Understanding Premises Liability — Be a Responsible Property Owner

By Tim O’Hare

Property owners have a responsibility for managing their property in such a way that others are not risk of injury while on that property. A premise liability claim can be brought against a negligent property owner of a commercial or private property. Most premise liability claims, however, are brought against owners of commercial properties.

A common example of a premise liability on a commercial property is an individual who falls in a grocery store, suffering injury as the result of a foreign object or substance being left on the floor. Premise liability isn’t limited to commercial properties, and could occur on private property. An individual who falls on a broken stair in a home and suffers injury is one example of premise liability on a private property. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to maintain that property in such a way that there are no obvious hazards to anyone who may be on your property.

In the state of Texas, there are six elements that must be proven for a successful premise liability lawsuit.

  1. Condition existed on the property in question that posed unreasonable risk of injury to other individuals on the property.
  2. The property owner knew or should have known his or her property was in such condition to pose risk of injury to others.
  3. The property owner should have anticipated that others not discover the danger of the property or be able to protect themselves against it. (Thus taking action with necessary maintenance or changes to the property to avoid injury to others.)
  4. The property owner was negligent in that he or she either created the dangerous condition of their property, knew about it, or should have known about it.
  5. An individual (the plaintiff) was injured on the property in question.
  6. The plantiff’s injury was a direct result of the dangerous condition of the property in question.

In the event you suffer injury or harm due to a hazard on a private or commercial property, it is important that you document the accident with photos. Take pictures of the hazard. Get the names and phone numbers of as many witnesses as possible. These will play a significant role in the success of your case.

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney. Call us at 972-960-0000 or Toll-Free at 888-960-0020.