The law of premises liability involves the responsibility for injuries to people who get hurt on real estate that is owned and/or occupied by somebody else. It usually involves an allegedly defective physical condition on the premises, but the law has been expanded to include other conditions. Premises liability cases might include but not be limited to the following types of cases.
Slip and falls and trip and falls
Wet floors are the primary cause of slip and falls, especially in commercial establishments like supermarkets. Just about all of these accidents are preventable. Slip and fall cases might involve:
The failure to provide adequate warnings or barriers around wet floors
Improper waxing or polishing of floors
Failure to use non-slip or non-skid prevention
Application of slippery floor treatments on sloping surfaces
In slip and fall accidents, the victim usually falls backward. Common injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Vertebral fractures and disc herniations
The physics involved in a trip and fall are entirely different. Trip and falls usually involve:
Torn or lumpy carpeting
Floor mats with curled edges at store entrances and exits
Uneven sidewalk slabs
Holes in sidewalks or parking areas
Because of the physics involved in trip and falls, injuries attributable to them are usually different than those involved in slip and falls. Common trip and fall injuries might include:
Facial bruises, lacerations or fractures
Neck and spinal injuries
Hand, arm and shoulder injuries from trying to prevent the fall
These lawsuits involve allegations that a preventable injury or death occurred on or near the premises of a business as a result of inadequate security. These lawsuits are ordinarily seen after a customer is attacked in a casino, hotel or parking facility when the owner or occupier of that property knew or should have known that sufficient security measures were likely to prevent the attack. Inadequate security cases can turn on three factors.
The type of business. Is it a cake store or a bar or nightclub?
The crime rate on or about the premises
Whether the incident occurred inside or outside of the business premises
The security issue is then reduced down to whether the premises is monitored by security personnel, any incident reporting requirements and training of security personnel.
Most states have statutes involving dog attacks. Texas doesn’t have one. Texas is a “one bite rule” state. Under Texas law, the victim of a dog attack can’t recover for his or her injuries unless:
The dog bit or tried to bite somebody in the past
The owner or keeper of the dog knew that the dog bit was or trying to bite somebody for no reason
If there’s a local ordinance in effect involving dog bites or dogs running at large, the owner might be held liable for an attack on the basis of that ordinance.
Swimming pool and trampoline accidents
Victims of swimming pool accidents might drown, suffer head injuries, traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. Many swimming pool injuries are the result of the negligence of the property owner. Texas has very detailed laws regarding pool enclosures, gates and maintenance. Property owners might be held liable for injuries or deaths to trespassing children on what’s known as an attractive nuisance theory. The same rules of negligence and theory of an attractive nuisance might also be used for trampoline injuries and fatalities.
Toxic chemical exposure
People are usually exposed to toxic chemicals through inhaling, eating or drinking them. Exposure to these substances can result in a wide range of symptoms and illnesses resulting in cancer, respiratory difficulties, brain and neurological disorders or death.
Nearly all premises liability claims allege negligence. To prove negligence, the person claiming injury is required to prove that:
A duty was owed to them by the defendant
The defendant breached that duty
The claimant was injured as a result of that breach of duty
The claimant suffered legally recognized damages
If the claimant fails to prove any single element of negligence, his or her claim fails in its entirety.
The law of comparative negligence is often raised as a partial legal defense in premises liability cases when the defendant attempts to shift a percentage of fault for the accident over onto the claimant. An example of attempting this shift would be in a slip and fall or trip and fall case when the defendant alleges that the claimant simply wasn’t watching where he or she was going.
Some states have a law that’s known as a modified comparative negligence state. If the claimant is determined to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she is barred from recovery. If the claimant was determined to be 25 percent at fault, his or her total recovery would be reduced by 25 percent.
If you or somebody close to you was injured on property that was owned or occupied by somebody else, contact the Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll be right with you. We’re a highly respected and successful personal injury law firm, and we represent injured people across the United States. Protect and preserve your rights. Talk to the Doan Law Firm before you talk with anybody else.