The owner of a property is responsible for maintaining that property
Premises liability cases generally refer to situations where someone is injured by an unsafe condition on another’s property. A common example would be a slip-and-fall case at a retail store. In Texas, liability in these types of cases depends on a lot of variables. One of the main things at issue, however, is the injured person’s status on the property.
If a landowner invites the injured person onto the property, the injured person is generally considered an “invitee.” This is usually the case in commercial and retail settings, where businesses invite customers to come in and shop. Invitees receive the greatest protection under the law.
If a landowner permits the injured person to come onto the property, but does not invite them onto the property, the injured person is likely a “licensee.” For example, if you own a farm that is adjacent to your neighbor’s farm, and your neighbor permits you to pass through their property to move your equipment efficiently, you are probably a licensee. Licensees receive some protection under the law, but not as much as invitees.
People who do not fall into either category above are usually considered “trespassers.” They receive the least amount of protection under the law. Trespassers generally do not have a claim unless the landowner is grossly negligent, which is very difficult to prove.
The categories described above are straightforward in theory, but there are a lot of exceptions and nuances. For example, if children are involved and are attracted onto a property by an artificial condition (e.g., a swimming pool), different rules apply. Similarly, if a commercial property owner hires a contractor to do work on the property, and the contractor is then injured by an unsafe condition, the rules are different as well.
Cronauer Law aggressively advocates for the rights of our clients who have been injured by a landowner’s failure to safely maintain their property. We guide clients through the stressful and difficult task of rebuilding their lives after being unjustly injured. Contact Cronauer Law today for a free consultation.
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