Premises Liability

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Hire a Houston Premises Liability Lawyer

What Is Premises Liability?

Suppose you’re at an apartment complex and you’re injured by a staircase that collapsed. Who can be held liable? Can you recover damages for your losses?

Premises liability refers to the body of law that holds property owners accountable for injuries that may happen to others while on their property or land. This covers injuries and accidents that happen in homes, businesses, and other locations.

Initially, premises liability law may seem simple and straightforward. However, this area of law is quite broad since it involves many types of injuries on different types of properties. It also contains various nuances that can make even a “basic” accident complicated.

If you or a loved one of yours were injured while at another’s property, you may deserve compensation for expenses and losses. At Pierce Skrabanek, we have dedicated our careers to holding parties accountable for preventable injuries.

Contact us at (832) 690-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options. We are on hand to guide you through the process from start to finish.

What Do Damages in a Premises Liability Lawsuit Cover?

Damages in a premises liability lawsuit can cover many different costs and expenses that the accident caused. The amount of damages recovered will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injury and how much the owner knew about potential dangers on the property.

A damages award or settlement in a premises liability lawsuit can cover:

  • Costs of medical treatment, medicines, and hospital stays
  • Expenses connected with therapy and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages and loss of the ability to generate wages in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages, in cases where intentional conduct or recklessness was involved
  • Wrongful death costs in cases involving fatalities

The amount of damages recovered can often depend on the capabilities and experience of the lawyer handling the case. A skilled premises liability attorney will be able to assess the costs caused by the injury, and can accurately calculate the damages needed to compensate the person fully.

A skilled lawyer will be able to assess the injuries and properly calculate the damages needed to make the person whole again.  

At Pierce Skrabanek, our attorneys have returned a long line of verdicts and settlements that demonstrates our ability to help injured parties obtain the compensation they deserve.

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What Types of Accidents and Injuries Are Frequently Involved in Premises Liability Lawsuits?

Premises liability basically holds a property owner liable for accidents or injuries occurring on their property. As a result, premises liability lawsuits can involve a very wide range of incidents, including:

  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Collapsing structures
  • Swimming pool/drowning incidents
  • Assaults or shootings due to lack of security
  • Poor lighting at apartments or other complexes
  • Injuries from sharp objects
  • Toxic exposure
  • Various other types of personal injury accidents

There are many other different kinds of accidents that premises liability law covers. You may need to contact and hire a lawyer if you were injured on another person’s property and are unsure of who may be responsible.

At Pierce Skrabanek, our premises liability attorneys have a proven track record of holding the proper parties responsible and obtaining significant damages awards on behalf of clients.

Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?

Premises liability and negligence are not the same. Premises liability refers to situations where a property owner can be held liable for injuries to others who are on their property.

Negligence is the legal theory that is typically used to prove premises liability. Negligence happens when a person fails to exercise the care they are reasonably expected to show others, with such failure causing injury to another person.

In the context of premises liability, negligence typically takes the form of the property owner or manager failing to take specific precautions, such as failing to make sure there is adequate security on the premises.

To prove a premises liability claim based on negligence, it must be shown that:

  1. The property owner owed a duty of care to the person who was injured on the property
  2. There was an unsafe or dangerous condition on their property
  3. The property owner knew about the dangerous condition, yet failed to fix or address it; and
  4. The property owner’s failure to prevent the incident was the cause of the person’s injuries and measurable damages

As a general example, suppose that a property owner knew that a pool deck on their property was about to collapse. If it collapses while someone is standing on it and they get injured, it could form the foundation for a premises liability case.

There are varying levels of duty that the owner must abide by, as will be shown in the following section. These depend on the way the visitor relates to the property.

You may be entitled to damages if you were hurt on someone else’s property and they failed to take the required steps to secure your safety.

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How Does the Duty of Care Apply in Premises Liability Cases?

Premises liability cases are so complex because the property owner may owe a slightly different duty of care to people who visit their property. This depends on many different contextual factors.

The main idea is that the duty of care depends on whether the person was invited, what their purpose was being there, and whether the property owner had an opportunity to fix potentially dangerous conditions.

There are three basic types of visitors. A property owner owes a different duty of care to each of them:

Invitee: This is a person that the property owner invited to enter their property for any lawful reason.

Examples: Friends who were invited to another’s house, hotel patrons, store customers, and people attending a sporting event.

Duty of Care: A property owner may be held liable if they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition if they had exercised “reasonable care” in inspecting their property. The owner has a duty to warn all invitees of such risks; they also have a duty to inspect their property for dangers that could harm the invitee.

Licensee: This is a person allowed to be on the property for their own benefit, and who remains present at the owner’s consent.

Examples: A utility worker who enters the premises to repair an electrical wire, a friend who stops by uninvited and enters the owner’s house, or someone who the owner granted permission to hike on their land.

