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The Difference Between Premises Liability and Personal Liability

What is the difference between premises liability and personal liability in the state of Texas? Learning more about the key components of premises and personal liability law can help you determine what kind of claim you should file and which personal injury attorney you should hire. The San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw have compiled the following guide to understanding these differences. For more information, please contact our office to schedule your free consultation.

Premises Liability Vs. Personal Liability: A Comparison

To begin, premises liability is the legal theory that landowners are responsible for injuries that occur on their property if they failed in their duty of care to their guests/visitors. Texas law states that if a property owner (such as the homeowner, business owner, landlord, etc.) is aware of dangerous conditions on their property, they must address these issues in a reasonable time or clearly notify their visitors of the hazard’s location. In premises liability lawsuits, the property owner, while indirectly responsible for the victim’s injuries, is still the liable party.

In contrast with a premises liability lawsuit, a personal liability claim is one in which a victim is injured by the actions or negligence of an individual. This theory of law is more applicable to situations in which an individual or entity is directly responsible for causing an accident or injury.

In some cases, the distinction between personal and premises liability can be fuzzy. In these instances, it is best to have a qualified San Antonio Texas premises liability attorney review your claim.

Examples: Premises or Personal Liability?

Having defined the main differences between these two theories of accident law, the following examples should be clear. To learn more about the difference between personal and premises liability, read the following examples:

Example 1: A tenant notices that their smoke detector isn’t working even though they have just replaced its batteries. They contact their landlord to fix the issue. A year passes and the landlord makes no motion to repair or replace the smoke detector.

  • In this example, the landlord would be considered liable, making this a premises liability lawsuit.

Example 2: A pedestrian is crossing the road when the crossing sign is eliminated. The driver of a minivan doesn’t notice the light changing because he is on his cell phone. The driver collides into the pedestrian, causing severe spinal damage and internal bleeding.

  • The negligent driver would be considered responsible in this case. Because the accident was the direct result of an individual’s actions, the pedestrian could file a personal liability claim.

Example 3: Even though his dog has a history of acting aggressively towards strangers, a dog owner decides to take his pet to the local park. A five-year-old child gets excited when he sees the dog and decides to approach. The dog panics and bites the child, leaving deep puncture wounds on his arm.

  • Dog bite attacks are considered premises liability cases because the dog is the property of its owner. In this case, it would be the dog owner who is held legally responsible.
Still Unsure? The San Antonio Law Firm of Carabin Shaw Can Clarify Your Options

Determining which legal theories to apply to your claim is one of the many reasons that the majority of accident victims hire an attorney to review their case. If you are unsure if your claim should be considered a personal or premises liability case, Carabin Shaw premises liability lawyers in San Antonio can examine the details of your accident and help you decide on the right course of action.

Want a Carabin Shaw injury lawyer to review your case? Our team of injury lawyers offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations to San Antonio accident victims and their families. Call our office toll-free at 800-862-1260 to speak with our English and Spanish-speaking staff 24/7. Visit Carabin Shaw’s client reviews page to learn more about our long history representing San Antonio accident victims like you.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

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