You might choose not to sue your neighbor if you fall on their walkway and skin your knee. However, some property injuries are much more severe and require expensive medical intervention. For example, if you slip on that same neighbor’s walkway and break your hip, you will face substantial expenses. As such, you may choose to pursue an injury or premises liability claim to help you pay for your necessary medical care.
The legal term, premises liability, sounds complicated. However, it is just a way to say that a property owner is liable for the injuries suffered on their premises. For example, if the fall that broke your hip occurred because your neighbor left a hazard (overgrown roots, garden hose, etc.) on their walkway, they may be liable for your harm.
Do you qualify for a premises liability claim?
It may help to look at your status and determine if you had the legal right to enter the other person’s property. If your neighbor invited you over for a barbecue, then you are a social guest and deserve protection from foreseeable harm. If you are shopping in a retail store, you are an invitee and also deserve protection.
What was the cause of your fall?
Next, consider the condition of the property upon which your injury occurred. If you merely tripped over your own shoelaces, the property owner wasn’t at fault. If, however, the property owner wasn’t keeping their property free of recognizable hazards that they knew or should have known were there, that could make them liable for your injuries. For example, if your neighbor forgot to tell you not to touch the loose porch railing and you fell because of it, your injuries are likely to be their responsibility.
We want you to remember that the state of Texas has specific negligence laws that may play a role in your premises liability or injury claim. We recommend familiarizing yourself with these laws so that you can decide how best to handle your claim.