What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a common-law rule that makes landowners or occupiers responsible for keeping their property reasonably safe.
“Common-law” means the Texas courts consistently enforce the rule, rather than the legislature adding it as a law (although the Texas Statutes do add exceptions to the general rule).
To recover in most cases, the plaintiff must prove:
- There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises;
- The landowner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
- The condition is concealed (i.e., not “open and obvious”); and
- The plaintiff was not aware of the danger.
If the injured plaintiff receives a favorable verdict, the premises owner or occupier must pay compensation for the economic and non-economic damages they caused.
Why Hire a Houston Premises Liability Lawyer?
Insurance companies will often tell injured people that the law is against them and there is no way for them to recover.
Oftentimes this is not true. Never trust an insurance company, even your own, to perform the necessary investigation into your claim.
Our attorneys will ask the necessary questions to determine whether you have a strong claim. Contact us and we can start the investigation of your case today. You never pay attorneys’ fees unless we win.
Types of Premises Liability Claims That Will Qualify
Any injury that occurs on someone else’s property because of an unsafe condition that the owner should have known about will likely qualify for a premises liability claim.
Typical causes of injuries include:
- Slip and fall hazards;
- Poor security cameras, locks, or faulty alarm systems;
- Unrestrained dogs; or
- Lack of maintenance (for elevators, air conditioning systems, or appliances).
Premises liability makes landowners responsible for maintaining their property and making it safe for those who enter. If you are unsure whether your injury qualifies as a premises liability claim, contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Houston.
Why Are Cases So Complicated?
Texas follows the traditional premises liability doctrine, which varies the landowner’s duty depending on the visitor’s legal status. A visitor may be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, depending on the visitor’s purpose for entering the premises.
An invitee typically has a business purpose or a purpose that benefits the visitor and the landowner. The law considers a store shopper an invitee. The landowner owes a duty to prevent injury to the invitee from “any premises defects or other dangerous conditions that a reasonable careful inspection would reveal.”
A licensee has permission to be on the property, but their presence is for their benefit (i.e., “for his own convenience or on business for someone other than the owner”). The law considers a social guest to be a licensee.
The landowner owes an invitee a duty to prevent injury from dangers they know exist. Also, the licensee must prove that they did not know of the danger when entering the property.
A trespasser has no permission to enter the property. The landowner must refrain from injuring a trespasser “willfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence.” They owe no other duty to ensure the property is safe for a trespasser.
How Can the Houston Premises Liability Lawyers at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP Help?
Establishing the premises owner’s duty of care is one of the most complicated parts of premises liability. Only your Houston premises liability attorney can explain the legal arguments involved in resolving your case. They can help you collect evidence and determine which party is at fault. When you call Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, you’ll reach an attorney experienced in helping those with all injuries recover after an accident. Your attorney will work to secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer in Houston
The laws governing injures at someone else’s property are complex. They include both statutory law and common law. The Texas legislature and Texas Supreme Court have taken steps to limit the injured person’s ability to recover for injuries caused by the negligence of others. The deck is already stacked against the injured person.
The injured person is up against a system designed to limit or eliminate recovery.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, we help you even the playing field. Our attorneys have experience handling complex injury cases of the greatest severity at all stages of litigation. We have successfully defeated attempts to have these types of cases thrown out of court, and we have successfully tried these types of cases to a jury.
Contact us today for your free consultation.