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 Personal Injury Blog

Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney for Trip and Fall Injury – SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 4

August 27th, 2014
English: This is a hallway on the first floor.

English: This is a hallway on the first floor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cluttered Walkways

Any type of obstruction in a walkway can cause slips, trips, and falls. An important step in preventing these types of injuries is to ensure that walkways, such as hallways, are free of equipment and/or debris. Never, for instance, stack materials or other types of clutter in a passageway. Proper housekeeping is the best control measure for preventing these types of injuries. Procedures and policies for keeping walkways clean should be in place, particularly when waste or scrap material are by-products of the work operation. To the maximum extent possible, keep corridors, walkways, and aisles clear, clean, and well-maintained. Clutter in walkways is not only a tripping hazard but it also provides a fuel source, if there is a fire.

Control measures that can help to prevent hazards caused by cluttered walkways follow:

  • Make it a priority to put good housekeeping procedures in place. All work spaces, storerooms, service areas, and passageways should be clean and uncluttered.
  • Keep walkways free of electrical cords, since they are tripping hazards.
  • If stringing cords across walkways is unavoidable, tape the wires down.
  • Allow appropriate clearance for equipment to be maneuvered, when mechanical handling devices are in use.
  • Communicate with personnel to encourage safe work practices, such as picking up loose items from the floor and closing file drawers after use.
  • Provide direction to personnel about where they should leave boxes, briefcases, and other items they may be carrying.
  • Be consistently vigilant about performing inspections related to the presence of slip, trip, and fall hazards in the workplace.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 3

August 20th, 2014
Indirect direct lighting 2

Indirect direct lighting 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inadequate Lighting

Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working environments. Lighting is an important consideration in any workplace, and part of the reason is to prevent slips, trips, and falls. The following are guidelines for providing and maintaining proper lighting:

  • All work areas should be well lit and uncluttered.
  • Walkways should be kept clear of obstructions, particularly when the lighting is poor.
  • Light switches should be accessible, and there should be a handy place where workers know they can find a flashlight.
  • If cords or fixtures malfunction, they should be repaired immediately, to prevent a slip, trip, and fall accident in a dark room.
  • Blown fuses, sparks, and flickering lights should never be ignored; a qualified electrician should check the wiring as soon as possible.
  • Staircases, hallways, basements, and walkways all need to be properly illuminated, to avoid accidents.

Studies show that workplace accidents increase as a result of poor lighting. When employees move from a bright to a dark area, the delay in eye adaption can easily result in a slip, trip, and fall injury. Consistent lighting needs to be maintained. More information about lighting and procedures to ensure safety follow:

  • When a room is dark, the light should be turned on before entering, even if staying for only a few moments.
  • A good way to improve safety and save energy costs at the same time is to install motion-sensitive lights.
  • When lighting is dim, people should deliberately move slowly and carefully.
  • Items should be stored a safe distance from operational light bulbs. If a bulb is left on, paper or towels that are too close can catch fire.
  • Office workers should not face sources of glare, such as unshielded lamps or uncovered windows.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas slip, trip, and fall injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Trip and Fall / Slip and Fall Injury Attorney

August 20th, 2014
Chevron Renaissance Shopping Mall & Apartment ...

Chevron Renaissance Shopping Mall & Apartment Complex in the Gold Coast Highway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trip and fall injuries can be significant.  Our Dallas law firm has represented people who have suffered various types of fractures, and had to undergo surgery, as a result of tripping and falling over various obstacles and/or due to certain conditions.  It is important for someone who is injured in Texas as a result of a trip and fall, or a slip and fall, to obtain legal advice from an attorney with knowledge of premises liability law.

This blog post gives a general synopsis of some issues related to premises liability law, but it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer.  A property owner and/or possessor owes various duties to people entering the property based on the legal status of such people.  There are three primary statuses referenced in Texas law for real property-related damages: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Generally, an invitee is a person who enters a store, apartment complex, and/or shopping center with the property possessor’s express or implied knowledge and for the parties’ mutual benefit.  Such persons are business patrons and can include people entering restaurants, hotels, banks, and theaters.  Club members, apartment tenants, apartment tenants’ guests, meter readers, mail carriers, newspaper-delivery people, refuse collectors, public safety inspectors, and public safety officers can be invitees.

