Essential Steps for Proving Negligence in Dallas Premises Liability Claims
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex attracts over 20 million people each year to its restaurants, stores, hotels, museums, parks, and more. A lawyer knows, however, that these places of leisure invariably contain numerous hazards to tourists and residents alike.
For anyone injured while visiting someone else’s property, the Dallas personal injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw offer over three decades of experience in premises liability cases. In Texas, these cases can involve a variety of locations—from local businesses to neighbors’ homes. But all successful claims rely on the same basic steps for proving negligence in premises liability.1. Establish That the Owner Owed a Duty of Care
Before you can show that an owner or occupier neglected their duties, you must prove the nature of their duty. Therefore, one of the negligence elements in Dallas premises liability is your relationship to the property:
- Invitee - For an invitee, typically a business patron, the owner’s duty of care is highest.
- Licensee - A licensee legally enters the property for their own benefit, often as a social visitor. An owner has a more limited duty to protect licensees from danger.
- Trespasser - If you’re a trespasser, the duty of care is lowest. However, you may have a valid claim in some extreme cases.
According to premises liability laws in Texas, an owner must have actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous factor. Evidence of actual knowledge, such as a failed inspection, is relatively clearcut.
However, the property owner has constructive knowledge if they could have discovered the danger by performing an inspection. For invitees, proving neglect of constructive knowledge is often key for successfully navigating the premises liability legal process in Texas.3. Link Your Injuries to Proven Neglect
Let’s say you’re attending a Dallas Cowboys game at the AT&T Stadium. Toward the end of the game, you slip on a wet floor outside a restroom.
As a customer, you’re an invitee. And, if the condition was caused by a clogged sink that had been overflowing for some time, you could very well prove that management should have addressed this condition. But how do you build your argument?Establishing a Clear Causal Link
Our team can help you gather evidence linking your falling injuries with another party’s neglected duties. For example, video footage of water accumulating over several hours without anyone mopping could prove that you wouldn’t have fallen if employees performed a reasonable duty of care.
Other examples of evidence include the following:
- Site photos
- Witness testimony
- Incident reports
- Medical records
As your attorneys form arguments, they consider how the other party is likely to defend itself against your Dallas premises liability claims. In the hypothetical case above, defense lawyers might argue that an employee placed a sign indicating the wet floor near the entryway. If so, the argument goes, your failure to notice caused your injuries.
Your legal team then uses evidence to prevent management from shirking accountability. The National Safety Council, for instance, provides guidelines for clear signage to prevent falls. If the sign was inadequate in some way, your case remains valid.Ensuring a Comprehensive Calculation of Damages
Like many people whose liability claims involve falls, you might have suffered a serious fracture. If so, medical bills and lost wages are clear losses. But, if you’re a musician whose wrist injury prevents you from performing at your previous level, this consequence should also be reflected in your damages—as suffering or loss of earning power.Hiring an Attorney to Strengthen Your Case
Pursuing a premises liability claim is overwhelming. Luckily, with the right team, the legal lift isn’t your burden. Carabin Shaw’s client reviews illustrate the consistent results of our thorough, responsive approach.
Call the toll-free number 800-862-1260 to reach our English and Spanish-speaking Dallas staff 24/7. We offer a free initial consultation and continued services on a contingency-fee basis. As a result, you don’t assume financial risk to build the best possible case.
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