Premises liability

Premises liability claims are personal injury claims that are caused by an unreasonably dangerous condition on a premises or property.  Premises (property) owners owe differing duties to people that come onto their property depending upon the classification of the person who is entering the property.  There are three categories of people who enter onto property, invitees, licensees and trespassers.

An invitee enters the premises with the owner's knowledge and for the mutual benefit of both. Common examples include customers and hotel guests. Landowners owe invitees the highest degree of care.  A landowner not only owes an invitee the duty to exercise ordinary care to protect the invitee from risks of which the owner is aware, a landowner also owes a duty to protect invitees from those risks which the owner should be aware of after a reasonable inspection.  A landowner's liability to an invitee depends upon whether he acted reasonably in light of what he knew or should have known about the risks associated with a condition on the premises.

A licensee enters the property of the landowner for his/her own convenience, pleasure or benefit with the express of implied permission of the owner (dinner guests).  A landowner owes a licensee the duty to warn of concealed and unanticipated dangers, which are known to the landowner. A licensee is charged with knowledge of conditions on the premise which are perceptible to him, or the existence of which can be inferred from facts within present or past knowledge. A landowner is under no duty to warn of or make the premises safe if the licensee knows of the dangerous condition.

Trespassers enter the property of another without permission.  With certain limited exceptions, such as the existence of artificial conditions, which are highly dangerous to trespassing children (an attractive nuisance), a landowner only owes the trespasser a duty not to willfully or wantonly injure the trespasser.

I have handled many premises liability claims, including successfully trying a premises liability claim in Bell County, Texas, against Texas Roadhouse restaurant arising from their practice of allowing peanut shells to be discarded on the floor of their restaurants.  If you believe you were injured as a result of a landowner’s failure to exercise ordinary care contact me today for a free, no obligation, consultation.  I’d be happy to review the facts and circumstances of your case.

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