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Living in Fort Worth, we may become oblivious to the potential hazards in our day-to-day environment. Accidents occur in a variety of settings, from retail stores and restaurants to recreation facilities and commercial properties. When an injury occurs because of a property owner’s negligence, the injured victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
Anyone can become a victim of a premises liability accident. The consequences can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a loved one were injured on someone’s property, an experienced Fort Worth premises liability attorney can protect your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexities of premises liability cases and the impact they can have on victims and their families. Contact us today and let us help you secure justice.
- Premises liability accidents arise when a negligent property owner fails to ensure the safety of others on their premises.
- Those injured in premises liability accidents have the right to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
- Skilled premises liability lawyers like those of DFW Injury Lawyers can protect your rights and pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
What Is Premises Liability: Fort Worth
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of a property owner, or in some cases the tenant, to ensure the safety of individuals who enter their premises. In Fort Worth, premises liability cases may cover slip and falls, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, amusement park incidents, and more. If you suffered injuries because of a property owner’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
Any Fort Worth premises liability lawyer you hire should be experienced in handling these types of cases and have knowledge of the laws and regulations specific to the area. They can help determine if you have a valid case, gather evidence to support it, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary. Working with a premises liability attorney in Fort Worth may also improve the chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and relevant losses.
The Difference Between Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers
Premises liability cases involve different classifications of individuals who enter someone else’s property. In Fort Worth, the law recognizes three main categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Each classification has different legal implications and responsibilities for the property owner.
Invitees are invited onto the property for a specific purpose, such as customers in a store or diners in a restaurant. Property owners must ensure the safety of invitees by inspecting the property for any hazards, warning invitees of potential dangers, and taking appropriate measures to prevent accidents.
Licensees enter the property with the permission of the property owner, including social guests or salespeople. Property owners must warn licensees of any known and unapparent dangers on the property. However, they are not required to actively inspect the property for hazards like they would for invitees.
Trespassers enter the property without permission from the property owner. Property owners typically owe trespassers the lowest duty of care, meaning they are only obligated to avoid intentionally causing harm. Understanding which classification you fall into can sometimes be complex, so consult with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer. These legal experts can help determine your status and guide you through the legal process.
Under Section 75.007 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, property owners have a duty to prevent harm to children lured to dangerous conditions on their property. This is referred to as the legal principle of “attractive nuisance.” It recognizes that young children may not fully understand the risks associated with certain objects or features, and are therefore more likely to be injured.
Common examples of attractive nuisances include swimming pools, trampolines, abandoned buildings, and construction sites. Property owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent children from accessing these sites, such as installing fences or securing the area. Failure to do so can result in legal liability if a child is injured as a result.
Negligence vs. Gross Negligence
Negligence and gross negligence are terms commonly used in premises liability cases to describe the level of fault or negligence of the property owner.
Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in preventing harm to others. In premises liability cases, it means that the property owner or occupier did not meet the duty of care owed to individuals on their property. Examples include failing to fix a hazardous condition, not providing proper warnings, or neglecting regular maintenance.
On the other hand, gross negligence is a higher level of negligence that involves reckless disregard for the safety of others. It goes beyond mere carelessness and demonstrates a conscious indifference to the potential harm possible.
In premises liability cases, gross negligence could involve knowing about a dangerous condition and intentionally ignoring it or acting in a way that shows a complete lack of concern for the safety of others.
To prove negligence or gross negligence in a premises liability case, one must establish the following elements:
- The property owner owed a duty of care to the injured party.
- The property owner breached that duty of care by not taking reasonable steps to prevent harm.
- The breach of duty caused the injury or harm.
- The injured party suffered damages as a result.
In a gross negligence case, the injured party must also prove that the property owner’s actions were not only negligent but also constituted a conscious and extreme deviation from the standard of care.
Consulting with a knowledgeable Fort Worth premises liability attorney can help determine the appropriate legal strategy to pursue and ensure rights are protected.
