San Antonio Accident Attorney Answers Premises Liability FAQs
Property owners, tenants/lessee or occupants are responsible for injuries resulting on their property under the legal theory of premise liability. The type of property may range from agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial. The following are frequently asked questions that you may have for a seasoned San Antonio accident attorney.
If I was hurt from a slip, trip and fall while shopping in a retail store or grocery store, or as a guest at a hotel, do I have recourse against that commercial entity?
Commercial entities that are open to the public have a responsibility to their customers, called invitees, and must maintain a safe condition on their property or premise. Under Texas law, “premise” includes “land, roads, water, watercourse, private ways, and buildings, structures, machinery and equipment attached to or located on the land, road, water, watercourse, or private way.” Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. 75.001. Thus, they may be responsible for clearing the ice and snow in the parking lot and sidewalk, cleaning up any liquids on the floor, providing adequate warnings for any known dangers, and performing other duties to maintain the property in a safe condition. However, a San Antonio accident attorney caveats that there are instances where owners may not be responsible for your injuries. For example, if someone next to you drops coffee and a second later, you slip on it, it would be difficult to prove that the employees knew or should have known about the spilled coffee if it had just happened seconds before the accident. If, however, the coffee spill was in the middle of the floor for ten minutes, then arguably, the staff knew or should have known of the spill and either cleaned it up or erected a warning sign that the floor is slippery.
I was assaulted in or near a hotel. Can the hotel be held responsible?
The hotel (or any other commercial entity) usually will not be held responsible for crimes committed on or near the property unless it could be anticipated that a crime could be committed. For example, if the hotel was located in a high crime area, then the hotel should take higher security measures: increased security cameras, doorman, limited access to elevators to the hotel rooms by room key card, and adequate warnings. However, if the hotel is located in an area where minimal crime occurs, then the hotel may not be held responsible unless the hotel has a history of assaults.
Do building owners need to take safety precautions against fires?
Building owners and/or management are obligated to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries in case of fire. This includes providing fire escapes, escape routes, sprinklers and minimizing the amount of people within the building. A San Antonio accident attorney explains that over occupancy may result in bottlenecking of escape routes, resulting in serious injury or death.
I am a solicitor who entered onto someone’s residential property and was attacked by the owner’s friend’s dog. Do I have recourse against the owner of the property?
If you are entering onto the property with the defendant’s permission, but not by invitation (e.g. you are a utility man reading the meters, mailman delivering mail, delivery man, or even a solicitor) you are considered a “licensee.” Thus, even if you were not expressly invited onto the property, the owner, lessee, or occupier of the property still has a duty to warn you against dangers actually known to him. If the owner knew the dog could attack strangers and did not take measures to prevent the dog from attacking, then the owner could be held responsible for your injuries as well as the dog owner. A San Antonio accident attorney emphasizes that the owner, lessee or occupier must have actual knowledge of the danger. Thus, if he did not know of his friend’s dog’s violent tendencies, then he may not be held responsible for your injuries.
I illegally entered onto someone’s yard and was injured. Do I have recourse?
As a trespasser, a San Antonio accident attorney indicates you have the lowest protection. The only duty the defendant has is to avoid causing you an injury “willfully, wantonly, or through gross negligence,” unless you are a child. In such case, the defendant may also be held responsible for injuries caused by a highly dangerous artificial condition on the land. Tex. Civ. Pro. & Rem. 75.007.
Seek a San Antonio Accident Attorney for Assistance!
If you were injured on someone else’s property through no fault of your own, consult an experienced San Antonio accident attorney with Brylak Law at (210) 372-8111.