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wetfloorsign-300x200Stores like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Target owe their customers a duty of care to maintain the floors in a reasonably safe condition for their customers to walk on. For example, lets say that you were injured in a Wal-Mart in Rockwall, Texas and sustained injuries. Now, just because you were shopping in a store and you fell does not mean that you can sue Wal-Mart for your injuries. Generally, a Plaintiff has to prove that Wal-Mart had either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that posed an “unreasonable risk of harm” and that Wal-Mart failed to take steps necessary to protect their customers from the dangerous condition.

The law in these circumstances talks about “duties” and we must determine what was Wal-Mart’s duty under the circumstances which led to the slip and fall. The duty that Wal-Mart would have here is a duty to protect their customers from an unreasonable risk of harm. How can they violate this duty? This duty can be violated in three different ways:

  1. Defendant placed a foreign substance on the floor that is walked on.
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personalinjury3-300x201It happens all the time. The typical scenario is where a person enters a store and due to some sort of defect in the premises or a condition on the property, a person slips or trips and falls and becomes injured. In this sort of case, who is at fault? Well, it is not quite as easy as it sounds.

If the store allowed a dangerous condition or defect in the premises to exist, they had actual knowledge of the defect on the premises or a dangerous condition, and failed to correct it, or they had reason to know that a defect or dangerous condition existed and failed to take corrective action, then you will have a viable claim for damages after a slip and fall accident.

So What is a Dangerous Condition or Defect?

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Scales-300x132Guest and Gray, P.C. is the largest full service law firm in Kaufman and Rockwall counties. One of the main areas of our practice is personal injury and wrongful death. Our very own Scott Gray is a Texas SuperLawyer in personal injury and is the highest rated personal injury lawyer in Kaufman and Rockwall counties with a perfect 10.0 rating on AVVO.

Wrongful death cases are some of the most procedurally complex and emotionally difficult cases to handle. Our wrongful death attorneys know that this is a very personal and difficult time for a family who has lost a loved one in an accident. We handle each wrongful death case with a personal touch and a dedicated attorney and staff is assigned to each case. At Guest and Gray, our clients are not just another number or file and our clients know that we are truly here for them. Why? Because the case represents the loss of human life and it is our goal to provide justice in the only way that the civil law provides: monetary relief. That fact, can seem very impersonal by simply trying to obtain money for the life of a lost loved one. However, often times the person who has died is a family provider, a young person who had a long life ahead of them, or a caretaking mother and because of that, the family that remains often will suffer a financial hardship as a result of their loss. Medical bills and loss of income are some of the main causes of financial hardships and it should not be left to the family to bear the brunt of those burdens. The responsible party should be made to pay for those losses and it is the goal of Guest and Gray, P.C. to help put the family back in a place where they can continue to focus on their own recovery during this difficult time.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was not their fault, you need the help of an attorney to help secure the financial relief that you need during this very difficult time. It is often quite difficult for a family member to make insurance claims with each responsible party and then try and negotiate a settlement because, lets be honest, how do you assign a value to a loved one’s life? At Guest and Gray, we know that it is impossible. Life is priceless. However, insurance companies may try to take advantage of the fact that you are not able to push hard for your recovery and try to pay you the least amount possible. You may not be a number to Guest and Gray, but to the insurance company, this is just another claim to add onto a pile of other claims and their goal is to pay the least amount possible. Do not let them get one over on you. That is insult to injury. Literally.

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GuestandGrayLogoDallas, Forney and Rockwall are hubs for small to mid-size businesses that operate as partnerships. These areas are growing at incredible rates and businesses are flocking here because of the need for services. Because of this, Guest and Gray, P.C. is seeing a huge uptick in the amount of partnership disputes that have arisen as a result of the intense residential and commercial growth when the partnership has not worked out exactly as intended. Maybe you find yourself in this situation.

The truth is that you never thought this could happen and certainly never wanted it to, either. Does this scenario sound familiar: you and a long time friend or business associate opened a business together some years ago, and although things went well for the first few years, the relationship has soured and now it seems like an impossible situation every day you go to work. The environment has become hostile and the business is now suffering because of it. Does this sound like you? This is what is called a partnership dispute. The dispute can arise from management styles, business debt, or poor performance of one of the partners or business itself. It can also arise from one party acting on his own and taking partnership business or profits for himself. It can be the result of darn near anything.

Partnership disputes have almost the same feeling as a divorce. Although more than two people can enter into a partnership, the usual scenario is that two people started a business together and now there is some infighting or “infidelity” and the partnership is now suffering as a result. Now one or both of the partners want out. It essentially amounts to a business divorce.