Common Types of Premises Liability Concerns in Fort Worth, TX
Victims of premises liability accidents often suffer severe injuries and face significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Residents in Fort Worth should be aware of several common premises liability concerns, including:
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, from grocery stores to restaurants to office buildings. These accidents often happen due to factors such as wet surfaces, uneven floors, and poor lighting.
While some slip and falls only result in minor injuries such as bruises, others may result in more serious conditions such as broken bones or head trauma.
Elevators and escalators may seem like safe modes of transportation, but they can pose serious risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 17,000 people suffer serious injuries and 30 die annually due to elevators and escalators in the United States.
A local Dallas TV station, WFAA, found that Texas elevators are not monitored safely, with 14 percent of all Texas elevators overdue for annual inspection. Fort Worth has seen a significant number of elevator accidents, with many occurring in hospitals.
Amusement Park Accidents
Fort Worth is home to several amusement parks that offer thrilling rides and attractions. From roller coasters to trampolines, these attractions can be fun but may pose a risk if not properly maintained or operated. For example, Six Flags Over Texas has had five deaths and numerous injuries since it opened.
Poor building maintenance and inadequate safety measures can lead to fires. A property owner’s failure to follow the safety regulations for their property, such as installing smoke detectors, unobstructed fire exists, sprinklers, fire alarms, and more, may be held liable if a fire breaks out and an individual is injured. They may also be considered negligent if inadequate maintenance caused the fire, such as issues with electrical wiring.
Poor Building Security
Inadequate security measures puts individuals at risk of assault, theft, or other criminal acts. Poor lighting, lack of security cameras, and malfunctioning locks all contribute to an unsafe environment. Property owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their premises and protect individuals from harm.
Premises Liability by Land Type
In premises liability cases, the type of land or property involved plays a significant role in determining the potential liability of the owner or occupier.
Common land types and their implications in premises liability cases in Fort Worth include:
Community gardens have become increasingly popular in Fort Worth, providing residents with a space to grow their own produce and engage in community activities. According to Section 75.0025 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, property owners who allow community gardens on their land are not usually liable for any injuries that may happen on the property. The concept of attractive nuisance does not usually apply to community gardens.
Fort Worth offers a wide range of recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, dog walking, and hiking. Property owners who allow individuals to engage in these recreational activities on their land are generally held to a reduced duty of care under Section 75.001 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. While they still must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, their liability may be limited compared to other land types.
Fort Worth is surrounded by vast agricultural lands, where farming and ranching activities take place. Property owners of agricultural lands are typically not held liable for injuries sustained by trespassers, as they have no duty of care towards them. Additionally, they are usually not liable for injuries sustained by individuals engaging in recreational activities on their land.
Common Premises Liability Lawsuit Injuries
Premises liability lawsuits in Fort Worth often involve a range of injuries. Some of these can be severe and have long-lasting effects on the victim’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Here are a few examples:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs may occur as a result of a slip and fall, being struck by falling objects, or any other accident that causes a blow to the head. These injuries range from concussions to severe brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries can have long-term effects on the victim’s cognitive and motor functions.
Falls and other accidents can lead to fractures and broken bones. Depending on the severity of the break, victims may require surgery or physical therapy and may experience long-term complications.
Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets under control and prevent them from harming others. Dog bites can cause serious physical injuries, as well as emotional trauma.
Poorly maintained electrical wiring, defective appliances, and lack of fire safety measures can lead to fires and burn injuries on someone else’s property. Burn injuries can be extremely painful and often require extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts and ongoing rehabilitation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Slip and falls, falls from heights, and accidents involving heavy machinery or equipment can result in spinal cord injuries. These injuries can have severe consequences, including paralysis and loss of sensation and motor function. Spinal cord injuries may require lifelong medical care and rehabilitation.
Machinery, equipment, or other hazards on someone else’s property may result in traumatic amputation injuries. Amputations can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work, perform daily activities, and maintain their quality of life.
