When are You Entitled to Compensation When You Get Injured on Someone Else’s Property in Texas?
If you sustain a consequential injury while on the property of another person or a business, there are legal remedies available to you. Pursuing legal action against the property owner or the insurance company can sometimes be the only way to ensure that you can deal with the consequences of an injury that you incurred through no fault of your own.
You can receive compensation for your injury sustained on someone else’s property if the property violated a duty of care that they owed you and you can demonstrate the harm that the injury has caused you. You may file a claim against the property owner to recover damages caused by the injury in Texas court up until two years after the day of the incident.
If you were recently injured due to the negligence of a property owner, get the help of the experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. We will fight hard to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (817) 476-1797.
Premises Liability in Texas
People and businesses who own property in Texas have a legal duty to take reasonable care to prevent harm coming to those who are rightfully on their property. If you are injured on the property of someone else in Texas, the property owner may have breached their duty to you and therefore may be liable for the consequences of your injury.
To win compensation in court in Texas for an injury that you sustained on someone else’s property, you must be able to demonstrate four legal factors:
- The property owner owed you a legal duty.
- The property owner breached that duty.
- You were injured as a result of the breach of duty.
- You accrued monetary damages from your injury that can be quantified and compensated for through a court decision.
What Duties Does a Property Owner Owe in Texas?
The level of care that the Texas property owner must legally provide depends on why you are on the property in the first place.
The highest level of care exists when the property owner has knowingly allowed you onto the property for the mutual benefit of both you and the property owner. For example, restaurant owners owe this duty to their customers. The property owner has a duty to resolve any dangerous conditions that are known or could reasonably be discovered. If the restaurant floor is covered in grease, the restaurant owner has a duty to clean the grease or warn the customers of the slippery area. If the owner fails to do this, and the customer slips and falls, the restaurant is likely liable for the customer’s injuries.
Property owners who allow a person to enter the property for their own benefit also owe a slightly lower duty of care. An example of this relationship would be if a friend invited you over to their house for coffee. The friend would have a duty to warn you if, for instance, the friend had recently broken a glass in the sink and hadn’t cleaned up the sharp pieces yet. If you were to wash your hands and cut your hand, the friend would likely be liable for the consequences of your injury.
If you are unlawfully trespassing on someone else’s property, the property owner does still owe you a duty of care. However, they only have a duty not to willfully cause you injury.
What Defenses Can Property Owners Use for Premises Liability in Texas?
If you file a lawsuit in Texas for premises liability, the property owner will likely attempt to use one of the common defenses available to property owners in Texas. Here are some of the defenses you might see employed.
If you are injured on someone else’s property, Texas law provides the property owner with the opportunity to argue that you are at least partially responsible for your injury. This theory is called the modified comparative negligence rule, and it is not available in every state. If you are considering filing a lawsuit due to an injury you sustained on someone else’s property and are concerned about a comparative negligence defense, reach out to The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. for a full assessment of your case.
A comparative negligence defense can be used to reduce the total value of your compensation. If the property owners that you are also partially at fault for your injury, the jury will determine the exact percentage of responsibility you bear, if any. That percentage will be factored into the calculation of damages that you are rewarded.
For instance, if you slipped and fell at an amusement park, the amusement park owner could introduce evidence that you were looking at your phone while you were walking, and the distraction partially contributed to your fall. If your damages are $100,000 but the jury finds that your own negligence was a 20% contributing factor in the accident, you will only receive $80,000. If the jury finds that your own negligence factored in more than 50%, you cannot recover any of your damages.
Statute of Limitations
You don’t have all the time in the world to file your lawsuit if you are injured on the property of another person. The statute of limitations is the law that establishes the time limit for filing a lawsuit in a particular jurisdiction.
In Texas, the deadline for a civil action for a personal injury must be filed within two years of the date of the incident that caused the injury. If the time limit expires prior to your filing of the case, the trial court will dismiss the case, and you won’t be able to get any compensation for your injuries. You should not hesitate to contact a Midland personal injury lawyer to ensure you do not miss your window of oportunity.
Personal Injury on Someone Else’s Property in Texas? Call Our Attorneys Today
If you were injured on someone else’s property and think you may have a case, get the help of the respected Houston personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. To set up your consultation, call us at (817) 476-1797.