alone.

The bottom line is that it always beneficial to work with a lawyer since a lawyer will always fight to secure the best legal outcome possible. In fact, personal injury victims who have legal counsel obtain compensation that is three times higher than those who have no legal counsel.

Don’t wait to seek representation. The more quickly you contact a slip and fall accident lawyer, the faster they can begin building a strong case to hold others accountable for your accident.

Call us now at (214) 777-7777 to schedule a no-charge evaluation of your slip and fall accident.

Why Choose Us?

The Benton Law Firm has an experienced, results-oriented team of attorneys who will work hard to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to. Our founding attorney, Jeff Benton, was profiled in D Magazine after being named to the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2018 list. He also has a perfect 10/10 rating on AVVO with more than a dozen positive reviews.

Our results speak for themselves. Jeff recently represented a client who slipped and fell in his apartment complex, securing $1 million in compensation from the insurance company. This is just one of many examples of how we win cases at The Benton Law Firm. We aggressively fight alongside our clients so that justice is served and they get the compensation they deserve.

It’s also important to note that we work with contingency fees at The Benton Law Firm. That means that we only get paid if you win your case. That’s one more reason you can trust us to do our best to fight for your rights. We’re experienced, we’re well-trained, and we’re ready to represent you. Contact us now at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation.

Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

When you fall on someone’s property due to dangerous conditions, inadequate repairs, or another careless action, you should take the necessary steps to hold them accountable. There are steps you can take to protect your rights and ensure that you’re able to recover financial compensation for the injuries you sustained.

At The Benton Law Firm, we have the experience and resources to pursue legal action against business owners and property owners. They have a responsibility to keep the interior and exterior of their businesses safe for visitors. If they don’t perform routine maintenance, remove hazards, or provide adequate warning about any dangers, they should be liable for the injured person’s losses.

Step 1: File an incident report with the manager. Include the date, time, location, and how the fall occurred. Be sure to ask for a copy of it to keep for your records. You should also ask them for their liability insurance details or the name of the person you could contact to obtain that information.

Step 2: Take photos of the accident scene. If a wet floor, debris on the floor, an uneven sidewalk, or poor lighting was the cause of your fall, you should take pictures of it as evidence.

Step 3: Talk to witnesses who saw what happened. Write down their names and phone numbers. They can provide witness statements to the insurance company or testify in court if you file a civil lawsuit.

Step 4: Keep evidence from the fall. For example, if you broke your cell phone during the incident and need to replace it, don’t get rid of it or the receipt for the replacement. These can be useful evidence to show what costs you incurred.

Step 5: Go to the doctor immediately. Wait for an ambulance to pick you up or get a ride to the hospital. You should undergo a complete evaluation of your injuries to determine an appropriate treatment plan. If your doctor refers you to follow up with anyone, listen to their instructions. Continue treating until you recover.

Step 6: Hire a Dallas slip and fall attorney. We will handle every step of the legal process so you can focus on healing. We will file an insurance claim and negotiate for a full and fair settlement. If we’re unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company, we will move forward with filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Who is Responsible in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Determining who is at fault in a slip and fall accident can be a complicated process at times. This is especially true in Texas since state law stipulates that the victim may be partially responsible for an accident. In legal terms, this is called modified comparative negligence. But barring cases where the victim may be partiality responsible for their slip and fall accident, the notion of negligence usually dictates who as liable or at fault.

Someone is negligent when they carelessly fail to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. For example, if your landlord fails to fix a leak for several weeks, and then you slip and fall in a puddle, then the landlord was negligent. He was aware of the problem, failed to address it, and this led to your accident.

However, the case may be more complicated if the victim also contributed to the fall. If, for instance, the victim was intoxicated at the time, the victim might be partially responsible for the accident. In Texas, this means that the victim may receive proportionally less compensation for the accident, or they may not have a valid case at all.

That’s why it is important to hire an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer. A knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer can help determine who exactly was at fault and whether you may be able to receive damages.

Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can leave victims with crippling medical debt, lost wages, and lingering physical handicaps. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

  • Spilled drinks
  • Icy roads or sidewalks
  • Wet floors
  • Loose materials on the ground
  • Low traction shoes
  • Uneven pavement
  • Potholes in the parking lot
  • Inadequate security
  • Poor lighting
  • Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
  • Damaged staircases
  • Hazards in the walkway
  • Missing or broken handrails

Regardless of how the accident happened, a customer or guest of an establishment should never have to fear injury when entering someone else’s property.

