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What Is Negligent Undertaking?

Posted in Premises Liability on February 5, 2020

You might be the victim of a negligent undertaking in Texas if someone hired to work on your premises caused your injuries or damages. A negligent undertaking or negligent activity claim differs from a standard premises liability lawsuit. You will have different standards of proof you must meet to obtain compensation. A premises liability lawyer can help you navigate the laws and burden of proof surrounding your specific negligent undertaking case.

Negligent Undertaking vs. Premises Liability

A standard premises liability claim alleges that the owner of property committed an act or omission that made his or her property unreasonably dangerous for visitors, resulting in injuries or damages. In a premises liability claim in Texas, your lawyer will have to prove the property owner did something prior to the accident, such as failing to mop up a spilled liquid or hire security guards, that caused the injuries in question.

In a negligent undertaking claim, however, your lawyer must prove the defendant – or an employee of the defendant – was doing something ongoing that caused your injuries. Succeeding with a negligent undertaking claim requires proving the defendant owed you a duty of care and violated this duty. The defendant in question must not have acted as a prudent and reasonable person would have under the same circumstances, and this negligence must have caused your injuries.

Many negligent undertaking claims involve landlords repairing problems at tenants’ residences. A landlord might hire someone to cut down a dead tree limb that could be at risk of injuring a tenant, for example, and then be responsible if the person performing the service increased the plaintiff’s risk of harm instead.

A negligent undertaking claim allows you to hold your landlord or the owner of a property liable for your damages, not just the individual that caused your injuries. If the tree trimmer your landlord hired was negligent and made the limb fall on you, for instance, you may have a negligent undertaking claim against your landlord rather than a case against the tree trimmer. This could result in greater compensation for your damages. Hire an attorney to review your recent premises-related accident for signs of the negligent undertaking.

Do You Have a Case?

In Texas, you have a maximum of two years from the date of your premises-related accident to bring the matter to the civil court system’s attention. If you do not file a negligent undertaking claim within two years, you most likely give up the option of seeking compensation. You may bring a negligent undertaking claim against a property owner if you have injuries or property damages due to the negligence of the landlord or someone he or she hired (for compensation or a volunteer) while actively working on the property.

In general, negligent undertaking claims require a lower burden of proof than standard premises liability claims. Rather than having to prove the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous element and failed to remedy it, you or your lawyer will have to establish the landlord or his/her hired worker was negligent, and that this caused your injuries. Your lawyer will also need to prove that the defendant had a duty to help you without negligently harming you.

The defendant must have voluntarily undertaken the task of doing something reasonably necessary for your protection, then failed to exercise reasonable care in completing the task. Finally, your lawyer will need to prove that you have compensable damages due to the negligent undertaking. Find out if you have all the elements that make up a negligent undertaking claim in Texas with help from an attorney. A lawyer can review your injuries and the circumstances leading up to them for signs of negligence. If you do have a claim, your Dallas personal injury lawyer can help you fight for full compensation under Texas’ civil laws.