A licensee is a person who enters property with the property possessor’s express or implied permission, but the entry is usually only for the licensee’s convenience.  Licensees can include social guests, door-to-door sales people, and people soliciting money for charity.

Finally, a trespasser is a person who enters property without lawful right or the consent of the possessor, but instead for the trespasser’s own purposes or curiosity.  Land owners and possessors owe the highest duties to invitees, and the lowest duties to trespassers.

A person who is an invitee, whether at a store, shopping center, apartment complex, or otherwise, must generally show that there was a condition on the premises that posed an unreasonable risk of harm, and that the owner or possessor of the property knew or reasonably should have known of the danger.  The invitee must also prove that the owner and/or possessor breached its duty of ordinary care by failing to adequately warn the injured person of the condition (if a warning would have been adequate) and that the owner and/or possessor of the premises failed to make the condition reasonably safe.  Finally, and perhaps obviously, an injured person must prove that the landowner’s or possessor’s breach of its duty proximately caused the injuries.  A licensee and trespasser must typically prove more than an invitee to succeed on an injury claim.  This blog post does not cover negligent activities occurring on real property, but claims for such activities also exist.

There are numerous property conditions which could lead to a trip and fall and slip and fall and for which the law provides that the property owner and/or possessor bears responsibility to the injured person.  Some such conditions are:

  • uneven sidewalks, walkways, or parking lots;
  • objects extending above concrete walkways (such as cleanouts, rebar, and stones);
  • holes and pits; and
  • slick surfaces for which no warning and/or an inadequate warning is provided.

If you have been injured anywhere in Texas as a result of the condition of property, feel free to contact our firm at (214) 670-9989 or (866) 670-9989 (or by completing the contact form at this website).

Dallas Lawyer for Trip & Fall – SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 2

August 13th, 2014
English: access area parking lot in the rain. ...

English: access area parking lot in the rain. It employs an unusual style of pavement marking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slippery or Wet Surfaces A significant number of slip, trip, and fall injuries occur as a result of slippery or wet surfaces. The surfaces most frequently involved with fall hazards are:

  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks or the lack of sidewalks
  • Shower stalls in residential dorms
  • Food preparation areas
  • Floors in general

Outdoor surfaces that have adequate traction in dry conditions can quickly become too slippery when subjected to environmental factors such as rain and sleet. Indoor surfaces become hazardous when pedestrian traffic tracks in moisture. Some of the administrative controls which should be implemented outdoors in order to reduce slip, trip, and fall accidents include:

  • Put control measures in place to treat icy surfaces with sand and to remove snow as quickly as possible. Give additional attention to sloped surfaces, perhaps temporarily suspending their use.
  • Wherever possible, use anti-skid paint or adhesive stripping material.

The type of flooring used indoors is directly linked to the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls. Marble and ceramic tile floors with high polish, for instance, are extremely slippery, wet or dry. The following are control measures to help prevent injuries caused by wet surfaces indoors:

  • Use “wet floor” signs, as appropriate. Once a hazard is removed, the sign should be removed so that the signs don’t become overly commonplace and lose their usefulness.
  • When outside conditions are wet, place moisture-absorbent mats at each entrance. Be careful that the mats don’t cause tripping hazards.
  • A cost-effective way to prevent slips and trips is to generously apply anti-skid adhesive tape to the floors.
  • Plan for speedy action to be taken when a food spill or liquid spill is reported.
  • In areas where wet processes are used, mats, false floors, and adequate drainage should be maintained.
  • In bathing facilities and where food preparation occurs, proper mats or area rugs should be used.

See Part 1 of this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls. Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989. –Guest Contributor

Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney: SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls

August 6th, 2014
A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor...

