Tier 1 PI Car Accident

Getting Started
Our Top 3 Goals in Every Car Accident Case
First Steps in Filing Your Claim
Best Practices Following an Accident
Attorneys Fees
Determining Fault & Theories of Liability
How Important is the Police Report?
If No One Was Ticketed, Who is At Fault?
Theory of Liability – Failure to Yield
Theory of Liability – Failure to Control Speed
Theory of Liability – Gross Negligence
Theory of Liability – Distracted Driving

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Our Top 3 Goals in a Car Accident Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Our Top 3 Goals in a Car Accident Case

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The Three Most Important Goals of a Law Firm in a Auto Accident Injury Case

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Our firm has represented thousands of clients in accident cases. While we understand that each particular auto accident victim has different needs, we also understand that every car accident victim has the desire to feel that their attorney is diligently working for them. With that in mind, our firm makes a concerted effort to fully inform our clients of the strategy we’ll employ in their cases. Moreover, although our firm understands that although the goals in Houston accident cases are similar, no two cases on the same. Thus, our firm develops a custom plan based on our top three goals in a car accident case when attempting to recover for our each of our client’s needs.

Our First Goal: Win Our Client’s Case

Obviously, one of our firm’s primary goals in every Houston auto accident case we take is to win. However, our firm is superior to most other Houston car and truck accident firms because we know how to win even the most complex accident cases. Specifically, other firms lack the resources, knowledge, and experience needed to fully compensate their clients that our firm possesses. While most other firms have good intentions when representing Houston’s injury victims, they don’t legitimately now how to win a case. On the other hand, our record speaks for itself. Whether you’ve suffered soft tissue injuries or suffered catastrophic life-altering injuries, our attorneys may be able to help.

Second Goal: We Strive to Make Sure our Clients Feel like They’ve Been Treated Fairly

Our firm is committed to ensuring that our clients feel as if they’ve been treated fairly by being completely transparent through every phase of recovering compensation for their injuries. We do this by not only explaining to our clients how their case works, but also by providing detailed information and asking questions every step along the way.

Specifically, from initially meeting with a client throughout the entire course of representation, we’ll answer all of our clients’ questions and allow ample time to review and sign necessary documents, all in a no-pressure environment.

Another major step we take to ensure that our clients feel like they’ve been treated fairly is to use all of our resources to ensure they’re fairly compensated for their injuries. We understand that when a car accident victim retains our firm, they trust us with not only navigating them through one of their life’s major crises, but that they’re adequately compensated for their injuries. With these responsibilities in mind, our firm fights hard to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for the full extent of their injuries.

Third Goal: We Want to Make Sure That Our Clients Are So Pleased With the Services We Provide That They Recommend Our Firm to Their Family and Friends

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As our firm’s survival in Texas’ legal market is based primarily on referrals to family and friends from past clients we’ve successfully represented, we want to ensure that we represent each client to the full extent of our ability. Specifically, we strive to impart an impression of success and compassion on each of our clients so that when their friends and family are injured by someone else’s negligent actions, they know they have a strong ally on their side.

If you’ve suffered moderate to severe injuries in a car or truck accident while traveling in or around Houston, our attorneys may be able to help. For more information regarding our firm’s top three goals when representing Houston’s accident victims and a free consultation regarding the facts of your case, give one of our experienced Houston accident attorneys a call at 1-855-392-0000.
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First Steps in Filing a Car Accident Claim

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » First Steps in Filing a Car Accident Claim

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Important Steps to Take Immediately Following a Houston Accident to Preserve Your Claim

Houston Texas car accident lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a car accident resolving your claim will be a process, and not a single event. And as with any process the first few steps are always the most critical. This article will discuss the first steps in starting the car accident claim process.

Step 1: You Should Always Call an Attorney Immediately

A lawyer is going to be able to advise you with regard to what you should specifically do in your case. You typically only have one shot at doing everything exactly correct so it is important that you have no missteps. By contacting an attorney immediately following the accident you greatly reduce your chances of having invaluable evidence destroyed or lost, and you are better able to meet certain deadlines required by the court. If your evidence is not properly preserved or if it is carelessly discarded your entire personal injury claim could be ruined. And even if you adequately document everything, but fail to adhere to certain deadlines instituted by the courts your claim may be barred.

Step 2: Take as Many Photographs as You Can

If you adequately fulfilled step 1, your attorney should do this for you. He will conduct an analysis of the accident scene and both vehicles, but if you do not immediately call an attorney it is best that you do this yourself. Our best recommendation is take pictures of everything. Photograph all vehicles involved, buildings, street signs and lights surrounding the accident. You should take multiple photographs from the perspective of your car and then take multiple shots from the perspective of the defendant’s car. This visual perspective can be crucial in convincing a jury of the defendant’s fault and can greatly increase your chances of financial recovery.

If you are like most of our clients, you are probably too injured to do this yourself. If this is the case, you should have a friend take pictures at the scene of the accident for you. We have even had cases where our clients asked a paramedic to take photographs. Ultimately, it does not matter who you choose to take photos, all that matters is that you have this critical evidence. You should even photograph the defendant’s driver’s license, insurance card, and any other contact information which may be helpful in conducting evidence research later on. The most important thing to remember is: you can never have too many pictures.

Step 3: See a Doctor

The longer you wait between your accident and seeing a doctor, the weaker your claim becomes. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after you have been involved in a car or truck accident. You should immediately go to the emergency room or to see your personal physician after an accident.

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However, it is also important to realize that many injuries caused by a car accident will typically not begin to show symptoms until a day or several days after the initial impact. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor immediately after your accident, but it is just as important to follow up and see the physician again after several days have passed.

Step 4: Set Up an Insurance Claim

Ideally, your attorney should do this for you. You should have as little communication with the insurance company as possible. By immediately contacting Grossman Law Offices we can easily handle all contact and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. This allows the process to be much smoother and often results in a faster recovery process. But if you have not contacted an attorney and need to set up an insurance claim, you should only do so after completing the above mentioned steps. You should never speak with an insurance company without first documenting as much evidence as possible about the car accident and being thoroughly evaluated by a physician.
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What to do Immediately After an Accident

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What to do Immediately After an Accident

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Best Practices: The 7 Most Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident

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While there are many variables that determine the outcome of a car accident lawsuit, there are certainly several things that successful cases all have in common. By following the below list immediately after an accident, you will stand the greatest chance of obtaining fair compensation.

Odds are, you, your family, or someone you love will be involved in one of these accidents and will suffer economic loss as a result. Grossman Law Offices has assembled this article for your benefit, and is designed to educate and equip you to use Texas Car Accident laws to your full advantage. Reviewing this article will assist you in receiving any medical care you might need after an accident, and to maximize your recovery for economic loss that you might experience as a result.

Overview

The best time to collect evidence of the accident is immediately after it happens. Too often, precious evidence is lost or becomes undiscoverable when it is not collected immediately. Ideally, you should begin the following steps (discussed in detail below) the moment you step out of your vehicle after you’ve been in an accident. If you are unable to do any of these steps yourself, have a family member or friend do them for you.

Step 1: Take a Deep Breath and Try to Remain Calm

Simply put, car accidents are stressful. After an accident, you may experience a range of emotions in addition to any injuries you’ve suffered. Although you are justified in being upset, it’s important to keep your emotions in check. A clear head and a well-executed plan are necessary to maximize both recovery and your rights under Texas law.

Step 2: Get Medical Attention, Even if You Think Your Injuries Aren’t Severe

Sometimes the most serious injuries are those that aren’t apparent immediately following an accident. Adrenaline and other hormones often trick our bodies into thinking that our injuries aren’t severe, and mask the full extent of our injuries until after we’ve left the scene of the accident. The dangers of undiscovered injuries are very real, as failure to obtain immediate medical attention could cause irreparable injury or death. Thus, it is good practice to call EMS to evaluate your injuries, even if you think they aren’t severe. Also, when an ambulance ride is offered, it is good practice to err on the side of caution and take it. Odds are that an ambulance ride is being offered to you because a trained paramedic realized that you need medical treatment that is too severe to be treated at the scene.

Similarly, it’s important to not downplay your injuries to police or medical personnel. Even highly qualified medical personnel, including paramedics and doctors, usually require full disclosure of your injuries to make an accurate diagnosis and to prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan. Although you may be tempted to “be strong” for loved ones, it is more important that you address your injuries frankly and directly.

Promptly obtaining medical attention for any injury, no matter how small, is essential to obtain maximum recovery for your injuries. If you fail to obtain medical attention immediately following the accident, the defendant may claim that your injuries were caused or aggravated by an outside force. As the person seeking recovery for your injuries, you have to prove that the defendant caused them. Here’s an illustrative example: say that your only feel a bit sore after you’re rear-ended by distracted driver. Two weeks later, you are having a hard time breathing so you go to the emergency room, where your x-ray shows that you have a several broken ribs and a punctured lung, which were caused when you were rear-ended. Here, the defendant will claim that something else must have happened, and will argue that anyone who has a broken rib or punctured lung would need immediate medical attention. As a result, the court may believe the defendant and limit your recovery to soreness instead of broken ribs and a punctured lung, an amount that is significantly less. Thus, it’s in your best interest to obtain medical attention immediately after you’re in an accident to obtain complete recovery for your injures.

Step 3: Call the Police for an Officer to Come to the Accident Scene to Write an Accident Report, and Explain the Accident to the Investigating Officer in Explicit Detail
Obtaining a police report should be one of your main objectives after you are in an accident, even where the other driver immediately and clearly admits fault. A police report is a document prepared by a police officer that includes the names, addresses, and insurance information of all parties involved, as well as the investigating officer’s findings as to the cause of the accident.

Although having an officer write, and later obtaining, a police report may seem confusing or intimidating, Grossman Law Offices has simplified this process by outlining steps and tips designed to assist you in procuring a police report below. In addition, a competent car accident attorney is able to do most of this for you. However, in the event that you have not retained an attorney, such as immediately after the accident occurs, the following steps are helpful.

The first step is to call the police immediately after the accident occurs. Although you may suspect that someone has called the police on your behalf, you should call anyway to ensure that they arrive quickly and to disclose information that other drivers may not know, such as the existence and severity of injuries. Please note that it is important to obtain a police report for all accidents, regardless if the other driver admits fault. Too often, the responsible driver changes their story after they leave the accident scene, leaving the victim without this crucial piece of evidence.

Second, you should give the officer a concise 30-second explanation of what caused the accident. Just the facts are needed here. For example, something as simple as this will work: “I was traveling east, and the other guy was traveling west. In the distance, I saw him swerving in his lane. He then swerved into my lane, and although I applied my brakes and tried to pull onto the shoulder to avoid him, it didn’t work and he ran into my car. After the accident, I noticed that my head was bleeding and I had a hard time breathing.” Note that officers only write a report if an injury has occurred, so be sure to disclose any injury that you’ve suffered, even if you think it’s small.

