Houston Premises Liability Lawyer Representing the Injured Victims Resulting From Negligence
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, was the property owner responsible? Are you entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages? Will a premises liability attorney in the Houston area protect your rights and fight for justice on your behalf?
You could be injured tripping on a broken sidewalk or a pothole in a parking lot, slipping on a wet floor, or injured in some other accident scenario involving property negligence. If this happens to you, call The McNeal Law Firm and schedule a meeting with Houston premises liability attorney David McNeal to discuss your right to compensation.
What Are a Property Owner’s Responsibilities?
In the State of Texas, property owners are obligated by law to make sure that their properties are reasonably safe for employees, customers, business and residential tenants, and the public at large. The law in Texas entitles you to monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other losses if:
- You were injured on someone else’s property.
- You were injured because that property owner was negligent.
- You and your attorney can prove both of these claims.
If you take legal action because a property owner in or near the Houston area was negligent, and you were injured, you must be advised by the right attorney – Houston premises liability attorney David McNeal. Call The McNeal Law Firm right away after you’ve been injured on private property and examined by a medical professional.
What Injuries Are Sustained in Premises Liability Accidents?
Trip-and-fall accidents and slip-and-fall accidents are the most frequent property-related accidents. Slipping or tripping and falling often causes head, back, and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, contusions, broken bones, and a variety of other serious injuries and medical conditions.
It is no surprise that the elderly are most at risk for injuries from slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. The causes of these slip-or-trip-and-fall incidents include:
- Sticky or slippery floors
- Dilapidated or uneven stairs
- Slippery, cracked, or uneven sidewalks or parking area pavement
- Poor lighting, particularly in staircases, parking garages, and parking lots
- Curled-up or twisted carpets, rugs, and floor mats
- Cluttered and debris-filled hallways and other walkways
Why Will Accident Victims Require an Attorney’s Help?
While you are entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a property owner’s carelessness, recovering that compensation might not be easy. You and your premises liability lawyer must prove not only that a property owner was negligent, but you also must prove that the owner’s negligence was the immediate cause of your personal injury or injuries.
Don’t even think about “going it alone.” You must have the reliable advice, practical insights, and effective legal representation that The McNeal Law Firm provides.
After You Slip and Fall, What’s Next?
Even if you feel fine, if there’s any possibility that you’ve been injured slipping or tripping and falling, you must obtain a medical examination at once. Otherwise, an injury could remain latent and undetected and emerge days later as a severe medical condition.
A medical examination right after a fall-related injury will provide you with important information and establish the medical paperwork that you’ll need should you take legal action.
If you do not seek an immediate medical exam, it may be difficult to link your injury to that specific slip-and-fall accident, and a property owner might claim that you were injured at some other time and place or that you weren’t injured at all – and a jury might agree.
Take photos, or have someone take them for you, of the accident site and the exact location where you were injured. Try also to get the names of any witnesses and their contact information. Photos and witness statements can be powerful evidence that can lead to quick, reasonable settlements of premises liability claims.
How Should You Report a Premises-Related Injury?
How you report a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident hinges on where the incident happened, but try to notify a store manager, a facility manager, a landlord or other property owner immediately after an injury on the premises takes place.
Many attractions, hotels, larger restaurants, and retailers use a pre-printed accident report form that you will be asked to complete. After you complete it but before you submit it, make and keep a copy for yourself.
Stick strictly with just the basic facts when you fill out an accident report, be as brief as possible, and do not write or say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt or otherwise used against you.
What If an Insurance Company Contacts You?
If you are contacted by an insurance company, do not make a statement, sign any paperwork, and do not take any settlement offer. Refer all of the insurance company’s questions and inquiries to your premises liability lawyer. Houston Personal Injury Attorney David McNeal is an aggressive and effective negotiator who bargains frequently with insurance companies and understands their negotiating strategies.
Unlike an automobile accident, after a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident, if you are injured, Texas law does not require you to file any official accident report, but you should put the details in writing for yourself, or record those details, while your recollections are fresh.
What Will Your Attorney Need From You?
Include the time, place, and date when your injury happened, how it happened, the nature and severity of your injury, and the names of any eyewitnesses or anyone who received an accident report. Also write or record the name and address of the medical professional who examined and treated you. If you pursue a premises liability claim, your lawyer will require these details.
Save, copy, and securely store every medical bill, receipt, and any other document related to your accident and injury. Hold onto the clothes you were wearing when you were injured. Clothes can sometimes reveal scuff marks, stains, rips and tears, or blood evidence that may support your injury claim.
How Are Premises Liability Cases Handled?
Premises liability cases rarely go to trial in Texas. Usually, the lawyers for the two sides craft a private, out-of-court settlement that’s acceptable to everyone who’s involved. Business owners want to avoid bad publicity, so they usually come across quickly with a reasonable settlement offer.
But if your claim remains disputed and no private settlement is possible, your attorney will take the property owner to court. When a property owner might have prevented your injury by repairing a particular hazard, and didn’t – while knowing about the situation and having the time to fix it – the owner will be assigned liability for your injury or injuries and ordered by the court to compensate you.
How Do Property Owners Defend Themselves Against Injury Claims?
If you seek compensation after a slip-and-fall accident on private property, the owner may respond by placing the blame on you and making one or all of these allegations against you:
- You just weren’t watching where you were going.
- You were trespassing, or you entered a clearly-marked restricted area.
- The hazard that caused the injury was marked by warning signs and/or yellow cones.
- A reasonable person would see and avoid what was an obvious hazard.
What Else is Required of Texas Property Owners?
Preventing slip-and-fall injuries by repairing potential hazards is not necessarily a property owner’s only obligation to visitors. If you own a swimming pool, you may be liable for accidents and injuries – or even wrongful deaths – that happen in the pool.
If you are a dog owner, the dog is legally an extension of your property, so you have a legal obligation to prevent it from injuring others.
If you are injured on private property because the owner failed to provide adequate security, you may also have a premises liability claim. Texas property owners must take reasonable steps to keep visitors safe from harm – including harm arising from crimes like robbery and battery.
If you’re injured during an assault or another crime because a property owner did not provide security cameras, security personnel, or adequate lighting, schedule a meeting with attorney David McNeal to discuss your legal rights and options.
When Should You Take Legal Action? Is There a Deadline?
The Texas statute of limitations for filing a premises liability claim is three years from the day you were injured. If your injury was latent and was not discovered until later, the “clock” on your three-year deadline may not begin until the date of that discovery.
Even so, you must not wait three years after you’ve been injured to speak with a premises liability lawyer. In fact, you should call The McNeal Law Firm immediately after you’ve been examined and treated by a medical professional. A good attorney’s help is not only your right, but your health and your long-term best interests could depend on that help.
Why Should You Choose The McNeal Law Firm?
The McNeal Law Firm has successfully handled scores of premises liability claims for its clients in the Houston area and across the state. Attorney David McNeal brings his considerable legal training and extensive background to every case and every client.
He knows what it takes to prevail with a premises liability claim and to win the compensation you need for your medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and your other related damages. To learn more or to take legal action now, call The McNeal Law Firm in Houston at (832) 819-3281, and schedule a consultation with attorney David McNeal.