Austin is a very social city. We love meeting with our friends and having a good time. However, sometimes, accidents happen. Premises liability includes injuries that happen on any property that has not been properly maintained either through intentional disregard or the neglect of the owner. One common type of premises liability case is a “slip-and-fall” case.

What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Injury

If you have suffered a slip-and-fall injury, you can take several steps in order to more effectively protect your rights. First, you should take pictures of the property and surrounding area. You should then file a report with the owner of the property or establishment. At this point, it is important to document what information they had regarding a possible unsafe situation BEFORE you fell. If they will not provide the requested information, ask for their name and write down exactly what they report. While this strategy is not always effective, it is one way to seek a favorable ruling in a slip-and-fall case.

Unsafe Conditions on the Property

Another type of premises-liability case is unsafe conditions on the property or in the building. While the property owner has certain responsibilities regarding property maintenance, the courts will also consider if the injured person was a licensed resident, an invited guest, or trespassing. The owner has little duty to protect someone who is trespassing but has the most responsibility to protect someone invited to the property for business purposes. However, in some cases, states are instead looking at the “reasonableness under the circumstances” when deciding a case.

When do you need an Austin premises liability lawyer?

Because Texas is such a conservative state, these cases can be very difficult to prove. Austin’s Building Code. offers an excellent starting point to determine responsibility in a premises-liability case. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on another person’s property, contact our personal injury law firm today.

For more information on slip and fall accidents, see the following links:  Slip and Fall Accidents

More Information

Dog Bites / Animal Attacks
Negligent Security
Property Owner’s Duty
Slip and Fall
Personal Injury Damages
Types of Damages
Types of Compensatory Damages
Negligence Overview

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does “premises injury” mean?
“Premises injury” is typically a term that describes an injury which occurs on someone else’s property. This could be an injury at a business, a friend’s house or any other place that you are visiting or invited into. Premises liability claims are very complex, so if you are injured on someone else’s property, call Funk and Associates today to speak with an attorney.

Can you sue a homeowner if you fall on their property?
You can always sue anyone for virtually anything, the question you should really be asking is: Should you? If you fall at someone else’s house, there are several things to consider before you sue, first: were you injured? If so, second: does the homeowner have homeowner’s insurance on the property? Or, if they are renting, do they carry renters insurance? If there is no insurance, do they have assets that can be used to compensate you if you were injured? These cases require an attorney to investigate and advise you on the best course of action. If you have been injured at someone else’s house and you were injured, call Funk and Associates to discuss the case.

If someone is injured on your property, are you liable?
Possibly, it depends. First you would have to determine what their status was as a visitor on your property. The visitors status will determine what duties you owed them while they were on the property, and can help determine if you have liability or not as the property owner. Typically, invitee visitors are owed the greatest duty of care, then licensees, and trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care. These three terms do not always mean what you think they mean and there are centuries of case law specifying their meaning. If someone is injured on your property, you will need to contact a premises liability defense attorney to discuss the case.

If someone gets hurt while working on your property, are you liable?
Maybe. It depends on what they were doing at the time. As an invitee, someone on your property for mutual benefit is owed a great duty of care. This means you not only have to warn or make the property safe for them, you also have a heightened duty to inspect and can even be liable if you could have discovered a dangerous condition upon reasonable inspection of the property. However, horseplay or trespassing into other parts of the property can negate the duties owed or alter the classification of the injured person. You further need to take into account how they hurt themselves. For example: Did the ladder they used collapse? Whose ladder was it? Did you know of the ladder defect? How old is the ladder?, etc. You can see that premises liability law is large and complex, you should always contact an attorney if someone has been injured on your property.

What if I am hurt on someone else’s property?
If you are hurt on someone else’s property, you should contact an Austin personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can identify what causes of action and what claims you may have. The lawyer can also identify the classification of visitor you were on the property and what duties were owed to you as a result. Finally, a personal injury lawyer can help you maximize your compensation for your injuries.

If I am visiting a friend’s house, and am attacked by their dog, can I pursue a claim?
Yes, you can pursue a claim. This is typically done through their homeowners or renters insurance. While it sounds easy, these claims are difficult and have several legal issues to investigate. Home owners and renters insurance policies generally exclude certain types of dogs, and sometimes, attacks in general. The insurance companies are in the business of not paying claims, so they will fight tooth and nail. This is why it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer to investigate. A personal injury lawyer can determine the dog’s bite history, if it is a dangerous dog, and what compensation is available for your injuries and damages.

