Premises Liability Attorneys in Eagle PAss
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that a property’s owner or primary resident has to maintain a safe environment for individuals who enter the property. If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, and you believe the owner of that property neglected to maintain safe premises, you may be able to hold the property owner responsible (or “liable”) for your injuries by pursuing a premises liability lawsuit.
Have you been injured on private or commercial property? Our team at Gonzalez and Associates P.C. has spent decades representing individuals in situations just like yours, and we’ll work with you to build a strong case based on their many years of experience.
Property Conditions and Accidental Injuries in Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Surrounding Areas
Most people have heard of premises liability in the context of injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents in grocery stores, restaurants, or supermarkets. However, this type of accident is just one example of an incident that can cause injury and lead to a premises liability lawsuit. Other examples include accidents caused by faulty or inoperable equipment in amusement parks or the absence of a lifeguard at a public swimming pool.
Private homeowners and primary occupants of leased housing are also responsible for maintaining safe environments for guests and other visitors. For example, Texas residents are sometimes surprised to hear that it is the sole responsibility of the homeowner to supervise any minors swimming in their pool, even if the minor’s parents or other adults are around. Pool owners must also take specific precautions to deter minors from trespassing on their property, including having adequate fencing and self-latching gates, or they risk being sued if the minor suffers an injury while on their property.
Hazardous property conditions that may cause injuries include:
- Defective elevators and escalators
- Slippery floors, sidewalks, or parking lots
- Uneven walkways, worn carpets, and raised floorboards
- Exposed lead
- Exposed areas under construction
- Negligent security
- Aggressive animals on-site
- Negligent supervision and security at schools and daycares
- Unsafe school busses and vehicle operation
- Inadequate supervision and fencing around pools
- Faulty equipment
Is someone responsible for my injury?
A property owner may be legally responsible for injuries to others caused by defective, hazardous, or dangerous conditions on their property. This includes injuries to tenants and visitors from conditions in common areas in buildings they own, like lobbies and stairways, and even conditions in a tenant’s apartment, under certain circumstances. They may also be responsible for injuries caused by conditions on the sidewalk in front of their building or property, although in certain circumstances only the city, state, or other municipality is responsible for sidewalk conditions.
I was injured on someone else’s property. What can I do?
If you were injured as a result of a defective, dangerous, or hazardous condition on someone else’s property, including a city, state, or the federal government, you may be able to bring a claim and/or lawsuit for money damages. This includes compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages arising out of the accident.
What defenses can I expect to be raised against my claim of injury on someone else’s property?Property owners will almost inevitably insist that they did not have “notice” of the hazard or condition, meaning they didn’t know about it so they could not have done anything about it. For example, if you were injured after slipping and falling on a wet spot, they may argue that they were not made aware of the spill in time to clean it up. They may also argue that you acted negligently and failed to observe the hazard in an attempt to have the case thrown out or substantially reduce the compensation you receive.
How do I know if the owner is responsible?This is a question you should consult with an attorney about, but, we must prove that they had either “actual notice” or “constructive notice” of the condition and did not take reasonable actions to fix or remedy it. “Actual notice,” means that the owner of the property knew about the hazard before the accident, either because they created it themselves, found it themselves, or because someone else told them about it. This becomes more complicated to determine and prove with temporary hazards. In these cases, like spills, it is important to show that the condition existed in a location for a long enough period of time that the owner should have known about it. Under the law, this is called “constructive notice.” The amount of time that passed since the hazard was first created is important to know. If minimal time passed between the creation of the hazard and the accident, it is less likely to hold the property owner liable for your injuries. If a large amount of time passed, or if hazards frequently occur in the area, then the property owner is more likely to be found liable for your injuries.
What are examples of hazardous property conditions?
The following are some examples of defective, dangerous, and hazardous conditions:
- Holes and other openings
- Slippery floors, from water, ice, food, or other slippery substances
- Broken, cracked, and uneven steps
- Broken, cracked, and uneven sidewalks
- Foreign objects sticking out of the floor, steps, or sidewalk
- Stairs without railings and without proper lighting
Factors that Determine Premises Liability
Courts weigh several factors when deciding if someone is entitled to receive compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. One of the most important factors concerns the visitor’s status at the specific time they were injured, whether they are an invited guest, customer, home services professional or some other service provider, or a trespasser. The classification of the visitor plays a large part in determining what responsibilities the property owner or primary resident has to the visitor.
Courts will also consider the following questions:
- What precautions were taken to prevent injuries?
- Was the injury a direct result of a hazardous property condition?
- Was the property owner or primary resident aware of the hazard?
- Was the hazard obvious?
- Were any warnings given to the visitor?
- What sort of activity was the injured person engaged in at the time of injury?
- To what extent, if any, is the injured person responsible for their injury?
If a court attributes your injury to the property owner’s or primary resident’s negligence or failure to maintain a safe property, they may require the defendant to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning potential, and pain and suffering.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Laredo, Eagle Pass, and South Texas
Every accidental injury is unique. Whether you have convincing grounds to pursue a premises liability lawsuit can depend on the exact situation, down to the smallest detail. As a result, claims can sometimes require exhaustive evidence, expert opinions, and further investigation. Because of the complexity of premises liability cases, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer if you were injured on commercial or private property.
At Gonzalez and Associates P.C., we believe in doing everything in our power to help you secure the compensation that you deserve. Our premises liability attorneys can help you determine whether you should pursue a premises liability lawsuit. We’ll evaluate your case and use our experience to identify what sorts of damages you may be entitled to. We’ll help you compile evidence, get your medical documents reviewed by medical experts, and provide you with strong legal representation in and out of the courtroom.
Were you injured because of hazardous property conditions? If so, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our Eagle Pass premises liability lawyers by calling (830) 445-2035 or sending us a message. Se habla español!