Third, you should describe the accident as accurately as possible to the officer. Officers use information from accident victims while compiling their report, and it’s important that they have all of the facts. While talking with the officer, it is extremely important to disclose the full extent of your injuries. You should tell the officer of any injury you suffered as a result of the accident in detail, even if you think it is “small” at the time. Small injuries often become more severe after the passage of time, and it is crucial that the police report show that the injury originated with the accident. In no event should you tell the peace officer that you are “okay” or feel “fine.”

When you wish to pick up a copy of the police report prepared for your accident, you might have several options to do so. Police reports are often available in person at the office that investigated the accident, and are usually available two to five days after the report is written. Alternatively, your car accident attorney can easily obtain an accident report on your behalf.

Step 4: Obtain Information From the Other Driver

Your goal in talking to the other driver is two-fold: First, to elicit evidence that shows that they were at fault in causing the accident, and second, to not inadvertently admit that it was your fault.

When talking with other drivers involved in an accident, ask questions that are helpful in determining if it was irresponsible for them to be driving in the first place. For example, if their speech is slurred or they are unable to walk normally, ask them questions such as “have you been drinking alcohol?” or “are you under the influence of drugs?”

Although a confession is ideal, the other driver may attempt to conceal their liability from you. When that happens, ask them questions that cut through their concealment and reveal the truth. Helpful questions include:

“Where are you coming from?” The place where the other driver is coming from can have wide implications on his liability for causing the accident. For example, if the driver is on the way home from working a night shift, he might be too tired to drive responsibly. Or, if a driver has left a bar or restaurant, he may have consumed too much alcohol, and as a result, drove recklessly and caused the accident.

“What were you doing when the accident happened?” This question is important because it will tell if the driver was distracted when the accident occurred. A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. Distractions come in several forms, and include talking on the phone, texting, arguing with a passenger, shaving, putting on makeup, and attempting to retrieve something dropped on the floor. In Texas, drivers have the duty to operate their vehicles in a responsible manner, which includes driving while not distracted.

“Were you in a rush to get somewhere?” This question is important because it will tell if the driver may have been driving negligently or recklessly when the accident occurred. People who are in a rush often don’t use their best judgment, and may have operated their vehicle in a manner that is unreasonable under the circumstances.

Additionally, you should never admit that the accident was your fault, in full or in part, to the other driver, to medical personnel, or to police officers. Similarly, although you might feel bad or sorry for the other driver, you shouldn’t say anything that reduces his fault in causing the accident. Your objective in obtaining maximum recovery is to be pleasant, but stern in asserting the cause of the accident. Note also that the cause of an accident is often complex, involves several factors (some of which may be unknown to you), and requires the opinion of an expert. Admitting that the accident was your fault before an expert analyzes the facts may cause substantial and irreparable damage to your case, and almost always unfairly benefits the other driver when the accident was really their fault.

Step 5: Talk to and Obtain Information From Witnesses

Witnesses are an excellent resource for you to maximize your rights and recovery under Texas auto accident laws. Although helpful, you should exercise a level of caution when talking and obtaining information from them. First, under no circumstances should you admit fault to a witness. The other driver can use this information against you, even if it’s not included in the police report. Second, have all witnesses, when possible, give their account of the accident to a police officer for their report.

Step 6: Take Pictures of Everything
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings especially true for car accidents. It is good practice to immediately take pictures of anything you think may be useful in determining the cause and effects of the accident. Waiting to take pictures at a later date may be harmful to your case, as evidence may have been altered or may not be viewed credibly by a court. Importantly, pictures are crucial to a jury’s understanding of the case, and are often necessary to obtain a full recovery for your injuries. In all cases, be sure to take pictures of the following:

The license plate on all vehicles involved in the accident;
All vehicles involved;
Any injuries you’ve suffered;
The other driver, and the other driver’s license and insurance card;
The accident scene from several angles;
Any incriminating evidence, including empty beer cans (even if in the bed of a truck), drug paraphernalia, or possible distractions inside the vehicle;
Pictures of witnesses and their license plates;
Pictures of traffic control devices, including stop signs and lights, mile markers, street signs, and traffic cameras; and
Pictures of landmarks to pinpoint the exact location of the accident, such as billboards and surrounding buildings.

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Step 7: Call a Competent Car Wreck Attorney

If you’ve been in a car wreck as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and economic loss. It is important that you have an attorney that understands your rights and has a history of success in representing car accident victims. The team at Grossman Law Offices has a track record of success, and has obtained numerous recoveries for our clients.

The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to provide a free consultation regarding your auto accident at 1-855-392-0000.
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Attorney’s Fees in a Car Accident Case

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Attorney’s Fees in a Car Accident Case

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How Attorney’s Fees Work in a Houston Automobile Accident Case

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Everyone in Houston has heard horror stories about how attorneys charge exorbitant fees and how the only party who always wins in a lawsuit is the firm. The reality of the situation is attorney’s fees are not really that scary of a proposition. This article will describe how attorney fees work in a car accident case.

Contingency Fee Contracts

The term “contingency fee” essentially means that the payment of legal fees are contingent upon our firm winning your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay us. Period.

Here’s how that works:

We front all costs and we will be reimbursed only if we are successful. There are many expenses associated with researching your claim and filing for damages through the court system, but since we understand that you have probably been financially harmed due to your injury, Grossman Law Offices shoulder’s this burden so that you may be able to seek recovery.

We put in the tens, hundreds, or thousands of hours necessary to win your case with no guarantee that we’ll ever be compensated. Litigating a claim can be incredibly expensive and extraordinarily time consuming, but Grossman Law Offices understands how crucial a successful outcome of your case is to the success of your family. This is why we are willing to work so hard to help you without any guaranteed payment.

You agree to let us keep a percentage of your winnings as our fee. This portion is simply meant to reimburse our firm for the expenses we paid for upfront in order to reach a successful outcome and compensate our staff for their hard work to benefit you.

Our portion is usually about 1/3, sometimes more and sometimes less depending upon the type of case, statutory limits, the risk we will have to assume, etc. This is something that will need to be discussed in further detail. The cost of litigation often varies based on the nature of the claim, the number of people involved, and the amount you are able to seek in claims.

You literally pay us nothing is we don’t win. If we do not successfully get you compensation for your claim, we also receive nothing. You are not responsible for reimbursing us for any money previously spent in preparation for your case.

Why Do We Do Contingency Fee Contracts?

Filing a lawsuit and pursuing a defendant through negligence takes a lot of attorney time and costs lots of money through simple things like filing fees. Most people cannot afford to pay a lawyer by the hour especially when there is no degree of certainty they will win. By representing clients on contingency fee basis we assume all the financial risk.

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We understand that you are probably seeking damages because you may not be able to afford the medical treatment you desperately need to fully recover. Or your car may have been totaled in the accident, and without financial compensation from the defendant you cannot possibly purchase another car. Logically, if you cannot afford to pay for your medical bills, or you cannot afford to buy a new car, you probably cannot afford to pay for an attorney with no guarantee of success. This is why we use contingency fees.

We are sympathetic to your situation and we choose to use our assets to better help you. We believe this allows people a way to hold responsible defendants accountable and gives innocent victims, like you, access to the courts. To fully understand how we will use a contingency fee in your claim, you will need to speak with one of our attorneys. Call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Determining Fault & Theories of Liability

Importance of the Police Report in a Car Accident

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Importance of the Police Report in a Car Accident

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How Important is a Police Accident Report When Determining Fault in an Automobile Accident?

If you have ever been in an auto accident you probably spoke to the police and they made a report of the accident. The police report can be useful for identifying potential witnesses, getting the preliminary facts of the accident, and obtaining preliminary witness statements. However, the police reports actual affect in determining who is at fault in an accident is extremely overrated. In a court of law, the opinions expressed by the officer who made the report are essentially meaningless with some context provided by attorneys for either the plaintiff or defense. Therefore, it can be said that the real value of the police report is its ability to aid your attorney in illustrating to a jury what occurred; not that the police report itself is entirely meaningful or significant on its own.

As such, the most important thing you can do is hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and make sure that the police report alone does not determine factor of your case for better or for worse.

Police Reports are Not Automatically Admissible in Trial

The reason why a police report’s value is generally overrated is, in the unlikely event that your case made it to trial, the police report is not inherently admissible into court without being properly “proved up“. Getting a document (ANY document) admissible can be a complex matter that must be executed in accordance with the Texas Rules for Civil Procedure. If you hope to prove your side of the story simply by showing up with a police report in hand, you will be disappointing. If the police report is helpful to your side, your attorney will need to take several steps in order to ensure that a jury will every be able to see it. Then your attorney must explain the relevance of every important fact contained in the report. Again, without context, the report is essentially ineffective.

Police Officers are Often Not Trained in Traffic Accident Analysis

Another reason why you can’t simply rely on the police report to be your star witness is that police officers are not viewed as “experts” for the purposes of civil court proceedings. Police officers are not always adequately trained to analyze an accident scene. Furthermore, for the report to be scientifically valid, the measurements and summaries must be based on some standard and the instruments used must be properly calibrated.

In some rare cases, the police officers investigating the accident scene will document and record the meticulous manner by which they calibrate their measurement equipment as well as show all of the formulas and calculations used with regard to deriving speed, braking force etc. Such police reports are very credible. But most police officers do not go through such lengths, and the reports they make are dubious in nature. After all, how reliable is a police report when the officer can’t swear under oath that he knows his tools were undoubtedly working properly? How reliable is a police report when the conclusions are not backed by verifiable mathematics?

Often times a police report contains little more than party names and other information such as insurance and witness statements, however the actual analysis of the accident is lacking. If you were on a jury, how much stock would you put in such an understated report?

Police Do Not View Accidents in Light of Civil Liability

This is arguably the most important point of this article. Police officers are not judges nor juries. They cannot determine civil liability and the evidence that they look for and then document in a report is only coincidentally similar to the evidence used in a car accident case in some instances, and completely irrelevant in other instances.

Police reports are not always the best indicator of fault because the police analyze the accident from the view of criminal liability, rather than civil liability. There is a large variance in civil and criminal law, including what constitutes criminal liability and civil liability. Police often do not possess the requisite knowledge and training to recognize the differences that may be important in determining civil liability over criminal liability. Reasons such as these are the reasons that it is important to contact your lawyer as soon as possible, rather than risk relying on an unfavorable police report.

