In Texas, premises liability law provides legal protections for individuals who were injured by a condition on someone else’s property. Conditions such as a wet floor, broken staircase, parking wheel stops, and sinkholes can give rise to premises liability.
A premises liability accident can happen anywhere. It can happen at a public business, public street, parking lot, or private home. When a property owner or those responsible for the premises neglect hazardous conditions that result in injuries, they may be held civilly liable for the person’s injuries and damages.
Types Of Premises Liability Cases In The Greater Houston Area
Premises liability concerns the legal responsibility property owners have to people on their property. Property owners are required to keep their premises free of unreasonably dangerous and hazardous conditions that can cause injury or death. When property owners fail to live up to their legal responsibility, people are unnecessarily placed at risk. Our premises liability lawyers handle the following claims:
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Daycare Accidents
- Animal attacks
- Electrocution events
- Staircase accidents
- Amusement Park Accidents
- Gas leaks
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Inadequate maintenance
- Improper lighting
- Defective conditions
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator accidents
- Negligent or lack of security
- Workplace accidents
- Fire-related accidents
- Injuries from falling objects
If I Get Hurt On Someone Else’s Property, Do I Automatically Win My Case?
It’s important to understand that just because you’re injured on someone else’s property, it doesn’t necessarily mean the property owner is liable. Proving liability can be complicated. In Texas, to win a premises liability case you must prove three basic things:
- The person responsible for the premises knew or should have known about a dangerous condition
- The person responsible for the premises did nothing to make the condition safe or warn about the dangerous condition
- The dangerous condition actually caused the injury
Keep in mind, however, Texas follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means if you were partly at fault for your own accident, any money you might receive will be reduced by the amount you were partly at fault for.
The Property Owner’s Duty Of Care
In a Texas premises liability case, the duty a property owner owes to an injured person depends on the legal status of that person at the time of the injury. The following are the three categories in Texas:
- Invitee – Someone who has the express or implied permission to be on the property, such as business patrons, employees on duty, and individuals in a private home. The property owner owes a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to protect invitees against danger from a condition on the premises that creates an unreasonable risk of harm that the owner knew, or through reasonable care, would discover.
- Licensee – Someone who has the express or implied permission to enter the property, but is coming onto the property for their own purposes. Examples include social guests, door-to-door salesmen, or a neighbor who came to borrow tools. The property owner owes a licensee a duty to warn and make safe the dangerous condition that created an unreasonable risk of harm if: (1) the property owner had actual knowledge of the condition and (2) the licensee did not have actual knowledge of the condition
- Trespasser – Someone who is not authorized to be on the property. Under Texas law, the only duty that a landowner owes to a trespasser is not to intentionally injure that person or to act with “gross negligence.”
Common Causes Of Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability accidents are generally preventable. The most common premises liability accident involves slips, trips, and falls. However, premises liability covers a number of different types of accidents. Below are some examples of the common causes of premises liability accidents:
- Building code violations
- Defective design and construction
- Improper maintenance
- Lack of safety features
- Poor lighting
- Lack of security
- Poor training
- Lack of warning signs
How Can A Premises Liability Lawyer Help Me?
Hiring an experienced premises liability lawyer serving the Greater Houston area offers you the best chance of recovering maximum monetary compensation for your case. Our lawyers will complete a thorough investigation to find out who owns the property and secure the necessary evidence to prove your case. For example, many stores have video cameras in place. However, the recordings are only stored for a limited period of time, generally 30 days, and the recording likely will be “overwritten” with new recordings. An experienced Premises Liability lawyer can send letters directing the property owner to preserve the valuable video evidence. Also, incident reports and other investigative materials can be obtained by subpoena and the scene can be photographed before repairs are made.
We Can Help You After An Accident On Someone’s Property In The Greater Houston Area.
Hernandez Sunosky, LLP fights negligent property owners for their injured clients. If you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property in the Greater Houston area, give us a call at 713.981.4100. It’s free. Let us get the compensation you deserve.