San Antonio Premises Liability Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Injured Clients in Texas
It is estimated that millions of Americans get injured due to a premises liability accident every year. Still, a large percentage of them do not go to the doctor or seek the help of an attorney because they may not know that they could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Our firm explains what you need to know about premises liability laws in Texas and goes over the ways an attorney may help you recover compensation if you’ve been hurt.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
Property owners are expected to maintain a safe environment for all individuals who are lawfully present on their property, whether a commercial establishment such as a grocery store or company building, a warehouse or any other type of business, or private property, including private residences and apartment complexes.
A premises liability claim happens when an individual gets injured while on someone’s property. This may include a wide variety of injuries, such as dog bites or other animal attacks, swimming pool accidents (including drowning or near drowning), injuries caused by unsafe situations such as trips and falls due to uneven floors, items falling from a shelf, and building code violations. Other examples include injuries caused by escalator or elevator accidents, poorly lit areas, garage and parking lot accidents, and even criminal activity such as assaults due to insufficient security on the property.
Are Slip-And-Fall Accidents and Premises Liability the Same Thing?
Slip-and-falls are one of the most common types of premises liability claims, so much so that both terms are often used interchangeably. However, as explained above, premises liability claims encompass a wide variety of injuries stemming from a property owner’s negligence, with slip-and-falls being one of them. The two terms are related but have slightly different meanings.
In other words, if you’ve slipped and fallen due to a wet or slick spot while walking around a shopping mall, your slip-and-fall is considered a type of premises liability injury. If you were working at a warehouse and suffered a head injury due to unsecured items falling from a shelf, your head injury will likely also be considered a premises liability claim. The bottom line is if you were hurt while lawfully present on someone else’s property and your injury is a direct result of the property owner’s failure to maintain a safe environment, you may have a claim and could be entitled to compensation, so you should consult a San Antonio premises liability attorney as soon as possible.
Who Will Be Financially Responsible for My Damages?
If you have sustained significant injuries after a premises liability accident, you are probably dealing with a growing stack of medical bills – sometimes while being unable to return to work and earn your normal wages. If you can prove that your injuries were a direct result of the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The party responsible for reimbursing you is likely the individual or organization in control of the property where your injury took place.
If your accident occurred at a place of business, chances are that the business carries some sort of commercial liability insurance. If that is the case, you may have to file an insurance claim to receive compensation. If your accident happened at a private residence and the homeowner has a residential insurance policy with personal injury coverage, then you may need to contact their insurance carrier to initiate a claim. Work-related accidents are covered by worker’s compensation insurance (if you are eligible to receive it). Finally, if your injury took place on government property, you will need to follow the procedures required by that particular government agency in order to initiate a claim.
What Should I Do If My Claim Was Denied?
If you have tried to receive compensation through an insurance claim and your claim was denied, you should consult with a San Antonio premises liability attorney. Your attorney may want to try and negotiate with the insurance company, as claims can sometimes be denied in bad faith or due to a lack of supporting evidence. It is not unusual for insurance companies to begin cooperating as soon as you let them know an attorney is involved.
However, some cases are not resolved through negotiation. If your attorney could not obtain a positive response from the insurance company – or if the property owner had no insurance coverage for your accident – then initiating a civil lawsuit for personal injury may be the next feasible option. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action for your case.
What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Claims?
Premises liability claims are under the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury cases. A statute of limitations is a law that sets a determined period of time for a plaintiff to initiate a claim or a lawsuit for a negligence-based personal injury case. Filing a claim after that deadline has passed usually means the case may be dismissed automatically.
In Texas, the deadline for filing a premises liability claim is two years, and the clock starts ticking from the date when the injury occurred. While there are a few exceptions to the two-year deadline, waiting until the last minute to take action is not a good idea in most cases. Premises liability claims require the victim to come up with enough evidence to prove that their injury was a result of the property owner’s negligence. This type of evidence can become harder to collect the longer you wait to act. Security camera footage gets lost or erased. Important documents are misplaced. Key witnesses may forget important details or become unreachable.
In short, it is best to contact an attorney soon after your accident, even if you are not sure that you have a case. Your attorney can explain your options and, if feasible, prepare a strong case to help you fight for compensation. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to obtain a successful outcome.
When Should I Call a San Antonio Premises Liability Lawyer?
Premises liability accidents can vary in terms of severity and extent of damages. If, for example, after slipping and falling at a grocery store, you suffered just a few bruises but did not need to go to the doctor, you may not have a complex claim and could possibly try to deal with the property owner yourself if you decide you want to try and seek compensation, knowing that you may not be successful or may receive a small amount.
However, if your injuries were severe enough that you needed to seek medical attention and endured significant pain, or had to take time off work to recover, then you should be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages if your accident was caused by the negligent actions of the property owner. In this case, you may want to gather up as much evidence as possible and contact a San Antonio premises liability law firm such as the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy.
Choosing to hire an attorney to handle your premises liability case has many advantages. If you are at home or at the hospital recovering from your injury, getting back on your feet should be your only concern. You should not have to deal with constant insurance adjuster phone calls, endless forms, and all the hassle that inevitably comes when you are seeking compensation for your injuries. Your attorney can handle all of those tasks on your behalf – and more.
In addition, it is quite common for insurance companies to employ certain tactics to reduce the value of your claim or place the liability on you and deny your claim altogether. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are mostly interested in protecting their bottom lines. Because of that, giving out large monetary awards is not in their favor, and they may want to go to great lengths to avoid that.
They may be quick in coming up with an offer for your case and pressure you to accept it because their initial offer is often as low as possible, and they will save money by closing a claim quickly and for the least amount of money they can get away with. They may also try to get you to give them a recorded statement and then take what you said out of context and use it as an admission of guilt on your part. Your attorney will be well aware of these shady yet common tactics and will know the right steps to take in order to secure maximum compensation on your behalf without giving in to the usual traps of the property owner’s insurance.
Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team have assisted many premises liability accident victims to recover compensation after being injured while on public or private property in San Antonio and surrounding areas. The Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy offer a no-commitment initial consultation for premises liability victims to discuss their case, get honest answers, and understand their options. If you have a strong case, our team may assist you with seeking compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Contact our San Antonio office by calling (210) 953-7486 to learn more.