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Lawyers for a Wrongful Death Caused by a Premises Liability Accident

When a loved one is killed on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation from the owner. Premise liability law establishes when you can file a wrongful death claim for damages, what you must prove, and what compensation could be available.

If your relative died recently on someone else’s property, Nix Patterson’s premises liability accident lawyers may be able to help. You could be eligible for economic and non-economic damages if the owner’s negligence can be proven. While money will never replace your loved one, it can help secure your financial future as you heal and move forward.

What Is Premises Liability Law?

Premises liability law establishes your rights if you or a loved one is injured or killed on someone else’s property. While property owners are not liable for every circumstance where someone dies in their home or building, premises liability law states the cases in which they can be held legally responsible if there is a severe or fatal accident on the premises.

Premises liability law sets property owners’ duties to guests, residents, and others, as well as the potential compensation the family can receive if a death occurs. If your loved one died on someone’s property and you want to file a claim for damages, premises liability law will be in effect in your case.

Common Causes of Premises Liability Wrongful Death Accidents

You could be eligible to file a premises liability wrongful death case in various circumstances on other people’s property. Common causes of serious injury and death in premises liability cases are:

  • Slip-and-falls
  • Inadequate security
  • Elevator or escalator fatalities
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Swimming pool drownings
  • Animal attacks
  • Inadequate property maintenance
  • Serious injuries and deaths in restaurants or stores

If your loved one was seriously injured or killed in one of these or similar situations on another person’s property, you should speak to one of our wrongful death premises liability accident lawyers today.

Who Can File a Premises Liability Wrongful Death Claim?

In every U.S. state, if a family member’s death on someone’s premises was because of the owner’s negligence, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. Each state has different laws for who can file the claim. For example, in Texas, spouses, parents, and children can file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one dies because of someone’s carelessness, recklessness, deceit, or intentional wrongful act. Some of the damages you could receive in the lawsuit are:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Emotional and mental anguish
  • Loss of financial and emotional support

Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Premises Liability Cases

To file a wrongful death lawsuit for premises liability, you must prove the owner was negligent and caused your relative’s death. Negligence means the person failed to uphold their legal duty towards another party. So, to prove the owner or occupier was negligent and caused the death, you must show they had a duty of care to your loved one and violated that duty.

Property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to licensees and invitees in many states. Licensees are people with the right to be present on the property for their own benefit, such as a guest at a party. An invitee is someone who has permission to be on the property and is there for their and the owner’s benefit, such as a customer. For these kinds of guests, the property owner must keep the property in a safe condition, which includes finding hazards and fixing dangers that might or might not be obvious.

When Owners and Occupiers May Not Be Liable

While property owners and occupiers are generally liable for keeping their property in a safe condition, there are certain conditions where they may not be responsible for injuries and death:

  • Your loved one was trespassing. In many states, owners and occupiers are not liable for trespasser deaths, which includes those who did not have consent to be on the property. The owner or occupier cannot purposely harm a trespasser or be grossly negligent, but they are not required to fix hidden hazards to protect people who come onto the property without permission. If you don’t know if your loved one had permission to be on the property when the accident happened, talk to a premises liability attorney today.
  • An obvious defect caused your loved one’s death. The property owner or occupier may not be liable for the death if an obvious danger caused the accident. A property condition may be considered obvious if it is visible by an adult who should have been aware that a hazardous condition was present.
  • Your loved one was partially liable for the accident. Many states have a comparative negligence law that means the owner might not be liable if the person was partly responsible for the death. In Texas, for example, if the person was 51% or more responsible for their own death, the family cannot collect damages in a lawsuit. For instance, if your relative was intoxicated and fell down obviously dangerous steps, the owner’s attorney may argue that they caused their own death.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Premises Liability Wrongful Death Claim?

Yes. Every state has a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim for any accident, such as a premises liability case. For instance, Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The clock starts on the day of the person’s death, so it will be dismissed if you don’t file the claim in time.

What Does It Cost to File a Premises Liability Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Most wrongful death attorneys do not charge upfront legal fees for wrongful death claims. Instead, they usually work on a contingency fee basis. If the law firm obtains a settlement or favorable verdict, they are paid a percentage of your compensation. Contingency fees vary, but it is common for wrongful death lawyers to be paid between 33% and 40% of what the plaintiff recovers. Nix Patterson wrongful death attorneys are not paid unless you win your case.

How Do You File a Premises Wrongful Death Claim?

In most incidents, the property owner has liability insurance, and that company will pay for losses on the property. If the death happened in a private home, this could be a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If the incident was in a business, the owner’s commercial liability policy would be potentially liable for paying compensation.

If liability for the accident is clearly on the owner, their insurance company may offer the family a settlement to end the claim without a lawsuit. If you accept a wrongful death settlement, you forfeit your right to sue.

You should be sure that you understand what your case is worth before settling a wrongful death claim. Always talk to a premises liability wrongful death attorney to learn the value of your claim before deciding to settle. Having an experienced attorney negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf is usually better.

If liability is contested, the insurance company may not offer a fair settlement, so you may be better off filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of case should only be handled by an experienced attorney.

Contact Nix Patterson’s Premises Liability Attorneys Today

Having your loved one die on someone’s property suddenly is devastating. Suddenly, you are without the emotional and financial support of someone close to you. If negligence can be proven, you could receive compensation for burial and funeral costs, loss of future earnings, inheritance, and more.

Nix Patterson’s wrongful death accident attorneys are ready to fight for your family. Contact one of our attorneys today for a complimentary wrongful death case review.


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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