Dallas Premises Liability Lawyer
Whenever you leave your home, you put your well-being at the mercy of other people. You rely on others to keep store aisles clear, control their animals, store toxic substances correctly, mop up spills, maintain steps, elevators, and escalators—the list goes on and on.
If someone fails in their obligation to keep their premises safe for others, and you were injured as a result, you could claim damages under the theory of premises liability. To find out whether you might have a viable claim, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
Accidents That Trigger Premises Liability
Premises liability is a catch-all term that refers to an owner or occupier’s responsibility to protect visitors to the property from harm. Many different kinds of accidents could potentially lead to a claim under premises liability theory.
- Slips, trips, or falls
- Drownings, near-drownings, and diving accidents in any pool open to the public
- Dog bites
- Being hit by falling merchandise or debris
- Burns due to a faulty water heater in an apartment building
- Elevator accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
An experienced personal injury lawyer could determine whether a particular injury resulted from the owner or occupier’s failure to meet a duty they had to the injured person. If so, the owner or occupier might be liable under premises liability.
Types of Visitors
Everyone who owns or occupies property has an obligation to take reasonable steps to keep it safe for visitors. The extent of this duty depends on the reason the person entered the property.
Who Are Invitees?
The patrons or customers of a business are called invitees. The owner or occupier of the space has an obligation to inspect the premises for hazards regularly and make any necessary repairs in a timely manner. The occupier also must warn invitees of any not-yet-repaired hazard. The occupier could be liable if an injury occurs because of a hazard that was not timely repaired. Liability also might accrue even if the invitee was injured by a hazard that the occupier did not know about, if reasonable inspection would have revealed its existence.
Social guests are licensees, and property owners and occupiers must warn licensees about known risks and hazards. However, the owners and occupiers have no duty to inspect the property for hazards or to repair known hazards within a reasonable time. The only duty to a licensee is the duty to warn. However, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney might question whether a particular warning was adequate to protect licensees in a given case.
Do Property Owners Have a Duty to Protect Trespassers?
Property owners and occupiers have no duty to people who enter property without permission. These are trespassers, and according to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §75.003, the only duty an owner or occupier has to an adult trespasser is to refrain from taking actions or allowing conditions that indicate a conscious indifference to safety. However, property owners must take affirmative steps to prevent children from entering premises and injuring themselves if the property contains a feature, like a swimming pool, that might attract a child’s attention and desire to play.
An Aggressive Attorney Can Help You Get Justice
Suffering an injury is always traumatic, and even more so when it might be due to the carelessness of someone with a responsibility to keep their premises safe. Bringing a legal professional onto your team can help you and your family as you try to recoup the costs of dealing with the injury. It is important to act swiftly, though, because once the time to sue has expired—two years from the date of the injury, in most cases—the injured person loses leverage and insurance companies lose any incentive to settle a case for an appropriate payment.
A meeting with a local Dallas premises liability lawyer can bring you peace of mind and help you and your family make realistic plans for the future. Contact the office today to schedule a complimentary case review.