While landowners in Texas are not automatically responsible for the effects of every accident that happens on their property, they do have a basic duty to ensure their land is reasonably safe for lawful visitors. Any property owner who fails to fulfill this basic requirement could be held financially accountable for injuries and losses that lawful visitors suffer as a result.
The support of a seasoned West Lake Hills premises liability lawyer can be vital to achieving a successful result from these cases, especially if objective evidence proving a landowner’s fault for an accident is hard to come by. Representation from an experienced personal injury attorney can also be vital to maximizing financial compensation and filing a claim within the strict time limit established by state law.
The specific duty of care that landowners owe to visitors changes based on whether the visitor has the owner’s implicit or explicit permission to be on the land, as well as what purpose the visitor has for being there. For instance, property owners in Texas owe no duty of care to trespassers other than to avoid intentionally harming them, but there are some exceptions to this rule that a premises liability attorney in West Lake Hills could explain in further detail.
Meanwhile, landowners owe a greater duty of care to “licensees” like house guests who are visiting their property with permission and for their own purposes, and an even greater duty to “invitees” like store customers visiting specifically for the landowner’s benefit. For both categories of visitor, property owners must provide advance warning of known hazards and fix any issues within a reasonable amount of time. Landowners also need to protect invitees by regularly inspecting their property for dangers or hazards.
Any property owner who violates their duty of care as defined above may bear financial liability for all injuries, economic losses, and non-economic losses that a visitor suffers. Common examples of compensable damages include:
Importantly, though, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 imposes a two-year time limit on all prospective premises liability claims, including those dealing with permanent and debilitating injuries. Assistance from a skilled property liability lawyer in West Lake Hills can be vital to collecting sufficient evidence and valuating damages accurately before this time limit runs out.
No one deserves to get seriously hurt while visiting someone else’s property just because the property owner did not meet the duty that they had under the law to keep their land in a reasonably safe condition. If you have been injured under circumstances like this, understanding and utilizing your right to pursue civil recovery could be key to protecting your future prospects.
A capable West Lake Hills premises liability lawyer can provide the help you might need to obtain the financial recovery you deserve. Call today to schedule a meeting.