Understanding Premises Liability Laws in Texas
When you become injured as a result of a dangerous or defective condition
on someone else’s property, this type of injury claim will fall
into the category of premises liability. While not everyone may be eligible
to bring a premises liability claim after an accident, it is possible
to secure compensation for your losses if the conditions are right.
Here are the 3 main conditions you must demonstrate for a premises liability claim:
- The defendant (such as a property owner or manager) owed you a legal “duty
of care” because of your visitor status at the time of the accident.
- The defendant failed to live up to that duty of care, also known as a “breach”
of the legal duty.
- You sustained damages (such as physical injuries and financial losses)
as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
Visitor status is another key aspect of any Texas premises liability case,
as defendants do not owe the same duty of care to every type of visitor.
In general, visitors who are classified as “invitees” –
or guests invited to the property for a mutually-beneficial transaction
– are entitled to the highest level of care. Business patrons and
third-party vendors are good examples of invitees, and property owners
have a clear responsibility to remove known safety hazards from their
path (or give invitees fair warning.)
The three types of visitors in premises liability law include:
Invitees: Visitors on the property with consent and for the mutual benefit of all
parties. Property owners have the highest duty of care to invitees.
Licensees: Visitors on the property with consent, but for their own purposes –
such as a salesperson or social guest. Property owners have a responsibility
to warn them about known dangerous conditions or make them reasonably safe.
Trespassers: Visitors who are not legally allowed to enter the property. Property owners
only have a responsibility to avoid recklessly or intentionally injuring