Common Injuries Suffered from Slip and Fall Accidents

Whether you fall down a poorly lit stairwell or get your leg injured by a malfunctioning escalator, physical and emotional trauma can result. Some injuries cause chronic pain that requires ongoing physical therapy or medication to manage. Others result in a permanent disability that could prevent you from performing routine tasks on your own.

The injuries associated with slip and fall accidents can range from minor to severe, but they all typically require some form of medical intervention to heal. The most common injuries sustained in slip and falls include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle strain or sprain
  • Torn ligaments

Our Dallas slip and fall attorneys know the suffering you’ve endured. We understand the stressful financial strain you’re facing while attempting to recover. We will work hard to ensure the at-fault party provides enough financial compensation to pay for the costs associated with your injuries.

What Does An Accident Investigation Look Like?

Determining who is at fault in a slip and fall accident can be a complicated process at times. This is especially true in Texas since state law recognizes that the victim may be partially responsible for an accident. In legal terms, this is called modified comparative negligence. Barring cases where the victim may be partially responsible for their slip and fall accident, the theory of negligence usually dictates who is liable or at fault.

Someone is negligent when they carelessly fail to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. For example, if your landlord fails to fix a leak for several weeks, and then you slip and fall in a puddle that resulted from that leak, then the landlord was negligent. He was aware of the problem, failed to address it, and this led to your accident.

Your Dallas slip and fall attorney will thoroughly investigate the incident and gather any evidence that proves the business owner, property owner, employee, or another person was negligent. When we begin our investigation, some of the crucial evidence we will locate includes:

  • Incident report
  • Your medical records and bills
  • Video surveillance of the fall
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Maintenance and repair reports

We will also determine the amount of coverage available through the business’s general liability insurance policy and file a claim. In some situations, a lawsuit might be necessary. We will review all the details of your case and decide which legal option is best for pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.

However, the case may be more complicated if the victim also contributed to the fall. If, for instance, the victim was intoxicated at the time, the victim might be partially responsible for the accident. In Texas, this means that the victim may receive proportionally less compensation for the accident, or they may not have a valid case at all.

For example, let’s say you tripped over an obstacle left in the middle of a restaurant floor. If your medical treatment, lost wages, and other associated costs ended up being $100,000, you could pursue the full amount in compensation from the property owner. However, if you were found to be 20% at fault for your own injuries, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $80,000. Additionally, the 51% rule prohibits accident victims from collecting any financial award if they share more than 50% blame.

What are the Damages Available for Injuries?

When you get hurt in a slip and fall accident, you will likely incur damages. Damages are the losses suffered by an injured victim. They fall under two main categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses experienced after an accident.

When you file a claim or lawsuit, the economic damages you could seek include:

  • Medical bills
  • Mental anguish
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Loss of consortium

Noneconomic damages are often subjective. These factors may come into play when determining a dollar amount due you:

  • Type and severity of the injury
  • Length of the recovery period
  • Impact of the injury on everyday life
  • Emotional or mental trauma caused by the incident
  • Availability of insurance coverage
  • Relevant evidence submitted during the claim
  • Disfigurement, disability, or impairment that resulted from the injury
  • Degree of fault of all parties involved

If you file a lawsuit against the property or business owner, you can also pursue punitive damages, as well as economic and noneconomic damages. Punitive damages, also called “exemplary damages”,  are rare, and are only available in civil lawsuits. Instead of compensating the victim for their losses, it punishes the liable party for their actions and aims to deter similar misconduct in the future.

For a jury to award you punitive damages, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault person or entity acted with:

  • Malice: Intentionally causing an injury;
  • Fraud: Intentionally concealing or misrepresenting material facts to deprive another person of their rights or cause injury; or
  • Gross negligence: An omission or act that creates great risk without regard to the welfare, safety, and rights of others.

There is also a cap on the punitive damages you can receive. They may not exceed the greater of:

  1. a) $200,000 or
  2. b) two times the economic damages plus non-economic damages less than $750,000.

If the jury issues a judgment higher than the cap, the judge will reduce the award to meet the required maximum amount.