A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor that has recently been mopped. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas State Office of Risk Management (SORM) cites the U.S. Department of Labor’s report that the majority of general industry mishaps are slips, trips, and falls. Accidental fatalities in this category are second only to automobile accidents. SORM has conducted detailed studies and in-depth investigations on how to prevent or at least significantly reduce the number of on-the-job slips, trips, and falls as well as the seriousness of related injuries. Any company that doesn’t take steps to avoid such accidents is open to personal injury lawsuits.

Good Housekeeping

Safety and housekeeping are undeniably linked, particularly when considering the potential for slips, trips, and falls. When housekeeping habits are inadequate, the natural result is an increased potential for injuries, which lead to higher insurance costs and citations from regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On the other hand, when facilities are obviously clean and in order, the overall safety program is assumed to be effective. Employee morale is even affected by worksites that are hazardous, dirty, and managed poorly because disorderly work environments have a negative impact.

Good housekeeping is an ongoing routine in which work areas are kept clean. It is not unusual for an employee, for example, to trip on his or her own tool or piece of equipment that he or she neglected to put away.

Where housekeeping is involved, safety is a responsibility shared by everyone. For best results, responsibilities should be assigned and plans for keeping everything in order should be made.

See this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

One Woman is Killed in a Crash and the other Driver Accused of Drunk Driving in Balch Springs, TX

July 30th, 2014
Accident on an Icy Road

(Photo credit: born1945)

On Sunday night, July 20, 30-year-old Juliana Reynosa suffered fatal injuries in a car crash in Balch Springs, Texas. According to police, as she was traveling just north of Highway 175 on the LBJ Freeway, Reynosa’s truck was cut off by a car driven by an alleged drunk driver. Reynosa lost control of the truck; it went into a spin before crashing and rolling. There were five people in the vehicle with her, and they all sustained minor injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital. Passengers included a toddler and two infants. The driver of the car that allegedly caused the accident was not injured in the crash but failed a sobriety test and was arrested. She has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), every 20 minutes, someone in the state is killed or injured in an alcohol-related automobile collision. The following is more information about drunk driving:

  • The ability of your body to handle alcohol is determined by factors such as your body weight, gender, amount of food in your system, and how much alcohol you’ve consumed. It’s possible to be intoxicated by drinking just two or three beers in a one-hour period. Compared to others, smaller people, younger people, and women usually become impaired with less alcohol consumption.
  • If driving while intoxicated with passengers who are 14 years old and younger, you could be charged with child endangerment.
  • Legal intoxication is “defined” as having a minimum blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08.
  • If you have an open alcohol container in the vehicle, whether passenger or driver, you could be fined up to $500.

–Guest Contributor

 

Corsicana, Texas Personal Injury Lawyer: Slips, Trips, and Falls are the Leading Causes of General Industry Accidents – Part 4

July 23rd, 2014
"Caution Wet Floor"

“Caution Wet Floor” (Photo credit: CarbonNYC)

While trips, slips, and falls are a major cause of accidents, according to reports from the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), about 3% of the time, claims that are brought to court in relation to these types of accidents are fraudulent. One example is that the claimant could intentionally stage a fall; for example, a person may pour cooking oil on the floor of a grocery store and then purposefully slip and fall on the spill. It could be that the person actually fell at home but pretends it happened either in a public place or at their workplace. There are times when a case is 100% fabricated, and no slip and fall ever happened.

Although slip, trip, and fall fraud cases are very rare, the fact that they exist makes it much more difficult for legitimate claims to be taken seriously. Those who abuse the legal system cause claims involving falls to be met with suspicion by city planners, employers, and even judges and lawmakers. Anyone who has a genuine claim should contact an experienced attorney who is familiar with the best approach for taking effective legal action.

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series for more about trips, slips, and falls and the other major categories under which slips, trips, and falls occur.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Corsicana, Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney: Slips, Trips, and Falls are the Leading Causes of General Industry Accidents – Part 3

July 16th, 2014
English: Mountain Combat Boots

English: Mountain Combat Boots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More of the basic categories of slips, trips, and falls follow:

Footwear

Approximately 24% of all slip, trip, and fall accidents are caused by footwear, according to reports from the National Floor Safety Institute. The problem isn’t only about women in high heels, though. Work boots and tennis shoes that don’t provide adequate traction also cause many trips and falls in public places, in the workplace, and at home.

