Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability
When the owner of a commercial business, venue, or private property fails to ensure your safety, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the injuries and damages you have endured.
Even though circumstances may seem confusing right after a personal injury accident, the McAllen premises liability lawyers of J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys can help answer any of your questions about filing a premises liability claim.
Q. What is a premises liability claim?
A. Premises liability is related to lawsuits against a property owner due to a preventable injury that occurred on the given property. A personal injury can take place as the result of negligence and a failure of the property owner to provide a duty of care to guests.
Q.Who can be held responsible for an accident?
A. Depending on the unique circumstances of the incident, if the owner of an establishment fails to meet their essential duty of care, they can be held liable for any injuries that take place on their property.
Please be aware that in Texas, both parties may share comparative fault. In these instances, the plaintiff may have been warned of potential risks but willingly ignored these warnings for whatever reason. If they are injured, they may still be held responsible for a certain percentage of the injury they suffered.
Q. What are examples of accidents that fall under premises liability?
A. Some of the most common examples of accidents that fall under premises liability law include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Inadequate building security
- Dangerous property conditions
- Inadequate maintenance
- Failing to fix obvious issues
- Animal bites and attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Fluid leaks
- Exposure of toxic fumes and chemicals
Q. How do I prove negligence in a premises liability lawsuit?
A. When a plaintiff wishes to file a civil suit against the owner of an establishment, they must be able to prove that an act of negligence came into play. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove the following:
(1) The defendant (the property owner/landowner) knew about the flaws and issues of the premises (requirement depends on the category of the victim’s injury).
(2) The condition of the premises did pose an unreasonable risk of harm.
(3) The defendant (the property owner/landowner) did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk.
(4) The owner’s failure caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
In Texas law, individuals who are on a given property are categorized into three general groups, which affects the legal duties that are owed to them:
- Invitees: An individual who enters a property or land with the owner’s allowance (e.g. venue guests, store customers, restaurant patrons, etc.)
- Licensees: A person who was given specific consent from the owner to enter a property. (e.g. salesperson, contractor, social guest, etc.)
Trespassers: A person who enters a property uninvited, unsolicited, or without consent from the property owner.
Q: When do I contact an attorney?
A. When injured on a commercial or residential property, it is within your rights to contact a premises liability lawyer like those at J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys. It is worth noting that under the Texas statute of limitations, you only have a two (2) year window to file a claim, starting from the date on which the accident occurred.