When you visit commercial premises like a store, office, parking garage, stadium, restaurant, or other business, you have the right to expect these locations to be free of dangers that might injure you. The owners and lessees of commercial property are obliged to take all reasonable steps to protect their customers, patrons, and other visitors from harm.
If you were hurt in an accident at a place of business, the party that owns or operates the business could be responsible for paying your damages. A Houston commercial premises liability lawyer could evaluate the situation that caused your injury and explain your legal options. You could receive compensation that covers your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and other losses by contacting one of our diligent attorneys at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC.
Commercial Premises Must Be Safe for Invitees
Commercial property operates for profit. Regardless of the type of enterprise, the owner or operator invites others to enter the property to do business and generate revenue. Because the owner or operator intends to benefit from the visitor’s presence, they owe their invitees the highest duty of care.
“Duty of care” refers to a responsibility to exercise caution and prudence to protect the safety of others. The high duty of care that commercial property owners and operators shoulder requires them to:
- Regularly inspect premises to identify hazards, including hidden hazards
- Repair or remediate any dangerous conditions as quickly as reasonably possible
- If abating the hazard immediately is not possible provide effective warnings of the danger to invitees
Invitees are not just customers or paying patrons. A window shopper is an invitee, and so is someone delivering a product to a business. Even a person cutting through commercial premises to access another location, or the street, could be an invitee. One of our skilled Houston attorneys could determine why an injured person was visiting a commercial premises to confirm that they are an invitee under the law.
A Variety of Accidents Could Warrant a Commercial Premises Liability Claim
Any accident or incident that caused an injury could trigger the owner or operator’s liability to pay damages. If the injured person’s attorney could prove a breach of the duty of care toward an invitee, premises liability could apply.
Falls on wet or slippery surfaces as well as trips over hazards—like cords or uneven flooring—often give rise to premises liability claims. If an individual is hit by falling debris, suffers injuries while riding a malfunctioning elevator or escalator, or is injured in a fire or explosion, the property owner or business operator could be liable.
Crime victims could potentially allege a premises liability claim if the owner or operator of the property knew there was crime in the area and took inadequate steps to protect invitees. A proficient Houston accident attorney from our firm could evaluate crime data in the area and determine whether the commercial property owner or operator breached a duty in a specific case.
Be Aware of Time Limitations
In general, individuals who seek damages for bodily injury have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. If the deadline passes before a claimant files a lawsuit, they could lose their right to have a court hear their case.
Haste is necessary if the injury occurred on government property. The Texas Tort Claims Act governs claims against the state or its political subdivisions. Claimants seeking damages from the state must file a notice with details of the incident within six months. The city of Houston requires claimants to file the notice within 90 days of the injury. Failing to submit the notice within the proper timeframe extinguishes the injured person’s right to sue the government for their injuries. One of our proactive attorneys could help an injured plaintiff respect the statute of limitations and submit their commercial premises liability claim on time.
Seek a Houston Attorney to Handle Your Commercial Premises Injury Claim
The laws that govern premises liability can be confusing, and commercial property owners often have teams of lawyers protecting them from negligence claims. As an injured person, you could find getting the compensation you deserve to be frustrating and challenging.
Turning your case over to a committed Houston commercial premises liability lawyer at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC could be a wise move. Our legal professionals know the law and will not be bullied from seeking justice. Call to make an appointment for a case review as soon as possible after your injury.