Last updated 1 month ago
Have you found our recent blogs helpful? The following links will provide you with some useful information about the topics we have recently addressed and may help you learn more about how you can protect your legal rights.
Visit this site to learn more about slip and fall accidents and how they can often cause serious injuries.
Many personal injury claims are based on a theory of negligence, and you can learn more about this legal concept through the American Bar Association website.
Read this article to learn more about the elements a plaintiff must prove in a negligence action.
As the weather warms up and people head back out on the water, boating accidents are all too common. The boating statistics available at this site show just how dangerous reckless boating can be.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, this article from Edmunds.com offers helpful information about what you should do following an accident.
Do you have additional questions about your personal injury case? Contact the Dallas office of Stovall & Associates, P.C. by calling (972) 774-1276 to learn how we can help. For additional information, be sure to visit us at our website.
Last updated 1 month ago
Negligence is the legal theory on which most personal injury lawsuits are based. It is rooted in the common sense notion that when a person causes injury to someone else, that party should be held liable for the damages that result from their actions. As the injured party, the plaintiff is responsible for proving the following elements.
This element refers to the obligation that one person owes another in certain circumstances. For example, when you are driving a car, you owe a duty of care to other drivers, passengers, bikers, and pedestrians. This involves following traffic laws and exercising proper care behind the wheel.
If a defendant does not fulfill the duty of care owed to the victim, this is known as a breach. In the example above, a driver may breach his or her duty of care by running a red light or speeding. The standard used in a given situation is often known as a reasonable person standard. The question of a defendant’s breach depends on whether he or she acted as a reasonably prudent person would have in similar circumstances.
Some people actually separate causation into two separate elements: factual causation and proximate cause. Factual causation requires proving that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries. Proximate cause is similar but requires showing that there was a sufficiently close relationship between the wrong done and the harm you suffered.
To recover compensation for the defendant’s negligence, you must prove that you have suffered some type of physical harm. You may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning power, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Have you been injured by another person’s negligence? Contact the Dallas injury attorneys at Stovall & Associates, P.C. to learn how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. We will help you explore your options and answer any questions you may have, so call our Dallas office today at (972) 774-1276 for more information.
Last updated 1 month ago
Action taken immediately after an incident of slip and fall can make a huge impact on the amount of recovery in a claim of personal injury arising from a premise liability case.
Most of the premise liability cases involve injuries resulting from a slip and fall incident. To recover damages in a slip and fall case, not involving a governmental entity, a plaintiff must prove: 1) actual or constructive knowledge of some condition on the premises by the owner-operator; 2) that the condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm; 3) that the owner-operator did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk; and 4) that the owner-operator’s failure to use such care proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Generally, the element of knowledge is the hardest to prove and immediate evidence gathering is extremely important. When circumstantial evidence is relied upon to prove constructive notice, the evidence must establish that it is more likely than not that the dangerous condition existed long enough to give the proprietor a reasonable opportunity to discover the condition.
The following cases are examples where the court evaluated constructive knowledge. The first case below is the authority on constructive knowledge:
a. Wal-Mart v. Gonzalez, 968 S.W.2d 934 (Tex. 1998).
The plaintiff was shopping at Wal-Mart when she slipped and fell on macaroni
salad that had been spilled on the floor. Gonzalez presented testimony that the
salad had footprints and cart tracks in it and was contaminated with dirt. The
supreme court found her evidence legally insufficient to support a finding of
constructive knowledge. The court held, .when circumstantial evidence is relied
upon to prove constructive notice, the evidence must establish that it is more
likely than not that the dangerous condition existed long enough to give the
proprietor a reasonable opportunity to discover the condition.. Gonzalez at 936.
b. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Diaz, 109 S.W. 3d 584 (Tex. App. . Fort Worth, May
29, 2003, no pet.h.). The court found that the plaintiff had not presented sufficient evidence of constructive knowledge. Diaz fell in a Wal-Mart store in the bedding aisle. After the fall, she noticed a pillow sticking out from the lower shelf. The pillow concealed a small McDonald.s cup that was tipped over. Presumably, the cup was left by a customer who visited the McDonald.s located in the store.
