When you visit someone else's property, whether it is a parking garage, a retail store, or the home of a friend, you do not expect to suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of hazards on premises controlled by another party. If you are hurt because of a defective or dangerous property condition that the owner knew or should have known about, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit. At Feizy Law Office, our injury lawyers help accident victims from the Dallas region pursue compensation from parties responsible for their harm.Premises Liability Law in Texas
Different types of visitors have different rights when they are injured on someone else's property. Your relationship to the owner or occupant determines your ability to recover in a premises liability lawsuit. There are three categories of visitors: invitees, licensees and trespassers.
Invitees are people who come onto a piece of property with the owner or occupier's consent, and for a mutual benefit or a purpose connected to the occupier's business. For example, someone shopping at a local mall comes to the mall in order to buy goods, which provides a benefit to both the occupier and the shopper. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees, and the occupier must use ordinary care to make the property reasonably safe for the invitee. To pursue compensation, an invitee must show that the owner knew or should have known about a dangerous or defective condition, but failed to fix or warn of it. A licensee is someone who enters property with express or implied permission, but only for his or her own benefit. An owner or occupier owes the licensee a duty not to cause harm by gross negligence or willful conduct. The occupier also needs to warn the licensee of hidden dangers that are actually known.
Trespassers are people who come onto property with no legal authority and have not been invited onto the property. An owner or occupier owes trespassers a very limited duty of avoiding intentional or willful conduct that causes injury.
In addition to showing that you have a relationship to the property that allows you to recover under the circumstances, you also usually have to prove that the occupier of the property knew or should have known that there was a condition that posed an unreasonable risk of harm, that the occupier did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm, that the occupier's failure to use reasonable care caused your injuries, and that you incurred damages. A dangerous condition could be a spilled substance in a store, a broken bannister, a crack in the sidewalk, or a missing step, among other examples. You should also be aware that a defendant may assert that you were partially or fully at fault for your injuries. For example, if you tripped in a landscaped area, the defendant and its insurer may argue that you were not supposed to be on that part of the property, or that you were not watching where you were going. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, in which a victim’s ability to recover compensation will be barred if he or she was 51 percent or more at fault for causing an accident.Consult an Irving Lawyer after a Slip and Fall
Premises liability cases can present special challenges and may be both factually and legally complex. Meanwhile, you may be in pain, needing time off work, and worried about your medical bills. It is important to seek representation from an experienced slip and fall attorney who can investigate an accident in Irving or elsewhere in the Dallas region and develop a strategy for pursuing compensation. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or set up a free consultation by completing our online form. We represent injured individuals in cities such as Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, and Garland.