If you’ve suffered an injury or loss due to the negligence of a property owner in Fort Worth, you need a skilled and experienced premises liability lawyer in Fort Worth to help you pursue your rights. At Heller Law, we understand the devastating impact an injury or loss can have on you and your loved ones. That’s why we are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest legal representation.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2019, there were 19,506 serious injury crashes resulting in 30,992 serious injury accident victims. This indicates that car accidents remain a significant safety concern in the region, potentially resulting in property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.
This article will explore Fort Worth premises liability law, the difference between premises liability and negligence, and the defenses to premises liability in Texas. We’ll also provide information on the premises liability statute in Texas.
Understanding Premises Liability in Texas
Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for injuries that occur on their property due to their negligence or failure to maintain a safe environment.
A premises liability accident can include slip and fall accidents, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and other injuries on someone else’s property. In Texas, property owners and occupiers must keep their premises reasonably safe and warn of any dangerous conditions they know or should have known about.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability cases can arise in various situations, and it is essential to understand the common types of cases that fall under this category. Here are some of them:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common premises liability cases. These accidents can occur when a person slips or trips on a wet or uneven surface and suffers injuries. Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition. Failure to do so may result in liability for any resulting damages. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor lighting
- Cluttered walkways
- Defective stairs or handrails
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
Dog bites and animal attacks can result in serious injuries, including puncture wounds, lacerations, and infections. According to statistics, dog bites and other dog-related injuries resulted in over one-third of all homeowners’ liability claim dollars being paid out in 2021. In addition, the owner of the dog or animal may be held liable for any damages caused by the pet.
Negligent security refers to cases where a property owner fails to provide adequate security measures to prevent criminal activity. This can result in serious injuries or harm to visitors, employees, or tenants. Common examples of negligent security include:
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of surveillance cameras
- Failure to secure entrances and exits
- Failure to conduct background checks on employees
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pool accidents can be hazardous and may result in drowning, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Property owners must ensure that their swimming pools are properly maintained and equipped with appropriate safety measures. Common causes of swimming pool accidents include:
- Inadequate fencing or barriers
- Defective pool equipment
- Lack of proper signage
- Negligent supervision
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Elevator and escalator accidents can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, and even death. Therefore, property owners and elevator/escalator maintenance companies must ensure that these devices are properly maintained and free of defects. Common causes of elevator and escalator accidents include:
- Improper maintenance
- Defective equipment
- Failure to post warning signs
- Inadequate lighting or ventilation
Premises Liability Statute of Limitations in Texas
Premises liability cases can be complex and challenging to pursue. If you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence, it is essential to understand the statute of limitations for filing a claim.
The statute of limitations for premises liability cases in Texas is two years from the date of the injury. This means you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. After this period, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for premises liability claims is strict, and failure to file a claim within the specified time frame can result in your case being dismissed. Therefore, taking legal action as soon as possible is essential to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Here are some critical things to keep in mind about the premises liability statute of limitations in Texas:
- The two-year time frame applies to personal injury and property damage claims resulting from a premises liability incident.
- If you are filing a claim against a government entity, such as a city or state, you may have a shorter time frame to file. It is essential to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney to determine your case’s applicable statute of limitations.
- The statute of limitations may be extended if the injured party is a minor during the incident. In this case, the two-year clock starts running on the minor’s 18th birthday.
How Heller Law can Help You with Your Premises Liability Claim
You may be entitled to recover compensation if you have been injured on someone else’s property. However, pursuing a premises liability claim can be complex and challenging. At our law firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain fair compensation for their premises liability injuries. Premises liability attorneys understand the impact an incident can have on your life.
We work tirelessly to ensure you are fairly compensated for your medical bills and expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our experienced Fort Worth premises liability lawyer can guide you through every step of the legal process, including:
- Investigate the circumstances of your accident: Our lawyer can help you gather evidence and investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident.
- Demand money from all liable parties: Our lawyer can help you identify all parties responsible for your injuries, including property owners, tenants, and maintenance personnel.
- Bring in experts: Our lawyer can bring in expert witnesses, such as engineers or safety professionals, to provide testimony in support of your case.
- Go to court, if necessary: Our lawyer can represent you and fight for your rights. While we strive to settle cases outside of court, we are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
What are the Defenses to Premises Liability in Texas?
Premises liability cases can be complex and often involve determining fault and liability. However, in Texas, there are certain defenses that a property owner may use to avoid being held liable for injuries sustained on their property. Below are some common defenses to premises liability in Texas:
Contributory Negligence of a Property Owner
Contributory negligence is a defense the property owner can use to argue that the victim was partially at fault for their injuries. In Texas, if it is determined that the victim contributed to their injuries in any way, the amount of compensation they can receive may be reduced.
Assumption of Risk
Assumption of risk is a defense that the property owner can use to argue that the victim knew of the potential risks involved in an activity and willingly engaged in it anyway. If it can be shown that the victim voluntarily assumed the risk, then the property owner may not be held liable for any injuries that result.
Open and Obvious Dangers
Open and apparent dangers refer to hazards or dangerous conditions that are visible and easily noticeable. The property owner may use this defense to argue that the victim should have seen the hazard and taken steps to avoid it. If it can be shown that the victim was aware of the danger but chose to ignore it, then the property owner may not be held liable for any injuries that result.
It is important to note that every premises liability lawsuit is different, and there may be other defenses that a property owner can use. Therefore, hiring experienced premises liability lawyers to help you navigate the legal process and fight for your rights is essential.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability in Texas?
- What is the difference between premises liability and negligence in Texas?
Premises liability refers to the property owner’s responsibility legally for injuries suffered by individuals while on their property. Negligence, on the other hand, refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care that causes harm to another person.
- How much compensation can I receive in a premises liability case in Texas?
The compensation you can receive in a premises liability claim in Texas depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, the impact those injuries have on your life, and the extent to which the negligent property owner is found to be at fault.
Contact an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or loss due to a property owner’s negligence, you can pursue compensation for your damages. At Heller Law, we are here to help you navigate the complex legal system and fight for your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced premises liability lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.