$60,000 gross recovery for cervical disc injury trip and fall accident at apartment complex in Arlington, TX. Outstanding settlement for premises liability claim involving disputed liability and small disc protrusion.

A woman was injured when she tripped and fell at an apartment complex in Arlington, TX and hired Mullen & Mullen Law Firm to represent her. She fell as she was walking down steps that led from the parking lot to a lower level of the premises. Although the steps in question had a handrail, the area in question had almost no illumination whatsoever. Apartment guests were essentially forced to navigate the steps in total darkness. Our client fell when she was unable to complete a step, and she sustained contusions on her right shoulder and both knees, as well as small cervical disc injury.

Remember: To win a premises liability you have to establish that the premises had a dangerous condition and that the at-fault party knew of the dangerous condition or (depending upon your status on the property) that they should have discovered the dangerous condition and made it safe. Arguing that darkness alone constitutes a dangerous condition is exceedingly challenging,  yet in this claim we were able to develop evidence that the apartment complex created the dangerous condition when lights that had previously illuminated the area in question were removed at the time the community pool was demolished. Further, we were able to demonstrate the community in question attempted to point a spotlight located at an adjacent property towards the steps in question after said pool was demolished.

Our firm submitted a settlement proposal to the insurance carrier for the negligent apartment complex. The client had consistent complaints of radiculopathy, but a lumbar MRI only demonstrated a 2 mm broad-based disc protrusion. It was questionable whether a medical expert would be able to determine the protruding disc was medically significant given its small size. The client was able to receive multiple facet injections to obtain relief from her symptoms and they helped her to make a full recovery.

Comment from attorney Joseph Morrison: I was very pleased with the result we at Mullen and Mullen Dallas injury lawyers obtained for the client. Liability was very challenging because it’s exceedingly difficult to argue that darkness alone is a dangerous condition. Usually you need darkness coupled with something else, such as an uneven travel distance between steps, or steps with no handrail. In this case, the fact that the complex created the dangerous condition meant actual knowledge could be presumed, and the spotlight directed towards the area further demonstrated it should have been illuminated. I was happy we were able to help the client get the trigger point injections she needed to completely recover from her injuries.

The settlement for this premises liability claim involving a small cervical disc injury as a result of a trip and fall at an apartment complex in Arlington, TX was $60,000. Attorney fees were $15,290.89. Case expenses were $248.22. After paying medical providers, the client’s net recovery was $15,290.89. This is an outstanding result by the attorney for a client undergoing facet injections for a 2 mm disc protrusion.