Texas Landowner Liability: Negligent Act of Premises Liability Claim

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Texas Landowner Liability: Negligent Act of Premises Liability Claim

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If you are a Texas landowner, you may wonder what circumstances can leave you liable for another person’s injury on your land. It’s a complex issue that more people should be aware of, so we’re going to offer you a quick rundown of the basics today. 

Parties Injured on Someone Else’s Property Can Seek Compensation:

When a party is injured on another person’s land or property, and they want to seek legal compensation for their injuries, they have two options. The injured party can file a negligent act claim or a premises liability claim. The first step in filing is determining which of these two legal actions are the most appropriate for the plaintiff’s claim. 

What is a Negligent Act? 

If an ongoing activity occurred when the plaintiff sustained their injury, they might file a negligent act claim. 

What is a Premises Liability Claim? 

When a plaintiff’s injury is due to a “condition” on the land or property (as opposed to injury due to an ongoing activity), they may file a premises liability claim. 

No Ongoing Activity: Keetch v. Kroger Co.

In this case, the plaintiff filed a negligent act claim against Kroger grocery store after a slip and fall accident. Approximately 30 minutes before the plaintiff slipped and sustained an injury, the store sprayed their plants. The court considering the case held that there was no ongoing activity since the plaintiff was not injured by the action (spraying the plants), but by the condition the action created. Considering this, the court decided it was not a negligent act claim, and the plaintiff could only seek compensation by filing a premises liability claim. 

When There Is an Ongoing Act: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Garza

For comparison, in this case, Wal-Mart employees were moving a box, and they dropped it on the plaintiff’s head. Since the plaintiff, in this case, sustained an injury by an ongoing action (the act of moving the box from one point to another), the court recognized it as a negligent act claim. 

The Difference Between Negligent Act and Premises Liability Claims: 

Negligent act and premises liability claims both involve negligence, but they have different requirements for proof. In a negligent act case, the plaintiff must prove that a particular action occurred and directly resulted in an injury. In a premises liability case, the plaintiff has the added responsibility to prove that the defendant knew or should have known about a danger or risk of harm on their property or land. 

If you were injured while on someone else’s land or property, and you need help proving liability, please get in touch with the Carrollton premises liability lawyers at Hudson Law. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.