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The Best Thing You Can Do At the Scene of the Car Accident

You do not have to wait and rely 100% on the police report to record all parts of the accident. You can take steps to protect your interest in the accident claim. There are many things a person in an accident can do to assist in their traffic accident case, such as take digital photographs of the traffic scene immediately after the accident. Photos at the scene of the accident can be the best to accurately recreate the scene of the accident. Taking notes about the accident immediately following the accident can also be beneficial; as time passes you may forget minor details that may be vital to your claim.
The attorneys at the Grossman Law Offices are trained and experience in all areas of personal injury law, we are able to analyze an accident scene and find the facts that will be important in making your claim, please contact them at 1-855-392-0000 to schedule your free consultation and discuss the facts of your case.
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Failure to Yield Right of Way

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Failure to Yield Right of Way

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Theory of Liability: Failure to Yield Right of Way

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All car accident cases have to be based on a theory of liability. In order to cast a wide net, we will generally site a predominant theory of liability as well as tertiary theories. In this article we will discuss the most common theory which is known as fail to yield right of way.

What is Right of Way?

Essentially, this term means to let the other person go first. These signs are very common on all types of roadways and they are intended to give the driver notice that another driver is to be favored. Usually these signs are present in order to protect the other driver who is especially susceptible to being involved in an accident if the driver’s given the yield sign do not act with extra caution.

Common Ways That a Defendant Can Fail to Yield the Right of Way to You

Defendants will frequently ignore yield signs which you find on off-ramps for highways. Anytime you are driving on an access road adjacent to the freeway you will inevitably pass a yield sign. They are typically a red and white colored triangle instructing you to yield to the traffic exiting the freeway. Often defendants will ignore these signs and cause you to be involved in a car accident while you are trying to exit the freeway. If this has happened to you, you likely have a strong claim against the negligent driver for your injuries sustained in the accident.

The defendant failed to yield the right of way when they turned from a parking lot into your path. How many times have you been driving down a roadway when a careless driver suddenly turns out of a parking lot directly into the lane in which you are traveling causing you to suddenly slam on your brakes? If this happened to you and you suffered an injury because of it, the negligent driver has broken the law and should be held accountable for your damages.

If a defendant has run through a stop sign they have ignored an express sign to yield and are responsible for your damages. While a stop sign is not a traditional yield sign, its intent is to have drivers use caution and yield to you as you pass. Many times two roads will cross and one of them will have the right of way while the other must yield as mandated by a stop sign. If you are hit by a car that did not obey the stop sign, then they will likely be liable for your resulting damages.

There are also certain parking lot scenarios where you can be injured by a car that failed to properly yield. The general rule of thumb is in the absence of signage in a parking lot, whichever road is connected to the main road has right of way. Generally speaking, any time someone has to turn on another road they are required to yield right of way.

For example, when you shop at the Memorial City Mall you have probably encountered this situation. There is a main access road coming from the Katy Freeway access road which is simply referred to as Memorial City Mall Road. There are several pathways in the parking lot that cross this road, but there are not always stop signs denoting that the other driver must yield to you. However, if you are traveling on this road you are inherently given the right of way since it is the main path connected the major roadway.

One of the most common accidents caused by drivers failing to yield involves yield left hand turn signals. This is often found when you are attempting to turn left onto an intersecting roadway, but instead of a green arrow which gives you complete authority to turn, you are simply given a green light with the instruction to yield to oncoming traffic. Countless drivers are given this yielding green light, but they fail to pay adequate attention to the traffic flow or they intentionally drive thinking that they can essentially beat you to the intersection. Whether the driver causes you to be hurt in an accident due to their carelessness or intentional recklessness, that negligent driver will be responsible for your damages because they failed to yield the right of way.

How Do I Prove the Defendant Failed to Yield Right of Way?

Proving any personal injury matter is based on the preponderance of the evidence showing that it is the more likely scenario. This causes us to rely on our persuasive abilities and whatever evidence we can find. Typically this is determined by first learning what roads and direction each of the parties are traveling on. We must prove where the cars were and where they were coming from. These two facts often shed a great deal of light on the accident and give clarity to the events that actually occurred. We can also assess the situation and details leading up to the accident by analyzing the damage to both vehicles. Through damage analysis we can determine the speed and direction each car was traveling.

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For example, you were driving down the Sam Houston Toll Road, you got in a car accident and the defendant is claiming that you rear ended their car and therefore you are liable. However, via accident analysis we can show that the defendant’s car clipped the right front side of your vehicle while they were changing lanes. If there is damage to the right from side of your car, this could not have been caused by you rear ending the vehicle. They clearly changed lanes without using proper caution and checking for cars in surrounding lanes. As a car traveling in that lane, you have the right of way and any car changing lanes to move into your path must yield and give you the right of way.

Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have various techniques for proving negligence and establishing the defendant’s liability in a fail to yield right of way claim. To further discuss how we might specifically prove your damages, contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Theory of Liability for Failure to Control Speed

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Theory of Liability for Failure to Control Speed

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Theory of Liability in Texas for Accidents Caused by Speeding (or Failure to Control Speed)

Our firm often litigates cases where the defendant driver’s speed is a factor in causing the crash or severity of the injuries our clients sustained. In this article we will discuss accidents that are speed related and what you can do about them.

How Speed Affects Accidents

Speed affects accidents in two distinct ways. The first way is if the speed is excessive it can result in failure to control the vehicle which can literally cause an accident. The second way is in an accident that was caused by other circumstances speed has a multiplying affect with regard to worsening the injuries.

Texas is a state that has a posted speed limit and it is determined by our Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS does not arbitrarily pick the speeds. It is based on the condition of the roads traveled and how many drivers use the roads. For instance, a road that has a S-curve, the speed limit is slower because the driver is changing directions more frequently. The reason for this is the tires on the car are capable of generating so much grip. Therefore, there are some amount of grip that allows a tire to break, to push the car forward, to accelerate, to break and some amount of the tire grip can maneuver the tire laterally as a turning mechanism. When you ask a tire to do more than one of these things, you exceed the tires ability to generate grip. When a driver fails to control their, speed then an accident occurs. Additionally, the faster a car is traveling, the more profound weight will transfer when the car breaks or turns.

Forced Equals Mass Times Acceleration

Therefore, if a car is accelerating at a high rate of speed and it hits another car, then the mass affect of its mass colliding into the other car is multiplied. As a consequence, the faster the car, when it hits you, the more energy there will be impacted into your car.

How Can we Prove the Car Was Speeding

There are a variety of ways that the defendant driver was speeding: eyewitness testimony, ECU data, your own testimony, deriving the speed from circumstantial evidence, and length of skid marks.

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The importance of proving the other driver speeding

The courts recognize that when a defendant driver is speeding or failed to control their speed, the driver is acting inherently negligent. Moreover, it’s the type of negligence that the defendant is cognizantly aware that they are committing. In other words, a jury is inclined to show some sort of forgiveness to a driver that took their eyes off the road for a split second, that is a simple mistake, but it is still negligence. Nonetheless, juries are certainly not forgiving of drivers who knowingly speed. As such, when we can show that the defendant in your case was speeding. This opens the possibility of punitive damages which opens the doors to a higher settlement.

If you have been injured due to the negligent driver, then contact Grossman Law Offices to discuss your matter further with our experienced attorneys. Call us today at 1-855-392-0000.

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Alleging Gross Negligence – Car Accidents

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Alleging Gross Negligence – Car Accidents

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Gross Negligence Theories of Liability in Car Accident Cases

When an accident is caused by certain types of extreme recklessness our attorneys are able to argue that the defendants were grossly negligent. Texas courts have longed held that grossly negligent defendants can pay punitive damages. This article will discuss common types of gross negligence in Houston car accident cases.

Street racing

As long as there have been cars there are people who have been interested in comparing their car to the next guy. We can all agree that racing can be fun, exciting and it can create an adrenalin rush, but we all can agree that responsible adults who are racing their cars is dangerous on the highways. Despite this understanding, many Houston residents do engage in street racing and our firm has represented numerous clients who have been injured or killed when unknowingly finding their vehicle in the path of these reckless drivers. If we can illustrate that your injuries was caused by someone engaging in a race against another vehicle or a race against speed, then we may be able to illustrate that the driver was acting grossly negligent.

Drunk Driving

We all understand while driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous but it is a common practice in the Houston area. Our attorneys have successfully argued for punitive damages and literally dozens of alcohol related accidents. In addition to pursuing punitive damages, the applicable liability policies such as Dram shop or liquor liability claims are also usually derived from these claims as well.

Texting and Driving

Texting and driving has became a new and common danger in the Houston area. Many of residents between school age and adult have cell phones. Because of the increase in cell phones, many people tend to text while driving. This is a very dangerous distraction because texting requires you to use your hands and your sight. So sending a text or reading a text causes you to take your eyes off the road for seconds. Within these few seconds an accident can occur.

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These are circumstantial gross negligence but any scenario where anyone is acting negligently under the right conditions is considered grossly negligent. It can be grossly negligent to buy an inexperienced teenage driver a high powered sports car, a senior citizen driving under the speed limit on a busy highway or having to many people in the car.

The tricky part with gross negligence claims are liability insurance does in fact cover even extreme examples of negligence however, it does not cover criminal acts. As such there is a fine line illustrating gross negligence by a defendant and illustrating to the insurance company the criminal acts to nullify the policy. This suitable distinction can spell the device for your case, such claims involve the experience of our attorneys.

Grossman Law Offices will fight for your rights. Call our office to learn more about your potential claim and the compensation that you could be awarded. Call us at 1-855-392-0000, to receive a free consultation.
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Accidents Due to Distracted Driving

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Accidents Due to Distracted Driving

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Have You Been Injured in an Accident With a Driver on Their Cell Phone, Texting or Otherwise Distracted?

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The numbers of advertisements that exist nowadays that warn of the dangers of texting and driving cannot be overstated. It is a real threat on the roads today considering the rampant use of text messaging as a means of communication between adolescents and adults alike. Driving through school zones and being caught mid-text can cost you fines of $200.00. This is all in response to the proliferation of accidents that occur because of the fact that one of the parties was texting while operating a motor vehicle. You cannot read a book while driving, which begs the question- how could you read a text? This article will discuss the current regulations against texting while driving in the State of Texas in greater depth. You may be surprised to learn that while Texas does have some rules against this, they have not put a ban on it entirely.

What are the Current Laws Against Texting in Texas?

The current laws against texting in the state of Texas are briefly discussed below:

Any driver that is under the age of 18 is prohibited to use any wireless communication devices while driving a car.

If you have only a learner’s permit you cannot use a handheld cellular telephone during your first 6 months of driving.

School bus drivers cannot use cellular telephones while driving buses if there are children present.

Drivers may not use handheld cell phones while they are in school crossing zones.

Specific cities in Texas that have taken matters into their own hands and enacted local distracted driving laws are: Austin, Amarillo, El Paso, The Canyon, Stephenville, San Antonio, Galveston, Missouri City, and Dallas.

What is the Progression of the Laws Against Texting in Texas?

