What Happens When You are Injured on Public Property?

Your ability to obtain compensation for injuries suffered on another’s property depends both on why you were there and how the injuries occurred.

When personal injuries occur as a result of an accident on another’s property, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the property owner. However, in accidents on public property, the situation is more complicated. As a recent case involving a bicycle accident at the University of Texas at Austin shows, your rights in filing a claim will depend on why you were there and how your injuries happened.

Your Rights in a Premises Liability Claim

Public property owners owe a duty of care to their visitors. When injuries occur, they can be held liable for failing to properly maintain the premises or for failing to warn you when dangerous conditions exist. Examples include:

  • Wet, slippery floors, which the property owner fails to clean up or warn customers about, resulting in slip and fall accidents;
  • Loose paving stones, dimly lit walkways, and other landscaping maintenance issues which endanger visitors;
  • Overstocked shelves and loosely attached store fixtures, which increase the risk of getting struck by objects;
  • Areas under repair or renovations, where there are no signs posted or fencing to protect the public.

These are just a few examples of ways in which serious personal injuries can occur. When these types of accidents do happen, you may be able to seek compensation either through a claim against the property owners’ insurer or through a personal injury lawsuit. Under the Texas Statutes, damages you may be entitled to include current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for the pain and suffering your accident or injuries cause.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries Suffered on Government Property

In a premises liability case involving the University of Texas (The University of Texas at Austin v. Garner), a woman sought compensation from the school after being struck by a university employee while riding her bicycle on campus. When it was denied, she took her case to the Texas Supreme Court. Her appeal ended up being denied, as well.

Government agencies are granted some immunity from lawsuits. They can still be held liable for injuries that happen on their property under the Texas Tort Claims Act in cases of gross negligence. However, there were two factors that worked against the woman in the above case: 

  • She was on the property for recreational purposes, rather than as a student. Recreational use laws limit liability in general.
  • There was no negligence on the part of the university. The driver can be held responsible for the accident, but there were no obviously negligent conditions on campus that would make them liable in a claim.

Get Guidance from Our Edinburg, TX Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability laws are complex in Texas. At the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., we provide the trusted legal guidance you need to get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your case, contact our Edinburg, TX personal injury attorney and request a consultation today.