Houston Premises Liability Lawyer
Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable
Texas law holds public and private property owners to a certain standard of care. Specifically, they are responsible for conducting adequate property maintenance and ensuring their premises are clear of any hazards or unsafe conditions that could cause foreseeable injury. When they fail to do so, and innocent people are hurt, they can be held legally responsible.
At Payne Law Firm, our Houston premises liability lawyers provide dedicated representation to victims of all types of accidents on public and private property. Whether you slipped and fell on a wet floor or were attacked by a loose dog in a public park, our team can help you fight for the justice and fair recovery you deserve. Our founding attorney, Jason E. Payne, is Board Certified in in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and our entire team is committed to providing a high level of client service and reliable legal advocacy from start to finish.
When Can You Sue a Property Owner?
Not all accidents and injuries that occur on public or private property fall under the responsibility of the property owner. In fact, to have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit, there are certain elements you must be able to prove.
To bring a claim against a property owner, you must typically prove all of the following:
- You were injured on the property in question
- You were lawfully on the property when the accident/injury occurred
- Your injuries were the result of a dangerous condition or hazard on the property
- The property owner knew about/should have known about the dangerous condition/hazard
- The property owner failed to take reasonable/adequate steps to remove the hazard
- You were not being negligent/were not more than 50% at fault for the accident
- The dangerous condition was not “open and obvious”
- You sustained measurable economic and/or non-economic damages
Texas landowners owe varying degrees of care to different types of visitors. Licensees and invitees, those that are lawfully on the property, are owed the highest duty of care, while property owners owe no other duty to trespassers than to refrain from causing intentional harm. For this reason, it is critical to prove that you were lawfully on the property when the incident occurred, whether as an invited guest, a customer, a client, an employee, or some other type of visitor.
You will also have to not only prove that you were injured because of a dangerous or defective condition on the property, but also that the property owner knew about or reasonably could have been expected to know about the condition’s existence. If the property owner had no way to know that the hazard was there, they cannot be held responsible (in most cases).
There are some exceptions to these rules, such as in cases involving “attractive nuisances” in which minors (children and teens under the age of 18) are injured due to certain property elements, such as swimming pools, that are considered attractive nuisances, regardless of whether they were lawfully on the property. In any case, we urge you to reach out to one of our experienced and knowledgeable premises liability attorneys in Houston as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your case, as well as your legal rights and options.
What Constitutes a “Dangerous Condition?” Dangerous property conditions are one of the most important elements of premises liability claims, but what exactly constitutes a “dangerous condition?” Simply put, a dangerous condition is one that poses a “foreseeable” risk of injury or harm. In other words, if a typical person could reasonably know that a certain condition might cause another person to be injured or otherwise harmed, that condition is considered “dangerous.”
Some examples of common dangerous property conditions include:
- Accumulated ice or snow
- Slippery or wet floors
- Uneven floors
- Unmarked or defective steps/stairs
- Defective sidewalks
- Inadequate lighting
- Missing or improper signage
- Negligent security
- Lack of adequate warnings
- Poor property maintenance
- Unsafe swimming pools
- Missing fences, gates, locks, etc.
- Exceeding maximum capacity
- Cluttered walkways and aisles
- Unmarked spills
- Items falling from shelves
- Loose animals
- Poorly maintained elevators and escalators
- Improper repairs
- Torn or ripped carpeting
- Exposed electrical wiring
Property owners have a legal responsibility to adequately address dangerous conditions to prevent injury. This may include removing or repairing the condition or simply warning potential visitors of its existence. If you were injured by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property and you believe the property owner acted negligently, reach out to our team at Payne Law Firm today to learn how we can help.
Why You Need a Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises liability claims are some of the most complex of all personal injury cases. Even if you are legally entitled to compensation for your damages, actually recovering this compensation can be extremely challenging. The liable party, whether it is the property owner or their insurance provider, will likely dispute your claim, arguing that you were negligent, that the dangerous condition was open and obvious and, therefore, easily avoidable, or that you were trespassing when the accident occurred. They may even offer a settlement but may argue that you were partially at fault for the accident and, therefore, limit the amount you can recover.
When you work with an experienced premises liability lawyer, you have someone on your side who can fight back against these and other deceitful tactics. Your attorney will not only be able to protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you are owed but can also handle every legal detail of your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Property-related accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, and more. You want an attorney who can help you seek fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and future damages. Our Houston premises liability lawyers are prepared to help you take on the negligent property owner and seek the maximum recovery you are owed.
Call (713) 999-4801 or submit a free online case evaluation form today! There are no fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.
“Payne Law Firm was invaluable in helping my family navigate the most difficult situation we had ever experienced. Mr. Payne and his entire staff were professional, responsive, and empathetic throughout the entire process.” - Fatimar J.
“My experience with "Payne Law Firm" was extraordinary! They were efficient, professional, and persistent. I have and will continue to recommend “Payne Law Firm” because you are treated like family!” - Sheori S.
“My experience at Payne Law Firm was very pleasant. I had no worries at all. He was there for everything I needed help with.” - Gloria J.
“I have used Payne Law Firm services on several different occasions and have always been pleased with the outcomes.” - Leonard J.
“Payne Law Firm calmed my fears and assisted with easing my pain, by always being available to answer my questions, calming my fears, explaining the law to me in layman’s terms, while offering comfort and support.” - Joyre T.
Like all personal injury claims, premises liability cases are subject to a statute of limitations, or deadline to file a claim. In most cases, you only have two years from the date of the accident, date of injury, or date on which the injury was discovered/discoverable to file a lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions and limitations. Specifically, claims against government entities have separate rules, including strict deadlines for providing official notices and filing lawsuits. We encourage you to act right away if you were hurt on someone else’s property, and you believe you may have a case.
When you hire Payne Law Firm, we will begin an immediate investigation into your accident to determine what happened and who is at fault. Our attorneys work quickly and thoroughly to build powerful cases for our clients, an approach that has helped us recover millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of the injured and the families of those who died due to the negligent and wrongful conduct of others.
Client-FocusedWe will help you every step of the way, providing answers to your questions and continuing to update you on the status of your case.
A History of SuccessWe have helped over a thousand injured individuals and families get the compensation they deserved.
Battle-TestedWe not only understand the complexities of insurance companies but know how to fight them.
Full TransparencyOur team knows the importance of your case and is committed to doing what is best for you.