Premises liability refers to a type of personal injury that occurs on the premises of a residential, commercial, or government property and for which the property owner is held liable.
Property Owners Responsible for Maintaining Safe Premises
Owners of property, whether a residence, office building, retail operation, hotel, hospital apartment, stadium, government building or parking lots, may be legally responsible for the safety of guests and the general public in some very limited circumstances while on their property. When failure to follow construction and/or maintenance regulations properly results in injury or death or if the property owner actually knows there is a specific dangerous condition, they may be liable.
Examples of Liability
There is a wide range of conditions for which property owners may be held accountable. Some examples include:
- Wet floors
- Missing handrails
- Failure to post hazardous condition warnings
- Defective or inadequate lighting
- Storage of toxic chemicals
- Failure to post “Beware of guard dogs” warnings
- Dog attacks
- Dogs that cause bicycle wrecks
A Duty to Guests & the General Public
Property owners have an obligation to warn guests or post signs for the general public warning that dangerous conditions that could cause harm exist. However, unlike the obligation to guests or someone who is on your property for business purposes, the same “standard of care” does not apply to trespassers.
An Exception to the Level of Care a Property Owner Must Exercise
Children are an exception to the level of care a property owner must exercise to ensure premises are safe. Young children may not be able to read signs, nor can they exercise judgment or react to hazardous conditions as an adult could. The law holds property owners liable, if they, for example, know that children are likely to play in the area where they have an open pit, a swimming pool, or a pond and fail to take extra precautions against harm to children.
Getting Legal Help
If you are injured in a premises liability wreck, it is important to retain a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will ensure that your claim to recover damages complies with Texas statute of limitation filing guidelines and will take every step necessary to protect your legal rights and obtain fair compensation for the harm to you or your child.
It is important to note that the process and the time you have to file a premises liability claim against a government entity is significantly less than a private property owner. Many times you must give very specific legal notice within 60 days or your claim is barred by law.
Contact a Texas Premises Liability Attorney
The attorneys at Wells, Purcell & Kraatz have been helping injured clients who have claims against property owners and their insurers since 1985. If you have suffered serious injury due to the negligence of a property owner, call our Fort Worth law firm at (817) 335-5525 or toll free at (800) 882-4LAW (4529). Take advantage of our free case Consultation to find out if you have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. If we decide to take your case, there is no fee unless we recover damages for you.
Whether you need legal advice and guidance to hold liable parties responsible for personal injury disputes, we invite you to contact our law firm. To arrange an appointment call (817) 335-5525 or toll free at (800) 882-4529. There is no charge for an initial consultation to find out how our attorneys can help resolve your legal matter.
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