Dallas Premises Liability Lawyers

Knowledgeable Dallas Premises Liability Attorneys Ready To Fight For You

Serving Slip, Trip and Fall Victims in Carrollton, Denton, Grapevine, Lewisville, McKinney, and Southlake

Premises liability includes slip, trip and falls, electrocution, chemical exposure/burns, or any other injuries sustained because of a danger on the property that the owner knew or should have known about. The law in Texas that governs premises liability cases can be tricky, and it is important that you get a Dallas premises liability lawyer experienced in premises liability cases involved at an early stage. Otherwise, evidence of the condition or the event that injured you could be destroyed. Depending on where the injury occurred and for what purpose the injured person was present on the property, a Plaintiff must prove that the property owner or manager knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, or that they created the dangerous condition. This is often the most important aspect of a premises liability claim.

Every day, people get injured as a result of falling, stumbling, or slipping in public places, businesses, or homes – on the sidewalk, in public parks, public halls, shops, grocery stores, etc., as a result of obstacles or substances. Slip, trip and falls in public places or businesses can occur due to the fact that a person slipped on a dirty or wet area, stumbled or collided with an object, or fell down the stairs. Trauma from falling can lead to significant bodily injury, for example, fractures and other serious injuries. The premises owner can be held liable for your injuries. If you find yourself as a victim of a slip, trip and fall, you have the right to demand reimbursement from the owner of the premises. In order to focus on feeling better, you should ask a qualified attorney for help.

In restaurants, businesses, shops, and homes across the state of Texas, people slip, trip or fall on obstacles, substances, or defects. Falls can occur because a business owner failed to clean up a substance or correct an issue with the premises. These claims are otherwise known as “premises liability” claims in Texas.

Unfortunately, there is typically significant trauma resulting from slip and falls, including herniated disks, broken bones, ligament tears, and other life-altering injuries. If you are injured through the negligence of another person or business, you have the right to demand compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, impairment and disfigurement both in the past and in the future. It is vital that as soon as possible following one of these events, you contact an experienced lawyer to fight for compensation.

Texas Premises Liability Laws

Premises liability is the name for the doctrine of law governing any type of injury that occurs on another person’s property. Every state creates its own premises liability laws. However, in general, property owners, including homeowners, businesses, and government entities, owe a duty of care to those whom they allow onto their property. However, the duty that a landowner owes to a guest depends on several factors, primarily, the reason for the guest’s visit.

Dallas premises liability law breaks down visitors into three categories.


A trespasser is a person who is present on another’s land without the owner’s implied or express permission. Generally, landowners do not have a duty to inspect their property to make it safe for trespassers and do not need to warn trespassers about any potential hazards on the property. In short, the trespasser takes the property as they find it.

However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule. First, property owners cannot cause any willful or intentional harm to trespassers. So, for example, an owner of vacant land could not set traps to deter trespassers. Second, if a landowner knows that people are trespassing on their land, they must exercise reasonable care to ensure trespassers’ safety. For example, this may include posting a “WARNING!” sign near an open pit or some other dangerous hazard on their property.

Finally, landowners may be liable for injuries to children caused by an “attractive nuisance.” The attractive nuisance doctrine provides that a landowner can be liable if a child is injured by an unnatural hazard that enticed the child to come onto their land. For example, if a property owner leaves a large piece of construction equipment on an unfenced lot, they could be liable if children enter the property and hurt themselves while playing on the equipment.

Other hazards that may constitute an attractive nuisance include:

  • Swimming pools,
  • Fountains,
  • Wells,
  • Open mines,
  • Ladders,
  • Rooftops,
  • Landscaping,
  • Scaffolding,
  • Construction equipment,
  • Washing machines, and
  • Refrigerators.

The rationale behind the attractive nuisance doctrine is that property owners are in a better position to recognize the dangers that certain hazardous objects pose.


The second category of visitors is referred to as a licensee. A licensee is a person who is present on another’s land with the owner’s permission but without an implied or express invitation. In other words, a licensee is someone who enters the property for non-commercial reasons. The most common examples of licensees are friends, family members, and neighbors.

A property owner owes a licensee the duty to cure any known hazards on their property and to warn the licensee of any known dangers that cannot be cured.  Of course, property owners must also refrain from willfully or intentionally causing licensees any harm.

A homeowner, business, or government agency may be negligent for a licensee’s injuries that occur on their property if:

  • The condition causing the licensee’s injury posed an unreasonable danger;
  • The property owner had actual knowledge of the hazard; and
  • The property owner failed to exercise ordinary care to protect the licensee from dangers by failing to warn them of the condition and failing to make that condition reasonably safe.

A premises liability attorney can help you determine what level of duty a property owner owed to you and whether they breached their duty.


The final and most common classification of visitor is an invitee. An invitee is someone who is present on another’s land with the express or implied invitation of the property owner and entered the land as a member of the public or for commercial reasons. Any customer of a business—regardless of whether they intended to buy anything—is considered an invitee.

Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. Specifically, a landowner must protect the invitee from any dangerous condition that arises from the landowner’s control over the property. This includes a duty to cure any known hazards and warn the invitee about dangers that the property owner could not cure. Additionally, property owners are responsible for conducting a reasonable inspection of the property to identify latent hazards that may not be readily visible to the invitee. And of course, the landowner cannot cause intentional harm to an invitee.

A property owner may be liable to an invitee for any injuries they sustain on a property if,

  • The condition causing the licensee’s injury posed an unreasonable danger;
  • The property owner knew or should have known about the hazard; and
  • The property owner failed to exercise ordinary care to protect the licensee from dangers by failing to warn them of the condition and failing to make that condition reasonably safe.

The main difference between a property owner’s duty to an invitee and their duty to a licensee is that the owner does not need to have actual knowledge of the hazard to be liable for an invitee’s injuries.

Why Choose Austin Hartley for Your Case?

Choosing a Dallas premises liability lawyer to handle your slip and fall case is an important decision and one worth putting a lot of time into. You deserve a lawyer who respects what you’ve been through and truly wants to help you move on with your life after the accident. At the Hartley Law Firm, Attorney Austin Hartley deeply cares for his clients and their families and offers a unique form of client-centered representation to each of his many clients. Below are a few of the things previous Hartley Law Firm clients appreciate about the firm’s practice:

  • The Hartley Law Firm has extensive experience handling all types of premises liability cases, including slip and falls, electrocutions, workplace accidents, dog bites, and more;
  • Austin Hartley, as the lead Carrollton premises liability attorney, has a proven track record of successfully resolving premises liability claims favorably;
  • The Hartley Law Firm puts client’s first by fighting hard and maintaining communication throughout the process;
  • Austin Hartley understands the stress and anxiety that comes along with suffering a serious injury and takes the time to listen to what is important to you before recommending any course of action; and
  • Because the Dallas premises liability attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm accept cases on a contingency basis, you will not be responsible for any attorney’s fees or litigation expenses unless we can help you recover compensation.
  • You do not owe the Hartley Law Firm expenses or attorney’s fee unless money is recovered on your behalf

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, or any other accident occurring on another’s property, the Dallas premises liability legal practitioner at the Hartley Law Firm can help.

Things to Do After a Premises Liability Incident

It is vital after sustaining a slip and fall incident that certain steps are taken to position your case for the best chance of success. Unfortunately, many of the items necessary to successfully prosecute your case may “go missing” with time thwarting your ability to figure out what happened and hold those responsible accountable. Below is a list of things to do directly after getting injured:

Call the Police and/or Store Manager

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call the police so that EMS can be routed to your location. After you are confident that you are stable enough to begin gathering evidence and assuming the incident happened at a store or business, locate the store manager. It is vital that you make an initial report of the who, what, when, where, why, and how your injury happened. This should be communicated to the person responsible for the premises. You should request that what you are telling the manager to be reduced to writing and an incident report be prepared. You should also insist that the incident report be dated, signed, and contain additional contact information for you to use in pursuing your claim.  Our firm often hears from greedy insurance companies that since our client did not obtain an incident report, it did not happen. Best to head this argument off at the pass.

Observe the Scene

After the initial report, begin looking around and taking mental notes of your observations. Make sure to ask and identify any cameras in the store, especially ones that may have captured your fall. What was the weather like? Was it raining? Was there anyone who witnessed what happened? If so, kindly ask them for their name and phone number in case you need to speak with them in the future. Finally, see if there were any warning signs around the area where you fell that would have put you on notice of the dangerous condition.

Photograph Everything

If you are physically able, photograph the entire premises, especially where you fell. Pay special attention to photographing the defect, substance or condition that you fell on. If you slipped on liquid and your clothes got wet, take pictures of that as well. Finally, if you have any visible injuries, make sure to document them.

The Insurance Company is Not Your Friend

The Hartley Law Firm routinely tells clients, the insurance company’s job is two-fold: 1) deny your claim if possible; and 2) if they cannot deny the claim, pay you as little money as possible.

To accomplish this, insurance companies or business owners typically try to call the victim before he or she hires a lawyer. Nothing good can come from this conversation. It is best that you immediately retain a lawyer. Once the Hartley Law Firm is retained, insurance companies do not typically contact the victim because the firm handles the process from start to finish. Under no circumstances, should you provide a recorded statement. The only purpose of this statement is to damage your claim. Insurance companies will attempt to pressure the victim into giving a recorded statement by stating that the victim “has to” give the statement. This is inaccurate. It is best to remain silent and let an experienced premises liability lawyer do the talking for you.

