Representing Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability is any form of negligence that results in personal injury while on another’s property. Our attorneys provide professional representation in premises liability litigation. Contact our offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Houston or San Antonio to discuss your case. Our highly skilled personal injury lawyers aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
Labeling the Plaintiff in the Case
The threshold inquiry in a negligence case is duty. In Texas, the duty owed by a premises owner or occupier is determined by the status of the complaining party. This status can can label the Plaintiff as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
What is an Invitee?
Those who enter another’s land with the owner’s knowledge and for the mutual benefit of both are generally invitees. Invitees can be: 1) business or 2) public. Business invitees are those invited to the premises for a purpose connected with business dealings with the occupier of the land. Public invitees are those invited to enter the premises as a member of the public with a purpose for which the land is held open to the public.
What is a Licensee?
A person who enters premises with permission, but for his own convenience is known as a licensee. Those who enter for their own convenience are deemed to be licensees. Further, all social guests are treated as licensees for purposes of determining the duty owed to them by a homeowner.
In order to establish liability on the part of the premises owner for injury sustained by a licensee while on the premises, the licensee must prove each one of the following:
- condition of the premises created an unreasonable risk of harm to the licensee
- the owner actually knew of the condition
- the licensee did not actually know of the condition
- the owner failed to exercise ordinary care to protect the licensee from danger
- the owner’s failure was a proximate cause of injury to the licensee
In order for an owner to satisfy his duty, and thus extinguish liability, he can do one of two things:
- warn the licensee of the dangerous condition
- make the premises reasonably safe
A premises owner is not negligent unless he fails on both of these points. Negligence can be thwarted, therefore, by demonstrating either:
- the licensee’s knowledge of the danger
- the adequacy of a warning of the danger.
Absent a showing of actual knowledge on the part of the licensee, a defendant can argue imputed knowledge. Generally, a licensee is imputed with the knowledge of those conditions perceptible to him, or the existence of which can be inferred from facts within his present or past knowledge.
Effect of distinction between licensee and invitee:
- Licensees must prove that the premises owner actually knew of the dangerous condition, while an invitee need only prove that the owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dangerous condition.
- Licensee must prove that he did not know of the dangerous condition, while an invitee need not do so.
What is a Trespasser?
A trespasser is a person who enters the property of another without any right, lawful authority, or express or implied invitation, permission, or license…and without any enticement, allurement, inducement, or express or implied assurance of safety from the owner or person in charge. A trespasser might be a burglar or thief who enters the property to commit a crime, but may also be a person who inadvertently wanders onto another’s property. Premises liability cases may be more lenient toward the property owner when trespassers are injured on the property. However, where children are involved the law tends to side with a child who is tempted to trespass by what is called an attractive nuisance.
Common Types of Premises Liability
Many personal injury and premises liability claims can be organized into general categories, such as:
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites
- Burn Injury
- Inadequate Security Measures
Contact our attorneys to determine if your injuries fall under premises liability.
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls may cause minor or major injuries, including such serious issues as brain injury or spinal cord injury. Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are safe. The property owner is liable if there are no warnings about possible dangers or improperly repaired hazards.
Dog owners are responsible and liable for their dogs’ actions, including dog bites and attacks. The owner is liable if the victim is legally present on the owner’s premises. The pet owner’s homeowner insurance usually settles most claims. Contact the attorneys of Wayne Wright, LLP to discuss the appropriate course of action to obtain compensation for your claim.
Building owners are responsible for ensuring that their premises meet fire safety code regulations. These regulations may include the installation of:
- Reliable and tested fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors
- Sprinkler systems
- Equipment suitable to the type of structure
If building owners fail to comply with standards and a fire occurs, injured persons may take action against them. Contact our experienced premises liability attorneys for advice about your claim.
Inadequate Security Measures
Employers and business owners are responsible for providing adequate security and a safe work environment for their employees and customers, including:
- Trained security staff on premises
- Adequate lighting in parking garages
- Appropriate security systems furnished in buildings
Building owners, property management companies, or employers may be held liable for injuries or deaths resulting from inadequate security on their premises. Contact an experienced San Antonio / Corpus Christi wrongful death attorney at Wayne Wright LLP to discuss your claim.
Representation for Victims
The experienced attorneys of Wayne Wright LLP help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact our attorneys for your free consultation about your claim and how to seek compensation.