Personal Injury Lawyers:
Premise Liability vs. Standard Negligence

What is the Difference Between a Premises Liability Claim and a Standard Negligence Claim?

Many people think that anytime they are injured while on the property of another person that the property owner is responsible for their injuries. A property owner can be liable under the doctrine of premises liability or negligence, but determining which theory applies to your case is crucial. The standard of care which the property owner owes to the plaintiff is determined by whether the claim is based upon premise liability or standard negligence. Every case is different and should be evaluated by an experienced attorney who may assist you with your personal injury claim.

What is Premise Liability?

This legal doctrine is the theory that landowners and people who are in the possession of land may be held liable for injuries that you suffer while on their property. The duty of care the landowner owes you is directly based on your status as a visitor. For example, a landowner owes a greater duty of care to an invitee than he would to a trespasser. If you’re a shopper at a retail store the store owner owes a greater duty to you as an invitee while you shop around than if you go beyond specified boundaries and become a trespasser. So what kinds of accidents qualify as premise liability?

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If you are injured on the defendant’s property and the dangerous condition causing the harm is also on the defendant’s property then this scenario would be classified as a premises liability claim. This is probably the simplest case of premises liability. After this situation is established, you will need to consult with your lawyer about what your personal status was at the time of the accident to then specifically assess potential damages that the property owner may be obligated to pay.

Another reoccurring scenario is when the plaintiff is injured while on the defendant’s property, but the defendant’s negligent activity which caused the harm was not ongoing at the time of the accident. Now, you’re probably wondering what ongoing activity means. Basically, ongoing activity refers to the specific negligent action by the defendant that caused the injury.

For example, say the defendant was mopping the floors and failed to clean up the excess water when they finished which then causes you to slip and hurt yourself. Because the defendant had finished mopping the floors and was completely done with that activity, the action is considered not ongoing and your claim would be based on premise liability.

Personal injury law covers a wide range of scenarios, where the victim can suffer an injury in a variety of situations. Some of the more common types of cases include: Car accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Truck accidents, Construction accidents, Animal attacks, Slips and falls, And more

For those unfamiliar with Texas personal injury laws, it’s not always easy to know whether or not you have a case or how much your case could be worth. What’s worse, insurance companies often take advantage of victims and their lack of knowledge to limit the amount of compensation paid out.

To ensure you obtain the maximum amount you are entitled to, it is crucial you speak to a Dallas attorney with experience in handling personal injury cases.

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The Shift from Premise Liability to Standard Negligence 

However, this is where a shift is created in the law. Say the defendant was in the process of mopping the floors when you slipped and hurt yourself. Because the defendant was still actually participating in the activity when you were injured, the action is considered to be ongoing. And if the plaintiff is injured while on the defendant’s property by the defendant’s negligent activity that was ongoing at the time of the injury then the personal injury claim is based on negligence.

This shift in legal theories can be very complex and challenging to identify for someone who is unfamiliar in dealing with these types of personal injury claims. The attorneys at our law office are very knowledgeable and will help better explain these theories of liability to you when we discuss your case in further detail.

truck accident law

Additionally, when a plaintiff is not on the defendant’s premises but is injured due to a dangerous condition that is on the defendant’s premises this claim would be considered standard negligence. For example, say the landowner has a very large tree on their property. The tree is very tall, but after years of decay has become very unstable and has developed a severe lean. If a strong storm develops and knocks the tree over causing it to hit your car resulting in you suffering physical injury, you would have a claim against the landowner based on negligence.

Because the owner did not use ordinary care to remove the danger, and you were injured you may be entitled to compensation from the landowner. But since you were not on the land owner’s property, you would not be entitled to compensation based on premise liability.

Premise Liability Requires that You Must Be on the Defendant’s Property

So what is your claim based on if you are injured by the defendant’s negligent activity, but you are not on their property? This case would just be based on standard negligence. Furthermore, it is likely not even relevant to the court whether the activity was ongoing or not. Either way, you would have a negligence claim against the defendant for their actions.

Anytime you are injured, whether it is due to premises liability or standard negligence of another person, you should always seek the guidance of a qualified attorney. The attorneys at our law office have been practicing personal injury law for over 20 years and are very experienced in handling both premises liability and standard negligence claims. If you have been injured and would like to discuss your potential claim, contact our law office.

In other instances, trucking companies do nothing wrong themselves, but may still be held indirectly liable for an accident. Employers are responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees. This is the case even if the employer didn’t endorse the employees’ conduct. It’s the case if the employer didn’t know about the employees’ conduct, or otherwise did nothing wrong itself. In trucking accident cases, the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior” usually allows a plaintiff to hold a trucking company liable for an accident caused by a trucker

Contact Our Dallas Law Offices, Today

When our Dallas clients come to us, they are often in a state of shock and confusion. We understand that this is a difficult time for injured victims and their loved ones, particularly if they are experiencing pain and suffering due to their injuries. We want you to focus on getting better, while we work diligently on your case.

Contact our Texas law offices today to find out how we can help you with your case. We are here to help you gain a better understanding of your options, so you get the best outcome for your specific situation.

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