Premises Liability Attorneys in Dallas, TX
The law asks that all property owners and possessors make a reasonable effort in preventing accidents and injuries to visitors. What is “reasonable” depends on the circumstances and the type of visitor. For example, a property owner owes greater standards of care to invited guests than trespassers. Understanding your place amidst Texas’ premises liability laws can require assistance from experienced lawyers. McGilberry & Shirer is proud to have award-winning premises liability lawyers in Dallas who have earned the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell rating. We’re your source for premises liability legal representation.
Premises Liability FAQ’s
- How much does It cost to hire a premises liability attorney?
- What are the most common premises liability accidents?
- How to prove premise liability claims in Texas?
- What to do after a premise liability accident?
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Premises Liability Attorney?
After suffering serious personal injuries on unsafe premises, you deserve to have your day in court – or, as is the case with most claims, at least to have an attorney represent you during settlement negotiations. Although there is no law in Texas requiring you to hire a lawyer to represent you, it is almost always in your best interest. Unless you have a legal background, you won’t know how to optimize your odds of a compensation award. A lawyer can maximize your recovery, obtaining a six-figure, seven-figure, or higher award on your behalf.
Don’t let the cost of a premises liability attorney discourage you from learning more. At McGilberry & Shirer, you won’t pay a single penny unless we win your case! We offer our legal services entirely for free if we don’t achieve a settlement or verdict for your premises liability accident. If we do win your case, we’ll deduct our attorney’s fees directly out of your award. This prevents you from ever having to pay for a lawyer out of pocket. Our contingency-fee payment schedule means every victim can afford to pay for an attorney. The no-pay-unless-we-win rule also inspires our attorneys to fight for the best possible results.
Our firm also doesn’t charge a fee for legal consultations. That gives you the luxury of meeting with our team, discussing your case, and receiving legal advice for free. You won’t have to pay for hourly legal services, for overtime worked on your case, or for the consultation. We’ll be upfront and honest about whether we think you can win your case, and whether the cost of an attorney is worthwhile for you. Minor injury claims may not need a lawyer’s assistance.
Attorney Fees vs. Legal Expenses
What you pay your lawyer for his/her representation is not the same as the fees you may have to pay associated with the court process. Hiring experts, investigating the premises liability accident, obtaining copies of police reports and medical records, making copies, accessing databases, and paying for a deposition may all take separate fees. Again, however, you won’t have to afford these costs out of pocket. Your lawyer will pay for these items in advance, then take them out of your settlement or judgment as with the attorney’s fees.
Communicate With Your Premises Liability Attorney
If you don’t understand your lawyer’s fee schedule, want to know how much something costs, or want to get a price up front, contact your attorney. Communication is key in the attorney-client relationship. Your lawyer won’t know you’re unhappy or confused about something unless you speak up. If your lawyer can’t be honest and open with you, consider switching attorneys. It is possible to switch lawyers partway through the premises liability claims process, although you will generally still have to pay the first lawyer for his/her time.
If you switch attorneys, your new lawyer should base his/her fees on how far along your case is and what the former lawyer accomplished. You can pay your current and former attorneys out of the settlement or judgment you receive. A former lawyer can place a lien on your recovery to ensure you pay him or her. If you switched lawyers because you believe your attorney didn’t fulfill his or her promises to you, you may have grounds for a legal malpractice claim. This could give you additional compensation on top of your premises liability claim, replacing the time and money you lost because of a negligent attorney.
Open communication with your lawyer right from the beginning can help you avoid situations in which you feel the need to switch representation. It can also help you understand what your lawyer will cost and whether there are ways to negotiate the price of legal services. McGilberry & Shirer are more than happy to discuss your situation and options in-depth, during a free case evaluation in Dallas.
The Most Common Premises Liability Accidents
Dallas has a beautiful downtown, perfect for walking. Unfortunately, many pedestrians have become victims of a property hazard. Your life can change within minutes if a property contains a dangerous defect. Know that if the worst happens and you suffer an injury, you’re not alone. Others in Dallas have experienced similar harms and received sizable compensation awards for their damages. Three of the most common types of premises liability accidents are as follows
- Slip and falls. Falls send an average of eight million people to the emergency room each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Slip and falls can happen from wet floors, uneven sidewalks, loose carpets, exposed cords, and debris in the aisle. The most common settings for slip and fall accidents are grocery stores, parking lots, and at work according to slip and fall attorneys in Dallas.
