Property owners and managers are responsible for keeping their premises free of hazards. If an accident happens on property you do not own, and someone’s negligence contributes to it, you could seek damages from the property owner.
Depending on why you were on the property and how you were injured, a seasoned personal injury attorney could help you seek compensation from the party responsible. A Lake Jackson premises liability lawyer could help you understand your legal options and decide the best way to proceed.
Common Hazards on People’s Property
If A property’s owners or occupiers did not exercise reasonable caution and the carelessness led to your injury, you could make a claim based on premises liability. This legal theory holds that whoever controls access to a property has a responsibility to keep it safe for visitors.
Incidents that might be grounds for a premises liability claim include:
- Swimming pool accidents, including diving-board accidents, drowning, and near-drowning
- Trips, slips, and falls from a height
- Accidents in gyms and fitness centers
- Exposure to toxins in a school, workplace, or apartment building
- Dog bites and other types of animal attacks
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Criminal acts, if the property owner knows there is crime in the neighborhood and does not take reasonable protective measures
Depending on the specific hazard on another’s property that resulted in you suffering harm, your Lake Jackson attorney will require different evidence to prove negligence. As such, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve essential evidence.
Duty Owed to Different Visitors
The degree of caution a property owner or occupier must exercise to protect visitors depends on the reason the visitor is on the premises. Property owners have different obligations to different classes of visitors.
An individual who enters a property to do business is an invitee. Business owners must regularly inspect the premises for hazards and make prompt repairs to any dangerous conditions. If it is impossible to remedy a hazardous condition immediately, the business operator must post warnings or take other effective actions to protect invitees.
Social guests and others who enter property with permission for their own purposes are called licensees. The host or party who occupies the property must warn licensees about hazards that are not open and obvious. However, there is no duty to inspect property to protect licensees, nor is there an obligation to repair hazards.
An individual who enters property without permission is a trespasser. Property owners have no duty to protect a trespasser from hazards that might exist on the property, and a trespasser who suffers an injury while on property without permission generally has no legal recourse to seek damages.
However, a property owner might have an obligation to protect children who trespass in certain circumstances. A Lake Jackson premises liability attorney could assess whether the parents of an injured child have a legal right to compensation in a particular case.
Process of Allocating Liability
When an injured person, called the plaintiff, files a lawsuit seeking damages from a negligent party (defendant), the concept of proportionate responsibility comes into play. Proportionate responsibility means that each party to a lawsuit, including the plaintiff, is liable for the results of their actions.
A jury will review the circumstances surrounding an accident and determine whose negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The jury will divide responsibility between the parties, who must pay the portion of the plaintiff’s damages that reflects their percentage of responsibility.
Defense attorneys might argue that the plaintiff was responsible for their injuries because Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001 says that a plaintiff who bears more than 50 percent of the responsibility for an accident cannot collect damages. A Lake Jackson attorney could present evidence showing that other parties’ negligence was the primary cause of an accident on another’s property.
Seek Compensation with a Lake Jackson Premises Liability Attorney
It can be difficult deciding how to respond after suffering an injury on someone else’s property. Even if you want to avoid bringing a lawsuit, you owe it to yourself to at least get an opinion from a legal professional.
A Lake Jackson premises liability lawyer could explain the process of seeking damages from the responsible parties and offer a candid evaluation of your case. Schedule an appointment today.