Recently, Governor Rick Perry opted to veto the legislature’s proposition to ban text messaging for all of the drivers on the road. The implication of this decision by the governor is that Texas will likely not see a ban in its entirety until at least 2014. This is a cause for concern because of the fact that a great deal of accidents that occur on Texas roads today happen because of inattentive drivers who are more concerned with communicating via text on their smart phone than paying attention to the road and other vehicles.

A recent news article explained that the entire legislature did not meet in 2012 and will return in the year 2013. Shockingly, Texas is one of only eleven states that do not have a ban on text messaging imposed on every driver on the road. When Perry explained the reasoning behind his decision to refuse to implement the ban he stated that he believed the law to be some form of an effort to try to micromanage the behavior of adults. However, what about the laws directed specifically at teenagers? This has spurred some debate of as to whether the age of the driver may play a pivotal role in what determines whether or not the ban should be imposed. In addition, does it not seem difficult to enforce a law that is directed at age rather than a blanket rule?

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Perry vetoed this law of June 17th of 2011. Had he decided in the alternative it would have been in effect by September of 2011. Moreover, Perry stated that the key to persuading drivers of all ages to quit texting while operating motor vehicles was to inform and educate them of the potential dangers of this activity when he made his veto statement. Perry was mid-campaign during this statement as a United States presidential candidate.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a distracted driver that was texting and inattentive, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can offer experienced legal counsel that can aid you in making sure that you recover for your loss. This is a developing area of the law and our attorneys stay on top of any developments in an effort to make sure we can provide you with the better legal representation possible. Contact us at 1-855-392-0000.

Tier 1 Law 1.0 Premises Liability

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Top 5 Risks at an Apartment Complex
Apartment Complex Liability – Swimming Pool Accidents
Apartment Complex Liability – Intentional Torts and Crimes
Apartment Complex Liability – Defective Sidewalks, Stairs, etc.
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Premise Liability basics

Premise Liability vs. Standard Negligence

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Premise Liability vs. Standard Negligence

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What is the Difference Between a Premises Liability Claim and a Standard Negligence Claim?

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Many people think that anytime they are injured while on the property of another person that the property owner is responsible for their injuries. A property owner can be liable under the doctrine of premises liability or negligence, but determining which theory applies to your case is crucial. The standard of care which the property owner owes to the plaintiff is determined by whether the claim is based upon premise liability or standard negligence. Every case is different and should be evaluated by an experienced attorney who may assist you with your personal injury claim.

What is Premise Liability?

This legal doctrine is the theory that land owners and people who are in the possession of land may be held liable for injuries that you suffer while on their property. The duty of care the land owner owes you is directly based on your status as a visitor. For example, a land owner owes a greater duty of care to an invitee than he would to a trespasser. If you’re a shopper at a retail store the store owner owes a greater duty to you as an invitee while you shop around than if you go beyond specified boundaries and become a trespasser. So what kinds of accidents qualify as premise liability?

If you are injured on the defendant’s property and the dangerous condition causing the harm is also on the defendant’s property then this scenario would be classified as a premises liability claim. This is probably the simplest case of premises liability. After this situation is established, you will need to consult with your lawyer about what your personal status was at the time of the accident to then specifically assess potential damages that the property owner may be obligated to pay.

Another reoccurring scenario is when the plaintiff is injured while on the defendant’s property, but the defendant’s negligent activity which caused the harm was not ongoing at the time of the accident. Now, you’re probably wondering what ongoing activity means. Basically, ongoing activity refers to the specific negligent action by the defendant that caused the injury.

For example, say the defendant was mopping the floors and failed to clean up the excess water when they finished which then causes you to slip and hurt yourself. Because the defendant had finished mopping the floors and was completely done with that activity, the action is considered not ongoing and your claim would be based on premise liability.

The Shift from Premise Liability to Standard Negligence

However, this is where a shift is created in the law. Say the defendant was in the process of mopping the floors when you slipped and hurt yourself. Because the defendant was still actually participating in the activity when you were injured, the action is considered to be ongoing. And if the plaintiff is injured while on the defendant’s property by the defendant’s negligent activity that was ongoing at the time of the injury then the personal injury claim is based on negligence.

This shift in legal theories can be very complex and challenging to identify for someone who is unfamiliar in dealing with these types of personal injury claims. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are very knowledgeable and will help better explain these theories of liability to you when we discuss your case in further detail.

Additionally, when a plaintiff is not on the defendant’s premises, but is injured due to a dangerous condition which is on the defendant’s premises this claim would be considered standard negligence. For example, say the land owner has a very large tree on their property. The tree is very tall, but after years of decay has become very unstable and has developed a severe lean. If a strong storm develops and knocks the tree over causing it to hit your car resulting in you suffering physical injury, you would have a claim against the land owner based on negligence.

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Because the owner did not use ordinary care to remove the danger, and you were injured you may be entitled to compensation from the landowner. But since you were not on the land owner’s property, you would not be entitled to compensation based on premise liability.
Premise Liability Requires that You Must Be on the Defendant’s Property

So what is your claim based on if you are injured by the defendant’s negligent activity, but you are not on their property? This case would just be based on standard negligence. Furthermore, it is likely not even relevant to the court whether the activity was ongoing or not. Either way, you would have a negligence claim against the defendant for their actions.

Anytime you are injured, whether it is due to premises liability or standard negligence of another person, you should always seek the guidance of a qualified attorney. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been practicing personal injury law for over 20 years and are very experienced in handling both premises liability and standard negligence claims. If you have been injured and would like to discuss your potential claim, contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.

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Proving Property Owner Negligence

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Proving Property Owner Negligence

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How to Show, or Prove, the Negligence of a Property Owner in Relation to a Premises Liability Case

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Michael Grossman has been fighting for victims` rights for over 20 years. Call Mike to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

Houston is a very dynamic metropolis with numerous shopping centers and restaurants featuring some of the best food in the state. With all of these varying types of properties, the different types of injuries you may suffer are vast and the odds of you being injured are increased. If you suffer an injury due to negligence of another person, the property owner may be responsible for your damages.

How Do We Prove The Property Owner Was Negligent?

There are various ways in which we can prove that the property owner was negligent. If you were a trespasser and injured on another person’s property we may be able to establish that the property owner intentionally concealed a defect which hurt you. If the property owner knew that you would not be able to discover the harm they should be found responsible for your resulting injuries.

If you were at the Hotel ZaZa in Houston you would be considered an invitee and the property owner would be responsible for any negligence. There is a very popular bar at the hotel and many patrons will frequently take drinks out of the bar and into the lobby area which has marble floors. If someone spills their drink, the floor would become incredibly slick and you could easily slip and fall.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to regularly inspect the premises for dangerous conditions and is required to remove them to protect you. Essentially, we can prove negligence in this situation by establishing that the water was spilled, the property owner failed to clean it up, and when you slipped on the wet floor you were classified as an invitee. Therefore, a large part of proving the property owner was negligent is proving that you were first owed a duty of care.

What Standard of Care Does the Property Owner Owe Me?

This question is incredibly complex. Simply put, the standard of care the property owes you is dependent upon your status as a visitor. You can be classified as a trespasser, licensee, or invitee. If you are a trespasser, you are wrongfully on the property and you are owed the least care.

While the property owner cannot intentionally cause you harm, they are not required to remove any known dangers which might hurt you. In Texas, property owners are simply required to warn any expected trespassers about dangers which are likely to harm the trespasser.

The duty owed to a licensee is very similar to that of a trespasser, but they are owed a slightly greater duty of care. Anytime you visit your friend’s house, or venture on to your neighbor’s property to retrieve a personal item you are considered a licensee. Again, property owners are not required to repair any known dangers, they are simply expected to adequately warn the licensee about any hazards which they expect might harm the visitor.

Finally, invitees are owed the greatest standard of care. When you visit any type of grocery store in Houston, any restaurant, the Galleria shopping mall, or even your local office you are considered an invitee. Basically, you are an invitee anytime you are on a property solely for business purposes.

As an invitee the property owner must do their best to remove any hazards on the property and are required to actively inspect the property for liabilities. If they fail to provide a safe premises it is likely that it was caused by the property owner’s negligence.

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Once our attorneys establish which status you were classified as at the time of your injury, we can then work to effectively prove that the property owner violated their duty of care and thus was negligent.

Proving property owner negligence and resulting liability can be incredibly challenging. Our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been proving negligence claims for over two decades. We are very experienced in proving your injury claim and helping you seek the money in which you deserve. For assistance in filing a claim against the property owner who you believe is responsible for your damages, call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Premises Liability for an Assault or Robbery

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Premises Liability for an Assault or Robbery

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Can Property Owners be Held Liable for Criminal Acts That Happen on Their Property Such as Assault, Battery or Robbery?

Many people are injured everyday by people intentionally causing them harm. People are robbed, beaten, and had even worse crimes committed against them by awful people who only wish to cause suffering. With knowledge that there are people like this in the world certain property owners and possessors have an obligation to take preventative action in order to deter this kind of behavior. There are multiple locations and places that we visit on a daily basis that are prone to these types of sinister crimes. It is the shopkeeper, bar owner, and apartment manager’s responsibility to adequately ensure that you are safe when you’re on their property. If you are intentionally harmed while on the property, the owner or possessor may be responsible for your injuries and our experienced attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can help you receive compensation for your losses.

What Types of Properties are Prone to Criminal Attacks?

Some properties have a greater chance of experiencing crime. For instance, a church is not usually a breeding ground for criminal elements. Rarely do you hear about larceny at a church or an assault in a church parking lot. However, you frequently hear about innocent people being attacked at local bars and people being mugged at gas stations. You have a much greater chance of being harmed at these types of locations. Places like restaurants, bars, hotels, gas stations, apartment complexes, shopping malls, hospitals, and parks have a much greater risk of criminal activity and therefore the owners or possessors have a greater responsibility to ensure your safety.

The Possessor or Owner of a Property May Be Responsible for Your Injuries

Some properties are more prone to having crimes occur. Due to the area they are located or the types of patrons they attract, some properties are predisposed to crime and the odds of a crime being committed against another person while they are on the property are intensely amplified. If a person owns or possesses a property which they know is likely to have crime occur, it is their duty to deter or prevent that crime in order to protect you. This might mean they are expected to hire more security, increase parking lot lighting, or install some sort of security system or gate.

Property owners in this situation act reasonably to adequately provide sufficient security and protection for you. If the owner or possessor fails to take these extra precautions, the odds of crimes like assault, robbery, rape, and murder occurring are dramatically increased. Their failure to act cautiously has increased your potential for injury and therefore, under the theory of premises liability, they may be held responsible for your damages.

