When you visit someone else’s property in Texas, you have the right to assume that the property will be safe and that you will be warned about any possible hazards. People may be seriously injured if they encounter a property hazard without any warning. When this happens, the accident victim may be entitled to hold the property owner financially responsible.
If you have sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in an accident caused by dangerous conditions on another’s property in Cameron County, it is important to discuss the situation with a knowledgeable Brownsville personal injury lawyer. An experienced premises liability attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. will be able to help you determine whether you have a right to demand compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to an injury.
The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. have handled more than 20,000 cases and have extensive experience resolving injury claims involving dangerous properties. Herrman & Herrman has Spanish-speaking and English-speaking staff. We can discuss your legal matter in the language that you feel most comfortable speaking. We have office locations in Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Call (361) 792-2358 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that relates to injuries caused by unsafe conditions on another party’s property. Property owners have an obligation to make sure that their property is reasonably safe for visitors.
A premises liability lawsuit filed in Cameron County District Court may allow an injured person to recover compensation for many different kinds of damages, including doctor and hospital bills, lost income from work, and pain and suffering. Premises liability cases require an injured person to prove that the property owner or manager failed to take reasonable steps to make their property safe or failed to warn about dangerous conditions.
Who is Responsible for an Accident On Someone Else’s Property in Brownsville?
When it comes to an accident on another person’s property, the duty of care that a property owner owes will depend on the injured person’s status. In Texas, there are three categories of visitors:
- Invitees — People on premises by the expressed or implied invitations of property owners for the benefit of both parties. Customers at most businesses such as shoppers at retail stores are considered invitees, and they are owed the highest duty of care.
- Licensees — People on premises with the consent of property owners, usually for their own benefit. One example of licensees is meter readers. Licensees need to be warned of any potential dangers.
- Trespassers — People on premises without the permission of property owners. Trespassers are generally not owed a duty of care with some exceptions. However, property owners cannot knowingly cause injuries to trespassers.
An important exception to trespassers relates to the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which allows property owners to be held liable for injuries to trespassers who are young children. An attractive nuisance is an item that appeals to children too young to appreciate its dangers such as a swimming pool or trampoline. A property owner may be liable if they fail to secure their property to prevent children from accessing a swimming pool or other potentially dangerous attraction.
Many premises liability claims involve disputes about who was at fault for an accident. A property owner may contend the injured individual acted carelessly and caused his or her own injury. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, an individual cannot recover damages when they are more than 50 percent at fault for their injuries.
Furthermore, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.012 provides that damages will be reduced by a percentage equal to a claimant’s percentage of responsibility. In other words, a person who is awarded $100,000 in compensation but found to be 35 percent at fault would have their damages reduced by $35,000 and ultimately receive $65,000.
Dangerous Areas and Common Injuries Suffered
Premises liability claims often stem from slip and fall accidents, but there are other kinds of accidents that may be involved. Common types of accidents include equipment failures, failure to provide adequate security, trips over objects, falling objects, electrocutions, sexual assaults, inadequate fire escapes, and drownings.
Premises liability claims can stem from accidents on public or private property. Some of the most common sites of these types of accident claims include:
- Retail Stores
- Grocery Stores
- Shopping Malls
- Office Buildings
- Parking Lots
- Concert Venues
- Apartment Complexes
- Commercial Businesses
People may suffer a wide range of injuries on someone else’s property. Depending on the severity of the accident, injuries can lead to several weeks, months, or even years of rehabilitation and follow-up care.
Some of the different injuries people could suffer include, but are not limited to:
- Strained muscles
- Slipped discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries
In extreme cases, accidents can cause injuries that prove to be fatal. When this happens, the family members of the deceased may have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
What to Do If You Are Injured on Someone Else’s Property in Brownsville
If you are involved in an accident on another person’s property, your first step should always be to get medical attention. It is very important to visit a hospital not only for your own health, but also to have a record of care created as soon as possible after an injury. You should describe to the doctor how your injury occurred.
If your accident occurred in a place of business, then you should file an accident report with the manager or supervisor on duty. Ask for a copy of the report.
Another valuable step is to take photos of the scene of the accident before any evidence is removed or the hazardous condition is repaired. Try to get photographs from multiple angles and distances.
After the accident, be sure to preserve any and all clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident. Save your shoes and other clothing items, and do not wash or launder the clothing. Remember that your clothing may serve as evidence. If you wash your clothes, you may destroy valuable evidence.
Be sure to turn over all photos, clothing, and other evidence to your attorney so that they can perform a thorough investigation of the accident. Your lawyer will review the evidence, obtain your medical records and other documents, and may consult with experts to reconstruct what happened.
Your Brownsville injury attorney will identify the parties who might be legally responsible for your injuries and their sources of liability insurance. A demand letter will be sent to their insurer, asking for fair compensation for the losses you suffered. If the insurer does not offer a fair settlement, you may need to consider further legal action. Our attorneys will consult with you about whether to file a premises liability lawsuit in Cameron County District Court.
How a Brownsville, TX Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident on another party’s property in the greater Brownsville area? An insurance company may offer you a settlement to resolve your case. But it will almost assuredly be much less than the fair value of the injury claim. A Brownsville premises liability attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. will help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Do not accept an offer or sign anything from an insurance company without the guidance of an attorney. Representatives of insurers often ask questions that are designed to elicit damaging responses from victims. These recorded statements are often used to deny claims or minimize payouts.
Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. has an annual Innovation Scholarship essay contest that awards $5,000 in prizes to young people to further their educations. Our attorneys are skilled and aggressive advocates for our clients. We are dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve. You can have one of our lawyers in Brownsville help you understand your legal options by calling (361) 792-2358 or contacting us online to set up a free consultation.