Premises liability claims are often complex and have specific legal requirements that have to be met. The Texas Supreme Court has grafted numerous requirements onto these claims which can be traps for those not familiar with making such claims. They are much less straight-forward than, for instance, small car-wreck claims where an individual may be able to adequately negotiate their own claim if the damages are not significant. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible for these types of claims.
What Is Premises Liability?
A premises liability claim can include all types of claims resulting from injury on someone else’s property. Premises liability refers to the requirement that property owners must ensure that their property is reasonably safe and free from unreasonably dangerous conditions. A premises liability case is meant to hold the property owner accountable for any dangerous conditions on their property that cause injury.
These types of claims serve a very important role in our society as they incentivize property owners to maintain their property in a safe condition and deters businesses from prioritizing money over the safety of their customers on their property. Without these types of claims in Texas, our families and children would be much less safe.
In order to recover on a premises liability claim, you must show:
Property Owner Was Aware
The property owner knew about the dangerous condition OR The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition
Failed Appropriate Action
The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition; and they failed to take appropriate action to remedy the dangerous condition OR properly warn of the condition
Owner Failed to Make Safe Conditions or Give Danger Warning
Importantly, the property owner has NO duty to make the condition safe or warn of the condition if it is “open and obvious”
Compensation Awards For Your Premises Injury
If you have been injured by dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement for injuries and other damages suffered due to your incident.
By filing your premises liability claim, you can potentially be awarded money for:
- Past medical bills and any medical bills that you are likely to incur in the future
- The physical pain that you have been through as a result of the injury
- The mental anguish and distress, including the substantial disruption to your life caused by a serious injury
- Disfigurement from any scars or other visible markings you now have to live with as a result of your injury
- Wages or other income you lost as a result of the injury as well as your loss of earning capacity in the future due to your injury.
The success of premises liability claims often hinges on the ability to gather the correct evidence to prove the claim and the chance of success in gathering such evidence is much greater the earlier an attorney is involved in the case. Also keep in mind that a lawsuit must be brought in a certain time, otherwise you can lose the ability to bring the claim at all.
For most premises liability cases, there is a statute of limitations of two years, although there can be exceptions and caveats to that general rule. Therefore, it is important to obtain counsel to ensure you file your claim timely and also preserve as much evidence as possible.