Every person who visits the property of another individual or entity should expect that the landowner will take every possible precaution to keep them safe. This includes providing protection against temporary hazards but also having adequate security measures in place that deter criminals. Injuries that occur when a landowner fails to provide this protection fall under the umbrella of premises liability law.
People who have suffered injuries in these situations need to act quickly to protect their legal rights. This should include reaching out to a Bellaire premises liability lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney is prepared to explain your rights under the law, fully investigate the incident, and demand that at-fault landowners and insurance companies provide all proper compensation.
Events That May Lead to Premises Liability Cases
The law in Texas says that property owners have an obligation to protect guests on their land. This means that these owners may be liable if a guest suffers an injury, which can fall into two categories.
Injuries Due to Accidents
The most common source of injuries that affect guests is those that arise out of accidents. These can include slips and falls, injuries from falling merchandise, or harm that results from structural failures in buildings. In these scenarios, the law places the burden on injured people to show that the landowner was negligent in allowing that incident to occur.
Injuries from Acts of Violence
It is easy to overlook the role that property owners may play in allowing violence to affect guests. Bar and restaurant owners must have properly trained security personnel in place to prevent fights. Gas stations and convenience stores must have proper lighting to deter attackers. All building owners must have satisfactory emergency infrastructure to help people evacuate in case of fires. Any landowner who contributes to a criminal act by not providing proper security holds liability in a civil suit. A Bellaire premises liability attorney could provide more information about what events may justify a demand for compensation under the law.
Showing Landowner Negligence
While it is clear that landowners must take steps to prevent harm from affecting guests, the exact measures that they must take will vary on a case-by-case basis. Texas law separates visitors into three classes. Depending upon which class the guest fits into, the obligations of property owners change:
- Trespassers: Trespassers enter or remain on land without the owner’s permission. Property owners are only responsible for injuries if they are the product of wanton or willful misconduct.
- Licensees: These people enter land for their own benefit, such as to attend a party. The owners are only required to provide licensees protection against known dangers.
- Invitees: Invitees enter land for the benefit of the property owner, often to spend money. The property owner must keep the land or building safe and protect guests against all foreseeable harm.
In addition, state law says that defendants in these cases may argue that a victim shares a portion of the blame for an accident. In premises liability cases, this may be due to the ignoring of a warning sign, wearing inappropriate shoes, or being distracted by a cell phone. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedy Code § 33.003, a court accepting this argument cannot award full compensation to victims. In fact, if a victim is more than 50 percent to blame for their injury, they cannot receive any payment. Speaking with a Bellaire premises liability lawyer could help individuals evaluate whether they have a valid case under these vital legal concepts.
Contact a Bellaire Premises Liability Attorney if You Suffered an Injury
Property owners have a requirement under the law to protect guests on their land. This includes preventing harm that may result from an accident or even the violent acts of others. Whether a landowner is liable for a specific event depends on whether you had permission to be on the property and your motivations for being there.
A Bellaire premises liability lawyer has the resources to help you to pursue your case. Give The Gutierrez Law Firm a call now to discover more about your rights with a free consultation.