There are many different types of premises liability cases, from slips and falls to electrocutions, diving accidents, and amusement park accidents. Because premises liability covers such a broad spectrum, these types of cases can be rather confusing for many people. Every single year people suffer injuries because property owners or managers fail to address potential hazards and dangerous conditions on their properties. In fact, it is quite common for building owners to ignore problem areas, especially during the winter months. A cracked sidewalk or malfunctioning light in a parking lot may seem harmless at first, but these things can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Many people assume that when they are injured on someone else’s property, the property owner is immediately responsible. However, premises liability cases are not always this straightforward. One of the most complicated aspects of any given premises liability case is figuring out who is liable – which is where evidence comes into play. A key factor in determining is the status of the visitor. For example, the visitor is likely either an invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser. Determining which category the victim falls into will dictate how the premises liability case proceeds. With that in mind, let’s now look at a handful of important facts pertaining to premises liability cases and how they are carried out:
- Each State Has Different Laws – All states have different laws regarding who can recover damages from being injured in a premises liability accident. In Texas, the very first thing that must be determined is the legal status of the injured party (as discussed above). The state of Texas recognizes three different classes of people who enter a property:
- Trespasser – those who enter without any legal authority
- Licensee – those who enter with a property owner’s permission
- Invitee – those who enters per the property owner’s invitation or request
- Negligence Must Be Proved – Another important element of premises liability cases is determining negligence. In order to win a premises liability case, the injured party must be able to prove – without question – that the property owner was in fact negligent. They must have enough information to show that the owner knew about the potentially hazardous area or condition and had the opportunity to fix it, but chose not to. Finally, the injured party must also be able to show that their own actions did not contribute to their injury.
- Understanding the Duties of Property Owners – We have discussed this a little bit, but it is important to look at a bit more in-depth. As mentioned, property owners are required to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. This includes doing the following:
- Identifying and repairing any dangers on the premises
- Warning guests or visitors of known dangers
This means that injured parties must be able to prove that a dangerous condition pre-existed on the premises and the property owner knew about the condition but did nothing about it.
As you can see, premises liability cases are rather complicated and require a great deal of knowledge about the subject. This is especially true because premises liability laws differ from state to state. If you have been injured on another party’s property due to their negligence or failure to maintain the property, please contact Rad Law Firm today. Our knowledgeable Dallas premises liability attorneys have a deep understanding of these types of cases and are prepared to fight for your rights.