A relaxing day at the pool or a simple trip to the store can turn into a long, drawn-out nightmare for people who are seriously injured due to poorly maintained property or dangerous facilities. At the Burch Law Firm, our compassionate New Braunfels premises liability attorneys have more than 25 years of experience successfully recovering compensation for people who were harmed due to negligence on the part of a property owner.
As natives of this part of Central Texas, our attorneys have earned our clients’ trust and respect by providing:
- Friendly, personalized service that you would want from a local law firm
- Strategic negotiation skills and seasoned litigation tactics you would expect in a big-city firm
- Millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements in a wide variety of personal injury cases
- Convenient evening and weekend appointments, either at our office or a location of your choice
- Free case evaluations to go over all your options for pursuing compensation
In Texas, property owners and building managers have a responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment for residents, workers, and visitors alike. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any injuries caused by their negligence.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall, swimming pool accident, or any other type of accident on someone else’s property, our premises liability lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Contact us now to find out how we can make a difference in your case. We represent clients throughout South Central Texas, including Seguin, San Marcos and Comal.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to a subset of personal injury law that holds property and business owners legally responsible for the conditions on their property. Some examples of common premises liability cases include:
- Slip and Fall
- Elevator / Escalator Injuries
- Texas Farm Land Injuries
- Playground Injuries
- Porch Collapse
- Stair Collapse
- Lead Paint Poisoning
- Mercury Poisoning
- Swimming Pool Injuries
If you have been injured by any of these while visiting someone else’s property, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. Our attorneys are committed to helping you recover the full payment that you are owed, including compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Types of Compensation We Fight for in Premises Liability Cases
Anyone who has been seriously hurt in an accident knows that the actual cost of an injury is much more than just the initial medical bills. You may be forced to deal with lasting pain or disability, as well as missing a lot of time from work. Our understanding, committed New Braunfels premises liability attorneys have extensive experience with these types of cases, and we are extremely thorough in determining exactly how much your life has been affected by your injury.
Some of the common types of compensation we pursue in premises liability claim cases include:
Medical bills: This includes payment for past doctors’ visits, medications, and assistive devices, as well as estimated costs for future medical care.
Lost wages: In addition to the paychecks you have already missed due to your injury, we may pursue compensation for reduced earning potential.
Pain and suffering: It can seem impossible to put a price on the emotional and physical toll this injury has taken on you, but we will work with you to estimate the impact and pursue full and fair compensation.
Punitive damages: In particularly extreme cases, we will demand damages that are meant to teach the property owner or manager a lesson.
If you are ready to discuss what types of compensation we could pursue in your case, schedule a free case consultation with our skilled New Braunfels slip-and-fall lawyers today by calling or filling out our online contact form.
Common Types of Injuries in Premises Liability Accidents
Unfortunately, many of the clients we represent who have been hurt in slip-and-falls or other accidents require extensive medical treatment. This may include surgery and even long-term rehabilitative care. Although each premises liability case is different, some of the common injuries our clients have experienced are:
- Cuts and bruises
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones and serious fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head wounds
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in partial or total paralysis
- Severe burns
If you or a loved one slipped and fell or were hurt in another type of accident on someone else’s property, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, you may feel fine immediately after the accident, but when the adrenalin wears off, you may start to feel the pain. For your own safety, you should get checked out by a medical professional no matter how you feel after an accident.
Our Premises Liability Practice Areas
With more than a quarter-century of experience, our Central Texas premises liability attorneys have handled a wide variety of these types of cases. Although each client and case are unique, some of the more common types of cases we see include:
Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury claims made every year in the United States. Unfortunately, as simple as these accidents may seem, they can result in severe and sometimes permanent injuries. When an individual suffers an injury in a slip and fall caused, at least in part, by another person’s recklessness or negligence, he or she may be entitled to compensation.
However, slip and fall claims are some of the most difficult personal injury claims to litigate. If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall injury, you need the best representation available to ensure that your case is handled properly.
