Premises Liability in Texas
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that a property owner has to ensure the safety of individuals who enter their property. This includes different levels of duties to different categories of people who enter the property such as invitees, licensees and trespassers. In this article, we will delve into the different types of premises liability, the role of a premises liability lawyer, the level of duties a property owner has towards different categories of people and what steps you should take if you are injured on a property.
What is a Premises?
Premises refers to any type of property, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
Different Categories of People Entering the Property and the Duty of a Premises Owner
When it comes to premises liability, there are different categories of people who may enter a property, and the property owner has different duties towards each of them.
Invitees: An invitee is someone who is on the property for the benefit of the property owner. This includes customers at a store, patients at a hospital, and tenants in an apartment building. A property owner has a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition and to warn invitees of any known hazards.
Licensees: A licensee is someone who is on the property with the property owner’s permission. This includes social guests in a home or people visiting a property for recreational purposes. A property owner has a duty to warn licensees of any known hazards, but does not have the same duty to maintain the property in a safe condition.
Trespassers: A trespasser is someone who is on the property without the property owner’s permission. A property owner does not have a duty to warn trespassers of hazards, but they are not allowed to intentionally harm them.
Types of Premises Liability
Slip and Fall Accidents: These occur when an individual slips or trips and falls on a property due to a dangerous condition, such as a wet floor or uneven pavement. Slip and fall accidents fall under the category of premise liability. Premise liability is the legal responsibility of a property owner or occupier to ensure that their property is safe for visitors and guests. This includes taking reasonable steps to identify and repair hazards, such as spills, uneven flooring, and other dangerous conditions that could cause a slip and fall accident. If someone is injured as a result of a hazardous condition on a property, the property owner or occupier may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Negligent Security: Negligent security cases involve a property owner’s failure to provide adequate security measures to protect individuals on their property from harm, such as criminal activity.
Dangerous Conditions on the Property: These include hazards such as broken stairs or exposed wiring.
Attractive Nuisance: This type of liability refers to a dangerous condition on a property that is likely to attract children and may lead to injury. Examples include unsecured swimming pools, abandoned well, or construction equipment left on a property.
Negligent maintenance: This is a type of premise liability that occurs when a property owner or occupier fails to properly maintain their property, resulting in a hazardous condition that causes injury to a visitor or guest. This can include things like failing to fix a broken stairway, not properly cleaning a spill, or neglecting to repair a dangerous crack in the floor. A property owner or occupier can be held liable for injuries caused by negligent maintenance if they knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it. In these cases, the injured party must prove that the owner or occupier had a duty to maintain the property, that they breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injury.
The Role of a Premises Liability Lawyer
A premises liability lawyer is an attorney who specializes in representing individuals who have been injured on someone else’s property due to negligence or a dangerous condition. They will investigate the incident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the property owner or their insurance company to seek compensation for the injured individual.
What to do if you are Injured on a Premises
Seek Medical Attention: If you are injured on a property, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Document the Incident: Document the incident by taking photos of the hazard that caused your injury and obtaining the contact information of any witnesses.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer: It is also a good idea to contact a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible, as they can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
Are you Entitled to Compensation From a Negligent Property Owner?
If you are injured on a property due to a dangerous condition or the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In order to be entitled to compensation, you will need to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take steps to fix it or warn others about it.
How Long Do You have to file a Premises Liability Claim in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a premises liability claim is typically two years from the date of the injury. However, it is important to note that this can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the type of claim being filed. It is always best to consult with a lawyer to understand the specific time frame in which you have to file a claim.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you are injured on government property, the process of filing a claim and the time frame may be different. This is because you will need to comply with the government’s claim process and may have a shorter period of time in which to file a claim.
Premises liability can be a complex area of law and it’s important to understand the different types of liability, the level of duty that a property owner has towards different categories of people and how you can be entitled to compensation from a negligent property owner. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, it is important to consult with a premises liability lawyer to understand your rights and the steps you need to take to seek compensation. Call us today at 817-207-4878.