Premises Liability Laws in Texas
Texas property owners have a legal duty to maintain their properties and ensure that they are free from any unreasonable hazards that could cause an accident or injury. If a hazard cannot be reasonably removed or repaired, property owners should provide adequate warning to potential visitors.
If you or someone you love was injured on public or private property, and you believe that the property owner was negligent, you could have grounds for a premises liability case. At Kelley Law Firm, we represent people who have been severely injured due to unsafe and defective conditions in retail stores, restaurants, shopping malls, private homes, office buildings, apartment complexes, and even public spaces, such as city parks. Our Dallas premises liability lawyers have extensive experience in this complex area of law and know how to aggressively pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. To date, we have recovered more than $500 million for our clients, including many million- and multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts.
Contact us online or by phone at (972) 853-5398 to request a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team today.
Generally speaking, whenever a property owner violates his or her duty of care to someone who enters the property, and the person who enters the property is injured as a result, the property owner may be held liable for the visitor’s resulting damages. In Texas, property owners owe varying duties of care to different types of property visitors.
Texas recognizes three types of property visitors:
- Invitees: An invitee is someone who lawfully enters a property for the mutual benefit (often, though not always, financial in nature) of both the invitee and the property owner. A customer at a retail store is an example of an invitee.
- Licensees: A licensee is someone who lawfully enters the property but for his or her own purposes, not necessarily for the benefit of the property owner. Salespeople, meter readers, and mail delivery people are examples of licensees.
- Trespassers: A trespasser is someone who unlawfully enters a property without the implied or expressed consent of the property owner. Someone who takes a “shortcut” across private land would be considered a trespasser.
Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, followed by licensees. In Texas, property owners must remove, repair, and/or warn of dangerous conditions that could cause foreseeable injury, as well as conduct routine property maintenance for the benefit of invitees. While they are not required to conduct property maintenance to protect licensees, they must warn such visitors of potential hazards on the property.
When it comes to trespassers, Texas property owners must simply refrain from causing willful or intentional injury. They do not owe trespassers a duty of care, with the exception of minors (unmarried individuals under the age of 18). If the trespasser was a child or teen under the age of 18, the property owner could still be liable under the state’s attractive nuisance laws, which hold property owners accountable for hazardous conditions that may attract children or teens to a property. Examples of attractive nuisances include swimming pools, trampolines, ponds, animals, and more.
A dangerous property condition is any hazard or condition that poses a foreseeable risk of injury. In other words, if a typical person could reasonably understand that a specific condition might cause an accident or otherwise result in an injury, that condition is likely considered “dangerous.” A property defect might be considered a “dangerous condition” if the defect poses a risk of foreseeable injury to others.
Some examples of common dangerous property conditions include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Unmarked exits
- Insufficient lighting
- Tripping hazards
- Torn or ripped carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Missing handrails
- Defective steps or stairs
- Negligent security guards
- Faulty security cameras
- Cluttered walkways or aisles
- Missing or improper signage
- Capacity violations
- Lack of safety barriers or fencing
- Defective smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
- Exposed and/or faulty electrical wiring
- Loose animals, including dangerous dogs
- Unsafe swimming pools
They were thoughtful and constantly checked up on me during the time they were handling my case.
If a property owner failed to adequately maintain their premises, or if their negligence led to your injuries, Kelley Law Firm can help you seek fair compensation for your related losses. Our Dallas premises liability lawyers help victims of all types of property-related accidents fight to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and future expenses related to their injuries. We understand the many challenges you and your family are facing, which is why we offer compassionate, personalized legal representation tailored to your specific concerns. Throughout the process, you can rely on our team to remain consistently available, provide ongoing communication, and answer any questions you may have.
In nearly all cases, you have only two years from the date of injury to file a premises liability lawsuit in Texas. If you wait too long, and the statute of limitations expires, you will almost certainly lose your right to recover compensation for your damages. We encourage you to reach out to our team right away to learn how we can help you hold the negligent property owner accountable.
There are no fees for you unless/until we win your case. Call (972) 853-5398 or contact us online to request a free, no-obligation consultation.