Many Businesses are Responsible for Negligent Hiring

Often a property owner or possessor has failed to take extra precautions resulting in the hiring of a dangerous person who then intentionally harms you. Many jobs require a background check before they can hire you. However, many businesses choose not to utilize this method of discovery before hiring because it is costly and time consuming. Businesses try to cut expenses everywhere they can and management often views this check as unnecessary and unlikely to produce anything substantial. So, in an effort to save money and time, companies will not run background checks when they hire people.

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For example, many apartment complexes have multiple people working on the property. Most have numerous management staff and maintenance people who have almost unlimited access to every apartment in the complex. In some instances, apartment complexes will fail to run a background check and consequently do not discover that their employee has a history of violent crimes.
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If that violent criminal attacks you or your family while you are on the property, then the apartment complex may be liable for your injuries. They may be responsible under the theory of premises liability because they failed to take adequate precautions to ensure your safety and security.

Grossman Law Offices has been helping victims like you for over 20 years. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience in handling all kinds of personal injury cases including injuries caused by intentional crimes like assault or robbery. If you are the victim of an assault or robbery you may be entitled to compensation from the property owner or possessor. To discuss your potential claim and your legal rights contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Apartment Complex Liability

Suing an Apartment Complex for Premises Liability

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Suing an Apartment Complex for Premises Liability

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Bringing a Claim or Lawsuit Against an Apartment Complex for Injuries Caused by a Premises Defect or Hazard

If you currently lease an apartment from a private party or some company you may be unaware of the obligations that they owe to you as a tenant. These duties are unavoidable to the parties responsible for your living area and when they fail to fulfill them, they may be subject to liability. Owners of real property in the state of Texas must ensure that such property does not have any hazards that could possibly injure someone. Therefore, if you have been injured due to some condition in your apartment or in the surrounding areas of the property or complex that you reside in you have a right to be compensated for these losses.

The way in which you may recover is through a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability lawsuits hold a landowner responsible for any tort that occur on their property. Any hazardous conditions such as water in a common area, lack of adequate security or failures to maintain the apartment units may be grounds to impose liability. Premises liability lawsuits require certain elements to be proven in order for you to be able to receive the recovery that you deserve. In addition, there are procedural guidelines that must be adhered to in order to prevent your cause of action from extinguishing. This is why it is so important that you have an attorney that is experienced in this area of the law handling your cause of action. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been litigating personal injury lawsuits based on premises liability for 22 years and because of this we have garnered incomparable experience and training.

How Does Premises Liability Work in an Apartment Complex?

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As either a guest or a tenant of an apartment complex, if you are injured you may recover against the party that is obligated to maintain that property. This is the case whether your accident occurred due to some hazardous condition or an area that was not properly maintained. However there are certain rules that are specific to landlords and tenants in premises liability.

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What is the Landlord Responsible for?
Basically, the landlord of the apartment is responsible for any area outside of the apartment such as the hallways or public areas. In addition, they are responsible for the items in the apartment unit itself that cannot be moved such as the floors and appliances.

What am I Responsible for as the Tenant?
As a tenant you are responsible for any items that you have placed inside of your apartment. Therefore, if the injury was caused by some condition that you created in your own apartment then there may be some obstacles to your ability to recover in a premises liability lawsuit. In addition, there are some defenses to your ability to recover that the landlord may use if the dangerous condition was known to you and you failed to notify your landlord so that they could repair it.

Premises liability lawsuits are complex, especially when dealing with the particular laws that are applicable to landlord tenant situations. However, with an experienced attorney handling your case you may recover a sizable sum in compensation for your injuries. That is exactly what we can provide you with at Grossman Law Offices. Our attorneys are dedicated to making sure that our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their causes of action and we will offer you the same dedication in your potential lawsuit. To discuss the specifics of your theory of recovery, contact us at 1-855-392-0000.
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Top 5 Risks at an Apartment Complex

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Top 5 Risks at an Apartment Complex

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The Top 5 Most Dangerous Premises Liability Risks at an Apartment Complex

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Many people in the Houston area live in apartment complexes. The reason why Houstonians choose apartment complexes is because they are cheaper than a house and they are easier to maintain because they are supposed to be kept up by a landlord. Sometimes this is not the case and accidents occur because of the landlord’s lack of care and maintenance.

A landlord has a duty to provide a livable environment for its tenants. They also have a duty to make sure that the common areas of the apartment complexes are safe and up to code with the city. A landlord is not supposed to create an unnecessary safety risk for its tenants. A landlord can be also be held liable for a tenant’s guest or someone who is invited on the property that is doing business with the apartment complex.

Top 5 Risks

The five most common risks that occur at an apartment complex in Houston are slip & fall, fire, crime, swimming pool related accidents, and black mold.

Slip & fall are the most common accidents that can arise in an apartment complex. Slip & fall injuries can occur for various different reasons. They can be caused by the stairs being defective, a balcony was broken or unstable, cracks were in the sidewalks, or the handrails were faulty. Since the landlord failed to have the defects repaired he or she can be held liable for your injuries.

Crime can occur just as often as slip & fall accidents. The reason why crime is on the rise in apartment complexes is because a landlord could have failed to provide better lighting in dark wooded areas or where there is lack of security.

Swimming pool accidents are becoming a frequent risk in apartment complexes. Many apartment complexes in the Houston area house residents that have children. Children love to play in and around the pool. A landlord can be liable for a swimming pool accident if he or she does not maintain the area around the pool by keeping the gates locked after hours, or not providing a gate around the pool. A landlord can also be held liable if they did not properly display warning and safety signs around the pool area.

A fire in a apartment complex can occur because of the landlord’s negligence. For example, your landlord could have failed to replace the faulty wiring in the building which is easily preventable. This can also be a violation of the city building code as well.

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Michael Grossman has been fighting for victims` rights for over 20 years. Call Mike to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

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Because Houston is considered a hot and humid environment, the increase in mold can cause problems in an apartment complex. Black mold is considered dangerous and, if exposed to it for a long period of time, then it can cause severe injuries or even death. A landlord is supposed to make sure that the apartment complex is safe from the dangers of black mold. The landlord is supposed to take the necessary steps to remove black mold if it exists or warn you of the presence of black mold. If the landlord does not then they are liable for your injuries.

For over 20 years, Grossman Law Offices has been representing clients in the Houston area. Our attorneys take pride in seeking justice for our clients and awarding them with the adequate compensation that they deserve. Call our office today at 1-855-392-0000 to receive a free consultation.
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Apartment Pool Drownings

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When is an apartment complex liable for a swimming pool-related injury or drowning?

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There is nothing better than relaxing by your apartment’s pool on a scorching hot day in Houston. Sometimes these relaxing days can end in tragedy as a drowning can occur at these pools just the same as they can occur at any other pool. Many factors can increase one’s likelihood of being a drowning victim; alcohol, unsupervised children are all causes that have been known to increase the likelihood of tragedy. Even if one of these factors contributed to your loved one’s drowning accident, you may still recover for your loss. All apartments owe their residents a duty of safety that will be discussed throughout this article. If you’re loved one has drowned or suffered injuries while at an apartment pool, be aware of your rights. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are here to help you get the recovery that you deserve. We have over twenty years of experience in the practice of personal injury law and can provide you with the assistance you need to be successful in your claim.

How Are Apartment Managers Responsible?

Apartment owners and managers owe a duty to provide a safe environment for their residents and their guests, failure to do this will allow you to recover for your damages. There are several actions that apartments can do or fail to do that may cause them to be liable for injuries.

Protection for Children

Apartments must provide safety measures for their pool from children. Children being the largest age group of drowning victims are understandably attracted to pools. Actions such as making sure the pools are surrounded by a fence, ensuring that latches are in good working condition, as well as ensuring that their pool complies with the Baker Pool Safety Act, are all required. The Baker act provides that pool drain covers should be used in order to prevent entrapment or entanglement accidents. Other measures that should be taken are signs warning of potential dangers and stating that children should not be left unsupervised. Apartments also have a responsibility to make sure that the pool and pool equipment is properly maintained. If an accident occurs and any of the above measures are not fulfilled, you will likely have a viable claim against the apartment complex.

Protection for Intoxicated Individuals

All the safety provisions that are made available for the protection of children should also be there for the protection of intoxicated individuals. It is not a secret that when you consume alcohol you do not have as good of control over your motor skills as compared to a person that is sober. It is these reasons that apartment complexes must take safety precautions for the protection of these individuals as well. Many Houston area apartments have resident events where alcohol is served. In these situations the apartment managers have a responsibility to ensure that their residents are not over served. If they over serve the resident or the resident otherwise injures themselves when the apartment failed to take a proper safety action the apartment would again be held liable.

Comparative negligence

Why are apartments held liable when it sounds like it may be partly the victims fault? The concept of comparative negligence is the reason for this. Comparative negligence is the way of determining if you are able to recover damages, and if so how much? In order to recover based on comparative negligence you must be considered less than 51% at fault for the accident, otherwise known as the 51% rule.

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A jury will determine the level of fault that you have in comparison to the other party, if it is less than 51% you may recover damages in proportion to your level of fault. For instance, if you were in a pool accident in your Houston area apartment and the jury determined that you were 45% at fault, you would be able to recover for 55% of your damages.

Conclusion

Even if you think that your injury or loved one’s drowning was yours or the victim’s fault you may still have recovery rights. Grossman Law Offices can find a way to get you the recovery that you deserve if there is such a way. Call 1-855-392-0000 to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. We would like to discuss your case with you.
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Liability of the Apartment Complex for Crimes

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Liability of the Apartment Complex for Crimes

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Is an Apartment Complex Liable for Crimes and Other Intentional Torts Committed on Their Property?

Your home is your castle, and you should be able to feel safe in your castle. However, this is not always the case. Crimes often occur in apartment complexes in the Houston area. Houston is growing rapidly, more people are needing a place to live, which means there is an increase in crimes. Because of the growing population, landlords are beginning to rent apartments frequently and not checking out a tenant’s background. This can cause several problems because now you are not sure if you live next to a criminal. If you or your loved one has been a victim of an intentional tort such as a battery, assault, or another crime while living in an apartment complex in the Houston area, then you might have a potential claim against your apartment complex.

Foreseeability

The general rule states that a landlord or owner of an apartment complex does not have a duty to protect their tenants against crimes or intentional torts that occur on their property. Nonetheless, there are special exceptions that can hold a landlord or owner liable.

The exception to the general rule is the foreseeability doctrine. Foreseeability is the basis for a premises liability claim. A landlord or owner of an apartment complex has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe from foreseeable harm. This means that if a tenant was assaulted or injured in some way and if the incident was expected to happen, then the landlord could be held liable. A crime can be someone breaking into your apartment or your car in the parking lot or someone assaulting you while taking a walk around the complex for exercise.

