Premises Liability Lawyers

If you were hurt on a business or other entity’s property because of a hazardous condition, you shouldn’t be responsible for your medical bills. Instead of paying out of pocket, you could file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your damages. The premises liability attorneys at Nix Patterson, have handled many cases like yours and can help.

What Is Premises Liability Law?

Premises liability addresses legal responsibility when a person is injured on someone else’s property because of a dangerous condition. For example, a premises liability case could involve a fall at the grocery store due to broken floor tiles, or an injury caused by falling down the stairs at a hotel due to faulty or uneven stair construction.

The idea behind a premises liability case is that businesses should make their premises safe and reduce the risk of injury. Unfortunately, premises liability law is complicated. That’s why you should talk to an experienced premises liability attorney before talking to the business owner or their insurance company.

What Is a Premises Liability Claim?

A premises liability claim is a civil case that an accident victim can file against an owner of a property with a hazardous defect. If the property defect was something the property owner should have known about and failed to fix, you may be entitled to sue for damages. Generally, the property owner’s degree of care differs based on the kind of property visitor. While complicated legal nuances vary by state, the general duties of care that property owners owe to people on their property in Texas are as follows:

  • Invitee. If you were invited (expressly or impliedly) onto the property for the financial gain of the property owner, the owner must monitor activity and inspect the property for any dangers. And visitors need to be warned of risks. This is the highest level of care in premises liability law. Some examples of invitees include shoppers at a grocery store, hotel guests, restaurant diners, and other similar situations.
  • Licensee. If you were invited (expressly or impliedly) to be on the property but not solely for the financial gain of the property owner, the owner’s duties are to repair obvious defects and warn about potential hazards. However, the property owner is not required to inspect the property before people visit. The classic example of a licensee is a social guest at someone’s house, such as a party attendee or dinner guest. Another example of a licensee is a package or food delivery person.
  • Trespasser. The property owner does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser, except for not purposely causing harm. However, if the trespasser is a child, there may still be a duty of care, especially under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine.

Knowing the kind of property visitor you were when the accident occurred is essential. The visitor type depends on why you were on the property and if you had permission. Your attorney must pinpoint the owner’s duty of care to you to assemble a successful premises liability case.

What Do You Need to Prove to Win Your Case?

Generally, you must prove the following to win a premises liability case and receive compensation:

Duty

Depending upon the type of visitor on the property (see above),the property owner may be responsible for keeping guests safe from foreseeable dangers. The duty of care depends on whether it’s residential property, business, piece of land, etc. There also are other obligations that landlords have to their tenants. Your premises liability attorney must evaluate the case to determine the duty owed on the property when you were hurt.

Breach

When the duty to keep you safe from reasonable dangers is established, you must prove the property owned breached their duty of care. This usually means you must verify the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that hurt you but didn’t address it or warn you about it.

Suppose you are walking towards the entrance of a grocery store and the parking lot is covered with black ice, but there are no warnings. You fall and break your wrist. Your attorney will attempt to prove that the property owner should have known about the danger and addressed the problem or warned you about.

One of the challenges with premises liability cases is that the evidence may only last for a while. Therefore, hiring an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible is essential. Your attorney can issue a letter demanding that all evidence be preserved.

Proximate Cause

This concept requires that you prove that the defendant’s negligence that created the hazard caused your injuries. In addition, you may need to show that you did not know about the threat yourself. Finally, you must prove that you acted reasonably and did not cause injuries through your own negligence.

Suppose a “Caution – Wet Floor” sign exists in a grocery store aisle. If you walk through the wet area anyway and fall, you will not likely recover damages in a lawsuit. The store owner attempted to warn guests about danger, but you ignored it.

Damages

You must have suffered damages in the premises liability case to receive compensation. For example, if you slipped and fell on a slick floor at a store but were not hurt, you cannot receive compensation from the insurance company.

Cases Where a Premises Liability Attorney Can Help

You should talk to an attorney if you were hurt on someone’s property because of a dangerous condition. A premises liability attorney can assist you with many catastrophic injury cases involving property owner liability:

  • Trip and falls
  • Slip and falls
  • Elevator accidents
  • Inadequate security
  • Stair falls
  • Dog bites
  • Flood and fires
  • Parking lot defects
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Balcony and railing accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Trampoline accidents

What Can a Premises Liability Attorney Do For You?

One critical reason to hire an attorney is that they know how to secure vital case evidence, including witness statements and security video footage. You might be surprised how quickly damaging evidence can disappear. Some of the actions your attorney can assist with include:

  • Issue a spoilation letter to prevent the defendant from destroying necessary case evidence.
  • Issue subpoenas for incident reports, government documents, medical records, etc.
  • Take detailed photos of the accident scene to safeguard evidence before repairs are started.
  • Take depositions of eyewitnesses and responsible parties.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies.
  • Take the property owner to court if needed.

Contact a Nix Patterson Premises Liability Lawyer

Were you injured on someone else’s property for no fault of your own? If you fail to take legal action, you may need to pay out of pocket to cover your medical bills and other losses.

Contact us today for a complimentary legal consultation about your premises liability case.

CONTACT US

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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