Duty of Care: Similar to invitees, the owner is liable if they had reason to know of any dangers, and failed to take steps to correct the hazard. They also have a duty to warn the licensee; however, they typically don’t owe a duty to inspect the premises beforehand.

Trespassers: This is someone with no legal right or permission from the owner to enter the property.

Examples: A burglar, a person hunting on a plot of land without permission, or someone loitering after hours at a construction site.

Duty of Care: Property owners are generally not responsible for injuries trespassers sustain on the property. They also don’t have a duty to warn them of hazards or inspect their land to make it safe.  

These categories will differ according to state law; in addition, there may be exceptions to these rules. For example, property owners generally don’t need to warn trespassers of dangers; however, they also typically can’t set booby traps to injure them.

So, sorting out damages and liability can be very confusing if you were injured while on someone else’s land or property. Thus, it’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer who can research the laws in your area and determine what your options are in terms of damages.

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Daryl M.

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“My experience with Mr. Skrabanek was honestly far better than all expectations that we had. He took care of us like we were family, making sure me and my wife always felt like a priority and walked us through all of the concerns that we had. If you are looking for a professional who truly cares for his clients you can stop the search. You won’t be disappointed.”

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“Mike and his team helped me settle an injury claim case. I was informed and helped through every step and they were always professional and very responsive. I really enjoyed working with them.”

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“My attorney, Michael, did an amazing job with my case. He’s a straight shooter and has a vast knowledge of the law combined with an extensive amount of experience, making him a fantastic attorney. I fully recommend this firm.

Thank you Pierce Skrabenek!”

Gabriela C.

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“Paul Skrabanek of the law firm Pierce Skrabanek was very professional and went above & beyond in handling my daughter's case. Very dedicated, worked diligently, and got justice for my family. If I could give a higher rating than 5 stars I would. Thank you and your firm for such tenacity.”

Raymond H.

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“These guys are awesome, they were very informative from the beginning to end, working with them was super smooth, and I had all questions answered thoroughly. The whole team at this firm works to help in every way they can. They were able to get me the compensation I deserved and exceeded my expectations. If you’re ever in need of a stellar team to stand behind you and work for you, these guys are the ones you would want in your corner.

Thank you very much Paul and thank your team for me.”

Cam F.

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“Working with Paul Skrabanek was a very positive experience. He helped me understand the legal process as someone who has never been a part of a lawsuit, and was able to get me settled quickly and painlessly! Loved working with Pierce Skrabanek law firm!”

Michele R.

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Michael Pierce and his team, especially Krystle, were very professional, always available (even on weekends), and very knowledgeable. We appreciate their hard work on our case and the time they took to explain every detail as our case progressed. Mike is a phenomenal attorney and we highly recommend them for your legal needs.”

Beverly C.

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“I found Mr. Skrabanek to be very trustworthy, creditable, and genuinely concerned about my well-being while I was going through this very difficult process. He showed constant concern for me being completely satisfied before making any final decisions.”

Diane T.

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“Fantastic team of attorneys and staff dedicated to their clients. Michael Pierce is an outstanding trial attorney for personal injury cases.”

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“We watched, participated & listened to Paul Skrabanek fight for a settlement which we could be happy with. Just this month the case has been put to rest.”

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How Can I Hire a Houston Premises Liability Attorney?

Lawsuits involving premises liability laws can easily become complicated. They are best handled by attorneys who have direct experience dealing with such legal issues. If you or a loved one were injured while on someone’s property, and they didn’t take the correct steps to ensure your safety, you may be able to recover damages.

Contact Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Our premises liability attorneys will treat you like family, and will work hard to ensure the safety of our communities and neighborhoods.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a premises liability case take to complete?

Every premises liability lawsuit will be unique; some lawsuits can be resolved in several months, while others can take a year or more to fully resolve. Cases that involve complex legal issues or disputes will require additional time to investigate and review the evidence.

What type of evidence is needed to prove premises liability?

Many types of evidence can be used to prove premises liability. These may include:

  • Medical records and documents
  • Photos and social media posts
  • Security camera footage (or lack of camera footage where it’s needed)
  • Eyewitness reports and testimony
  • Physical evidence such as broken pieces of a structure

How long will my premises liability case take?

Every premises liability case is different; some cases may be resolved in several months, while others can take up to a year or longer to fully complete. Cases involving complex issues or disputes over liability may require more investigation and review of evidence.

How can a Houston premises liability lawyer help me?

An experienced premises liability attorney can provide assistance by:

  • Filling out and filing court forms
  • Gathering evidence for trial
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Researching relevant laws
  • Preparing a legal strategy for litigation

After a premises liability injury, you or your loved one may not be in the best position to deal with court requirements and documents. At Pierce Skrabanek, we do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on getting your life back on track. Contact us at (832) 583-1862  to discuss your premises liability case.