Premises Liability

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Premises liability is the legal theory stating that if you are injured on public or private property due to the negligence of the property owner, you can sue to recover damages for your injuries.

If someone owns a piece of property, no matter what type, they have a duty to keep visitors free from harm that they could sustain when visiting the property. While a property owner is not necessarily liable for every injury that occurs on their land, they are liable for injuries that were caused when they breach a duty owed to a particular visitor. The extent of the duty owed by a property owner is determined by the reason that the visitor came to the property.

Texas law identifies three classifications of visitor that may go onto someone’s property:

  • Licensee – a visitor invited to private property by the owner, like when a friend invites you over to their house.
  • Invitee – someone that visits a property open to the public for an economic purpose, such as a shopper in a retail store.
  • Trespasser – someone who is on another’s property without permission.