Don’t let someone else’s failure to maintain safe property keep you down. The law is on your side. You have a choice. You can choose to wallow or you can opt to take advantage of the law and get up again.
What are you going to do about it?
When a person slips or falls or trips and gets injured on another person’s property, it is worth considering making a bodily injury claim.
Over a million Americans slip and fall their way into ER’s across the country annually. Often the accident results from someone else’s negligence. When that happens, the injured person might be entitled to recover damages from the party who possesses or controls the property.
Usually, the property owner possesses or controls their property, but they can delegate the duties associated with possession just as they can transfer rights. We use the term property owner loosely here to refer to the party that controls the property and is obligated to varying degrees to keep it safe.
The success of a slip and fall claim, or any premises liability claim, depends on the status of the injured person (why was the person there) as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Their status determines what duty the property owner owes that person.
Premises liability accidents can occur in many different situations, such as:
The initial inquiry in a premises liability claim in Texas is the status of the injured person. Why were they on the property? as . Their status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser determines what duty the property owner owes that person.
An invitee is a guest on the premises by invitation, which may be express (stated) or implied (unstated). An invitation is implied when the property controller knows the person is on the property and the person is there for the mutual benefit of both parties, such as a commercial transaction. Invitees include business customers, meter readers, etc.
A property owner owes the highest level of care to an invitee. They are negligent as to an invitee if:
A licensee is a social guest on the premises with permission, but not by invitation. They enter and remain on a property for some a non-business reason that is not mutually beneficial. Licensees include social guests, salespeople, etc.
A property owner owes a duty of lesser care to a licensee. They are negligent as to a licensee if:
A trespasser is someone who enters or remains on property without the property owner’s consent.
A property owner owes a trespasser the lowest standard of care. They only owe a duty not to cause injury to the trespasser willfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence.
Breach and Cause
When a property owner fails to fulfill the duty they owe to an invitee, licensee or trespasser, it is said they are in breach. When a landowner’s breach proximately causes injury to the visitor, then the owner is liable for the damages sustained by that person.
Property owners in Texas are subject to the law of attractive nuisance. It requires a property owner to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger posed by an attractive nuisance or to otherwise protect a child trespasser.
Children of a certain level of development, the law presumes, are unable distinguish between what is and is not safe. Because they cannot appreciate the risks posed by a dangerous object or condition, a landowner is held to a high standard of care even as to child trespassers who enter the land without consent or permission. It effectively serves as an exception to the low standard of care landowners ordinarily owe to trespassers.
An attractive nuisance is a hazardous manmade object or condition on land that is likely to attract children. Examples include: