Premises Liability

The term "premises liability" refers to a property owner's implied responsibility to make their property safe for visitors, as well as themselves. When a property owner fails to do that — for instance, a business fails to shovel snow from its walkway or a construction crew fails to put appropriate signage in place to warn pedestrians of danger — they can be held liable for any injuries caused as a result.

There are, of course, many factors that affect the outcome of a personal injury case. For instance, if a person is trespassing on someone else’s property and gets hurt, that person is unlikely to receive any compensation for their injuries. If, however, the property owner had reason to believe trespassers would be common on their property, they could be held responsible for not taking necessary precautions to warn those persons of danger.

For example, let’s say a high school is being renovated over the summer. The school district can expect that a few curious students might sneak onto the property to see what changes are being made — or even to fulfill a dare. In anticipation of such behavior, the management involved in this scenario should give ample warning about any and all dangerous areas on the property.

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Comparative Fault

Another important factor that affects many personal injury cases is the concept of shared fault or comparative fault. These terms refer to both parties — the visitor and the property owner — being partially responsible for the injuries sustained on the property. As a general rule, people are expected to care enough about their own well-being to try and avoid getting hurt. That’s why, if a visitor seems to have behaved in a foolhardy way that resulted in an injury, their claim to compensation is likely to be reduced.

In Texas, the comparative fault rule is applied by percentage. For instance, let’s say an injury has occurred and the damages have amounted to $10,000. If, after examining the details of the case, the judge determines that the property owner is 75% responsible for the visitor’s injury and the visitor is 25% responsible for getting themselves hurt, the injured person can only receive up to 75% of the compensation — in this case, $7,500. If on the other hand, the injured person is deemed to be 51% or more responsible for their injury, they cannot claim any compensation.

The Importance of Consulting with an Attorney

Comparative fault and trespassing are just two of many unique factors that can affect the outcome of a premises liability case. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can offer much more in the way of expertise, which could mean the difference between collecting your compensation and walking away empty-handed. If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, your next step should be consulting with an attorney to determine what your case may be worth.

Why the O’Hara Law Firm?

Since I began practicing law, I have taken on a wide variety of personal injury cases and faced all manner of opposition. There is no case too big or too small for my firm. So if you or a loved one has been hurt due to someone else’s negligent facility care or upkeep, give me a call. I’d be happy to walk you through your next steps.