Inadequate Training

Many slips and falls that result in injuries occur in the workplace. In some working environments, such as construction and manufacturing, slick surfaces and narrow pathways are unavoidable. The responsibility of employers is to provide proper training on how to avoid trips, slips, and falls. Otherwise, without adequate training, the employer can be at fault when injuries occur.

Nursing Home Neglect

Our sense of balance deteriorates as we get older. Many times, seniors at nursing homes have an increased risk of falling. When the elderly fall, they are at an increased risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries, such as hip fractures. Nursing home administrators are responsible to monitor and provide assistance to their residents, as a way of avoiding slips and falls.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series for more about trips, slips, and falls and the other major categories under which slips, trips, and falls occur.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas Lawyer: Tips for Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls at the Workplace

July 14th, 2014
Broken Dreams

(Photo credit: Mark Turnauckas)

Most general industry accidents involve slips, trips, and falls, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Approximately 65% of all work days lost are associated with falls. Obviously, this is a concern that should be addressed. The following are a few basic tips for preventing slips, trips, and falls.

Try to reduce occurrences of wet or slippery surfaces.

Common slippery surfaces where accidents occur include floors in general, sidewalks or the lack of them, food preparation areas, parking lots, and shower stalls in residential dorms.

Measures for controlling outdoor slips, trips, and falls include:

  • Properly maintain sidewalks and parking lots and keep them clean.
  • Remove snow and ice or block off areas that are slick due to wintery conditions.
  • Use anti-skid paint and adhesive striping material.

Some indoor control measures to reduce slips, trips, and falls include:

  • Display “wet floor” signs when needed.
  • At entrances, use mats that are moisture-absorbent and have non-slip backing material.
  • In problematic areas, use anti-skid adhesive tape.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Establish a plan for taking swift action to address spills.

Provide Proper Lighting

Inadequate workplace lighting has been associated with an increase in accidents. Areas that should have proper lighting include: ramps, hallways, walkways, staircases, basements, dock areas, and construction areas. Work areas should always be clean and well lit. Walkways that are poorly lit should be kept clear of obstructions and clutter. Any switches, cords, or fixtures that malfunction should be repaired.

Maintain Good Housekeeping Practices

A critical measure to prevent slips, trips, and falls is to maintain good housekeeping. There are consistently higher incidences of falls when housekeeping habits are lacking. Well-organized and clean facilities are good indications of effective overall safety programs.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Fort Worth, Allen, The Colony, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Grapevine, De Soto, Mesquite, Irving, or anywhere else in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Trip and Fall Lawyer Dallas – Slips, Trips, and Falls are the Leading Causes of General Industry Accidents – Part 2

July 2nd, 2014
English: Path to the harbour The road is just ...

English: Path to the harbour The road is just the other side of the wall at the right but this way is much safer for pedestrians. Despite the weather not on the day as slippery as it might look – wet rather than ice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slips, trips, and falls occur in six basic categories, as follows:

Weather

Hazardous weather conditions such as snow, ice, and rain are the cause of many slip and fall injuries that occur outside. Of course, no one is expected to predict the weather, but municipalities and property owners have a duty to address hazards caused by weather. Examples of dealing with weather-related hazards include shoveling sidewalks, putting salt on steps and walkways, and plowing streets. When those responsible fail in their duty to protect the public from hazards caused by weather, slip and fall injuries occur.

Uneven or Wet Surfaces

The National Floor Safety Institute did a study which revealed that 55% of all accidents involving trips and falls are the result of walking surfaces that are hazardous, such as the following:

  • Defective sidewalks
  • Loose floorboards
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Floors that are cluttered
  • Improperly constructed staircases
  • Floors that are recently waxed or mopped
  • Ripped carpeting

Any of these conditions can be the cause of slip and fall accidents.

Read Part 1 and this continuing series for more about trips, slips, and falls and the other major categories under which slips, trips, and falls occur.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

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