Every year, thousands of people are injured while on someone else's property. From minor slips and falls to severe accidents, these incidents can lead to substantial medical bills, lost wages, and other unfortunate outcomes. However, the answer is often far from clear when it comes to determining who is responsible for these injuries.
1. The Duty of Care:
The first factor to consider when determining liability in premises liability cases is the duty of care the property owner owes to visitors. Generally, property owners must keep their properties reasonably safe, which means removing or repairing hazards that could cause injuries. This duty of care extends to all visitors to the property, whether they are guests, customers, or even trespassers in some cases. For a property owner to be held liable for injuries sustained on their property, it must be shown that they failed to meet this duty of care.
Injuries on another's property often occur due to the property owner's negligence. Examples of negligence that could lead to liability include:
- Failing to clean up spills promptly.
- Neglecting to repair a broken staircase.
- Failing to warn visitors about known hazards such as loose carpeting.
If a visitor is injured because of the property owner's negligence, they may be able to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with their injury.
3. Statutory Liability:
In some cases, the duty of care owed by a property owner is established by statute. For example, landlords must maintain safe conditions in many states in their rental properties. If a landlord fails to fulfill this duty, they may be held liable for injuries sustained by their tenants. Similarly, the law may require business owners to take certain safety precautions to prevent customer injuries. Property owners can be held liable for injuries sustained due to their failure to meet statutory requirements in these cases.
4. Comparative Fault:
It is also worth noting that in some cases, the injured person may share some blame for the accident. For example, suppose someone slips and falls on an icy sidewalk outside a business, and it is determined that they wear inappropriate footwear. In that case, they may be considered partially responsible for their injuries. In comparative fault cases, the percentage of responsibility assigned to each party will determine the damages the injured party is entitled to.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you've been injured on another's property in Houston, TX, or if you're a property owner looking to understand your legal responsibilities, contact the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III & Associates PLLC. Our experienced team can help guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today at (713) 360-0062 to get started.