Dallas Personal Injury Attorney | Oberg Law Office

CAR ACCIDENTS

PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY IN MESQUITE, TEXAS

Auto accidents or auto collisions come in all shapes and sizes. However, as a general proposition, the root cause of all collision is usually following to one of three categories. One, distracted driving; two, lack of sleep, or three, impaired or drunk driving. 94% of all clashes are caused by human choice or error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s the fatal decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. It’s the decision to speed through the intersection as the light is changing. It’s the decision to drive after a sleepless night.

It’s the decision to send one more text from behind the wheel to let someone know you are on the way. If you look hard enough, the cause of almost any collision is a choice made by the defendant to violate the safety rule that all drivers know of and that all drivers know the consequences of.

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PREMISES LIABILITY

WHAT IS CAUSATION IN A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE?

The basic definition of “causation” is something that produces an effect or result. In the context of a personal injury case, ‘causation” is part of “negligence”.

In Texas, there is a standard definition for proximate cause, which is given to the jury in every case. Proximate cause means a cause, which is a natural and continuous sequence causes an event. This is an element that we call the producing cause, meaning “did A cause B”? Texas adds another element for actually producing because in order to be the proximate cause of an event it must be “foreseeable”. Therefore, you have a cause in fact, plus foreseeability, and that gives you proximate cause. These are not necessarily “common sense” definitions of the words and Texas case law has made this very confusing and unclear over the years. That is why you need to talk to a lawyer who has experience in these types of cases to discuss with you how these definitions fit into your situation.

PREMISES LIABILITY

IS COMPARATIVE OR CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE EVER APPLICABLE IN THESE CASES?

Comparative or contributory negligence is ALWAYS a part of these cases. The type of proof that you need to be able to show can be the exact evidence that will kill your case. For example, let’s use a basic slip and fall situation in a business. As a customer, you have a right to be in the store, and the store and its employees have a duty to warn you of dangerous conditions that they are aware of. You fall on water in an aisle. How did the water get there? How long was it there? Had the store employees already discovered it? If your testimony as the customer is that, before you fell, you knew the water was there, how it got there and how long it was there, then why did you step in it?

Your negligence will likely be found to be the proximate cause of your fall, because you already knew of the danger and a warning would not have mattered, because you already knew about it. So, if you didn’t know any of that information before you fell, how are you going to prove that the store did? That’s why these cases are routinely denied in the claims stage and litigation is often necessary to get the testimony, video, or whatever evidence is necessary to establish that the store and/or its employees knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.

PREMISES LIABILITY

HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I HAVE A VIABLE PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM OR NOT?

Talk to an attorney who works on these types of cases and is familiar with the proof that is necessary. I am aware that many “advertising attorneys”, (law firms that run TV commercials or large media blitzes to get clients) often have a rule in place that they do not accept premises liability cases such as slip and fall cases. That is because these cases are difficult to prove and can be a lot of work. My experience has been that these cases rarely get settled in the claim stage and litigation is almost always necessary. Secondly, I have found that, with a little bit of digging, these cases can be very good. Ex-employees of the business must be found and witness statements were taken.

For more information on Premises Liability In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.

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