Duty of Private Property Owners

The expectations of private property owners regarding visitors depends in large part upon what type of property the person has and what they are using it for. Generally, the property owner who is aware of potential hazards has a corresponding duty to either warn of or fix the problems.

However, some private properties may be off limits to visitors for a reason. It may be dangerous.

For instance, if someone is running a rock mill, they are not going to want many visitors, and the visitors they have must be controlled because there is an extreme degree of danger. The greater the degree of danger, the greater care a property owner should use to protect others from harm, but even that rule depends on the visitor’s legal status on the property.

A property owner’s duty changes upon the nature of the potential visitor.

If someone expects to have visitors, they need to make it reasonably safe for people that are there. In cases where the visitor is trespassing on a private property, this duty of care changes to a simple duty not to intentionally harm the trespasser. If they are going to have children on the property, they have a corresponding duty to make sure that premises is safe for children who may not appreciate the same risk of injury that adult may appreciate.

Does the Condition of the Property Impact a Premises Liability Case?

The condition of the property is a critical factor in a premises liability case. The more poorly the premises is maintained, the more dangerous the property is, and the greater the defendant liability. An experienced attorney in McKinney would look at whether the private property owner did something that was unreasonable or failed to do something that they should have done.

There is a law that applies to children called attractive nuisance. This is often applied in cases where private properties have swimming pools or ponds that are note gated off, resulting in a child drowning. Even if the child was technically trespassing, the property owner could sometimes still be held liable for the harm done.

It is vital that these cases are investigated immediately so that evidence can be preserved. If evidence is not preserved, it goes away, and making it difficult to prove defendant’s fault.

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Owned Versus Rented Property in McKinney

In Texas law, a court can assess liability to both the owner and the occupier of a property. The occupier can be a tenant of the property. For instance, the owner of a shopping mall may lease a space to a tenant who operates a store in that building.

There may be some dangerous conditions that the owner of the shopping mall knows about that the tenant may not. In other cases, there could be hazards that the tenant knows about but that the owner of the mall or the property itself may not.

In these situations, the law details what is known as proportionate responsibility. This requires a court to assign proportionate fault to each person involved in the accident.

In private apartment cases, it can get complicated. Generally, the property owner or management company knows of longer-term problems. Sometimes, there are simply problems that the tenant cannot fix according to their contract. It is incumbent upon a McKinney injury attorney working on a private property liability case to show that the tenant tried to fix the hazard or told the landlord, but it was not done.

What Rights Does a Property Owner Have?

The property owner has a number of rights. They can always put a fence around their property or “no trespassing” signs up. They can prevent people from entering a property for any purpose.

If they are going to have the property open to the public and are going to use their property in an attempt to make money from the public, they have the right to do so. However, they have a corresponding duty to keep their property reasonably safe for those who they expect to use it.

Texas additionally has a section of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code known as the Recreational Use Statute.  Under that statute persons allowing others the use of rural property for a whole host of activities have no duty to correct or even warn permissive users of the property, when the property is used for specific purposes.


Speak with a McKinney Private Property Liability Attorney Today

Premises liability law can become a little complicated when it comes to private property. Under certain circumstances, a property owner is not required to remove or warn visitors of potential hazards. By speaking with a McKinney private property liability lawyer, you could improve your chances of a positive resolution to your claim. Call our office today and schedule your initial case consultation for free.

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If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in North Texas, please contact the team at McCraw Law Group today. We are ready to help you in a broad range of serious accident and injury legal issues, and offer multiple ways to reach us.

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If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in North Texas, please contact the team at McCraw Law Group today. We are ready to help you in a broad range of serious accident and injury legal issues, and offer multiple ways to reach us.

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