This case follows the holding in Wal-Mart v. Reece, 81 S.W.2d 812 (Tex. 2002),
which stated that in order to hold a premises owner liable for spills on its floor,
there must be some proof of how long the hazard was there before liability can
be imposed on the owner. Additionally, the court overruled its earlier opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Rangel, 966 S.W.2d 199 (Tex. App. . Fort Worth 1998, pet. denied), stating that Rangel had the effect of .imputing knowledge of the actual defect based on the fact that the owner should foresee a potential defect solely because it allowed its customers to carry drinks on its premises. The proper standard, instead, the court said, .is to determine whether there was sufficient evidence ton show that the business owner actually or constructively knew about the actual defect.
c.Brookshire Food Stores, L.L.C. v. Allen, 93 S.W.3d 897 (Tex. App. .
Texarkana 2002, no pet.). Plaintiff, a grocery store customer, alleges injuries caused by her slip and fall on a grape. She did not present sufficient evidence to show that the grocery store had constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition, and that her fall was the proximate cause of a child eating grapes. A store manager had inspected the area shortly before the plaintiff fell, and there was no evidence to show that grapes were on the floor longer than fifteen minutes. A cashier.s statement that she saw a child eating grapes in the store contained no detail of when and where she had seen the child. The court, therefore, said that if a dangerous condition existed, it was there for less than fifteen minutes, which was not enough time for the store in this case to have constructive knowledge.
Accordingly, evidence gathering immediately after the accident in the form of pictures, incident report and witness statements are critical in a premise liability case.
Last updated 2 months ago
People sometimes take boats for granted and forget that they can be every bit as dangerous as cars. Watercrafts are motorized vehicles without brakes, and reckless boat operation can lead to deadly consequences.
In this video, Tim Lindt describes how he lost his daughter in a boating accident. His daughter was out with friends, being pulled on a tube behind a friend’s boat. A 57-year-old man who had been drinking all day on the water decided to drive in circles around the boat that was pulling his daughter. Tindt’s daughter fell off of the tube due to the wake caused by the other boat and the man—who was driving while intoxicated—was unable to avoid her.
These kinds of accidents happen far too often because people sometimes lose their common sense on the water. If you or a loved one have been the victim of reckless boat operation, contact the boating accident lawyers at Stovall & Associates, P.C. in Dallas by calling (972) 774-1276.
Last updated 2 months ago
There is no doubt that being in an automobile collision can wreck havoc on your life, especially when that collision is with an uninsured or underinsured driver. An accident with these types of drivers usually means that a substantial part if not all of your hefty medical bills will have to be paid out of your own pocket. But there is a simple way to avoid being in that unfortunate position and there is really nothing you have to do. It comes down to three simple words: DO NOT REJECT.
Texas law states that any insurer must provide their insured coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist unless the insured expressly rejects that coverage. The rejection must be evidenced by a document signed by the insured. Without such evidence the contract to provide this essential coverage between the insurer and insured remains in effect. Simply put, if your insurance company does not have your signature on a UM/UIM rejection letter they must provide you with that coverage.
Not having such coverage greatly reduces the legal avenues that can be pursued in order to get a just recovery for you. It is true that a policy with this type of coverage can be slightly more costly than one without it. However, if you consider that there are 2.6 million uninsured motorists just in Texas (a number that usually increases with a bad economy) the risk of getting stuck with costly property damage and medical bills is put in perspective when contrasted with the extra insurance cost. Texas makes it easy to manage that extra expense by letting you choose between being covered under UM/UIM for bodily injury, UM/UIM for property damage or UM/UIM for both bodily injury and property damage.
The truth is that recovering from a motorist that does not insure his or her vehicle is often a losing battle. The most commons result is that you, the victim of the collision, is left holding the bag. Here at Stovall and Associates we will, and do, fight the insurance companies tooth and nail to recover what is justly deserved by you. Unfortunately, sometimes the injuries caused by a negligent driver are so extensive that even if the entire insurance policy is recovered, it is not enough to pay all the medical (present and future) treatment that you might need. It happens more often than it should. Remember that we will always work hard for you and do everything in our power to help you. Yet, it is also important that you know how to protect yourself from those types of situations, especially in these tough economic times. Keep this in mind next time you review your policy and remember: DO NOT REJECT.