What is Premises Liability?
December 26th, 2018
“Premises liability” is the area of law that governs when a property owner is legally obligated to pay for injuries that a person receives while upon the property. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your family or simply just exploring the areas around Houston, every individual has the right to expect the property owner to take certain precautions against known dangerous conditions when they have opened the property up for public use. This does not make them the insurer of the visitors, however. A property owner’s liability is dependent upon the visitor’s status on the land and the level of knowledge of the dangerous condition the property owner has.
If you have been injured as a result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, your right to recover first depends upon your status on the land. For instance, if you are visiting the private property of another for purposes other than the owner’s benefit, your status on the land is a “licensee,” and the duty a property owner owes a licensee’s is less strict than that of an invitee. A property owner is only obligated to not intentionally harm a licensee and to warn a licensee of known dangers. This is essentially, the same duty owed to a trespasser.
For more information on the various duties a landowner owes to individuals on their property, check out our slip and fall page.
Duty Owed to an Invitee
If you are visiting a business open to the public for purposes of shopping, you are likely an “invitee” under the law. This would cover a retail store accident as well as a grocery store slip and fall. Because businesses open their doors and invite in the public in order to generate income, they are held to a higher standard of liability when they fail to keep their premises reasonably safe from dangers they knew or should have been aware of. This includes and obligation to conduct reasonable inspections of the premises for dangers. Failure to inspect the property and remedy dangers or protect the customers through an adequate warning can result in serious injuries for the customer and serious liability for the landowner.
What To Do When Injured on Another’s Property?
Whether you fell in a grocery store or elsewhere, the first thing you should do after assessing injuries and tending to any serious wounds is take photos of the dangerous condition that caused the injury. Without some proof of the dangerous condition, proving the negligent party breached the duty owed to you becomes very difficult.
Why Hire a Premises Liability Attorney?
Consulting an experienced premises liability attorney not only helps you receive the recovery you are entitled to, but it also makes the process of filing a claim easier. From preserving evidence to preparing negotiations with the opposing party, these attorneys do the work so you can focus on what is really important, a safe and successful recovery.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a dangerous condition on the property of another, call an experienced slip and fall attorney today. No one should have to navigate this claim alone, especially when they are injured due to the negligence of another party.
Priyanka Kasnavia is an online marketing specialist who has been working at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., for over a year. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communication and has been accepted to the University of Houston Law Center starting fall of 2018. Priyanka's expertise centers on search engine optimization and content creation.