If someone falls and hurts herself on a hotel’s premises, does she have any recourse against the hotel?
Maybe. It depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the fall. Was there a hazardous condition present? Did the hotel know about the defect? Does the business have insurance or assets to recover from? What type of injury occurred? All of these questions and more would need to be answered first. If you have been injured at a hotel, you should contact a personal injury lawyer today to discuss the case.

If someone falls on a broken piece of a city sidewalk and is injured, can they sue the city?
You can always sue the city, the question is should you? It depends, on the facts of the incident and the damages you have suffered. Claims against the city are different than claims against individuals. There are prerequisites to suing the city, including putting them on notice, among others. In addition, damages may be capped at a certain amount in some situations, while the city may have immunity from any claims in others. For these reasons, it is absolutely necessary for you to contact a personal injury lawyer in Austin as soon as possible if you have been injured and you believe the city is responsible. Time is of the essence on these type of cases.

How long does a hazard need to be present for a property owner to be found liable for injuries caused by that hazard?
There is no set amount of time that a hazardous condition must be present before an injury occurs. It is more a question of reasonableness and notice of that hazard to the property owner. Was the incident reasonably foreseeable? Did the property owner have actual or constructive notice of the hazardous condition before hand? These are the types of questions to explore in this type of case. The facts and circumstances vary widely on each individual case, so it is very important to contact a personal injury lawyer right away if you have been injured on someone’s premises to find out if they are liable.

What constitutes “hazardous conditions”?
A hazardous condition can be anything potentially dangerous or harmful to an individual. This could constitute any number of things including slippery floors, uneven floors, torn carpets, etc. Most property owners have a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for people, including warning them of hazardous or potentially dangerous conditions on the premises. It is worthy to also consider that what is hazardous in a nursing home may not be hazardous in a gym. Once again, you must run this by an injury lawyer to discuss and analyze the matter.

If I am assaulted or robbed outside of an ATM at night, can the bank be held responsible?
Usually not, but there are certain situations where they would be. There is no clear cut answer to this question. The facts and circumstances will vary from case to case, so if you have been injured due to a robbery outside an ATM, you should contact a personal injury lawyers at Funk & Associates today. Many times a bank is not liable for the actions of an individual outside, however, in some situations, such as not providing enough lighting or other security measures, they may bear some, but not all liability. These issues are complex, and you will certainly need an attorney to discuss in more detail.

How do you prove a premises liability claim?
If you were injured on someone’s property, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Austin to discuss your case. The personal injury lawyers at Funk & Associates will discuss your case with you and identify the legal claims you may present to recover. In order to prove a premises liability claim, you will typically be required to prove that: 1. You were invited onto the premises; 2. The property owner had control over the premises; 3. There was a dangerous condition on the premises; and 4. The property owner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and didn’t remedy or warn you of the same. Finally, we would need to understand your visitor status, as there are different standards applied to invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

What is the difference between premises liability and general liability?
Premises liability typically occurs when you are injured on someone else’s property due to some type of hazardous condition. General liability generally refers to insurance coverage covering a broad range of standard business risks, or injuries to individuals while using business products or services. So a business can use their general liability policy to pay for a slip and fall on their property (premises liability).

Are you liable if a child gets hurt on your property?
Like all personal injury cases, it depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury. Anytime your child or someone else’s child is hurt, the child’s parents should contact a personal injury lawyer to investigate the facts and determine what claims and what damages can be sought. If a child is hurt on someone’s property, they are afforded more leniency in some situations, because of their tender age, and may be able to recover even though they trespassed on the land or had no invitation or right to be there. This is why it is vital to consult with a personal injury lawyer if your child is injured.

For purposes of seeking just compensation, does it matter where I fell?
The short answer is yes, it does matter. Falling at a business is different from falling at a friend’s house. Why? – Depending on where you fall, different insurance coverages and policies will apply. For example, a business may carry a higher insurance policy than a homeowner. This does not mean you can get all of the policy, but there is more to shoot for; your recovery will depend largely on the facts and the injuries. Further, businesses usually have seen how a certain defect can affect many people over a long period of time; hence, have had time to cure the defect. On the other hand, many times an individual homeowner has only encountered the defect for the first time when someone was hurt for the first time. For this reason, it is very important to consult a personal injury lawyer in Austin if you have been injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property.