What Does It Cost To Hire a Slip and Fall Attorney? 

Devastating situations like this cause not only physical and emotional pain but also a financial burden. When you’re worried about how you’re going to afford your medical bills, the last thing you want to deal with is the expense of legal representation. Most people who choose NOT to hire a lawyer do so to save money. However, this can end up backfiring.

Although it might seem like the best option, you could end up with much less compensation than you deserve when handling your case on your own. At The Benton Law Firm, we know the difficult decision you’re facing and don’t want to add more stress to your life. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t have to pay upfront fees or costs for us to represent you. If we recover an insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict, that’s when we’ll collect our legal fees. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.

Laws that Could Impact Your Case

Whether you choose to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, there are deadlines you must follow. If a deadline passes before you can file, you might lose your chance of pursuing any amount of compensation in this matter.

Although there are no state laws or statutes regarding insurance claims, most insurance policies state a specific timeframe for initiating the process. Some require that you file within 30 days of the accident, while others give you several months. You should check the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy to ensure you begin your claim before time runs out.

Lawsuits are very different. There’s a strict deadline in Texas known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for slip and fall cases is two years. That means you have two years from the injury date to file; otherwise, you will lose your right to do so.

It’s crucial to file your case before the statute runs. Most people file a claim first, and if the insurance company denies it or provides a low settlement offer, then they move forward with a lawsuit. Unfortunately, some claims can take years to resolve, and by then, the statute deadline will have already passed.

There are two major exceptions to the two-year statute that could allow you to pursue legal action even after time runs out:

  • The defendant left the state before you were able to file suit. Their absence would not count towards the two-year deadline, and the clock would start once they return.
  • You were legally incompetent or under 18 years old at the time of the fall. The clock would begin once you become competent or turn 18.

Slip and Fall Lawsuits in Dallas

You must choose a legal theory as the basis of your case if you want to pursue a lawsuit. Slip and fall cases typically hinge on the theory of negligence.

The legal theory of negligence includes five elements that you must prove to recover a financial award:

  1. Duty: The at-fault party owed you the duty of care a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances;
  2. Breach of duty: The other party failed to perform their duty;
  3. Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
  4. Proximate cause: Their breach directly led to your injury; and
  5. Damages: You suffered losses as a result.

You will also need to establish which of the following categories apply to you.  You’ll also need to determine if you’re eligible for compensation in your classification:

Licensees are individuals who have the owner’s consent to be on the property. The owner must warn them of any dangers that could cause harm.

Invitees are people who have implied or express invitation to visit the property for a mutual benefit or for something happening on the property itself. It’s the owner’s legal responsibility to maintain a safe place and warn invitees of hazardous conditions.

Trespassers are those who enter someone’s property without permission. The owner does not owe them any duty to warn them of any possible dangers they could face.

How the Injury Claims Process Works

There’s a specific procedure The Benton Law Firm will follow when we’re handling your insurance claim. We will first start by investigating the cause of your fall to determine if someone else was at fault. If we find that the property owner or another party was liable, we will request a copy of their liability insurance policy to determine the amount of coverage available.

We will file a claim and start obtaining evidence that can prove that your injuries resulted from the incident. Once we complete that step, we will send a demand letter to the insurance company. A demand letter includes relevant details about the case, such as:

  • Date, time, and location of the fall
  • How it happened
  • Who caused it
  • Types of injuries
  • Every doctor and facility that provided medical care
  • Total expenses incurred
  • Settlement amount we are seeking on your behalf

The insurance company will perform its own investigation and determine if they agree with our findings or want to negotiate for lower compensation. They could also deny the claim if they don’t believe the at-fault party should be held liable for your accident.

Remember, the insurance company won’t be on your side. Their job is to save money and try to settle for as little as possible. They might use intimidation tactics to scare you into accepting whatever settlement they provide, but we won’t let that happen. We’re not afraid to go up against them and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. If they refuse to settle for a fair amount, we will file a lawsuit and take them to court.

CONTACT A SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEY

If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall accident, you do not have to face the consequences without fair compensation. The legal professionals of The Benton Law Firm, strive to assist those that are wrongfully injured recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Our attorneys understand how difficult it is to overcome an accident that was never your fault. Contact our offices today at (214) 777-7777 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team to learn more about what we may be able to do for you.

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