Were you or a loved one injured while on someone else’s property? Did you suffer a slip and fall in a supermarket aisle or trip on a cracked sidewalk? You may be wondering whether you can hold the property owner liable for your injuries.
When a person is injured on another person’s property, they usually file a personal injury claim. In Texas, personal injury claims fall under an area of law called Premises Liability. Continue reading to learn more about premises liability and how it affects business and property owners’ liability for accidents and injuries that occur on their property.
What Is Premise Liability?
In Texas, premises liability law refers to a set of rules that hold property owners and businesses legally responsible for the condition of their property and require owners and managers to maintain their property to prevent dangers and hazards that pose unreasonable risks to visitors, guests, and customers.
What Is Considered a Premise?
A premise is defined as all parts of a person’s property, including the land, buildings, and other structures or improvements. A sidewalk, a lawn, or the inside of a building are all considered premises.
What Types of Cases Fall Under Premises Liability?
There are many different types of cases that fall under premises liability. Some examples of common premises liability cases include:
- Slip and falls: The most common type of claims, which occur when you slip (or trip) and fall on someone else’s property.
- Swimming pool accidents: Usually occur when swimming pools are unattended and unsecured around children.
- Playground and schoolyard accidents: Usually occur when equipment is not properly maintained.
- Amusement park accidents: Usually occur when rides and equipment are not properly maintained or malfunction.
- Elevator and escalator accidents: Usually occur when elevators and escalators are not properly maintained or malfunction.
- Dog bites: Usually caused by a lack of proper training.
- Balcony and railing accidents: Usually occur when a balcony and railings are not properly maintained.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any of these manners while on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Type of Injuries Result From Slip and Fall Accidents?
Depending on the circumstances, injuries sustained in a slip and fall claim can vary from minor cuts, scratches, and bruises to long-term debilitating injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury. Common injuries sustained in slip and fall claims include:
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Brain, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
Regardless of the type of injury you sustained, recovery times vary greatly, from a few weeks of healing for a broken wrist to several years of physical therapy due to a spinal injury. The medical costs associated with these injuries can turn an already traumatic experience into an extremely stressful one.
How Do I Know If the Property Owner Is Liable for My Slip and Fall?
In Texas, simply being injured on public or privately owned property is not enough. Other factors must be considered, including your conduct, which may have contributed to the accident; the presence of an unsafe, hazardous, or dangerous condition; and the property owner’s negligence, if any.
To succeed in a slip and fall claim, you must prove three things:
- The dangerous condition on the property owner’s property caused your injury.
- The property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
- The property owner failed to repair or make safer the known dangerous condition or failed to provide warnings of the dangerous condition.
It is important to note that Texas is a comparative negligence state, which determines that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you will be unable to recover compensation.
You may also be found liable for your own slip and fall accident if:
- You entered a restricted or secured area without authorization.
- You ignored safety signs and notices.
- You were otherwise not aware or observant of your surroundings.
If you believe your slip and fall case fits these criteria, please contact us to discuss your case in a free consultation.
When Should I File My Slip and Fall Claim?
Due to the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, you should contact a reputable and experienced personal injury or accident attorney as soon as possible after you or your loved one has been injured.
In Texas, the statute of limitation begins on the date of the accident. To be eligible to have your slip and fall claim put before the court, you must have filed your claim within two years of the accident, or you forfeit your right to recover compensation for your injuries. Failure to file your claim within the statute of limitations results in your claim being time-barred and prohibited from ever being filed.
How Can Godsey Martin, PC Help You?
We understand that each case is unique and the process of filing a slip and fall claim is a complicated one. With our extensive knowledge of Texas premises liability law, Godsey Martin, PC will assist you with every aspect of your premises liability case, including:
- Understanding your legal rights and options.
- Filing your claim with insurance and/or the court.
- Obtaining necessary evidence for the case, such as photographs of the accident, witness statements, medical records, etc.
- Referring you to qualified medical professionals.
- Negotiating settlements with insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Getting compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages
The process of filing any personal injury claim in Texas may seem overwhelming at first. However, our law firm of over 90 knowledgeable attorneys provides you with a dedicated, professional, and personalized experience from day one.
There is no upfront cost with us. All of our personal injury claims and cases, regardless of case type, are taken on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid unless you get paid!
Contact us online or at 1-800-IGOTHIT (1-800-446-8448) for a free consultation about your premises liability case.