Blunt force trauma or accidents involving heavy objects can result in internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries can be life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
Tripping over hazards, broken glass, or sharp objects on someone else’s property can lead to deep cuts and lacerations. These injuries may require stitches or even surgery to repair.
In the most tragic cases, premises liability accidents can result in the loss of a loved one. Whether it’s due to a slip and fall, an electrical accident, or another dangerous condition, the loss of a family member causes immeasurable emotional distress and financial hardship. When the negligence of a property owner causes a death, surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Compensation for Injuries in Fort Worth
After suffering injuries in a premises liability accident, seeking compensation is crucial for recovery. Hiring a Fort Worth premises liability attorney can make all the difference when it comes to navigating the legal process and securing the compensation deserved for injuries. Their guidance, experience, and strong case-building skills can help ensure the best outcome possible.
Economic Damages vs. Non-Economic Damages
In a premises liability case, there are two main types of damages that may be awarded: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the accident.
These can include:
- Medical bills: Any costs related to medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and therapy.
- Lost wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you would have earned during that time as well as any anticipated future losses.
- Rehabilitation costs: If your injuries require ongoing rehabilitation or therapy, the expenses associated with these services can be included in the economic damages.
- Property damage: If any of your personal property was damaged in the accident, such as a car or personal belongings, you may be compensated for the cost of repairs or replacement.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are more subjective and compensate for the intangible losses experienced.
These damages, including pain and suffering, are more difficult to quantify:
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain endured as a result of the accident.
- Emotional distress: If the accident has caused significant emotional trauma or mental anguish, you may be entitled to compensation for this as well.
- Loss of consortium: If the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse or partner, you may be compensated for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
- Wrongful death: In the tragic event of a loved one’s death as a result of the accident, the surviving family members may be eligible to seek compensation for their loss.
Texas Modified Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability
The concept of modified comparative negligence applies for premises liability cases in Texas. This legal principle accounts for the level of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident. If you played a role in the accident that caused your injuries, your compensation decreases based on your degree of responsibility.
If your fault percentage exceeds 50%, you may not be able to receive any compensation at all. Having experienced premises liability attorneys in Fort Worth on your side can help you navigate this complex legal principle and work toward securing funds needed for healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Fort Worth premises liability case worth?
The value of a premises liability case varies depending on the specific circumstances, such as the severity of injuries, the impact on daily life, and the amount of insurance coverage available. Consult with an experienced Fort Worth premises liability attorney who can assess the details of your case and fight for its maximum potential value.
How long do I have to file a premises liability case in Fort Worth?
In Fort Worth, victims of premises liability accidents must act quickly to file a lawsuit. Generally, injured victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
However, exceptions to this time limit may exist depending on the circumstances of your case. Consult with experienced Fort Worth premises liability attorneys as soon as possible to ensure all necessary deadlines are met and you have the best chance of success in your claim.
How do I find a Fort Worth injury lawyer near me?
Searching for Fort Worth attorneys near you isn’t quite enough — you need a Fort Worth law firm with experience handling premises liability cases. Read client testimonials and online reviews to get an idea of their reputation and track record, or ask for recommendations from friends, family, or others who had a similar experience.
Take advantage of a free consultations offered by DFW Injury Lawyers to discuss your case and see how we may be able to help you. The Fort Worth attorney you hire can make or break your premises liability case, so do some research and choose wisely for the best chance of success.
How much do premises liability lawyers cost?
In Texas, premises liability attorneys often work on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning they only receive payment if they achieve a successful outcome in your case and obtain compensation on your behalf.
Typically, a Fort Worth lawyer charges a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount as their fee. This lets you pursue your case without worrying about upfront costs or paying out of pocket.
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A Free Consultation From Fort Worth Premises Liability Attorneys
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in Fort Worth, don’t wait to seek legal guidance. Our premises liability attorneys at DFW Injury Lawyers are available for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Contact us today and let our experienced attorneys help you navigate the complex legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait, take action now.