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PERSONAL INJURY - THE BASICS OF PREMISE LIABILITY CASES IN TEXAS

If you were hurt on someone else’s property because of that property owner’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, then you are entitled to recover all your damages including medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, and lost wages!  There are different types of premise liability claims including, but not limited to, slip and falls, dog bites, burns, etc.  In all such cases, negligence by the property owner or others who occupy or exercise control over the premises must be proven in order to recover and be compensated.

The prevailing rule under Texas law is, an owner or occupier of land has a duty to keep the premises in a safe condition. To recover under this theory, the claimant must establish (1) a legal duty owed to him/her, (2) breach of that duty, and (3) resulting damages.  The damages must be caused by a dangerous condition on the property.  Further, the duty owed by the premise owner or person in control of the property varies depending on whether the claimant is either classified as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

The highest degree of care is to an invitee or someone who enters the premises which benefit both owner and invitee such as a going to a grocery store or other similar venue.  The duty owed by the premise owner in this situation is the duty to reduce or eliminate an unreasonable risk of harm on property and to use reasonable care in known dangers or conditions that should be discoverable.  Next, the duty owed to a licensee, someone who enters with the owner’s consent for their own benefit, is the duty is to refrain from harming the licensee willfully, wantonly, or by gross negligence.  Any harm known of must be warn of or made safe.  The third and lowest degree of care owed by the premise owner or occupier is the duty owed to a trespasser, one who enters without authority. In this case, the duty owed is to not cause harm willfully, wantonly, or by gross negligence.

The standard of negligence for premise liability applies to slip and fall cases such as when a person falls down from a puddle of water that had no warning sign or not cleaned up timely.  These cases are very difficult to deal with, entail bruises, soreness, embarrassment, hospital visits, follow up treatments, and even worse, you could break your bones or ruin your spine!  This also applies for dog bite cases where the owner did not contain their aggressive animal and as a result you were injured physically or emotionally.  Proving someone was responsible for your fall or dog bite is not easy and requires a confident lawyer by your side.  Do not hesitate to seek legal help as soon as possible to recover all your damages!