Premises liability refers to a legal responsibility requiring premises owners to exercise reasonable care to protect their invitees from known dangers. In general, a premises owner is considered to owe a duty of care to all persons lawfully on their property. For example, a store owner is required to exercise reasonable care for the safety of customers and employees. If someone is hit by a falling tree limb outside of their store, the store owner may be liable for damages if they had actual or constructive notice of the danger. Premises liability cases are complex because there is always a question about how much care is reasonable, and whether the owner exercised that level of care.
Common types of premises liability accidents include:
Slip and fall injuries result when a person slips and falls due to a hazardous condition on the property. For example, premises owners can be held responsible for premises liability accidents that occur as a result of slippery floors or wet flooring. Slip and fall injuries can also occur on slippery surfaces, which is why many businesses regularly use a de-icer to prevent this. An unattended object can also pose a slip and fall hazard; for example, a chair with the back leg propped up on a wet floor.
When a property owner uses defective or unapproved materials in the construction of premises, they may be liable for any injuries that result. For example, using substandard building materials can result in structural collapse, which can injure visitors. Stairway collapse can also lead to serious premises liability accidents. Stairs that are poorly designed, have loose railings or use inadequate support beams can all lead to injuries.
When premises owners fail to remove or repair dangerous conditions, customers and employees can be hurt. For example, in some cases, businesses may be required to remove grease from the areas around their fryers. If they fail to do so, the grease can spill onto the ground where it might ignite or cause a slippery surface. Additionally, if maintenance is not properly performed on structures or machinery, it can result in injuries for people who are lawfully present on the property.
Premises owners can be held responsible when an accident results from a dangerous condition that they knew about, but failed to warn visitors of. In general, a dangerous condition would not be obvious to the average visitor or consumer.
Premises owners are required to control their animals, especially if they know that the animal is prone to bite people. For example, a dog owner has a legal responsibility to restrain their dog when it is in the presence of other people. If the animal owner fails to restrain their dog, and it bites you, they can be held liable for any injuries that result.
Almost everyone enjoys eating out, but should be aware of the risk of food poisoning. Thus, premises owners are required to exercise reasonable care when preparing, storing and serving food products. Customers who suffer food poisoning can collect compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and damages caused by the illness.
Property owners are liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care in preventing scalding accidents. Injuries can occur when hot liquids are spilled on people. For example, a restaurant may be liable for scalding injuries if they failed to test their hot water to make sure it was the right temperature before serving it.
Property owners also have a legal duty to take reasonable precautions to protect customers and employees from reasonably foreseeable criminal attacks. For example, businesses may be required to provide security guards, install surveillance cameras or take other steps to prevent criminal activity on their property. Of course, the cost of preventing crime should be considered when determining the level of care that is reasonable.
Premises liability law can be difficult to understand, as it is an area of personal injury law that involves some very complicated legal issues. A premises liability attorney can help you sue for damages if you are injured on someone else’s property.
If you’ve been injured on another’s property, you may now be asking, “Is there a premises liability lawyer near me?” If you believe that the property owner’s negligence caused your accident, it is important to contact an experienced Texas premise liability lawyer as soon as possible. That way, you can prove liability and hopefully recover compensation for your medical expenses.
If a property owner’s actions or failure to act resulted in your injury, please call us today. We will explain your rights under TX law and, if applicable, help you recover damages for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income.