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Visiting places of business and industry can be very dangerous, and the business owners can be held liable for accidents that happen on their properties. This is how the law sees these situations:

If you've been injured while patronizing a business due to an unsafe or dangerous condition on the property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries under Texas' premises liability laws.

Covered in This Article

  • How Safe Does a Business Need to Keep Their Property?
  • How Different Types of Premises Liability May Apply to Your Case
  • You Need a Tough, Smart Premises Liability Attorney to Ensure that You Are Compensated For Your Injuries
Before discussing how premises liability laws may affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries, you should know that retaining an experienced products liability attorney, like ours at Grossman Law Offices, might be necessary to recover compensation for your injuries depending on the size and resources of the business that caused your injuries. Large corporate defendants are notorious for committing large sums of money to defend their reputation, and only experienced premises liability attorneys have the skill needed to cut through these attempts to avoid liability.

How Safe Does a Business Need to Keep Their Property?

The main facet in determining how Texas' premises liability laws will affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries from a business is defining what duty of care the business owed you. Texas law defines the duty of care property owners owe others by classifying them as either a licensee, trespasser, or invitee. Licensees are generally afforded a level of protection by landowners and property possessors must warn them of known dangers. However, only social guests, such as friends attending a birthday party, are generally classified as licensees. Thus, premises liability claims against a business don't warrant an examination determining if a business guest is a licensee. Conversely, someone who enters the property of another is classified as a trespasser. Texas' premises liability laws contemplates two types of trespassers: known and unknown. Generally, businesses don't owe a duty to repair or warn unknown trespassers of dangerous conditions on their property. However, businesses are required to warn known trespassers of known dangerous conditions on their property. Finally, and most applicably to Texas businesses, invitees include current and prospective customers to a business. More specifically, licensees are permitted on another's property as a guest with the understanding that they will purchase or may potentially purchase a good or service. Texas' premises liability laws require Texas businesses to do two things: warn invitees of dangerous conditions on their property, and to act reasonably quickly to repair the dangerous condition.

An Illustrative Example of How Different Types of Premises Liability May Apply to Your Case

Many of our premises liability clients have found an example of how their classification as a licensee, trespasser, or invitee will affect their ability to recover compensation for their injuries useful. For the purposes of this example, we'll examine three areas typically found in a retail store: the parking lot, the store floor, and a storage area labeled "off limits." Often-overlooked areas where customers are injured are parking lots. As parking lots are on a business owner's property and are utilized in purchasing products, people who use them when purchasing a good or service or when contemplating purchasing a goods or service, patrons are normally considered invitees and are afforded the highest level of care. Thus, a business has a duty to warn patrons of and repair known dangers in their parking lots, the duties of which may include filling potholes, sweeping up broken glass, and marking crosswalks for crossing heavily trafficked areas. Similarly, guests who are on the sales floor are usually considered invitees under Texas' premises liability laws. In fact, this is the classic example of an invitee as every customer inside of the store is probably inside of the store to buy something or is contemplating buying something. Thus, a business has a duty to warn and quickly repair dangerous condition on their sales floor. A somewhat complex aspect of premises liability as applied to businesses are areas of store marked "off limits" or "employees only." Although clearly marked so that a normal person would know that they aren't "invited" into them, and thus the person could be a trespasser and owed no duty to warn of known dangers, the store should arguably know that guests may attempt to enter these areas. Thus, they are probably "known" trespassers, and the business should probably take steps to warn patrons of known dangers even in areas marked "off limits" or "employees only." However, proper classifications in these cases are fact intensive inquiries that are best answered by an experienced premises liability attorney.

You Need a Tough, Smart Premises Liability Attorney to Ensure that You Are Compensated For Your Injuries

As you can see, determining, let alone proving, that a business was responsible for your injuries can be a complicated process. In order to best ensure that you're compensated for your injuries, you should contact our experienced workplace accident attorneys any time, day or night, at 1-855-326-0000 for a free consultation. Our attorneys have more than two decades of experience representing premises liability injury victims for their injuries, and may be able to help you recover for your injuries and force the business to change their ways so that future accidents don't happen again.