Premises Liability Attorneys in Houston, TX(281) 283-8500
If you were hurt at a location or business that is not your home or place of employment, and you sustained serious personal injuries due to unsafe conditions, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Texas law holds landowners liable for accidents, injuries, and deaths that occur on their properties. This liability is based on the owner’s responsibility for the property’s condition and the duty of care they owe toward people who lawfully come onto that property for personal and professional reasons. If a person is injured or killed because of a hidden condition or defect on the land, then the injured individual or their surviving family members may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.
Premises liability law depends on the landowner being negligent in regard to allowing the hidden dangerous condition or defect. Claims can require significant investigation and expert opinions. If you are unsure of your rights or legal options after getting hurt in an accident, contact our Houston premises liability lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at 281-283-8500 as soon as possible. We will carefully review your circumstances and help you move forward with a claim for compensation.
Who May be Responsible for a Premises Liability Claim
A number of parties could potentially be responsible for your injuries through a premises liability claim. The most likely liable parties include:
- The property owner – The actual property owner is often responsible for the property’s condition and for compensating you, if you are injured by a hidden dangerous condition or defect on their land.
- The tenant – Both residential and commercial property are often leased to other individuals or businesses. When you are injured on leased property, the tenant may be responsible instead of or in connection with the property owner.
- The maintenance provider – Property owners and tenants often contract their maintenance duties out to a third party. If you were injured because of a dangerous condition or defect that was the result of improper or lacking maintenance, this third-party vendor may be liable.
If you were injured in a person’s private home, the issue of premises liability may be straightforward – though there could be complications if renovations or construction are underway. In those cases and others, determining who is responsible for the condition that led to your injuries may be difficult. When it comes to commercial property, there may be multiple parties responsible for the land and buildings. You may need an experienced premises liability attorney to help you find the responsible party and ensure you file a claim correctly.
Damages in Premises Liability Claims
If you were injured on a person or business’s property due to a hidden dangerous condition or defect, you can pursue compensation for your past and future:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Physical limitations
- Mental anguish
While your economic damages, including your medical expenses and lost income, are quantifiable and typically easy to calculate, your non-economic damages will require a different approach. Before coming to a decision on the value of your pain, suffering, or other injuries, or accepting a settlement offer, speak with an experienced premises liability attorney.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims arise in a myriad of situations. However, certain circumstances are more common than others, including:
If there is evidence a property owner was not inspecting, repairing, and otherwise maintaining the property and this created preventable dangerous conditions or defects that could foreseeably injure visitors, then an injured visitor may be able to file a claim for compensation.
Property owners or tenants may be liable for injuries that occur to guests based on failing to provide adequate security, such as security cameras, gates, and locks.
Property owners are responsible for the condition of equipment that can be accessed by lawful visitors, including escalators, elevators, and vehicles. If someone is injured due to malfunctioning equipment, they may be able to file a claim for compensation.
Handrails are often essential to preventing falls and may be required by a health or safety code. If someone is injured because of a lack of an appropriate rail or a faulty railing, then they may be able to sue for compensation.
Uncovered drain holes
Construction workers or landowners may need to remove drain holes for repairs or other work. If a visitor is injured because of an open drain hole, they may be able to seek compensation.
Anyone with an interest in the property or working on the property has a responsibility to prevent falling objects that could injure people below. If a lawful visitor on the property is injured by a falling object, they may be able to pursue compensation.
Common Insurance Issues in Premises Liability Claims
Despite insurance being a common way to obtain premises liability compensation, there are many issues you may run into. The responsible party may not have an appropriate insurance policy. For instance, despite being injured at in individual’s house, there may not be a homeowner’s insurance policy. If insurance is not available in your situation, contact a lawyer immediately. Your next option is to file a legal claim.
Another common insurance issue is when the property owner or other party disputes liability. In order to avoid paying you compensation out of pocket or facing higher insurance premiums in the future, the property owner, tenant, or third-party may argue that another individual or business is at fault or that you were responsible for your injuries. In this situation, you need an attorney to do two things: ensure you are fighting for compensation from the right parties and to fight against accusations that you are at fault. The other party may claim the condition was open and obvious or that you were negligent. Our experienced premises liability lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help you fight back and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Options for Recovering Premises Liability Claim Compensation
There may be two avenues you can use to pursue compensation: an insurance claim or a premises liability lawsuit. In many situations, you will first seek damages through an insurance claim. If you are injured at someone’s home or apartment, you may file a third-party insurance claim against their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If you were injured in a business, it will likely have a business insurance policy that covers bodily injuries.
The second avenue to premises liability compensation is through filing a lawsuit. During a suit, you and your legal team will have to prove the named defendant(s) were negligent, which means they failed to uphold the duty of care they owed you as a lawful visitor.
Exceptions to Premises Liability
There are a few significant exceptions to a property owner’s responsibility for injuries sustained on their land. One is when a condition or defect is considered “open and obvious.” If there is evidence that a condition that was clearly apparent to visitors led to your injuries, then a land owner or other party may escape liability. A condition or defect may be considered open and obvious if it is easily visible or if you already knew of it prior to the incident in which you were hurt.
A second exception is if you were considered a trespasser under the law. The duty landowners owe to lawful visitors on their property is higher than to individuals who come or stay on the land without permission. If you were a trespasser, you would need to show you were injured by the property owner or another party’s intentional conduct or gross negligence. The simple existence of a dangerous defect or condition may not be enough to obtain compensation.
Premises Liability and Wrongful Death
If a hidden dangerous condition or defect led to the death of your parent, spouse, or child, contact us today. When another individual or business is responsible for your loved one’s death based on their carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, then you and the other surviving family members may have the right to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries. However, a Texas wrongful death claim can be complicated and needs to be brought within two years of the date of the cause of action accruing, which is usually the date of your loved one’s death. Your best course of action is to work with an experienced Houston wrongful death lawyer.
Through a wrongful death premises liability claim, you may be able to recover for the following losses:
- Burial expenses
- Loss of financial contributions from the deceased
- Loss of care, support, maintenance, advice, and counsel
- Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society
- Loss of inheritance you may have received if your family member had lived a normal expected lifespan
Let Our Houston Premises Liability Lawyers Help You
If you were injured in an accident caused by a dangerous defect or condition on another person or business’s property, contact our experienced and trusted premises liability attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. as soon as you can. We will carefully review your situation to determine your best course of action. Our top priorities will always be to protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call 281-283-8500 .