When you’re on someone else’s property, you should be safe from hazards that could harm you. While you need to exercise reasonable caution, you shouldn’t have to worry about dangerous objects or dilapidated areas that could cause an accident. When you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property, you could use the help of an Austin, TX premises liability lawyer from our firm.
At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we’re experienced with premises liability claims and will fight to protect the rights of victims. We understand that this is a vulnerable time in your life, and you likely want to financially recover so that you can spend more time focusing on your physical and emotional recovery. That’s what we’re here for—we’ll fight to get you full and fair compensation.
Texas Premises Liability Laws
The premises liability laws in Texas can be complex and hard to understand. That’s why a premises liability attorney is helpful to have on your side—they’ll be able to explain all of the confusing aspects of the law to you and ensure you’re protected under Texas Code.
When you’re filing a claim, the first thing that your lawyer will need to clarify is that the property owner owed you a duty of care. This is crucial to your claim, because if it turns out that you weren’t owed a duty of care, then you won’t have a claim to file. There are three classifications of visitors that you can look to in order to determine whether or not the property owner owed you the duty of care.
Here are the three classifications of visitors, according to Texas Code:
- Invitee. This type of visitor is owed the most care when they’re on the property. Invitees are invited onto the property by the owner and have permission to be there because they are present for the benefit of themselves and the property owner. For example, a consumer going into a business to shop around would be considered an invitee. Since they are owed the highest duty of care, the property owner must make them aware of any hazards or repair the hazard before they’re on the premises. They also must fix any dangerous conditions that could be discovered with reasonable inspection.
- Licensee. This type of visitor is owed less care than an invitee but is still owed a level of care when they’re on the property. They have explicit consent to be on the property because it’s for their benefit. Property owners must warn the licensee of any hazards that they know about, or they need to repair the dangerous conditions.
- Trespasser. Trespassers are owed the least duty of care. For the most part, property owners do not need to keep trespassers safe because they are on the property illegally. However, if gross negligence is involved on the property owner’s behalf, then they could be liable for an injury to a trespasser.
You might not know which distinction you fall under, which is why you could use the help of our Austin, TX premises liability lawyer. We’ll be look into what happened to determine what level of care you were owed when you were on the property.
Factors That Might Harm Your Claim
When you’ve classified which type of visitor you were on the property, you might think there can’t be any snags in your claim. However, the other party will likely try to prove that you were at least partially responsible for the accident that injured you, which could reduce or completely wipe out the compensation that you’re seeking in the claim.
One of the main ways that the property owner could argue that you’re partially responsible for the accident on their property is that the dangerous conditions was open and obvious. This means that if the hazard was clear and visible, then visitors had a duty to protect themselves from the danger.
Additionally, they could make a case that you assumed the risk while you were on the property. This would mean that you were aware of the dangerous conditions but didn’t take the care to avoid the hazard, so you assume the risk involved with your actions.
One of the other factors that a property owner might argue is that you had pre-existing injuries before your accident that either led to what happened or were the only injuries that you’re claiming you suffered from the accident. Claiming that you had a pre-existing injury can’t place the blame on you for the accident, but it can attempt to reduce your compensation by saying you didn’t get your injuries from the accident.
Through all of these defenses, the other party is trying to use Texas’s modified comparative negligence statute, which is called proportionate responsibility. This means that if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for what happened, then you can’t recover compensation. However, if you are found to be 50 percent or less responsible, then your compensation will be reduced by that amount, but you can still financially recover for you damages.
Since the other party will be fighting hard to prove that you might have had some liability for the accident, you could use the help of our Austin, TX premises liability lawyer. They’ll fight to prove that the property owner is at fault for what happened that caused your injuries and damages.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Is Here for You
Premises liability claims can be confusing, especially in Texas where the laws seem to be complex surrounding property, visitors, and who was responsible for what happened. After suffering an injury on someone else’s property, you’re likely feeling vulnerable and not sure what to do next. But filing a legal claim can seem intimidating and like a large undertaking.
That’s where our Austin, TX premises liability attorney comes in. We’re here to take over the legal side of things for you so that you can focus on healing. This way, a claim doesn’t feel like it’s too much to handle right now—we’ll handle it for you so you don’t have to worry about it.
We’ll investigate liability, what damages you suffered, and calculate your full and fair compensation so we can keep you from settling for less than you deserve. The other party will likely push for you to settle quickly and for minimal compensation, which is why you need us on your side. Reach out to our office today so we can get started working for you.