Denton Premises Liability Lawyer
Property owners in Texas owe certain visitors a duty to keep their premise safe from preventable harm and to warn others of any potential dangers. If their failure to uphold this duty resulted in you sustaining an injury on their property, you may be eligible to seek legal recourse with help from an experienced injury attorney. A skilled Denton premises liability lawyer could review your situation, determine if you have a basis to make a claim, and help you secure appropriate compensation.
What Duties Do Property Owners Have to Visitors?
The extent to which a property owner, renter, or possessor must maintain safe premises and warn others of hazards depends on the legal classification of the person entering the premises. Texas recognizes three categories of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. A property owner must uphold a different level of care with each one.
Invitees are invited onto the property by the landowner for both of their benefits, such as patron or delivery personnel, and are owed the highest duty of care. As such, those responsible for the land must ensure the invitee’s safety by maintaining the property, making necessary repairs, or warning of any dangerous circumstances. Landholders must provide notice of known risks as well as hazards they could reasonably discover.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 75.002 limits the duty owed to licensees and trespassers. Licensees enter the property with the landholder’s permission and knowledge, but they enter for their benefit, such as a house guest, neighbor, or door-to-door salesperson. Owners must repair known dangers or provide licensees with a warning, but they do not have to inspect the property for unsafe conditions. Under Texas law, trespassers do not deserve any protection except from willful or grossly negligent actions.
Determining which category applies to a particular set of circumstances can be tricky. For example, the duty owed to an independent contractor working on someone’s property, as codified in Civil Practice Code § 95.003, requires a detailed analysis. Experienced premises liability attorneys from the area routinely assess fact patterns and could assist injured claimants understand their options and put together a plan of action.
Assigning Fault for Injuries on Another’s Property
Under Civil Practice Code § 33.003, each party must assume their portion of responsibility for the resulting harm and injured persons can only receive a percentage of damages equal to the defendant’s liability. In other words, if the claimant bore 40 percent of the blame and the defendant 60 percent, the claimant may recover up to 60 percent of the total judgment. If the claimant’s responsibility equals 51 percent or more, § 33.001 bars any recovery.
Negligent property owners often use this apportioning of blame to minimize their involvement and shift the blame to those injured. They may argue that the claimant was aware of the danger, misused the property, or that the threat was open and obvious so the individual could have reasonably avoided it. A seasoned premises injury attorney could gather and preserve evidence to counter these arguments and ensure the claimant receives the award they deserve under Civil Practice Code § 41.001.
Liability for Government Owned Land
Different rules apply under the Texas Tort Claims Act when a person’s injury occurs on government-owned or rented property. This law defines the extent of the government’s liability, establishes strict procedures for filing claims, imposes shorter timeframes for raising allegations, and caps recovery amounts. If a case involves a governmental entity, the claimant should consider working with a local lawyer familiar with public property liability to avoid preventable complications.
Seek Guidance from a Denton Premises Liability Attorney
Proving liability for the injuries you sustained on someone else’s property can be challenging on your own. However, with a seasoned Denton premises liability lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that your interests may be well represented. Do not hesitate to call our office today. The initial consultation is always free.