People who get injured on private or public property in Houston can sue for damages under premises liability. Premises liability requires the owner to make their property safe and holds them accountable for injuries, including those on government property. Several types of injuries may occur.
Types of premises injuries
Slip and falls occur when a person trips or slips on a defective area, such as a wet floor or a hidden pothole. These injuries send around a million people to the emergency room annually, and they make up a large part of workers’ compensation claims. Property owners also have to make stairs safe since they can cause more damage.
Dog bites are another injury that occurs from unrestrained or uncontrolled dogs. Many states require restraining of dogs or certain breeds unless they are hunting. Sometimes, a visitor to a property may get exposed to toxic fumes or chemicals such as carbon monoxide, concentrated cleaners or mold. These substances may cause health issues even with small amounts of inhalation.
Proving premises liability
Many accidents occur from negligence of the owner, but not all injuries mean that the owner acted negligently. The plaintiff must prove that the owner knew about the defect and had reasonable time to correct it, and the person had been expected or invited. For example, if rain caused a puddle near the entrance before a business opened, the owner more than likely had not known about it yet.
The visitor to the property usually has to exercise personal responsibility for their own safety. If they don’t, they either won’t have great odds of winning a case or they share the blame, which falls under comparative fault. Premises liability commonly does not cover trespassers who get injured on the property.
Premises liability gives consumers and visitors on public or private property a right to litigation, but the laws can be tricky. If a person thinks a negligent property owner caused the injury, a lawyer may be able to help prove the case.