premises liabilityWhen someone slips or trips and falls on another’s property, the resulting injury may be the responsibility of the property owner under the legal theory of premises liability. Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of a property owner or possessor to ensure that their property is safe for those who are legally on it. This includes taking reasonable care to maintain the property in a safe condition and to warn visitors of any hazards that are not obvious. If someone is injured on the property due to the owner’s failure to take these steps, the owner may be held liable for the injuries.

Were you or a loved one injured in Austin?

If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall at work or while on another’s property, an Austin premises liability attorney can help. The law surrounding this legal doctrine can be complicated, the potentially responsible parties can be numerous, and the insurance policies can be confusing. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help remove doubt, relieve stress, and ensure you and your loved ones receive the financial compensation you are due after a premises liability accident.

Types of Premises Liability Accidents

Many different factors can cause or contribute to a premises liability accident, including spills, trip hazards, defective stairs, wet floors, torn carpet, loose or broken tiles, ire safety and building code violations, and more. Any one or any combination of these issues can cause accidents and injuries to unsuspecting workers, visitors, employees, and others.

The most common types of premises liability accidents include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Stair, ceiling, or balcony collapse
  • Negligent security
  • Amusement Park accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Obstructions
  • Poor maintenance
  • Animal attacks

Premises liability injuries commonly occur in parking lots and garages, in retail stores, at bars and nightclubs, in others’ homes, at grocery stores, at work, at hotels, in office buildings, at movie theaters, and in a variety of other public and private spaces.

Property Owner Negligence Cause Serious Injuries

If a property owner’s negligence injures someone, the injured person may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner to recover damages for their injuries. In order to succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, the injured party must be able to prove that the property owner’s negligence caused their injury. The victim must also be able to show they suffered damages as a result of the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the lawsuit is successful, the property owner may be required to pay damages to the injured individual to compensate them for their injuries and other losses.

More specifically, a property owner or occupier may be considered negligent if they fail to take reasonable steps to maintain their property in a safe condition, or if they fail to warn others of known hazards on the property. However, the owner of premises is not open to unlimited liability. They are liable only for preventable accidents.

In order to determine whether a property owner or occupier was negligent, the injured party must prove the following:

  1. Duty of care: The property owner or occupier has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of others on their property.
  2. Breach of duty: The property owner or occupier breached this duty of care by failing to maintain the property in a safe condition or by failing to warn others of known hazards.
  3. Causation: The injury must have been caused by the property owner or occupier’s breach of their duty.
  4. Damages: The victim must have suffered some type of injury or loss as a result of the property owner or occupier’s actions or inaction.

If all of these elements are present, the property owners or occupiers may be found negligent and may be held liable for the injuries sustained by the victim.

What steps should you take after a premises liability accident?

If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property, be sure to report the incident to someone with authority. This might be the property owner, store manager, jobsite manager, your employer, or the police, depending on the circumstances. Make sure someone in charge knows what happened and request medical assistance right away. Don’t wait to see a doctor, as this could worsen your condition as well as hurt your chances of success in a premises liability lawsuit.

Next, document the accident by writing down what happened, taking photos and/or videos of the dangerous property condition, and noting who you spoke to and when. The more you record about the accident, the better you will remember it later on and the stronger your case will be. If you cannot stay on the scene and get his information, have someone you trust do it for you.

Contact Austin Attorney Ashley Applewhite for a Free Consultation

Premises liability cases can get complex. Personal injury attorney Ashley Applewhite has handled cases involving injuries and other losses for her entire legal career. Her experience working with insurance companies has given her insight into how to best prove up a case for an injury victim and their loved ones. Contact the Applewhite Firm PLLC or call 512-617-9250 to find out how we can help with your case.