If you are injured on another person’s property, was it because the property owner was negligent? If the property owner was negligent, do you have a right in the state of Texas to receive reimbursement for your injuries? Can a San Antonio premises liability law firm help?
The answer is yes. Landlords in Texas, as well as businesses, homeowners, and government, are obligated legally to ensure that their premises and properties are reasonably free from hazards for tenants, employees, and customers. So, when can you take legal action against a landlord if you are injured on his or her property?
WHAT ARE THE INJURED VICTIMS OF NEGLIGENCE ENTITLED TO?
If you’re injured because a landlord was negligent, and if you’re able to prove that the landlord’s negligence was a direct cause of your injury, Texas law entitles you to compensation for healthcare costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and all additional related damages.
However, if you’re the injury victim, you must reach out as quickly as possible for the legal advice and representation that you’ll need. Have a skilled premises liability law firm discuss your options and explain how liability law may apply in your own situation.
You must make that contact with a good accident attorney immediately after you been seen by a physician or another qualified healthcare provider.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON INJURIES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
Slip-and-fall injuries are the most frequently sustained injuries in premises liability cases. Slips and falls can cause serious spinal cord injuries, severe brain injuries, head, back, and neck injuries, broken bones, contusions, and other quite serious injuries.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A SLIP-AND-FALL INJURY?
Moreover, each year in Texas, thousands sustain preventable slip-and-fall injuries due to:
- cluttered walkways, hallways, and aisles
- curled-up rugs, carpeting, and floor mats
- uneven and dilapidated staircases
- inadequate lighting – especially in parking areas and staircases
- pavement or sidewalks that are uneven, cracked, or slippery because of oil or ice
- damp and slippery floors
Most slip-and-fall injuries, as one might imagine, are sustained by elderly persons.
TO WIN COMPENSATION, WHAT DO INJURY VICTIMS HAVE TO PROVE?
An injured victim of a Texas landlord’s negligence is entitled to reimbursement, but in some cases, acquiring that reimbursement won’t be easy. You’ll have to prove that the landlord was negligent, and you’ll also have to prove that the negligence was a direct cause of your injury.
That’s why you must be advised and represented by a reliable and experienced Texas premises liability lawyer. If you continue reading, you’ll learn what it takes to prevail in a Texas premises liability case.
Premises liability laws presume that landlords can’t possibly be held responsible for all possible accidents that might occur on a property. Rather, the law requires landlords to take all “reasonable” steps and measures to repair hazards and to prevent accidents and injuries.
WHAT DOES TEXAS LAW ATTEMPT TO DO?
The law in Texas attempts to balance a landlord’s reasonable obligation to prevent accidents and injuries with the personal obligation of tenants, employees, customers, and others to be reasonably cautious and aware of their surroundings.
How is that balance achieved by Texas courts? To receive reimbursement with a premises liability action, a “plaintiff” (the injury victim) and his or her attorney must prove at least one of the following claims is true:
- The landlord should have been aware of the condition since a “reasonable” landlord in comparable circumstances would have been aware of the hazard and would have repaired it.
- The landlord was aware of the hazardous condition and failed to have it repaired.
- The landlord was directly responsible for the hazardous condition.
Texas landlords may not all know the specifics of the law, but they understand that they are obligated to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition.
WHAT QUESTIONS MUST BE ANSWERED IN PREMISES LIABILITY CASES?
Thus, premises liability cases concentrate on what landlords “should” have known and whether they acted “reasonably.” The key questions in a premises liability case are:
- When did a hazard become known and how much later did the injury occur?
- Did the landlord have a reasonable amount of time to repair the hazard?
When a landlord finds out about a cracked sidewalk or a leaky pipe – or any potentially hazardous condition – it may take the landlord several days to arrange for repairs. Until a hazardous condition has been repaired, the landlord should post warning signs.
WHAT ARE A LANDLORD’S DEFENSES IN A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE?
If you’re injured, and if you file a premises liability claim against a landlord, the landlord may claim in response that you were the one responsible for your own injury.
In premises liability cases, landlords typically put forth one of these arguments in their own defense:
- The victim wasn’t watching where he or she was going.
- The victim wandered into an off-limits area, or the victim was trespassing.
- Yellow cones and/or warning signs adequately indicated that there was a hazard.
- A reasonable individual would have seen and avoided what was a clear hazard.
HOW ARE PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS RESOLVED IN TEXAS?
The majority of premises liability cases in Texas are settled privately and out-of-court. However, if a claim can’t be resolved out-of-court – and that’s rare – a civil trial can determine if a landlord had a reasonable amount of time to fix the hazardous condition that caused your injury.
If you are injured on a landlord’s property – or anyone else’s private property in Texas – you must seek medical attention at once. After you obtain treatment, arrange immediately to speak with an accomplished Texas premises liability lawyer.
HOW LONG DO INJURY VICTIMS HAVE TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION?
The statute of limitations in Texas for premises liability cases is three years, beginning on the day the injury occurred. However, if you sustained a latent injury that was only detected later, the statute of limitations “clock” may not start until that “discovery” date.
In spite of the statute of limitations, if you are injured by a landlord’s negligence, you can’t wait for three years before speaking to an accident attorney. If you’ve been injured because a landlord was negligent, as soon as you’ve been treated by a healthcare professional, make the call.
An experienced San Antonio premises liability attorney will protect your legal rights, explain your options, and advocate aggressively for the compensation – and the justice – an injury victim needs and deserves. A good lawyer’s help is your right, and your future could depend on it.