Premises liability is a broad legal term that encompasses many different injury scenarios. Premise liability law holds a property owner responsible for damages arising out of an injury on their property. Property owners must make a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment for visitors. Failure to keep your property safe for visitors may result in legal liability.
What is deemed a “reasonable” degree of care depends on the circumstances. If you believe you may have a premise liability case stemming from an incident in the Arlington, TX, area, give us a call. Our premises liability lawyer is available to answer your questions and discuss your options for recovery.
What Are Your Premises?
The types of premises covered by premise liability law include your home, land, vehicle, and business.
Common Premises Liability Accidents
There are hundreds of types of premises liability accidents, but there is a handful of accident types we see frequently.
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls are one of the most common types of premises liability accidents. Slip and falls can be caused by a number of common circumstances, including:
- Wet floors,
- Uneven sidewalks and pavement,
- Spilled debris in a grocery store aisle,
- Loose floorboards or carpet, and
- Untreated ice.
Slip and falls can result in minor bumps and bruises or more severe injuries such as broken bones or paralysis.
Although Fido may be a beloved family member, he is technically considered property under Texas law. Unfortunately, you may be accountable if you fail to take precautionary measures to prevent your dog from biting visitors.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Residential swimming pools are some of the most common settings for accidents. Landowners should always keep swimming pools adequately secured with gates, fencing, or covers.
Sadly, swimming pool accidents and unintentional drowning cause thousands of deaths each year. In the United States, more children under the age of four die from drowning than any other cause of death, and drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death after motor vehicle crashes for children aged 5 to 14. Should a pool owner negligently fail to take required safety measures, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur.
Additional types of premises liability accidents include:
- Construction site negligence,
- Parking lot accidents, and
- Negligent security.
Our premise liability lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options.
Premise Liability Lawsuit
To have a successful claim, an injured person would generally need to prove the following essential elements.
Defendant Owned the Property
First, you must prove the defendant owned, leased, operated, lived on, or managed the property where the accident occurred. Sometimes this ownership is less apparent than you may think, and identifying the correct party can be difficult. Our attorneys will investigate land titles, ownership documentation, lease paperwork, and more to determine who the responsible party is.
Defendant Owed a Duty of Care
Next, you must prove the defendant owed you a duty of care. The applicable duty of care depends on the type of visitor you are. People who visit a property are placed into one of three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees are people who visit a property to transact business and are owed the highest duty of care. For example, people who visit a grocery store to shop are invitees. Licensees are owed a higher duty of care than trespassers but a lower duty of care than invitees. Licensees are usually people who have been invited onto the property or entered the property for a reason other than to transact business. A social guest who comes over to your house for lunch would be a licensee. Trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care. Property owners generally only need to refrain from harming trespassers intentionally or through gross negligence.
Defendant Breached that Duty of Care
If the plaintiff can establish the defendant owed them a duty of care, they must next prove the plaintiff breached that duty by failing to keep the property safe or maintain or repair defects.
Defendant’s Breach Caused the Injury
Finally, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach caused the accident and injury. For instance, if there is an uncleaned spill in a grocery store aisle, but the plaintiff falls because another patron pushed them, the spill is not the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. That means the grocery store will likely not be liable for their injury. Our experienced Arlington premises liability lawyers can help you determine if you have a valid premises liability claim.
What to Do Immediately Following A Premises Liability Accident?
Immediately following a premises liability accident, you may be hurt, overwhelmed, and confused. Right after an accident, it can be difficult to figure out what to do. Here are four simple steps to take if you are injured in a premises liability accident.
Seek Medical Attention
It may seem obvious, but following a premise liability accident, you should always seek medical attention. Even if you do not require emergency medical treatment, you should have your injuries examined, documented, and treated.
Notify the Property Owner or Manager
Be sure to tell the property owner or manager about your accident and injury. Depending on the specific circumstances, the proper person to notify may be a manager, employee, or tenant rather than the property owner.
Document the Incident
If you can, document the accident scene, including taking pictures, gathering names of potential witnesses, and writing down what you can recall about the moments immediately before, during, and after the incident.
Contact an Arlington Premises Liability Attorney
Following a premises liability accident, you may have a claim for damages. The best way to plan your next step is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. At Hartley Law Firm, we can evaluate the facts of your case, help you gather evidence, and design a legal strategy tailored to your needs.
Arlington, TX Premises Liability Lawyer
Contact our office immediately if you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, dog bite attack, construction site accident, or any other premises liability incident. These claims can be complex and challenging to manage without the help of an experienced attorney. At Hartley Law Firm, we provide our clients with big law firm experience and a small firm approach. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.