- Swimming pool accidents. Every year, unintentional drowning accidents take thousands of lives. Many of these victims are young children, between the ages of one and four. Residential swimming pools are some of the most common settings for these accidents. Landowners should always keep pools properly secured with gates, fencing, or covers.
- Dog bites. Dogs are technically pieces of property in Texas. Owning a dog comes with a responsibility to reasonably prevent that dog from biting or attacking others. Failure to prevent a dog bite when the owner had reason to believe the dog was capable of viciousness could result in dog owner liability for damages.
At McGilberry & Shirer LLP we’ve helped dozens of clients secure compensation for premises liability accidents in our years of experience. We have experienced a broad range of accident types. We’re confident we can provide our assistance no matter what caused your recent accident and injuries, whether you’re dealing with injuries from a building fire or a mugging. We have what it takes to fight for justice on your behalf.
How to Prove a Premises Liability Claim in Texas
Texas statutes decide if, when, and why property owners will be legally responsible for injuries that happen on the premises. To have a successful claim, an injured person would generally need to prove the following elements:
- The defendant owned, leased, or lived in the property where your accident took place. You must first prove you have the correct defendant, by showing that the person allegedly at fault is the party with ownership or control of the property in question. This is typically just a simple matter of paperwork, land titles, and ownership rights.
- The defendant owed you duties of care. There are three types of property visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees enjoy the most duties of care, as guests the owner invites to the property. Shop customers are examples of invitees that should be warned of hazards like water on the floor where guests can slip and fall. Licensees enter properties also by invitation, but for their own purposes, such as salespeople. Owners do not owe licensees as many duties of care as invitees. Trespassers do not have the property owner’s permission to be on the premises and do not qualify for most duties of care.
- The defendant breached his or her duties of care. The law gives invitees the right to expect a property owner to repair known property defects, search for and repair unknown ones, and warn of existing hazards. Licensees get the same rights, except for searching for unknown hazards. The only duties of care owed to trespassers in Texas is a duty not to intentionally injure them (unless the trespassers are children, in which case duties of care to maintain a safe premises exist). A negligent security lawyer in Dallas can help you seek compensation if you are suffering damages in any type of attack on another person’s property. A breach of duty can be anything that a reasonable and prudent owner would not have done in similar circumstances.
- The breach caused your accident. You must show causation between the property owner’s failure to keep the premises safe and your resultant accident. For example, if a business owner failed to correct a hidden sprinkler head and you tripped and broke your wrist, you would have to show that failure to look for and repair the hazard was the cause of your injuries, not your own failure to watch where you were walking. You also need proof of compensable damages, such as x-rays proving your broken bone.
What to Do After a Premises Liability Accident
After you sustain an injury on someone else’s property, call someone to report the accident. This might be the property owner, store manager, construction site manager, employer, or the police depending on the circumstances. Make sure someone in charge knows of your accident. Request medical help right away if you notice any injuries. Don’t wait to see a doctor, as this could worsen your condition as well as hurt your claim. Immediate medical attention is always in your best interests after a slip and fall or another incident.
Next, document your accident to the best of your ability. This could mean writing down the name of the person you spoke with about your accident, taking photos of the dangerous property defect, and writing down a detailed description of what happened. The more you record about your accident, the stronger your case will be. If you cannot stay on the scene and get his information, trust someone you know to do so for you. Don’t worry – our attorneys can launch an investigation even if you don’t have any of this information handy when you contact us.
Once you’re on the mend from your broken bones, head injury, sprain, burns, or other injuries, it’s time to hire an attorney. McGilberry & Shirer LLP have been practicing law long enough to know that time is of the essence. You have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim, but, at this time, you will need to complete plenty of steps and paperwork. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better. Our lawyers can immediately go to work on your claim after your free initial consultation. Contact us before taking any other steps if you want detailed advice on how to proceed. We’ll be here for you every step of the way.
Slip and falls, dog bite attacks, swimming pools accidents, amusement park injuries, fires or floods, illness from toxic fumes, negligent building or parking lot security, and elevator/escalator accidents are all common cases that give rise to premises liability lawsuits. In Texas, you have two years from the date of the incident or discovery of injuries to file your claim against a property owner. For more information about these types of claims in Dallas, contact our attorneys. We can help with every aspect of your premises liability lawsuit.