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Austin Premises Liability Lawyers

Were you recently injured in a restaurant, grocery store, or perhaps a friend’s home? Texas law requires business and residential property owners to make reasonable efforts to prevent accidents and injuries to guests and visitors. A premises liability claim could be appropriate when the owner fails in their duty and you are consequently injured.

At Nix Patterson, we are passionate about fighting for the rights of personal injury victims. Our Austin premises liability lawyers want to discuss whether you were recently injured on another person’s property. We could help you obtain compensation in a premises liability claim for your losses, including medical bills, loss of wages, loss of future income, and pain and suffering.

What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a legal theory that applies to personal injury claims where the injuries are due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Texas state premises liability law states that the owner must maintain a residential or commercial property to protect occupants and visitors. If the owner doesn’t do so, you could be owed damages for medical bills and other losses.

Premises liability law in Texas also states that the owner or possessor of a property owes certain responsibilities to guests and visitors. The law applies just as much to a large corporation in Austin, such as Apple, as it does to your next-door neighbor.

Whether the person responsible for the property is the owner, contractor, manager, or someone else, they can be held accountable for an accident on their premises. However, just being injured on someone’s property isn’t enough to have a premises liability claim. The following elements must be present in a valid claim:

  • The property owner knew of a hazardous condition on the premises.
  • The hazard presented an unreasonable danger to guests and visitors.
  • The owner didn’t warn visitors of the hazardous condition.
  • The property owner didn’t take action to mitigate the danger reasonably.
  • Your injuries are directly due to the owner’s negligence in the dangerous condition.

There are three types of categories of visitors applicable to premises liability claims:

  • Invitee. If you visit a property with the owner’s permission for a mutually beneficial purpose, you are an invitee. An example is a visitor to a grocery store in Austin during regular business hours. The owner must fix any hazards or warn invitees about dangerous conditions.
  • Licensee. You are a licensee if you visit a property with the owner’s consent for a non-commercial purpose. Going to your neighbors in Round Rock for a party at their invitation would make you a licensee. The owner must warn you about hazards on the property that can be reasonably foreseen.
  • Trespasser. You are a trespasser if you are on the property without permission from the owner. The owner doesn’t owe trespassers nearly as much duty of care as invitees and licensees.

The person injured on another person’s property can usually file a premises liability claim if they think someone was negligent. However, it is more difficult to file a claim successfully if you were trespassing.

In limited cases, even trespassers could be owed compensation, such as if the property owner took actions to harm them. A minor trespassing on property could also be compensated if injured there. Texas has an attractive nuisance doctrine, which can come into play if a child trespasser is injured in or near a swimming pool.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Premises Liability Case?

A case settlement or favorable jury verdict is possible when you prove that the property owner’s negligence or wrongful act caused your injuries. How much you could receive varies based on the case and type of injury.

However, some of the available types of compensation in a premises liability claim are:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses, including past expenses and ones until you reach maximum medical recovery
  • Lost earnings and benefits related to your lost work time in the past and future
  • Costs of assistive devices, such as a wheelchair or motor scooter
  • Mental anguish and pain and suffering related to the injuries and treatments
  • Loss of ability to earn a living if the injury is long-term or permanent and reduces your ability to work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life for serious injuries

Economic damages, including lost earnings and medical expenses, are relatively easy to determine by accumulating past losses on a calculator. On the other hand, non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, are subjective and can be various amounts.

Every case is different, so it’s impossible to say what you can receive in a premises liability claim for your economic and non-economic damages. However, injuries with higher medical bills and extensive treatments generally have a higher case value than minor injuries with limited medical expenses.

So, if you broke your wrist in a fall, your case’s value would be lower than if you fractured your skull in the same incident. Your case value could rise dramatically with a serious injury involving hospitalization and surgery. The skilled Austin personal injury lawyers at Nix Patterson can give you an idea of your case value, based on your degree of injury.

What Should I Do If I am Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

Your attorney will fight for the most compensation for your case. However, there are several things you should do after an accident that could boost your chances of success:

  • Go to the doctor immediately or call 911. Getting immediate medical attention is vital for your health and your potential claim. The insurance company liable for paying claims will check if you got rapid medical attention. If you didn’t, the argument will likely be that you weren’t seriously injured.
  • Tell the property owner about your injury. Informing ownership that there was an accident and injury will get the case documented quickly.
  • Collect evidence, including witness statements, video, and photographs. Your attorney will gather evidence, but you can collect important evidence, too. Take photos or video of the accident scene to show how it happened. If it was a spill or wet floor, show the puddle and the surrounding scene. The owner will probably clean up the hazard quickly, so pictures and video could be vital.
  • Talk to a Nix Patterson premises liability attorney immediately. Many injured parties don’t understand how their post-accident words and actions can negatively affect a claim. Your attorney will ensure that your case is correctly handled from the start.