These types of accidents can cause a broad range of injuries, from minor bumps and bruises to life-altering conditions such as traumatic brain injuries. It is a premises owner’s responsibility to protect guests and patrons from these devastating injuries. Any dangers that could lead to a slip and fall accident, such as a wet floor, must be immediately remedied or at least marked so that visitors are not placed in harm’s way.
Property owners are responsible for protecting people from any dangers that could lead to a slip-and-fall accident, including:
- Wet floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Tears in carpet
- Loose rugs or mats
- Trash or other debris on floors
- Freshly cleaned or waxed floors
- Poor lighting
- Cracks in sidewalks
- Potholes in parking lots
With slip-and-fall accidents, there are four qualifications that must be met. First, the property owner had to have had control over the property condition that ultimately caused the slip-and-fall accident. Two, the property owner can be held responsible if the injured party can show that a fix for the unsafe property condition would not have been difficult or unreasonably expensive. Three, a serious injury must have been a foreseeable consequence for the dangerous property condition. Finally, the slip-and-fall accident was caused by the property owner’s failure to take reasonable steps to correct the dangerous property condition that led to the fall.
When an accident happens on another person’s property, the injured party may need to seek legal recourse. Even a simple accident can cause serious damages resulting in medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. In this situation, a premises liability suit can help provide victims with the compensation they need to cover these unexpected expenses.
Premises liability suits are complicated legal actions requiring the assistance of an attorney. Attorneys, like those at our firm, can help victims understand what costs can be covered by the suit. An attorney can also help find evidence of the property owner’s negligence.
Elevator and Escalator Injury Compensation
There are over 17,000 injuries annually involving escalators and elevators. Unfortunately, dozens are killed in these accidents. Most of the time, these accidents are caused by the negligence of the property owners. In that case, a victim may be able to receive financial compensation for the following.
- Lost wages
- Emotional trauma
- Medical bills
- Recovery costs
- Pain and suffering
When you have been the victim of an elevator or escalator accident, getting compensation for these costs and losses can be invaluable to your recovery.
Texas Farm Land Injuries
When people go to agricultural land, they may encounter a variety of dangers — from large farm equipment to dangerous animals. These dangers can lead to injuries for people on the property if proper precautions aren’t taken.
If an injury does occur, Texas residents should understand their legal rights. Under section 75.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, property owners are generally not responsible for injuries that occur while on the premises. Whether people are trespassing, invited on the property for recreational purposes or on the property for other purposes, Texas law limits the duty of the land owner to keep the property safe. Furthermore, under this section, property owners don’t assume responsibly for injuries to people who are participating in recreational activities — including hockey, skateboarding or roller-skating which might carry risks.
However, there are limits to this rule. The property owner may not have to assure people that the property is safe, but the property owner may not act grossly negligent, in bad faith or with malicious intent. In these cases, the property owner may be held liable for injuries that occur to invitees, recreational invitees and to trespassers.
When people are injured on another person’s land, they should make sure to understand their legal rights. In some cases, people may be entitled to compensation from a negligent party. An attorney can help people determine if they have a right to bring a legal action against a property owner
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 children will be injured at a playground this year in incidents severe enough for the child to need to be taken to a hospital. These injuries can include concussions, dislocations, broken bones, internal injuries and even amputations. These serious injuries account for around 45 percent of all reported playground injuries. The CDC claims that public playgrounds — including those found in schools and daycares — are responsible for 75 percent of these serious, nonfatal injuries.
Fatal playground injuries, on the other hand, are more likely to occur on private play equipment. Strangulation accounted for the largest number — 82 percent — of fatal accidents. Falls accounted for 20 percent of playground deaths.
Children and parents need to be careful at public and private parks to avoid serious injuries. However, if an injury occurs, people should know their legal rights. If malfunctioning equipment, damaged surfaces or other dangerous property conditions caused the injury, the property owner may be held liable for damages. An attorney can help to further explain people’s legal rights.
Swimming Pool Injuries
For people living in Texas, particularly children, there are few activities that offer more appealing relief from the heat of summer than swimming in a pool. Whether you are taking a dip at another person’s home or at a hotel, the occasion should be an enjoyable one. However, when a property owner or manager fails to provide a safe environment, the situation can turn tragic quickly.
As a result of the amount of use that pools in the New Braunfels area tend to see and the potential for serious harm to come to patrons, it is essential that pool owners do their utmost to make sure the pool and its premises are safe and that any necessary maintenance is performed, including on diving boards, which many pools tend to have. Unfortunately, these precautions and actions are not always taken, allowing innocent patrons to suffer serious and potentially life-changing injuries as a result of a dangerous diving board.
Some of the common causes of swimming pool injuries and drowning include:
- Dangerous diving boards (including worn grip and loose or broken parts)
- Pool drains
- Lack of supervision
- Electrical defects
- Dangerous pool slides
- Slippery pool decks
- Poorly maintained pool ladders
- Lack of barriers around the pool
All of these problems could make a pool or diving board very dangerous for someone to use and are the maintenance responsibility of the property owner. Thus, when they fail to address such a danger, they could possibly be held accountable for their negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
With the help of skilled attorneys, victims of swimming pool accidents can seek compensation from negligent property owners. Lawsuits like these can hold the owner, and the person’s insurance company, liable for a dangerous property condition.
But, this kind of legal action is not as easy as it may sound. In order to bring a successful premises liability suit, the person must prove that the property owner was in some way negligent. Evidence of a lack of repair, a lack of supervision or other danger may be necessary in order to get a favorable result.
Our attorneys are well versed in the evidence that is required for a successful suit. We have decades of experience in helping Texas residents bring premises liability suits against property owners. Our law firm can help remove some of the stress from a situation and help people obtain the compensation they need following a serious swimming pool accident.
A fire in a residential or commercial building can pose serious risks to anyone nearby. For this reason, it is important that appropriate measures be taken to prevent fires. Unfortunately, many property owners are unaware of or unwilling to take the necessary fire safety precautions. If a person becomes injured because of this disregard for basic safety measures, the property owner may be held liable for the resulting harm.
- Damaged electrical wiring
- Flammable objects stored too close to stoves or other heat sources
- Improper use of cooking equipment
- Overheated appliances or other heating equipment
- Negligent handling or disposal of cigarettes, candles, or other flames
Porch Collapse Injuries
In Texas, there are many older buildings with wooden porch attachments rather than the newer, more stable concrete porches. All property owners have a responsibility to safely maintain porches to ensure the health and safety of visitors. Some common causes associated with porch collapse accidents include:
- Porch overload
- Rotted wood
- Rusted nails and screws
- Failure to meet building codes
Stair Collapse Injuries
In general, people assume that staircases are sturdy, reliable, and safe to use. Unfortunately, however, stair collapse accidents occur with surprising frequency. These accidents can lead to severe injuries, particularly when people end up falling from serious heights. Some of the common causes of stair collapse accidents include:
- Poor stairway design
- Faulty construction
- Improper installation of stairs
- Overuse of staircase
- Weak or rotting materials
- Failure to meet building codes
Lead Paint Poisoning
Although lead has been banned from all paint products since 1978, some homes and other properties built before then still feature paint containing this dangerous additive. Ingestion or long-term exposure to lead paint can cause lead paint poisoning, a potentially serious medical condition that can leave a person with severe physical injuries as well as behavioral and learning disorders.
The symptoms of lead paint poisoning can vary significantly, depending on the path taken into the body and the duration of exposure. In some cases, symptoms may gradually develop with long-term exposure, while others may experience symptoms after intense, short-term exposure. Some of the most common of these symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney failure
- Hearing loss
- Memory loss
If you or your family has been affected by lead paint poisoning sustained in another person’s property, or in your own if the previous owner or inspectors failed to disclose the presence of lead, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
This type of poisoning occurs when an individual is exposed to excessive levels of mercury or mercury-containing compounds, such as when a product containing mercury is broken and the spill is not properly cleaned up. Mercury exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin.
