Premises Liability

Premises liability is the general name of personal injury cases given to injuries that occur on someone else's property.  These cases cover everything from slipping and falling at the grocery store, being injured at an acquaintance's house, or a crime occurring because of inadequate security.  Premises liability is commonly an issue in some of the following places:

  • Farms
  • Swimming pools (often involving diving accidents)
  • Construction sites
  • Amusement parks
  • Outdoor or indoor walking areas
  • Elevators or escalators
  • Stairways (specifically involving stair railings)
  • Balconies

A property owner's liability depends on his or her knowledge of the injury-causing condition, what that condition was, and why you were on the property.   

In general, property owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe, secure, and free of dangerous conditions.  They also must mark temporary dangers and remove them as quickly as possible.  In a premises liability action, you may be entitled to recover for your lost wages, medical expenses, and the pain and suffering you had to endure.   

Some of the causes of premises liability injuries include:

  • Poor maintenance: Injuries can occur if maintenance personnel negligently fix a problem that proves to be dangerous.  It can also be dangerous if the maintenance person fails to properly warn visitors or customers of a remaining danger and an injury occurs. 
  • Disrepair: This occurs when property owners and managers allow the premises to deteriorate.  Stairways, driveways, and walkways may all become unsafe, and there may be lurking electrical problems or other hazards that appear because the building was not properly maintained.
  • Known criminal activity: Owners can be held liable for injury that occurs because of criminal activity, where the owners knew that there had been criminal activity in the past and did nothing to prevent future crime or failed to provide adequate security.
  • Hidden dangers: Owners can also be held liable where there is a danger that is hidden to the naked eye that the owners knew about, but they provided no warning. 

Because of the temporary nature of many premises liability accidents, it is important to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence and begin a thorough investigation. Because the property owner might try to fix or hide the dangerous condition after your injury, it is important to obtain photographs of the hazard as soon as possible so that the condition causing your injury is documented accurately. 

The Todd Smith Law Firm has extensive experience litigating premises liability cases, and Todd Smith is certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  If you have been hurt while on someone else's property, contact us today for a free initial consultation about your case.

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