Austin Premises Liability Lawyers
Property owners are responsible for keeping their property free of hazards. When an accident occurs because a property owner or manager failed to maintain a safe environment, they might be held liable for any injuries resulting from their negligence. Whether it’s a mall, restaurant, hotel, apartment building, or simply private property, owners must take reasonable steps to keep guests and tenants safe.
If you suffered injuries due to a hazard on someone else’s property, an experienced premises liability lawyer in Austin can guide you through the legal process. At Loewy Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of those injured due to negligence. Contact us for a free legal case review.
What Is Premises Liability in Texas?
Premises liability refers to the area of personal injury law that holds property owners responsible for the safety and welfare of their visitors and tenants. In Austin, Texas, a property owner’s duty of care depends on the visitor’s status and the owner’s knowledge of any potential dangers. Property owners must provide adequate warnings of known hazards to visitors. They must also use reasonable care to maintain their premises to prevent foreseeable injuries. In Texas, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is two years, meaning lawsuits must be filed within two years of the injury in order to recover compensation.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases in Austin
Individuals injured on someone else’s property may be able to pursue a claim for premises liability. In Austin, common types of premises liability cases include:
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents occur when an individual slips or trips due to a hazardous condition on the property, such as a wet floor or a broken stair step.
- Dog bites: In Austin, pet owners may be liable if their dog bites another person, depending on whether they knew of the dog’s tendency to bite.
- Swimming pool drowning: Property owners must ensure that their swimming pools are safe for guests and visitors.
- Construction site accidents: Construction site owners and managers must ensure that workers have all the necessary safety equipment and follow the relevant safety regulations.
- Negligent security: If property owners fail to provide adequate security measures that could have prevented an assault or other criminal activity, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.
- Elevator/escalator accidents: Property owners must maintain elevators in safe working order, and if they fail to do so, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Common Premises Liability Injuries
Premises liability cases involve a variety of dangerous accidents that can cause serious, life-altering injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries in premises liability cases are:
- Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe head injury that can have lasting effects on an individual’s health, quality of life, and ability to work. This type of injury can occur after a slip and fall, an assault, or any other incident that results in a violent blow to the head.
- Spinal injuries: Spinal cord injuries range in severity and can cause long-term disability, paralysis, and chronic pain. These injuries can occur when an individual is involved in a car accident or suffers a fall from a great height.
- Burns: Serious burns can occur due to contact with hot liquids, steam, chemicals, flames, or electricity. Burn injuries can be life-threatening, require months of hospitalization, and result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Bites, scratches, and lacerations: Animal bites and lacerations can require medical attention and ongoing treatment. They may also result in scarring or disfigurement.
- Broken or fractured bones: Slipping on wet floors, falling down stairs, or being involved in an accident can cause fractures or broken bones.
- Drowning: Swimming pool drownings are one of the most common premises liability incidents. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their pools’ safety and preventing such accidents.
Establishing Property Owner Liability in Austin
When pursuing a premises liability case in Austin, you must prove that the landowner acted unreasonably in order to seek compensation. In other words, you must be able to show that the landowner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous property condition. They then failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the risk of harm. In addition, the unattended property condition must have been the direct cause of the claimant’s injuries. In Texas, the nature and scope of a property owner’s legal duty varies depending on the type of visitor:
- An invitee is a person the owner invited to enter the property for the parties’ mutual benefit and is entitled to the highest degree of protection from the owner. A common example of an invitee is a business guest, such as a restaurant or hotel patron.
- A licensee is a person who has permission to enter the property. A licensee is entitled to some protection from property owners. An example of a licensee is a social guest.
- A trespasser is someone who has no right, authority, or permission to be on the property and is not subject to any protections from the landowner.
It is essential to understand how these various categories apply in order to establish property owner liability in Austin. For example, if an invitee trips over an unsecured rug in a store, it is likely that the owner can be held liable for damages. Alternatively, if a trespasser breaks into a residential home and falls down a flight of stairs, it is unlikely that the owner will be liable as they did not have any responsibility to protect the trespasser.
Comparative Negligence in Texas
Texas personal injury law follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that if a victim is partially at fault for an accident, the court will reduce their potential monetary award by their percentage of fault. For example, if a victim is 20% at fault, the court will only award them 80% of the compensation. However, if a victim is more than 50% responsible for the accident, they cannot receive compensation for their losses.
What to Do After a Premises Liability Accident?
Being involved in an accident on someone else’s property can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are a few steps that can help if you experience a premises liability injury:
- Seek medical attention: It’s important to seek immediate medical attention after a premises liability accident. Delaying medical treatment could weaken your case and affect your ability to pursue compensation.
- Report the incident: If the accident happened at a store, hotel, or any other public place, be sure to report the incident as soon as possible. Collect all related documents, such as copies of the police report and relevant medical records.
- Collect evidence: If possible, take pictures of the scene and document any injuries you have sustained. Also, gather contact information from witnesses who may have seen the accident.
- Contact an attorney: Experienced premises liability attorneys can advise you on your best course of action and guide you through filing a claim. A lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation for your damages.
- Keep records: Keep all paperwork related to the accident, including bills, receipts, and notes of any conversations with witnesses or other parties involved.
Types of Compensation Available for an Austin Premises Liability Claim
When someone suffers an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, they may be entitled to pursue compensation for the losses sustained. The type of compensation available in an Austin premises liability claim can vary depending on the circumstances but generally includes:
- Medical expenses: Individuals injured due to a property owner’s negligence may be able to recover the costs associated with their medical treatment. This includes past and future medical expenses such as hospital bills, medication, doctor visits, physical therapy, and any other treatment required or that will be required due to the injury.
- Lost wages: Premises liability victims may be able to seek compensation for any wages lost as a result of their injury. This includes income lost due to missed work and wages lost in the future due to the injury.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering refers to any physical or mental distress experienced due to the injury.
How a Texas Premises Liability Attorney Can Help
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence in a premises liability accident, an experienced attorney can provide valuable help. An Austin premises liability lawyer can review the facts of your case, advise you of your legal options, help you file a claim with the responsible party or parties, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate your case if necessary.
Speak With a Premises Liability Lawyer in Austin
After being injured due to a property owner’s negligence in Austin, seek legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced premises liability attorneys at Loewy Law Firm are committed to helping victims of premises liability accidents obtain the justice they deserve. Our lawyers understand how challenging and confusing the legal process can be, and we are here to guide you through every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Austin premises liability lawyer.