Premises liability claims describe any personal injury that occurs on another party’s land. While the most common example of these incidents is those that involve slips and falls, in reality, a landowner is liable for any accident that happens on their property. In some cases, they can even be liable for the actions of a third party that result in injuries.
A Houston premises liability lawyer can provide an understanding of the law that creates a better chance for a successful claim. A professional injury attorney can also help to gather the evidence needed to prove that a defendant landowner is liable for an injury.
The Various Examples of Premises Liability Incidents
In a general sense, a premises liability claim describes any personal injury case that is the result of a landowner’s failure to keep a guest safe. The classic example is the slip and fall where a temporary hazard causes a guest to suffer an injury. However, the risks associated with temporary hazards constitute only a narrow strip of the various ways that failing to maintain one’s land can cause injuries.
Injuries can also be the result of a failure to perform preventative maintenance. Something as simple as a broken stair on a common entryway or a loose handrailing on a ramp can cause a person to lose their balance and fall to the ground. More serious defects in land such as open pits or failing elevators can also result in severe injuries.
Finally, landowners must also take steps to provide proper security to their visitors. This requires bars to have proper security staff, gas stations to have adequate lighting, and even apartment complexes to have locks preventing non-residents from gaining entry. In this way, landowners may be liable for the criminal acts of third parties if a plaintiff can prove a lack of proper security.
The Classes of Visitors Under Houston Law
Every landowner in Houston must provide proper protection to keep their guests safe. However, what constitutes proper protection depends on a visitor’s legal status. State law recognizes three classes of visitors, each with their own protections under the law:
Trespassers are people who enter land without the permission of the owner. These people can only claim damages if they can prove that the landowner caused intentional harm, such as by setting a trap.
Licensees are social guests who enter land for their own benefit. Here, the landowners must provide warnings about hazards of which they had knowledge before the accident.
Invitees are people who enter property for the benefit of the owner. These include tenants in an apartment building, shoppers in a mall, or worshippers in a church. The landowner here must take adequate steps to identify hazards that may affect the health of visitors. A Houston premises liability lawyer could help to explain the classes of visitors under state law and how this classification could affect a claim for damages.
Call a Houston Premises Liability Attorney Today
There is no debate that landowners have a duty to keep their land safe for guests. However, the extent of this duty changes depending on why a person enters a property and whether they had permission to do so.
This includes a duty to protect you from temporary hazards, such as standing water. The duty also extends to perform preventative maintenance in all common areas and even to protect you from the criminal actions of third parties.
A Houston premises liability attorney could help you to prove that a landowner’s failure to provide this protection caused your losses. They can also help to pursue the case within the state statute of limitations. Contact a Houston premises liability attorney today to get started.