Whenever you step outside of your own property and onto someone else’s land, you assume that the owner or occupant maintains the property well and will keep you safe. Unfortunately, not all property holders adequately take care of their spaces.
If you suffered an injury while on someone else’s property, premises liability regulations might help you recover. If the owner or occupier failed to uphold a their duty to visitors, they might need to assume liability for your injuries.
Premises liability law can become complicated, so it is important seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. A Waco premises liability lawyer can assess the accident to determine whether you have a valid claim.
Accidents and injuries are usually preventable, and premises liability law recognizes that fact. These regulations establish that someone who controls access to a property must keep it reasonably safe for visitors. However, the extent of this “duty of care” that a property holder owes depends on the reason that someone visits their space.
A business owner has the most extensive obligation to care for customers who come to shop at their establishment. These entrepreneurs must inspect the premises for hazards on a regular basis and make prompt repairs. If they cannot fix the condition immediately, they must warn their customers of the hazard.
Meanwhile, property owners have fewer obligations toward social guests. They must warn guests of known dangers, but they do not need to inspect a space for hazards or repair them. A social guest who gets injured because they did not avoid an open and obvious hazard cannot hold the property holder responsible for the accident. The definition of an obvious danger can become convoluted, but seasoned legal representation can help clarify any confusion.
Finally, trespassers generally have no right to sue for injuries they suffered while on property they entered without permission. However, there is a special rule that applies to children. If the property contains an artificial feature such as a swimming pool, shed, trampoline, or anything that might entice a child, the landowner must take reasonable steps to prevent children from entering. Owners and occupiers who do not block children’s access by, for example, constructing a fence, might need to assume responsibility for any resulting injuries.
A knowledgeable attorney in Waco can help an injured plaintiff determine their legal status at the time of a visit, to move forward with their premises liability case.
Multiple factors often combine to cause an accident. If the injured person’s own behavior contributed to the injury, they can likely still sue for compensation.
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.003 requires a judge or jury to assess how much fault each party holds for the accident. Each guilty individual will pay a portion of the plaintiff’s damages that reflects their percentage of responsibility.
A plaintiff cannot collect the portion of their damages that they are responsible for causing. For instance, if a jury decides a claimant is 20 percent responsible for their own wounds, the injured person could collect only 80 percent of the case’s damages. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, they cannot collect compensation from the property holder or anyone else.
Even if a case settles before trial, apportioning fault is likely to be an issue during negotiations. Fortunately, a steadfast attorney in Waco can gather and present evidence that demonstrates the plaintiff did not cause the accident on a premises.
If you visited a property that you though was safe and the owner’s careless maintenance caused an injury, you deserve financial compensation. These cases can become complicated to due comparative negligence laws and different visiting classifications, but a Waco premises liability lawyer can simplify the proceedings. Call the office today to learn more about your options and get started on your claim.