Houston Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises liability is the area of law that focuses on the duties of property owners to provide a safe environment for other people who come onto their premises. Often people associate premises liability with a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident, but premises liability can encompass many other types of injuries as well, including dog bites and animal attacks, violent assaults enabled by negligent security, getting struck by falling objects, swimming pool drownings, playground injuries, and more.
Falls are a leading cause of injury among all age groups and for some age groups, they exceed car accidents as the number one cause of accidental death. Property owners and their insurance companies try to make light of a slip and fall injury and claim the injury isn’t severe, but we know just how serious they can be. At Gilde Law Firm, we handle personal injury cases every day throughout Houston. This is what we do. Our Houston premises liability lawyers understand the challenges premises liability accident victims face not only in dealing with their injuries but also in proving their cases and recovering satisfactory compensation from the property owners.
If you’ve been seriously injured on another’s property because of a dangerous condition on their premises, we can help you get the medical care and compensation you need and that you should be entitled to receive. Call us at 281-973-2772 for a free consultation to discuss your claims and find out how we can help.
Texas Premises Liability Law
Texas law on premises liability can be a challenge for injury victims seeking to recover from a negligent property owner. For one thing, the law limits the liability of agricultural landowners for injuries caused during recreational use of the land. Also, Texas law distinguishes between an injury caused by a negligent act or activity on the property versus a “true” premises liability claim, which can make it confusing to know how to proceed and what elements of the law apply to the case.
In a premises liability case, property owners can be held liable for injuries that occur when they had “actual or constructive knowledge” of an unreasonably unsafe condition on the property but failed to fix it or warn of the danger in a reasonable time. Examples of such unsafe conditions can include:
- A wet or slippery floor because of spilled liquids, mopping, waxing, or rainwater
- Tripping hazards on the floor such as merchandise, extension cords, or trash
- Falling boxes or merchandise negligently stacked on shelves
- Torn carpets or misplaced floor mats
- Unmarked steps
- Broken steps, broken or missing handrails
- Elevator/Escalator malfunctions
- Inadequate lighting
- Exposed electrical wiring
Texas premises liability law is further complicated by classifying injury victims according to their legal status on the property and creating different duties for the landowner. These legal classes include invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Invitees are people invited onto the premises by the property owner, such as customers. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. They should periodically inspect their property and promptly remove any hazards they find. They can also be held liable for dangers they didn’t know of but would have learned of had they been diligent in inspecting the premises, such as a drink spill at a restaurant or a broken jar in a grocery store.
Licensees are people with a lawful right to come onto the property even if not invited by the owner. Examples of licensees include delivery persons, vendors, salespersons, utility workers, and repair persons. Property owners have a duty to warn licensees about any hidden dangers on the premises the licensee might not otherwise know about.
Trespassers are people who have no lawful right to be on the property. This can include people who enter unlawfully or stay on the premises after it has closed, or who enter areas specifically marked as private, employees only, no unauthorized access, no trespassing, etc. Property owners might still be liable to injured trespassers if the owner intentionally created a dangerous trap to harm trespassers or failed to adequately make it clear the area was off-limits through appropriate signs, fences, locked doors or gates, etc.
Gilde Law Firm Handles Complex Premises Liability Cases
Property owners and their insurers make it hard for injury victims to recover adequate compensation after a slip and fall or other premises liability injury. They often claim the owner did know about the danger and didn’t have time to discover it and fix it before the accident happened. This defense is often raised when the danger was a temporary hazard such as a food or drink spill. Our team knows how to investigate the accident itself as well as the business’ inspection routine to determine whether they should be held liable. We gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case that proves their fault in allowing the accident to occur.
Property owners might also claim the injury victim was at fault by not watching where they were going. But in Texas, so long as you are not considered to be more than 50% at fault, you can still recover compensation from the property owner for their percentage of negligence. We fight to prove the full extent of the property owner’s responsibility and defend you from unfounded attacks that blame you for an accident you didn’t cause or contribute to.
Finally, insurance companies love to dispute the extent of the injury, especially in cases of sprain, strains or soft tissue injuries. Just because you aren’t bleeding or didn’t break any bones doesn’t mean you didn’t get seriously hurt. Slip and fall injuries can be painful, debilitating injuries that require medical treatment and can leave lasting or permanent damage. We make sure you get the proper medical care you need and document your injury so we can prove your costs and future challenges and get a fair settlement or verdict that accurately reflects your needs and the value of your claim.
Call Houston Premises Liability Lawyers at Gilde Law Firm
For help after a premises liability accident in Houston, call Gilde Law Firm at 281-973-2772. Your initial consultation is free, and we don’t charge any legal fees or expenses until after we recover compensation on your behalf. Let us help you on your road to recovery.