Go to the Doctor

Our client’s health comes first. If you need it, seek immediate medical attention to stabilize yourself. If you are able to complete the above, it is vital that as soon as possible following your slip and fall incident, you seek medical attention. We often tell the client’s that their only job is to go to the doctor and feel better. That process should start as soon as possible after the incident. Insurance companies love to pick on the fact that a client waited too long to go to the doctor. Take the power away from them and seek medical attention immediately.

What Am I Entitled To?

Obtaining money damages from a premises liability incident may help you pick up the pieces after a severe property-related incident.  If you retain an experienced Dallas premises liability attorney, you may potentially recover economic and non-economic damages. For a more comprehensive discussion, of the types of damages, please see our Blog.

Economic damages are tangible damages that can be proven with documentation. They include the following:

  • Past medical bills;
  • Future medical bills;
  • Rehabilitation/long-term care;
  • Durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs;
  • Costs to pay someone to perform household duties;
  • Lost wages in the past; and
  • Lost wages you will miss out on in the future.

Non-Economic damages are intangible damages. Non-economic damages are typically the most devastating for victims. They include the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering in the past;
  • Physical pain and suffering in the future;
  • Impairment or disability in the past and future;
  • Emotional distress in the past;
  • Emotional distress in the future;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • Loss of familial relationships.

Every slip and fall case is unique. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to depends on numerous factors including extent of injuries, amount of medical bills, what the defendant did wrong, and whether or not the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or gross negligence.  The Hartley Law Firm makes it a point to begin developing the extent of your damages from day one and works hard to communicate with you about it. Austin Hartley believes that the only way to adequately represent a premises liability victim is for the lawyer and client to be on the same page. Speak with a lawyer for free to learn what your case may be worth.

Why Do Slip and Falls Happen?

Slip, trip and falls happen for a variety of reasons. They can occur anywhere: in the aisle of the grocery store, inside someone’s home, in a parking lot, in a crosswalk, on stairs to name a few. Some of the causes are:

  • Wet surfaces;
  • Oily or greasy surfaces;
  • Spilled slick liquid on floor;
  • Weather hazards;
  • Loose rugs or mats;
  • Flooring that does not have the same traction in all areas;
  • Uneven walking surfaces;
  • Obstructed views;
  • Lighting issues;
  • Clutter;
  • Cords or cables;
  • Uneven walking thresholds; and
  • Inadequate or lacking handrails.

Regardless of the cause of your accident, the Hartley Law Firm can help.

Examples of Premises Liability Claims

Below is a list of premises liability claims that the Hartley Law Firm has represented clients in. There are infinite ways that a slip and fall injury can occur and this list is in no way exclusive.

  • Trip and fall over an uneven sidewalk crack;
  • Slip in fall in a hole in a parking lot;
  • Slip and fall on gravel in a parking lot;
  • Slip and fall on liquid inside a store;
  • Slip and fall on liquid inside a restaurant;
  • Slip and fall on unstable rug in home
  • Slip and fall on water in entry way to office building;
  • Sink falling on client in commercial bathroom;
  • Slip and fall on ice on home’s steps; and
  • Tripping or slipping on a substance or item at work.

We have experience with these and many other types of premises liability claims.

Annual Statistics for Slip and Fall Incidents

A successful premises liability case of a lawyer in Dallas.

Surprisingly, injuries from falls in Texas are high. In fact, falls are one of the top causes of death for people over 65 in the state.

  • As of 2018, 27% of the 900,380 nonfatal work injuries arose from slip, trip and fall incidents;
  • Accidental injury is the no. 3 cause of death;
  • Preventable deaths, including from premises liability events, rose 10 in 2016;
  • Every 11 second, an elderly person is treated in the emergency room for a fall;
  • Slip and falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries seen in emergency rooms each year;
  • One American is accidentally injured every second and killed every three minutes; and
  • Premises injuries are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

We understand how devastating the consequences of these types of injuries can be, and we are here to help.

Types of Injuries Resulting from Slip, Trip, and Falls

A variety of injuries can result from slip, trip, and falls. Some of the more common injuries are as follows:

  • Broken bones;
  • Sprains;
  • Herniated/bulging disks;
  • Traumatic brain injuries/head injuries;
  • Abrasions;
  • Bruises;
  • Chipped/lost teeth;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Chronic pain;
  • Loss of mobility; and
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.

If you have suffered any of these injuries or other types of injuries following your slip and fall accident, you may have extensive medical bills. You may even be unable to work. Don’t bear these costs on your own—let us help you get the compensation you deserve!

Get a Free Consultation an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys Today

Slip, trip and fall incidents can ruin your life. It is important that you act quickly and speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer immediately. The Hartley Law Firm is available 24/7 by phone or text for a free case evaluation and consultation. You will speak with a lawyer who can guide you when you call. Call or text Hartley Law Firm 24/7 or fill out a contact form to start your case. You do not owe an attorney fee or attorney expense unless the Hartley Law Firm successfully recovers on your behalf.

Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:

Go Back