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Business-Law-PicForney, Rockwall and Terrell are experiencing residential and commercial record growth. Over the summer, the Terrell chamber of commerce celebrated the fact that there were over 500 members of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce. Rockwall is the largest city in the area with over 100,000 in population and boasts thousands of businesses, both large and small. Business is booming.

Many small businesses are experiencing huge upticks in sales and are struggling to deal with their growth. They have never had to think of themselves as big players before. Maybe you are one of those local businessmen and woman. It can be hard to balance both the administrative and operational roles in your business. Maybe you have operated as a sole proprietorship for many years, but as your business has grown, you’re growing more concerned with potential liabilities associated with your business and need to know more about what your options are: should I incorporate? What are the benefits of becoming an LLC? How can I protect my assets against an adverse judgment?

Those are questions that your local attorneys at Guest and Gray can answer. We can help you plan out a business structure that works best for you and your business and provides you the best protections that the law will provide.

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pain-and-suffering-1-300x227Here at Guest and Gray, that is a common question when talking to new and potential clients. Pain and suffering is a real thing. It can be the pain from recovering from a broken arm, but also the suffering you feel as your body tries to heal. So, if you have been injured in a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, and it was not your fault, you are likely going to be able to recover for not only your injuries sustained in the accident but also for the pain and suffering associated with those injuries. David HagEstad and Scott Gray, our Dallas, Forney and Rockwall county personal injury attorneys are well versed in the area of pain and suffering and have successfully obtained favorable settlements for our clients over the years and have put together this short guide to help you understand the process of recovering monetarily for your pain and suffering.

How Much is My Pain and Suffering Worth?

The funny thing about Texas law is that there is no set method for calculating pain and suffering in any given case. It is determined on a case by case basis. Some firms may try to get you to click their website because of a calculator they supposedly have to determine how much you should get for you injuries. Those are likely not going to be accurate because no attorney can ever guarantee how much you should get in any given case. This is especially true early on when the full extent of your injuries, and the overall time period of your recovery, are still unknown. However, as experienced personal injury attorneys, we can tell you that the two main indicators of pain and suffering that you should be aware of are the extent of your injuries and the amount of your medical bills. These key indicators will help guide us in determining a fair dollar figure for your pain and suffering, i.e. calculating your pain and suffering.

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EmploymentLaw-300x200Texas law generally disfavors contracts and arrangements that restrict competition and trade. The Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act of 1983 provides says that “Every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce is unlawful.” (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code 15.05(a).)

However, in typical fashion, the Texas Legislature has made certain exceptions to this general rule. Namely, they have made an exception by allowing non-compete agreements to be enforceable in certain limited circumstances: “notwithstanding 15.05 of this code … a covenant not to compete is enforceable if it is ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement at the time the agreement is made to the extent that it contains limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained that are reasonable and do not impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the promisee.”                                                                                                   (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code 15.50(a)).

Non-Compete Agreements as Restraints on Trade

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WHAT IS EMINENT DOMAIN?

Eminent domain is the taking of land by a governmental entity for a public use. Public use has a very broad meaning with lots of specific requirements that change based on how the land will be used. Eminent domain proceedings can involve an entire tract of land owned by a person, a specific section of that land, or even an easement related to the land. In order to take property by eminent domain the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution both require that the governmental entity provide just compensation for the land that they are taking. Basically, the government can take land for “the greater good” but they have to pay you a reasonable amount of money before they can do it. The setting of the reasonable amount is where the conflict usually arises and that is where the commissioners come into play.

HOW DOES A COMMISSIONERS’ HEARING WORK?

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Usually a blog about flooding would be the last thing on people’s minds in DFW during August. However, with our recent rain and flooding you may be wondering if there is anything you can do about newly found excess water on your property. If that water is causing damage to your property, you may be able to recover from your neighbors.

Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code provides, subject to a few exceptions, that: no person may divert or impound the natural flow of surface waters in this state, or permit a diversion or impounding by him to continue, in a manner that damages the property of another by the overflow of the water diverted or impounded. It also creates a cause of action for a person whose property is injured by an overflow of water caused by an unlawful diversion or impounding. It states that the injured person will have remedies at law and in equity and may recover damages occasioned by the overflow.

Basically, all you need is, (1) diversion or impoundment of surface water by your neighbor, (2) that diversion or impoundment by your neighbor to cause damage to your property, and (3) to have damage to your property. Any unnatural diversion or impoundment by your neighbor may create a cause of action. Since the statute allows for legal and equitable damages a court can order your neighbor to fix the problem caused by their diversion (re-route the water so that it is not damaging your property anymore) and to pay for any damages that have already been caused.