Every day in Texas, people suffer serious injuries in premises-related accidents. These are accidents that occur due to hazards on a property, such as slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, and staircase accidents. Premises accidents can take place at private residences, on public property or in commercial buildings. If you were injured due to a defect on a commercial property in Texas, find out what it will take to recover compensation from the business or corporation.
Basic Premises Liability Laws in Texas
Establishing any premises liability claim in Texas requires a few key elements. First, you or your premises liability lawyer must prove that you were lawfully on the property. This will give the property owner duties over your care, including a duty to maintain a reasonably safe and defect-free property. If you were trespassing on a commercial property at the time of your accident, the landowner will not owe you any duties of care (unless you are a minor).
Second, your lawyer will need to prove the owner of the commercial property was negligent in keeping the premises safe. The owner or possessor of the building – or an employee at a store – must have done something a reasonable person would not have that created an unreasonable risk of injury. Another example of negligence is the owner of the property noticing a defect but failing to repair it in a timely manner. In either situation, the owner would be liable for failing to prevent the injury.
Third, your lawyer must establish a connection between the defendant’s negligence and your injury. The business owner’s breach of the duty of care must be what caused your accident and injury. For example, if the owner knew about a faulty staircase but did not want to pay for repairs, he or she could be responsible if you fall down the stairs. Finally, you will need proof of compensable losses, such as medical bills and pain and suffering, to have a valid claim to damages.
Who Is Liable?
If you suffer an injury on commercial property, the party responsible for your medical bills and other losses will be the owner of the building, in most cases. In Texas, it is a property owner’s legal responsibility to maintain a safe premises. If a company was leasing the property at the time of your accident, however, the possessor may be liable instead. You will need to look at the lease or business contract for information about the landlord’s liability before determining the defendant.
What to Do After an Accident on Commercial Property
After an accident on a commercial property, start protecting your rights immediately with the following steps.
- Seek medical attention right away.
- Report your accident to a store manager or the property owner.
- Collect evidence in the form of photographs.
- Keep the clothes and shoes you were wearing for evidence.
- Write down the names of eyewitnesses.
- Get copies of your accident report and medical records.
- Consult with a lawyer for assistance.
Once you’ve reported your accident, taken photographs and seen a doctor, you’ve taken all the key steps to establish that the property contained a defect and that this is what caused your injury. A lawyer can help you from there.
Get Help From a Premises Liability Lawyer
Difficult questions, such as who is liable for your injury on a commercial property, can be answered by an experienced premises liability attorney. Hiring a lawyer to represent you can increase your chances of having a successful claim in Texas. Your lawyer can return to the scene of your accident, collect evidence, identify the defendant and build a strong claim to damages on your behalf. Then, your attorney can fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. Consult with a lawyer about your premises liability case today.