Articles Posted in Premises Liability/Slip & Fall

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Question: I just fell at work. I work for a warehouse in Northside Fort Worth Texas. My employer told me that they do not carry workers compensation insurance but instead they have an accident plan. Do I need to show my employer was the cause of my accident? Do I have a right to sue my employer if I can prove that my employer was negligent.

In Texas, the law allows employers in most cases to subscribe workers compensation insurance, purchase an accident plan that pays benefits similar to a workers compensation plan, or not carry any insurance whatsoever.

If you employer does not have workers compensation insurance and if you can prove your employer’s negligence (failure to exercise ordinary care) was the cause of your fall, then you may have a claim against her employer directly.

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10 Best Award PI 2016On May 10, 2016, Eric Reyes was nominated by the American Institute of Legal Counsel as one of the “Top 10” attorneys in personal injury in the state of Texas for 2016.  This award celebrates the attorney accomplishing the highest degree of professional achievement in his field of law and an impeccable client satisfaction rating.

Consumers seeking legal representation are often at the mercy of the attorney’s self-serving statements in websites and other forms of advertisements.   Attorneys that have been recognized by an impartial third party organizations based on the  attorneys documented excellence in their field of law,  helps the consumer find the appropriate lawyer for their problem.

The American Institute of Legal Counsel  is an impartial third party attorney rating organization consisting of six departments from criminal, DWI, personal injury, family law and litigation, lawsuits and disputes.  This attorney rating organization concentrates on recognizing attorneys that have achieved the highest degree of professional achievement in their field of law and the attorney’s success in client satisfaction.  Membership in this organization is an exclusive honor that only few attorneys achieve and enjoy.

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Question:

I work for a roofing company in Dallas, Texas. I fell off the roof and suffered injuries to my neck and back. My employer did not carry workers compensation insurance. Two days after the accident, I signed a release when my employer paid me $500. When I signed the release, I had not even had a chance to see a doctor. My back now hurts and I want to go see a doctor but my employer refuses to pay for the medical bills. I live in Fort Worth Texas. What are my rights?

Answer:

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On October 30, 2015,  Eric Reyes received his Board Certification in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy ( NBTA).  He is already Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board Of Legal Specialization (TBLS).  A person injured in an auto accident or other type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence in the Fort Worth and Dallas area can rest assure that Mr. Reyes is fully qualified and highly trained to represent them regarding their claim.

What is civil trial law?  First, civil trial law includes the body of law that regulates the legal duties and responsibilities between individuals and corporations. This includes personal injury litigation which he is already board certified in by the TBLS.   Second,  civil law normally involves monetary damages that are in dispute.

The NBTA is the first American Bar Association-accredited attorney board-certifying organization. The  NBTA offers board certification in civil trial law, civil pretrial practice, criminal trial law, family trial law and Social Security disability law.

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Why is it important to hire a board-certified lawyer?

The legal profession, like the medical profession, contains a very large body of knowledge that makes it impossible for one lawyer to concentrate in all areas of the law. The Texas State Bar that regulates the legal profession does not require an attorney to complete any formal board certification or training to practice in any particular field of law. In Texas, the attorney’s decision to be board certified in any area of the law including personal injury law is purely voluntary.

The medical profession by comparison has embraced specialization for over a hundred years. Over 94% of all doctors are board-certified in their area of expertise. Consumers therefore have the confidence that the doctor treating their condition is truly qualified to treat their health care problem.

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The short answer is that your claim is worth what a jury would award you if you tried your case in court. Of course, most injury claims do not reach the court house.  At our office, we do not recommend our client to settle until they have completed their medical care and their future medical needs are understood.  Then at that point in time, the insurance company must offer a settlement that is comparable to what a jury would likely award you.  If they fail to make you a fair offer, we will advise you to reject the offer and file suit if necessary. Some of the damages you can collect regarding your injury claim include

  1. Medical bills
  2. Lost wages
  3. Mental anguish
  4. Physical pain and suffering.
  5. Physical impairment.
  6. Disfigurement

The value of your case is the total amount that a jury could award you for all of these damages.  That is why it is vital to retain an experienced trial lawyer that knows what a jury will likely award you with your particular case.  Any claims adjuster that tries to tell you what your claim is worth immediately after your accident is simply misleading you.  We do not honestly know the value of your case for two months, six months, or even longer if you’ve suffered a serious injury.  In short, every case is different, and only an experienced trial lawyer, like myself, can advise you what is fair regarding your case.

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Since 1988, I have been helping ordinary people just like you who have been injured by the negligence of others. Consequently, my adversary is the insurance company who pay on behalf of the party that caused the accident.  Now, the insurance company is not in the business to pay the injured victim what is fair.  Their objective is to make a profit.  In short, the less money they pay in claims, the more profit they make.  Our goal is much different, as we are seeking a settlement that will fully compensate my client for their injuries.  This situation is much more challenging for an unrepresented victim, a victim who already faces pain, mounting medical bills, and lost wages, only to be thrown into an arena of doctors and lawyers working together to damage or destroy the victims claim.  My goal in any personal injury claim is to thoroughly investigate the claim, preserve the evidence, protect my clients’ rights and recover a fair settlement, without my client going to court.  In fact, the vast majority of my clients agree to a settlement without the risk, delay, or expense of trial.  This is accomplished because my office has a reputation of going all the way to the courthouse whenever the insurance company refuses to cooperate.  It is exactly this threat that forces the insurance company to pay my clients what is fair.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, the insurance company is probably working on your case right now, looking for evidence to damage your claim.  You need an aggressive, experienced attorney on your side, who will fight for your rights.

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Imagine this: you are at your kitchen table, trying to figure out how you are going to pay your medical bills, the doorbell rings, and it is the insurance adjuster at the door. The adjuster has a settlement check, or a tape recorder ready to tape your recorded statement. What do you do? There are four reasons why you need an attorney to handle your claim.

1. The insurance companies are experts at what they do:

The insurance companies are in the business of negotiating claims. They have a team of adjusters, investigators, doctors and lawyers who are all working together to achieve one goal: to pay you as little as possible. Remember, the insurance company is under no legal obligation to inform you of your legal rights. Insurance companies frequently make inaccurate statements regarding your rights without being subject to any legal or financial penalties.

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A customer shopping in a New Orleans Winn Dixie grocery store, was injured on December 19, 2013, when she slipped on spilled rice that was scattered on the floor in the rice aisle.  In her lawsuit against Defendant Winn Dixie Louisiana, Inc., Plaintiff Viola Joiner alleges that she suffered severe injuries to her shoulder, left knee, head, neck and back as a direct result from her slipping on the spilled rice and falling.

Grocery Store AislePlaintiff’s pleadings seek compensation for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment of life.  Plaintiff Joiner asserts that Defendant was negligent, failed to properly train employees in the stocking of shelves, failed to warn of an unreasonably dangerous condition, and failed to properly maintain and inspect the premises.

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