To determine foreseeability against the landlord, you can show that before the crime occurred in the apartment complex, that other incidents of crime occurred within a short period of time. This is called the prior crime rule. The prior crime does not have to be similar to your crime, there just has to be a pattern of crimes that occurred. To prove this, you can pull a crime history report from the police station.

Foreseeability can be challenging to prove without the expertise of an experienced attorney. You should consult an attorney to discuss your rights.

Lack in Security

You could also show that the landlord of the apartment complex neglected security procedures or security measures to keep the property safe. You must be able to show that the landlord lacked security and the crime that was committed due to the lack of security. For instance, the security cameras outside the complex were not connected, there was not a security guard on the premises during the crimes, the security gate of the apartment complex does not work properly, or there is no lighting in the darker areas.

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A landlord may also be held liable for criminal acts that was committed by their employees as well. You can bring a lawsuit claiming that the landlord negligently hired the employee without thoroughly investigating the employees background. A landlord has a legal duty to do a background check on all employees that they hire.

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Grossman Law Offices has litigated hundreds of cases in the Houston area and our attorneys have over 20 years experienced and are dedicated to helping you. Contact our law office for a free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.
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Apartment Complex Liability for Tripping Hazards

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Apartment Complex Liability for Tripping Hazards

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Apartment Liability for Known Hazardous Areas

If you are injured while in your apartment or someone else’s apartment because of a defect in the apartment you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The landlord or the owner of the apartment complex is liable for certain injuries that occur in certain common areas because of defects with the actual apartment building. This article will discuss some of the most common types of apartment defects that can lead to an injury.

Defects in the Sidewalk

The landlord or owner of the apartment has a duty to make certain areas surrounding an apartment safe for people. The sidewalk surrounding an apartment is one of these areas. The landlord or owner has to make sure that the sidewalk is safe for people to walk on and does not have any hazards like large cracks or uneven sections that people could trip and injure themselves on. If you are injured because of a defect on a sidewalk you may be able to receive compensation from the landlord.

Defects in Stairs

The landlord also has a duty to make sure that all stairs located in an apartment complex are safe for people to walk on. They need to make sure that all of the stairs and stair railing are secure and sturdy so that people do not fall down them and injure themselves. The landlord also has to warn of any sudden drop offs and ledges so that people do not injure themselves by falling down one.

Parking Lots

The landlord also has a duty to make sure that parking lots are safe for people who walk and drive in them. They need to make sure that there are no walkway impediments such as a large crack in the road or a pothole. They also have to clearly mark any other potential risks like a sewer drain that is hard to see because it is the same color as the street pavement.

Inadequate Lighting

Another measure that the landlord needs to take to ensure the safety of residents is to make sure that there is adequate lighting in walking areas and the parking lots. There needs to be adequate lighting so that a potential hazard can be seen by a person walking or driving, especially at night. There are certain standards of lighting that the landlord must adhere to and whether nor not the landlord is adhering to these standards is determined by a lighting expert.

You Need An Experienced Attorney To Help You With Your Premises Liability Case

A landlord or apartment owner can be liable for the injures caused by a defect in the premises, however, there are some ways that they could attempt to avoid liability. There are some defenses that are available to landlords that would help them avoid liability for an injury caused by a defect in the premises such as misuse of the property, comparative fault, and the open and obvious doctrine.

Because of the potential defenses that a landlord or apartment owner can use to avoid liability for your injuries and the complexity of proving that a defect in the property exists, you should hire an experienced and skilled attorney to help you with your premises liability claim. Grossman Law Offices has over twenty years of experience and has dealt with many premises liability cases and was able to secure the compensation that their clients deserved for their injuries. Call one of our attorneys today for a free consultation regarding your premises liability claim at 1-855-392-0000.

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Apartment Premises Liability for Toxic Mold

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Apartment Premises Liability for Toxic Mold

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Can I Sue an Apartment Complex for Injuries and Illnesses Related to Toxic Mold?

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Being exposed to toxic mold can be very dangerous and can cause severe injuries, such as asthma, loss of memory, rashes, and lung damage. Toxic molds are black, white, green or gray and can be visible to the naked eye. But some toxic molds can be invisible. It can live in a damp, humid environment such as in the city of Houston and it can be found behind walls, on floors or on ceilings. Some toxic molds can contain an odor as well.

Landlord’s Duty

A landlord has a duty to his tenants to maintain and keep the apartment complex suitable for living. A landlord must repair or remedy a problem if it affects the safety and the health of the tenants. Toxic mold is a health risk to you and the landlord is obligated by law to come and remove the mold from your apartment or move you to another apartment.

Landlord’s Liability

Toxic molds can be brought into your apartment many different ways. Toxic mold can even be caused by the negligent act of your landlord. For example, if your landlord is repairing the leak from your bathroom sink but fails to fix it properly and the water continues to leak on the floor this can cause a toxic mold and cause you to be exposed. Because of the negligent act, the landlord can be held liable for your exposure to the toxic mold.

A landlord will also be held liable if he knew of the mold. They can be held liable if they knew of the mold before you moved into the apartment or after you moved in and did not take the necessary steps to remedy the problem. Even if they did not cause it to form in your apartment, the liability comes in because they knew about it and did not clean it up.

Premises Liability

Due to the landlord’s negligence a premises liability claim can be brought against the landlord. Premises liability is a cause of action or legal theory that holds landlords responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur on their property.

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In a premises liability lawsuit for toxic mold, you must prove certain elements in order to successfully win your case. You must prove 1) the toxic mold existed and created an unreasonable risk to you as the tenant, 2) the landlord knew of the toxic mold or caused the toxic mold to enter into your apartment and 3) you were injured by the toxic mold and it caused your injuries.

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Premises liability claims are very complex. Without the assistance of an attorney, you might not receive the appropriate compensation that you deserve against your landlord or worse you might loose your case. Consult an attorney to discuss your rights.

For over 20 years, Grossman Law Offices has been representing clients in the Houston area. Our attorneys have handled numerous premises liability lawsuits against landlords. Contact our office today for a free consultation. Call us at 1-855-392-0000.
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Negligence of Private Security at an Apartment

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Negligence of Private Security at an Apartment

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Have You Been Assaulted or Otherwise Injured Due to the Negligence or Lack of Private Security at an Apartment Complex?

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If you have been injured at an apartment complex in Houston due to negligent actions of the complex’s private security, you may have a valid personal injury claim against the apartment complex. The legal theory of premises liability protects your interests and holds the property owner directly responsible for many injuries you may suffer on the property due to negligence. Of course, the duty owed to you is dependent upon your status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser; but if the property owner violates the standard of protection you deserve then you may have a claim for damages.

Security Employed Directly By the Complex vs. Subcontractors

Almost any time someone employed by the apartment complex causes you harm either intentionally or due to negligence, the complex will be liable. Whether the employee is directly employed by the property owner or if they are employed through a subcontractor, the apartment complex can be held liable for their actions under various legal theories.

One way the apartment complex can be held liable for their employee’s negligence is under the theory of premises liability. This theory states that a property owner may be responsible for injuries that occur on their property which were caused by negligence.

There are various ways in which a security personnel employed by the apartment complex may have negligently caused you harm. Sometimes security personnel are responsible for the installation and maintenance of security systems on the property. Other times they are in charge of determining where safety lights are necessary on the property and are responsible for installing them.

Active Negligence vs. Negligence Caused By Inaction

Let’s say you rent an apartment at the Providence Uptown Apartments on McCue Road. As a renter the court will probably consider you a licensee in your own individual apartment and an invitee in the community areas of the property. Let’s say that you are walking in a hallway area of the complex and an employee in charge of security negligently hits you with a ladder after using it to install a security camera.

By negligently hitting you with the ladder the apartment complex will probably be held accountable for the employee’s actions. As an invitee you are owed the greatest duty of care. A property owner is almost always liable for injuries to invitees which are caused by negligence. Under premises liability the property owner must inspect the property for hazards, remove all dangers, and adequately warn the invitee of any potential dangers.

Therefore, the property owner may also be responsible for any injuries you suffer as an invitee which were caused by inaction of the security personnel. Let’s say you are walking down a stairwell in the Providence Uptown Apartments where you live. The stairwell is a common stairwell and therefore you are classified as an invitee.

Unfortunately, the security employee failed to install lighting in the stairwell and you fall while walking down the stairs because you cannot see anything. By failing to provide adequate lighting and eliminate the dangerous condition, the complex is legally responsible for your injuries.

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If you have been injured while on the property of an apartment complex our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices may be able to help you. There are thousands of apartment complexes in Houston and the chances of you being injured while on one of these properties are great. Whether you are an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser, you are owed some duty of care by the property owner and if they violate this standard, then you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your potential personal injury claim, contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000.
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Apartment Complex Fall Injuries

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Apartment Complex Fall Injuries

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Information on Claims and Lawsuits Against Apartment Complexes for Falling Accidents

Did You Know?

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Hundreds of people have fallen or died at apartment complexes in the Houston area. These accidents can be caused by the negligence of a landlord. The common types of accidents that can occur at an apartment complex are slip and fall injuries that have resulted in a serious injury or death, or tenants falling from a defective balcony that also resulted in severe injuries or death. If you have suffered injuries due to a fall in a Houston apartment complex, or if you lost a loved one due to a fall accident, contact an attorney today.

Premises Liability

If you have suffered injuries due to a fall at an apartment complex then an appropriate claim to bring is a premises liability lawsuit. To succeed in a premises liability lawsuit you will need to prove the following:

You were injured;
The injury resulted in the fall; and
The landlord’s negligent caused your injury.
Wrongful Death

If you lost a loved one due to a fall injury or if your loved one died due to the negligence of the landlord at an apartment complex then an appropriate claim to bring is a wrongful death lawsuit. To succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by the result of the negligence by landlord of the apartment complex; that you, the family member, suffered a financial loss from the result of the death; and that you, are eligible to seek the damages from the wrongful death claim. To prove that you are eligible, you need to prove that you are a surviving family member or beneficiary of your loved one, such as a parent, child or spouse.

Who Can I Sue?

Under Texas law, the general rule states that a landlord is not responsible for the safety of its tenants. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Landlords can be held responsible for accidents that occur at their apartment complex. They have a duty to keep their tenants safe. If a landlord fails keep the property safe, then the landlord can be held liable and a lawsuit can be filed against them. If you are unsure if you have a claim against your landlord, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your matter.

How Can an Attorney Help?

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Premises liability and wrongful death lawsuits are very challenging and expensive. By hiring a professional and competent attorney who understands the law you will be provided with the quality legal representation that you deserve. An attorney will be able to stand up against the landlord who caused your injuries or caused the death of your loved one and achieve the best results possible.
At Grossman Law Offices, our attorneys will protect the rights of those who have been injured in apartment complexes in the Houston area. We will aggressively fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our attorneys have successfully litigated hundreds of cases for over 20 years. Contact our office today to receive a free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.