What Are Common Types of Premises Liability Cases?

There are many types of premises liability cases that may lead to compensation. Among the most common are:


This is the most common type of premises liability claim in Austin. Slip-and-fall cases can cause minor or major injuries, including broken bones, head and neck injuries, back injuries, cuts and scrapes, etc. Slip-and-fall cases usually happen because of:

  • Trip hazards
  • Spills
  • Wet or slick floors
  • Unsecured carpets and rugs
  • Torn carpets
  • Uneven sidewalks or tiles
  • Holes in pavement or yard
  • Damaged staircases
  • Missing or damaged handrails

A key part of the case is whether what injured you was foreseeable. An icy sidewalk without a warning sign isn’t foreseeable, but a wet floor with warning signs posted nearby is a more difficult case. Whatever the situation, your attorney will attempt to pin responsibility for the accident, when possible, on the property owner or occupier.

Dog Attacks

Dog and animal attacks are another common reason for premises liability claims. You could file a claim if someone’s dog attacks you and it has a history of aggression. You could be owed compensation whether the dog attacks you on the street or on the owner’s property.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Many swimming pool cases involve children who are injured or killed in or around swimming pools. The child could trespass on the property and be severely injured if the pool isn’t secured. Common causes of swimming pool claims are:

  • Uncovered pool when not in use
  • Pool lacking proper fencing
  • Unsecured gate

Negligent Maintenance

If you are invited to someone’s property, the owner must keep the property safe. Their legal duty of care extends to the interiors and exteriors of buildings, lands, walkways, yards, etc. The owner should conduct inspections regularly to locate any dangers that you may not have noticed. If the problems aren’t fixed or warnings aren’t posted, negligent maintenance could lead to a successful claim.

Third-Person Assaults and Inadequate Security

A property owner who does not provide sufficient security can be held responsible for your damages if you sustain harm from insufficient security. Suppose you are assaulted in an Austin nightclub, and the venue has a history of assaults and disturbances. The property owner should have sufficient security guards to safeguard guests from these hazards. Failure to do so can lead to a premises liability claim. You also may be able to win your case if there was inadequate lighting or security in the parking lot of a venue and you were assaulted.

What About Open and Obvious Hazards?

Property owners are often responsible for injuries on their properties, but not always. The law says that the owner may be free of liability for an open and obvious hazard. This means a reasonable person would have been aware of the danger and avoided it.

For instance, imagine a shelf falling at the grocery store and dozens of spaghetti sauce jars breaking on the floor. You slip and fall down in part of the mess. The insurance company could argue that the spill’s size constitutes an open and obvious hazard that most people would avoid. However, if you have impaired vision, your attorney could argue that the owner still owed you a duty of care to clean up or warn of the hazard quickly.

Protecting Your Rights as a Victim

You could have a nearly ironclad premises liability claim. However, your claim could be denied if you take specific actions that negatively affect the case, or the case value may be significantly lower.

First, be careful about posting comments about an open personal injury claim on your social media feeds. Insurance companies want to limit their financial exposure and will use your social media statements to save themselves money. If you sprained your ankle in a fall at the mall, a social media photo of you walking in the yard won’t help your case.

Second, don’t delay hiring an attorney in your case. Many injured parties might attempt to settle their case without legal assistance. They retain an attorney only when the case has been open for weeks or months. By then, the case could be hopelessly compromised. It’s always better to speak to a premises liability attorney early on. If the case doesn’t have merit, it’s ok; the attorney will tell you. There’s no charge for the consultation, so there’s no risk to you.

Third, do not provide a statement to the other party’s insurance company. The adjuster’s purpose in getting your statement is to reduce what they pay you. You may unwittingly say something that makes it sound like you were partially to blame for the accident. Or you could say that you ‘feel fine’ after the accident, which will be used to claim that you were not significantly injured.

Premises Liability Statute of Limitations

It’s always important to take fast legal action after being injured on another person’s property. In Texas, you have only two years from the date of the injury to file a premises liability claim. If you wait longer than that, you will most likely surrender your right to compensation.

Contact Our Austin Premises Liability Lawyers for Help

No one wants to be hurt while visiting someone’s home or business. But accidents happen constantly, and if the property owner was negligent, they could owe you damages in a premises liability claim or lawsuit.

If the worst happens and you’re hurt with a pile of medical bills, you can rely on Nix Patterson for assistance. Our aggressive premises liability attorneys will fight for maximum compensation and will be your steady legal guide during settlement negotiations. We’ll take your case to court and make the best argument to the judge or jury if necessary. Contact us today for a free legal consultation. You pay no legal fees unless we win your case.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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