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Constructing a Customized, Strategic Premises Liability Case

Premises liability cases often involve dangerous conditions that may or may not be obvious to visitors. Whether you got hurt when an improperly stacked item fell on you as you toured a warehouse; or you got sick, burned or injured by an environmental hazard on someone's property, the team at Marc Whitehead & Associates can help.

Landlords and property owners may go to great lengths to conceal hazards on their premises. One case our firm handled involved a landlord at an apartment complex who painted over rotting wood on an exterior staircase landing instead of replacing it. Tragically, the staircase collapsed, killing a 5 year old boy.

The nature and intent of your visit can have a profound bearing on your ability to obtain recovery for key costs and damages, such as your medical bills, surgical costs (if any), loss of productive time at work, pain and frustration, and more.

Examples of Premises Liability Cases:

  • A dog bit you while you were walking around your local Houston neighborhood;
  • You slipped and fell on oily concrete outside a downtown Houston restaurant and whacked your head so hard that you had to go to the emergency room;
  • You fell down stairs at an acquaintance’s house and fractured your hip in three places.

The owner or landlord of a property has different legal obligations to different visitor categories. This is just institutionalized common sense. But even trespassers can have rights in certain, albeit relatively uncommon circumstances. Many Texas premises liability cases revolve around the battle for categorization.

Other Possible and Relevant Factors in Premises Liability Law

  • Did the landlord know that there was a safety hazard on the premises?
  • What actions did the landlord take prior to the accident?
  • How hurt were you?
  • Can you link your injury to what happened? (For instance, say a box fell on you and gave you a head and brain injury. Were you already predisposed to cognitive problems? e.g. Had you been suffering from a condition like dementia, or were you hale and hearty before the accident?)
  • Statutes of limitations can prevent you from filing and winning a claim, if you wait too long to take legal action.
  • The nature of your medical expenses, the specificity and relevance of any evidence that can support your claim – or any witness statements – will also inform your possible legal options.

How Entrants Can Be Classified in Premises Liability Law

An owner or possessor of a property owes all entrants a certain duty of care and protection. The jurisdiction can also influence the nature and quality of the care that the owner or occupier owes an entrant. Here are some common categories:


When a landowner or business owner explicitly or implicitly invites another person to the property, he/she must provide the highest duty of care. Duties include:

  • Warning invitee of any dangerous situations (like a hole in the grass or a broken step). The landowner should inspect the land to discover hazards and repair them or make them safe.
  • In general: provide ordinary and reasonable care to maintain the property and keep it safe.

The definition of the owner’s duties is purposefully kept hazy. For instance, what is “reasonable”? Is it reasonable for a restaurant owner to monitor her property 24/7? No, obviously. But is it reasonable for her and her team to conduct regular patrols for spills and clean them up? Yes. So there is flexibility.


Licensee is also called a social guest. Basically, whereas an invitee enters the property at the landowner’s implied or direct invitation; a licensee enters the premises out of his or her volition. The occupier or owner must exercise reasonable care of the property and warn licensees of dangerous conditions that he or she might not know about or discover. But the owner's responsibilities are not as stringent.


A trespasser is someone who enters a property without authorization or permission. An owner’s obligations to trespassers are far more limited. But they do exist. For instance, if the trespasser is a child who gets seriously hurt; and the owner did not exercise reasonable care to warn trespassers of risks, then the trespasser may be able to build a case.

No Need to Struggle with Nuances of Texas Premises Liability Law on Your Own

You can research the subtleties of premises liability law for hours – or even days – on the internet and develop a pretty solid understanding of the critical factors involved. But your case involves so many different specifics – so many critical variables – that you almost certainly need to speak with an experienced Houston premises liability law firm. Marc Whitehead & Associates, LLP can help you plot out your most efficient course to get the compensation that you need to heal and support your family.

Connect with Marc Whitehead & Associates to discuss your urgent premises liability concerns by calling 800-562-9830. Here at, you can explore other excellent free resources to help you make sense of what happened, learn your rights, and maximize your chances of achieving the best recovery.

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