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Apartment Premises Liability Investigations

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Apartment Premises Liability Investigations

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Our Houston Lawyers Can Perform a 3rd-Party Investigation Into Your Premises Liability Injury Case Against an Apartment Complex

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If you or a loved one has been injured due to some defect that exists on the grounds of an apartment, you may be unaware that you have a cause of action to recover for the losses that you have incurred as a result of your injury. The way in which you may recover is through a premises liability lawsuit. Owners of apartment complexes are charged with a duty to ensure that the apartment grounds are free from any hazardous dangers that may inflict harm on the tenants or guests of the tenants. When they fail to maintain these complexes and an injury results, liability will be imposed.

Premises liability lawsuits can be very complex because of the differing standards of proof and evidence that is associated with these types of lawsuits. This is why it is so important that you have an attorney that is familiar with these types of lawsuits to fight your case for you. That is what we can provide for you at Grossman Law Offices. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have handled many a premises liability case that have resulted in favorable outcomes for our clients.

Grossman Law Offices and Premises Liability Lawsuits

To illustrate, our very own attorney Keith Purdue handled a premises liability lawsuit recently that was incredibly successful. In that particular case there was a child that was playing on the second floor of an apartment complex when a banister came loose causing the young child to fall to the first floor and suffer severe brain damage.

What Did our Attorneys Do?

Initially, you must understand the concept of the parental immunity doctrine. This is because the opposite side attempted to state that our client was contributorily negligent in allowing the child to play near a banister where they may potentially fall and injure themselves. However, the parental immunity doctrine shields parents from claims of contributory negligence in situations like this. It essentially bars any claims for negligence against the parents of a child that suffered an injury under certain circumstances. Our attorney Keith Purdue then filed a motion for summary judgment and won the argument that the parents should not be sued.

Following this victory, the defendant changed their argument and attempted to turn their efforts to designate the parents as the responsible third parties and used oral arguments and the judge allowed our attorneys to win this battle as well. Keith Purdue presented his side in oral arguments as the attorney for Grossman Law Offices and an attorney for the defense was also present. This is because the idea that a child will play in the manner that this child did is to be expected. Therefore, allowing this banister to be loose created an unreasonable risk to the children that lived in that building, and therefore the apartment complex should be held liable.

What Was the Outcome?

Did You Know?

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Ultimately, Grossman Law Offices was able to settle the case at mediation. Mediation is a way to resolve a legal dispute by having both parties come to some sort of agreement in an effort to avoid the costly fees associated with trials.

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At the end of the day, apartment complexes may be held liable for damages that occur to tenants and the guests of tenants if they do not ensure that their property is safe and free from any hazards that could potentially cause an injury. In order to be successful in a premises liability case you must have an attorney representing you that is familiar with these types of lawsuits. As illustrated through Grossman Law Office’s victory in the above-described story, we are fully capable of handling your cause of action for you. We have the skill and expertise that is required in these types of lawsuits and will work diligently to ensure that you have the best theory of recovery available for your case to be successful. To discuss your potential lawsuit in greater detail, contact us at 1-855-392-0000.

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San Antonio Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers. San Antonio Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Accident Attorney : Texas Workers Compensation and Oil Rig Injury Lawyer //–>Injured On The Job While Drilling for Oil or Gas Around San Antonio Texas? Call Michael Grossman

Long dormant for almost a generation, Texas petroleum is again “on the map” as our nation struggles to keep oil and gas affordable.

So in order to get the last drops of oil, and a huge, newly discovered reservoir of natural gas, Drilling companies, contractors, wildcatters and the corporations they sell their valuable commodities to work long hours and under stressful circumstances. It makes no matter whether the drilling site is in East or West Texas, the Barnett Shale of 300 miles out in the Gulf. Every one of those reservoirs is “active.”

Because of this inherent stress, drug testing isn’t an everyday rule. But speed to market is. So it comes as no surprise that the petro-drilling industry is a terribly high-risk venture. This makes workplace injuries common: gruesome wounds such as instant amputations, crushed bodies, and horrible injuries from rig and pipeline blowouts or explosions. Broken bones, injured backs and concussions can debilitate any drilling worker at hour of the day or night. Tool pushers are usually the most commonly injured on a derrick. But no one who spends any time in the oil patch is immune. Who is responsible when any of these job-related accidents, many times the result of someone’s negligence, occurs?

There are several things you must know, and quickly. They are important points such as:

If the Texas drilling operation you work for had workers’ compensation insurance, which covers some reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering.

What to do if the drilling contractor or the company that manages the oilfield is also responsible for your injuries. Your ability to obtain compensation depends on the ability of an oilfield injury lawyer to get to the bottom of the accident, its causes, and find out who is liable.

Exactly who, from a variety of conceivably responsible parties (past your employer), might have contributed to your accident-related injuries, pain and suffering; whether they are aware of their contribution or not.

If something like this has happened to you or a loved one in your family, and if these are questions you have thought of, a San Antonio drilling accident attorney with the Grossman Law Office can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

With oil likely never to see a sub-$100 per-bbl price again, it is more cost-effective to use technology not in existence 20 years ago to squeeze every drop out. And the more Texas can get for its newly discovered natural gas fields, the less oil a lot of people use, especially to heat their homes. But this drilling renaissance is powered in many places by machinery that dates back to the 80’s. So many oilfield accidents can be caused by worn or defective rigging and machinery in-use far past its prime. Pipelines in many areas (some of them highly-populated) explode from negligence, or material fatigue. Heavy objects such as pipes or other drilling equipment can fall near, or on any part of, the rig. A lot of people slip and fall on oil and water and hurt their backs. Let’s face it, the oil and gas patch (including the one out in the Gulf) is one of the most unsafe places to work in the world.

Resolving oilfield workers’ injury cases is frequently very complex. And in attempting to recover fair damage reimbursement, injured workers are opposed by arguably the most powerful corporations (along with their drilling associates, insurance underwriters and high-priced lawyers) on the planet. If you’ve been hurt in a rig accident on land or at sea, you’re a bug who threatens their privileged endgame of record profits in a seller’s market. Without an experienced attorney to represent them, injured oilfield workers are little more than a blip on their radar.

Still, you have faith in the possibility of resolving your injury compensation issues fairly. But you also know that you need an experienced petroleum accident law firm to represent you. This firm has to prepare for trial, but accept a fair settlement once the defendants know it’s the best outcome for them. And you also know it’s highly unlikely you will accomplish by yourself, with a legal “babe in the woods” or your nephew running the case after just graduating from law school. You’d just be serving them (or yourself) up to these business conglomerates, their insurers and legal minions. Then you get to count your losses.Profits, Profits Everywhere, but No Civil Claim Need be Paid (Thanks to Workers’ Comp)

Texas-based oil drilling companies don’t have to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Only half of them do and if they were smart, all of them would. But that’s beside the point. All workplace injury cases in Texas fall into one of two categories. Subscribers, obviously use workers’ comp to cover their employees from on the job accidents. Non subscribers obviously don’t. So it must first be learned whether or not your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber before proceeding any further. This is because; depending on the answer to the above, subscriber and non-subscriber injury claims and cases require entirely different methods and strategies to resolve.

Workers’ comp is a legislature-mandated program that provides universal, no-fault coverage for worker injuries through a “pool” of funds that are provided by participating private insurance carriers. In the insurance industry, this is called “umbrella coverage.” Workers’ comp subscribers are not only able to have their injury claims settled quickly, cheaply, with minimal muss and fuss, they are also protected from just about every civil injury lawsuit.

But there’s a downside to this program. And the workers are the ones who feel the pain from it. By denying workers the traditional civil venues of compensation as-per workers’ comp state law, the rights of employees to be truly and fairly reimbursed are harshly conceded. Workers comp is great for someone who only needs their medical bills paid and will be back on the job in a few days. But for more substantial injuries, like those one suffers on a drilling rig, those benefits lie far below fair-market compensation levels. As a result, these state-mandated “benefit caps” amounts that are awarded rarely, if ever, fully compensate petroleum employees involved in larger, and longer, workers’ comp-covered claims.

Now as we said, the program deliver a certain level of financial relief and admittedly, a little bit of convenience to drilling and pipeline employees injured on the job. This “no fault” insurance covers workers, no matter how the oilfield accident occurred or whose fault it was. But as we said, the longer the worker is injured, the less and less workers’ comp serves his compensation needs.

But there’s another side of the workers’ comp coin. Many Texas drilling companies (and their sub contractors) are workers’ comp non-subscribers. And if you’re injured while working for a non-subscriber, that’s a “whole ‘nother story.” In order to receive compensation from a petro non-subscribing employer for your drilling rig injury, your only compensation avenue is to file a lawsuit. An experienced San Antonio drilling accident attorney with Grossman Law Office can get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal options are available.

Here’ one reason why you should call us quickly. Your serious injury means the odds have finally caught up with your non-subscribing employer. And sure as “T is the first letter in Texas,” once he learns you don’t have a good lawyer, and wants to further his false claim to you that he has workers’ comp, he’ll move quickly to avoid a lawsuit. He’ll show-up at your hospital bed, patting you softly on the arm, telling you to heal-quickly and get back “because we all miss ya.” And then he will, “oh by the way,” ask you to sign an official-looking form he represents as a “standard workers’ comp release” in order to further his fraud and dodge that lawsuit. He might even show up with your “first check.” But be careful. If you sign without calling an experienced drilling accident attorney first, your chance to get him to pay fairly for your injuries (and disability?) is toast! Alternative Revenue Sources to Workers’ Compensation, And Your Options Against Non Subscribers

Once you get past workers’ comp, there two primary avenues to recover injury damages, one of them is an exception to the workers comp civil suit restriction, which we’ve already mentioned. It involves employer gross negligence which leads to a fatal worker accident, either immediately or over time. So if you have a loved one who died as a result of an oil drilling accident, even if you don’t suspect gross negligence by anyone, you need to talk to an experienced lawyer. For if it turns out the accident was caused by employer gross negligence, then you, as an immediate family survivor, stand a very good chance of winning a civil wrongful death lawsuit, even if it’s against a workers’ comp subscriber.

But the more practical approach to non-subscriber liability for injuries you suffered on the rig – be it on land or offshore – is through a third-party claim or lawsuit. This is the thing your terrified, best-buddy boss was trying to avoid when he visited you in the hospital a few paragraphs back.

If his rig or drilling equipment was not maintained properly, or he didn’t provide safe working conditions, or if one of his helicopters ditched 50 miles offshore and you floated in the water, injured for hours, then he could be held accountable. If a faulty piece of machinery caused the injury, then the manufacturer may be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If a drilling contractor working for the rig owner, or another employee negligently caused your injury, they could be held accountable, as well as your employer, maybe. The same thing can be said for the corporation that hired anyone to oversee the drilling rig or offshore platform.

