Premises Liability Law in Texas
Premises liability law includes injuries sustained on the property of another person. This can include getting hurt in a broken elevator in a parking garage or on a poorly maintained escalator at the mall. Premises liability law in Texas can be complicated.
How to Prove a Premises Liability Case
Landowners in Texas owe business or social invitees the duty to either make safe or warn about concealed dangerous conditions that they know or should know about. If an injured plaintiff is trying to prove a premises liability case after having been hurt on another’s property, they must show the following:
- There must be a dangerous condition on the property
- The landowner knew, or should have known, about the condition
- The condition is concealed and not easily visible
- The plaintiff was not aware of the dangerous condition. If the plaintiff saw the condition or had walked past it a dozen times, they are going to have a difficult time proving their case.
Were You Invited on the Premises?
In addition to the four basic criteria above, the plaintiff must also demonstrate their status or purpose on the property. For example:
- Trespasser – those who trespass on the property illegally are only protected from intentional harm by the property owner.
- Licensee – these individuals enter the property with the owner’s permission, but not by invitation. For example, the mailman delivering a package. The property owner must protect these individuals from known dangers.
- Invitee – these people enter the premises at the owner’s invitation, usually for some mutual benefit. For example, grocery store patrons or restaurant customers. The business owner must use ordinary care to make the premises safe for invitees.
Examples of Premises Liability Cases
People often hear premises liability, but aren’t exactly sure what kinds of cases are included within the scope of premises liability. These cases can include:
- Falls on messes in grocery stores, such as produce or spilled dish soap
- Falling on uneven stairs or over the edge of a staircase without a secured railing
- Falling on uneven pavement, driveways or sidewalks
- Parking lot assaults where there has been ongoing crime, but no security measures are taken to assure the safety of patrons
- Merchandise falling off of shelves onto customers
- Debris falling from elevated construction sites
- Escalators that stop unexpectedly
If you have been injured by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, get the help you need. Make sure to report the incident to the powers that be, as soon as possible. For example, have someone contact the store manager immediately after you have a slip and fall. If you can, get contact information for witnesses and take photos of the area.
Who Is Responsible for Your Harm in a Premises Liability Case?
Depending upon where you were when you got hurt, there could be a number of parties who are responsible for your harm. For example:
- Homeowners – if you were injured at a friend’s house on a trampoline
- Landlords/Property Management Companies – if you were injured in a strip mall or parking garage
- Shopping Malls – if you were injured on a broken escalator
- Restaurants – if you slipped on a spilled drink
- Bars – if you were injured in a dimly lit and/or dangerous parking lot
- Office Buildings – if you were injured in a poorly maintained elevator
- Apartment Complexes – if you were assaulted as a result of inadequate security
Contact a Houston Premises Liability Law Attorney with Questions
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dangerous condition while visiting the property of another person or company, you may have a premises liability claim. Understanding this area of Texas law can be difficult. Request a free consultation with Chelsie King Garza today to understand your rights.