"Premises liability" is defined as the responsibility of a person who is in possession of a building or land (i.e. premises) to anyone who is injured while on their premises. Some of the most common forms of premises liability involve slip and fall injuries, negligent security, and child injury.
If you have been injured while on another person’s property in Houston, public or private, you do have legal recourse. Whether the accident was caused by negligence of a property owner or management company, it's critical to evaluate your legal options immediately.
Houston Premises Liability Lawyer
When you enter a property, the last thing on your mind is your physical safety. At Ben Bronston & Associates, we firmly believe that you should not have to suffer due to the negligence of a property owner. Our attorneys make it a priority to carefully understand the short and long-term fallout from the accident, pursuing maximum compensation for your losses.
As a local Houston personal injury attorneys, our team understands your concerns and frustrations. We have over 30 years of combined litigation experience, which makes us confident trial lawyers and skilled negotiators. Call (713) 225-5236 or send a message using our web contact form to schedule your free consultation today.
Information Center on Texas Property Accident Claims
- Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
- Elements to Proving an Injury Claim
- Achieving Plaintiff Status in Texas
- Establishing Who is Responsible for your Injuries
- Common Scenarios Leading to Premises Liability Claims
There are a variety of premises liability claims throughout Texas and Louisiana. Some of the most common include:
Slip and Fall – These types of cases generally occur in grocery stores or other businesses where an item has broken and spilled on the floor, the floor is wet because it was recently mopped, the carpet was ripped or lose, a rug was on the floor and not secured, wires or cables were exposed, and/or there was poor visibility or lighting in the building or premises.
Negligent Security – These types of cases generally occur in a business where the owner of the premises failed to have adequate security to keep the premises safe and secure. This can occur in a hotel where the owner failed to have locks on the doors and a third party entered the premises and injured the plaintiff or stole the plaintiff’s property.
Landlord Negligence – These types of cases can occur where a landlord failed to take adequate security measures the keep the premises safe and secure. For example, an apartment complex owner would be liable to an injured party if a gate was broken and the landlord was aware of the broken gate, but did not fix it, and a third party entered the premises where the gate was broken and injured the plaintiff or stole their property.
Elevator Accidents - As a common tool for convenience in building across Houston, elevators are often overlooked as an area for risk, but poor maintenance on an elevator can lead to serious danger for those who use it. Property management holds a responsibility for providing safe elevator use for all visitors.
Swimming Pool Accidents - In the stifling Texas heat, many visitors and locals alike enjoy visiting swimming pools across the State. However, if a pool is not properly maintained and supervised, severe injuries and even death can occur.
In order to bring a premises liability claim, the injured must be able to prove the following element were true:
- The injured party must be able to prove a condition existed on the premises that posed an unreasonable risk of harm to anyone present on the premises.
- The person in possession of the premises (e.g. the owner or landlord) knew or should have known the condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm.
- The person in possession of the premises (e.g. the owner or landlord) should have reasonable knowledge that a guest on the property would not have been able to discover the danger, or they would not be able to protect themselves from the danger.
- The person in possession of the premises (e.g. the landlord or owner) was negligent when the condition was created, or they knew about the condition and failed to correct it.
- The guest on the premises must have been injured.
- The dangerous condition on the premises must have caused the injury.
Additionally, depending on the status of the person who was injured, the defendant’s duty may change and they may not be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff statuses for the purpose of premises liability claims in Texas are defined as follows:
Invitee – An invitee is someone the defendant invited to enter or remain on the premises for business purposes. An invitee is owed the highest duty of care by the defendant, which means if the plaintiff is injured as an invitee, the defendant is probably liable for the plaintiff’s damages.
Trespasser – A trespasser is anyone who enters another person’s premises unlawfully or without an invitation. The owner of the premises generally owes no duty of care to a trespasser, but may be required to exercise some care if they knew of the condition existed and they were aware the property was often trespassed upon.
Licensee – A licensee is someone who is invited to enter or remain on the premises for a reason other than business or commercial purposes, such as a house guest. A licensee is owed a very high duty of care by the defendant, but the duty is harder to prove than one that is owed to an invitee.
Companies, individual business owners, property owners, and landlords have a responsibility to ensure that their venue is a safe environment for guests, customers, and residents. From security to maintenance, they must eliminate risks to visitors, or post visible signage to inform guests.
When a visitor, tenant, or guest sustains an injury, it may be confusing to establish which party to hold accountable for the damages. In most cases, the owner of the property is responsible for injuries that occur there, but some properties are managed by individual businesses or tenants. For instance, the owner of a shopping center may lease out a building to a company. In these cases, the liability may fall to either party or both, depending on the circumstances.
In addition, some situations may place responsibility on other parties. For instance, in residential properties the landlord may hold partial liability. Contractors may also beheld responsible for unsafe construction areas or faulty maintenance. Some situations may create a difficult scenarios for determining liability, but the attorneys of Ben Bronston & Associates can work on your behalf to find out who is responsible for your compensation.
There are a variety of different scenarios that could lead to premises liability claims in Texas. Some of these include:
- Accidents due to a defective elevator or escalator
- Slip and fall accidents due to uneven surfaces
- Being exposed to toxic fumes or chemicals
- Being injured in a fire due to lack of working smoke detectors
- Accidents due to a damaged balcony or deck
- Accidents that could have been prevented if not for housing code violations
- Lack of signage warning people to watch their step
- Dog bites or other animal attacks
- Inadequate lighting
- Toxic chemicals or fumes
- Assaults or other crimes due to negligent security
- Dangerous conditions due to snow or ice
- Failure to repair damaged areas or property
- Balcony, Porch, or Railing accidents
- Faulty Electrical Wiring
Aside from the scenarios mentioned above, accidents leading to premises liability claims can also occur at sporting events, concerts, conferences, and other events that involve large groups of people.
Filing a Suit After An Injury on Houston Public or Private Property
Before you talk to the property owner and their insurance company, it's strongly recommended to consider your legal options. Any offer of financial compensation they give is in their best interests and may not adequately cover your short-term or long-term expenses. This may include emergency medical treatment, long-term care, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of employment, and more. Call the Texas property accident attorneys at Ben Bronston & Associates and take the first steps towards safeguarding your rights.