In all such events, you can sue the non-subscribing responsible party or parties, even if you can’t sue your direct employer who subscribes to workers’ comp. But here’s some good news. Third party lawsuits do not prohibit you from filing a workers’ comp claim against your employer in addition. Often, a “no fault” workers’ comp claim coupled with a third party lawsuit against another clearly liable party often combine to deliver the necessary fair compensation.

But in order to reach this “endgame,” you need the deft hand of an experienced San Antonio drilling accident attorney to thoroughly investigate the accident scene and determine roles everyone played in your drilling rig or pipeline accident, and then construct the best strategy to get you the appropriate compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering for your drilling rig-related injury case.

It’s not hard to understand why many pipeline and drilling companies along with their independent “wildcatter” brethren don’t subscribe to workers’ comp, even if it’s better than the alternative of not having it when it when it’s needed. They’re mostly too cheap to buy it because they try to cut corners whenever possible. Workers’ comp insurance, though it costs less than traditional oil and gas production insurance, is still not economical for some. But that’s because of the fundamental dangers of the petroleum drilling industry itself. And since a lot of the independents live from hand-to mouth, insurance is a luxury they can rarely afford. Oh sure, they have money. But you can bet that, with a lot of them, none of it is tied up in insurance policies.

So, once injured, the victim, or plaintiff, must file a claim against the non-subscribing employer, or third party defendant, notifying him or her of the injury and the fair restitution the victim expects. If you work for a defendant who has insurance, they usually hand the matter over to them. Most of the time, the insurer will quickly dispute your plaintiff allegations. But if you have a good attorney, and your case has immediate and apparent strength, it’s possible that negotiations will deliver a fair settlement to pay your bills paid and all of your reasonable damages. But, just as often as not, drilling rig injury cases are contested. Then you and San Antonio drilling accident attorney must file a lawsuit to win fair compensation. And as the injured party you, the plaintiff, holds the burden of proving that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries and upended your, and your families lives.Oil Patch Defendants Always Say it’s Not Their Fault: but Yours

If your drilling employer is a workers’ comp insurance non-subscriber, or the third party against whom you’ve filed an injury claim has private coverage, then he or she isn’t likely to automatically pay you for the harm you’ve suffered due to that negligence. That’s because the insurance company doesn’t want your employer to do that. And paying a claim will certainly produce even higher coverage rates for the defendant(s). Our experience in these matters has revealed that most non-subscribers, their insurance companies and attorneys will often one or two traditional defenses to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve.

The primary liability defense afforded non-subscribers after an oilfield employee suffers an injury is to charge the plaintiff with sole proximate cause. This means the victim was totally to blame for his or her own injuries. In order to invoke the sole proximate cause defense, non-subscribing employers, their insurance companies and attorneys say and do anything to soil your good reputation as a worker by claiming you were careless or irresponsible and caused your own injuries. And since insurance companies are very experienced, and their attorneys very shrewd, when it comes to fighting your claim or civil case, your own cunning oilfield accident attorney to turn the tables of liability back on the negligent employer or third party is a powerful weapon on your behalf.Defendants Question the Employer-Employee Relationship in Order to Avoid Paying You

When you are injured on a drilling rig, many clever employers place themselves in a position to claim you are technically not their employee, but rather, a contractor. This tactic is supposed to help them avoid responsibility for your drilling rig injury since no Texas employer is liable for their subcontractors or their employees’ injuries. So by claiming this technicality to deny the existence of an employer-employee relationship between you and the company, they then pose the question of why they should be for compensating an injured non-employee?

But most of the time, it’s a ruse. They hire their employees as employees, not as contractors or as temp workers through a third-party. They know that an actual employer-employee relationship exists and the injured worker has the right to obtain compensation against this non-subscriber. They’re just hoping no one will find out a release has been signed by this worker who is unaware of the employer’s subterfuge, then accepts compensation for his injuries that would never fully compensate him. But a skillful, well-seasoned drilling rig accident lawyer can quickly reveal this employer for what he really is, and prove the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one, and often more, of the following standards of employment:

Social security or taxes have been withheld from your paycheck by the employer.

The essential equipment for the job was supplied to you by the employer.

Your work has been regularly managed, overseen or inspected by your employer.

A specific work schedule has been set for the job by the employer. You are not free to come-and-go as you please.

Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.

You have been employed for an undetermined period of time and not just for a single job.

You are paid by a salary or an hourly wage and not on a job-by-job basis.

In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, and then is injured on the job, the rules for determining the working relationship are similar to those above, but there can be some important differences. Some of these conditions may include:

If the borrowing employer has the power to hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is clearly an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a contractor

Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, then the worker is an employee. If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.

This answer is the same when it comes to tools and equipment. If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor. If the employer provides them, the worker is an employee.

If the agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another at-will, the worker is a contractor. If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.

If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee. If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a specific date of completion, the worker is a contractor.

If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a skill that is unique or hard-to-find, then the worker is a contractor. But on the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can fill, then the worker is an employee.

If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, then the worker is an employee. If the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility, then the worker is a contractor.

A thorough investigation of your employer by a skilled drilling accident attorney proves the existence of any one of these standards. By accomplishing this, your employer finally knows he must is liable for all the damages owed to you. And his subterfuge, once it is brought out in the open usually doesn’t sit well with civil trial juries. So many times, this “he was my contractor” house-of-cards defense collapses. Then the employer will probably see reason and settle with you. Whether he does or not depends on the rest of the evidence you present. As you San Antonio drilling accident attorney, we will depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to clearly prove establish that you were an employee when you suffered your drilling rig injury.Fight the Arrogance of Your Opponents in an Oilfield Accident Liability Case

In all non-subscriber and third party oilfield injury claims, defendants usually have large insurance companies with lots of good attorneys to oppose you. The remainder of those employers will be “self-insured” or uninsured. And all fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. And if one of the corporate petroleum giants is involved, pity the poor foolish oilfield worker who makes an injury claim against them alone.

Non-subscribers’ insurance companies have attorneys either on staff or permanent retainer. They are very good defenders of their clients against oil rig accident claimants like you who try to sue them. Insurance companies are always confrontational under such circumstances. But you can beat them if you have a just cause for claim, solid evidence, and an experienced attorney in your corner who knows every trick they pull, and how to counter it.

But as bad as the insurance companies can be in an oil patch injury claim or lawsuit, self-insured contractors and subcontractors who are liable your injuries, or those who have no insurance at all, use every trick they can think of once an injured worker takes legal action against them to recover damages. Some of those tricks are obscene and some even cross the legal line.

You will deal directly with an officer if the self-insured drilling or pipeline company is a small one. This person’s salary is derived from company profits. Whatever you’re paid for an injury comes directly out of company funds. So by compensating you, your employer, or that third party, literally takes money out his own pocket. A sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to oppose your claim in order to protect his company’s, and personal, assets.

Self-insured drilling contractors and subcontractors can deliberately dispose of evidence as well bribe or intimidate witnesses, even you. They sometimes resort to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court to prevent anyone within the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients, or their families, in any way without one of our attorneys present. Injury Claims on Offshore Drilling Rigs are Different from Texas Worker Injury Laws

The laws that govern work injury cases to those who work on offshore drilling platforms, regardless of whether the rig is a “jack-up” inside U.S. territorial waters or a deepwater platform, are completely different than those governing petroleum drilling on Texas soil.

Most (but not all) platform drilling injury cases will fall under the Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920). But other legislation such as the Death on the High Seas Act an the even older Limitations Liability Act of 185, which was enacted years before the laws that govern today’s insurance companies, might also come into play.

And though the same types of damages available through Texas Civil Law are offered to offshore platform workers through the above-mentioned pieces of maritime legislation, the mechanics of winning compensation for injuries, lost wages, pain, suffering and death benefits are dramatically different because there are many contradictory loopholes through which defendants might be able to use against your claim. The insurance companies who underwrite offshore drilling companies and their attorneys are much more specialized than you would find in a Texas accident injury case. We have much more information on maritime drilling injury accidents and the process of filing and winning a civil suit if you will follow this link. But it’s paramount that if you have been injured in an offshore drilling accident that you contact one of Grossman Law Firm’s San Antonio drilling accident attorneys to better understand your injury compensation rights if you have been injured on an offshore drilling platform.No Matter Who You Sue, You’re In for a Fight

In all oilfield injury suits, defendants usually either have powerful insurance companies with very good legal representation to stand in your way, or will be “self-insured” or uninsured. No matter which of these three categories your opponent falls into, they all fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. And if one of the corporate petroleum giants is involved, they may have a powerful patron to back them up, if it suits their purposes.

Attorneys are either on staff or permanent retainer to represent non-subscribers’ insurance companies. They have to be good defenders of their clients or these deep-pocketed insurance companies would never hire them. These attorneys, and their Insurance company clients, often act confrontational, patronizing and very dismissive towards you. But you can beat them if you have a just cause for claim, solid evidence to back it up, and a San Antonio drilling accident lawyer to counter their arrogance and trickery.

But as bad as they are, other opponents can be even worse. They would be the self-insured contractors and subcontractors who are liable your injuries, or those who have no insurance at all. These people, usually the wildcatters and independents, can come up with even worse tricks once an injured worker takes legal action against them to recover damages. Some of their tricks would curl your hair.

You will deal directly with an officer of this self-insured drilling or pipeline company whose salary is comes from company profits. So if this person pays your injury claim that money comes directly out of company funds. So by compensating you, your employer, or that third party, literally takes money out his own pocket. We’ve seen many sneaky, self-insured company officers use any and all means, legal or otherwise, to oppose your claim while he protects his company’s, and personal, assets.

These people are not above deliberately destroying evidence, bribing or intimidating witnesses, or resorting to physical threats against you, your attorney, or anyone else standing in his way. When we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we often do is to file motions to prevent anyone within the self-insured company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that not even communicate with our clients, or their families in any way without one of our attorneys present. What You Need to Do (and Not Do) Right Now to Win Oilfield Injury Compensation

The most important thing for you to remember right now is this. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. Your employer or his insurance company is praying that you’ll accept a substandard settlement and save them money, and a trial. So keep your mouth shut and your eyes wide open. In fact, it’s never a good idea to discuss any details of your injuries or intentions, or anything else about the injury, with your employer, a third party, anyone with the insurance company, or even your co-workers before you speak to an experienced drilling accident lawyer. He’ll tell you to keep on keeping your mouth shut. And it’s good advice.

Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In oilfield accident cases, the evidence begins fading almost immediately. Physical evidence can quickly change, or be lost forever. Witness stories change, or they forget what they saw. If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put him to work, you seriously compromise your ability to win the injury damages you and your family deserve.
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