What if the property owner claims that the risk should have been obvious?
A common defense in premises liability claims is that the hazardous condition was open and obvious, therefore the individual should have known they would be injured if they saw it. Just because a hazardous condition is obvious, does not mean it is acceptable. Again, the duty owed by the property owner, even with open and obvious hazardous conditions will depend on the status of the person that was injured at the time. You should contact a personal injury lawyer at Funk and Associates right away to analyze your specific situation.

Is the store owner responsible if I slip, fall and suffer an injury inside the store?
Maybe. It depends on the nature and circumstances surrounding the fall. If you fell due to some sort of hazardous condition, the answer may be yes. However, if you fell due to some sort of horseplay or intentionally fell, you will not be able to recover for your claims. If you believe you were injured due to a hazardous condition inside a store, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Austin to discuss your case. A lawyer will be able to advise you and assess if you have a claim and how to recover for your damages.

Can a neighbor be held liable if my young child got into his pool and drowns? Or nearly drowns?
Possibly. Many times children are afforded additional care and consideration because they are younger and more naïve than adults. In situations where a child cannot reasonably be expected to resist temptation, such as a pool, a neighbor can be held liable even if the child trespasses on their property, because of the attractive nuisance doctrine. The attractive nuisance doctrine essentially allows children to recover in situations where a threat or harm is present in a situation where the child is also naturally drawn in by want or curiosity, and they are injured. In a pool situation, fencing, invitation, toys around the pool, the age of the child, the pool layout, etc. all play into determining liability.

If I was assaulted at an apartment complex, can I sue the owner?
You can sue anyone for anything at any time. It is more a question of who is going to pay, and how? If you have been assaulted and injured at an apartment complex, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. While the individual responsible for the attack is always liable, a personal injury attorney can investigate the facts surrounding the attack and determine if the apartment complex should face any liability as well. Did they have adequate lighting? Was there security on duty patrolling? Should there have been? Is this a dangerous area? Is it a dangerous complex? Were there previous assaults? Was the criminal a tenant of the apartment complex? Were there warning to residents of previous assaults? An experienced attorney in Austin can assess all avenues of liability and determine who bears responsibility.

If a property owner is found responsible for my personal injuries, what can I recover?
If a property owner is responsible for your injuries on their property, you may be able to recover several different types of damages related to your claims, including: past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering and mental anguish, past lost wages and future lost earning capacity, etc. You may also be able to recover for physical impairment and disfigurement if that applies to your case, and exemplary damages for gross negligence. To determine what damages apply and what can be recovered, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at Funk and Associates.

Should I accept a cash settlement from the insurance company adjuster for my premises liability injury?
You should never accept a settlement from an insurance company or anyone else without first consulting a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can ensure everything is taken care of with the settlement, including medical bills, and that you have been fairly and justly compensated for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can also ensure that future treatment, and bills will be accounted for before settling.

What are common causes of slip and fall injuries?
A slip and fall injury can occur at any time on any surface. Common cases can result from a wet floor due to a spill or rain/snow, a torn carpet, uneven sidewalk or pavement, ice, or just plain clumsiness. Further, certain areas require different precautions; for example, mats around the grape island in a supermarket. If you have been injured due to a fall of any kind, or something you think may have been a hazardous condition, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at Funk and Associates to discuss your case today.

What if a loved one or friend is responsible? I don’t want to sue them, but my medical bills are piling up!
This is a tricky and sticky situation for sure. If you are injured on a loved one or family member’s property, don’t fret, you do not have to sue them immediately to recover for your injuries. As long as they have insurance, and the insurance company does what is right, you can make your claim for all medical bills, pain and suffering, etc through that applicable insurance company. Having said that, the lawsuit is the stick that a personal injury lawyer carries, so that the insurance company gives up the proverbial carrot. Should a lawsuit be deemed necessary, it has been our experience that most family members understand that it is not personal and most understand that the real reason for the lawsuit is an insurance company’s cheapness. Call us and let us walk you through this sticky mess.

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