Inhalation is particularly dangerous as it can lead to considerable lung damage or even death. Unfortunately, many cases of mercury poisoning are linked to improperly maintained properties.
Individuals who are affected by mercury poisoning may experience a range of symptoms, varying in severity depending on the extent of mercury exposure. People who experience mercury poisoning may suffer from a range of symptoms, including:
- Tingling sensations
- Skin discoloration or rashes
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody vomiting and diarrhea
- Permanent lung damage
- Kidney failure
Whether you have suffered an injury in a store, restaurant, office building, apartment complex, or someone else’s home, you could be facing serious medical bills and recovery time as you struggle to get back to where you were before the accident. Let the skilled New Braunfels premises liability attorneys at the Burch Law Firm help you and your family get through this trying time. Contact us today, and we will develop a smart strategy for pursuing maximum compensation for you.
Governmental Responsibility For Public Injuries
A different set of rules applies when a person is injured on government property. Premises liability laws don’t necessarily apply to governmental agencies. Therefore, Texas residents need to understand the legal complexities that follow an accident on governmental property.
Traditionally, the theory of sovereign immunity applied and kept people from being able to bring a civil suit against governmental authorities. In 1946, however, the federal government passed the Federal Tort Claims Act, which gives citizens the right to sue the federal government for damages that resulted from the negligence of a federal employee. Many states have followed the federal government’s lead and passed similar legislation.
State and local governments often still have immunity clauses that limit their liability. Often these laws create a low standard of care for others on governmental property. The specific standard depends on the exact property that is in question in any particular case.
No matter where an accident occurs, accident victims may be left to deal with serious medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and other expenses. An attorney can help to explain when compensation may be available for these expenses and more.
What is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?
Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, property owners can be held liable for injuries to children on their property in some situations. These rules apply even when the children are not particularly young — teenagers, for example — and when the children are trespassing on the person’s property.
Under this doctrine, property owners can be held liable for hazardous conditions on their property when homeowners have some reason to think or know that children could come on to their property. The property must also contain some man-made and maintained condition that could be attractive to children. If the property owner does not think to protect children from these conditions, and a child is injured, the property owner could be held liable.
These conditions include things like dangerous animals, wells, large machinery and swimming pools. Naturally occurring dangers — like fire or a lake — may not fall under the doctrine of attractive nuisance.
Texas residents should understand when property owners can be held liable for injuries to a child. While this post cannot explain all the details about premises liability laws in Texas, or answer specific questions, an attorney can help to give people a better understanding of the law and possible remedies.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?,” accessed Dec. 7, 2014.
When Must You File a Premises Liability Suit in Texas?
Premises liability laws allow people to collect compensation from negligent property owners. By filing a premises liability suit, people can get the money they need to cover lost wages and pay for medical expenses.
In many cases, however, paying your bills may not be the first thing on your mind following an accident. While people recover, they may be unaware that a Texas law could have been triggered that limits their ability to collect the compensation they deserve. This law is the statute of limitations.
Under the Texas statute of limitations law, people have two years to file a premises liability suit against the owner of the property where they were injured. If people fail to file the suit within this time, the court will refuse to hear their case in the future, and they could be barred from ever receiving compensation.
Let Our New Braunfels Premises Liability Lawyer Fight for You
Whether you have been injured at another person’s home, in an apartment complex, or at a place of business, you need to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney to find out about your rights to pursue compensation. At the Burch Law Firm, our skilled slip-and-fall lawyers have more than 25 years of experience successfully representing injured clients in complex premises liability cases. Our dedicated attorneys will:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident
- Identify all the potentially liable parties
- Work with our large team of experts to build a strong case
- Negotiate and argue aggressively to demand full and fair compensation for you
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. You and your family can rest assured that our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any legal fees unless and until we recover compensation for you. Serving New Braunfels, San Marcos, Seguin, and surrounding areas.