San Antonio Premises Liability Attorneys
Helping People Injured By Negligent Property Owners
The term “premises liability” is a legal term that describes negligence or responsibility on the part of a property owner for someone else’s injury — the property owner is liable for something that happened on their premises. Property owners, such as building managers, nightclub owners, franchise businesses and others, are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe premises. If you were injured by a hazardous condition on a property, you may have legal recourse.
The San Antonio premises liability attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm are passionate about representing the wrongfully injured. We know how to go up against large corporations and businesses, in court and outside of court, to secure maximum financial compensation for our clients.
Call Wyatt Law Firm today and we will review your case for free! 210-340-5550.
We serve people throughout Texas and the nation, including the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Laredo and Corpus Christi.
Examples of premises negligence cases we handle
Not sure if you have a claim? Get a better idea of some of the common premises liability cases we handle below –
- Slip-and-Fall Claims
One of the most common types of premises liability claims is the “slip-and-fall” claim. This is when a plaintiff slips, trips, or falls because of a hazardous condition on a property, and subsequently brings a claim against the party in control of that property.
- Nightclub Injuries
Unfortunately, there are a large number of premises liability cases in the San Antonio area in particular that originate at nightclubs. Common nightclub injuries are caused by inadequate lighting, fires, security failures leading to attacks, and alcohol-related injuries and deaths.
- Negligent Security
Often tied to nightclub incidents, negligent security claims involve failures in security (“security breaches”) that lead to injuries or death. If someone is attacked or robbed (a criminal act) they may have civil recourse against the property owner for failing to secure and protect the area.
- Amusement Park Accidents
Including slip-and-fall accidents, injuries on rides, parking lot accidents and other acts of negligence.
- Dog Bites
Attacks by dogs can result in devastating injuries or death. We fight for justice and compensation for dog bite victims.
- Swimming Pool Accidents
We represent people who have been injured in swimming pools at hotels, health clubs, municipal facilities, water parks, apartment complexes and private residences.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Our firm has a record of success in cases involving defective heaters and industrial equipment.
- Escalator Accidents
Poor design and maintenance of escalators can lead to injuries and death. We will be your strong advocate.
Amusement Park Accidents
A day at an amusement park can suddenly turn tragic when negligence results in a serious injury or death. As a victim of corporate negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. But evidence concerning such cases can disappear quickly. If you or a loved one has suffered harm at an amusement park or water park, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Standing Up For Victims Of Corporate Negligence
Wyatt Law Firm represents people in Texas amusement park accident cases involving:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Assaults by park staff or patrons
- Injuries and death caused by equipment failure or operator error
- Defective safety equipment on rides
- Parking lot accidents
- Drownings at water parks
- Other types of amusement park accidents
From shopping malls and department stores to airports and stadiums, escalators are used in all types of property applications to carry people from floor-to-floor. Escalators have been used to modernize pedestrian traffic by carrying larger groups of people at one time and at a more rapid pace.
While they are practical, very few people are actually aware of the dangers associated with escalators — and just how life-threatening escalator injuries can be.
Escalator accidents can occur in many ways, including:
- Excessive gaps between the side skirt, the escalator step, and the landing platforms
- Injuries caused by clothing, shoes, or other objects getting caught between platforms
- Injuries due to faulty manufacturing, negligent maintenance, or failure to inspect or repair
- Explosions caused by overheating or debris collecting in the undercarriage of the escalator
In some of the most highly publicized injuries, victims of escalator accidents have suffered catastrophic or fatal injuries. Reported injuries include children losing toes while wearing Crocs brand shoes and riding the escalator, adults losing limbs due to articles of clothing getting stuck between the “teeth” of escalator platforms, and elderly individuals losing their balance due to a sudden stop and tumbling down the steps.
People go to nightclubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, and other social nightspots to have fun. They expect to spend a night on the town enjoying the nightlife, having a good time with friends, and relaxing with a couple of drinks. Rarely ever do they expect to be seriously injured. Accidents can happen at any time and any place, including nightclubs.
If you or someone you love was injured while attending a nightclub, take immediate action and contact our attorneys today. We can begin immediate investigations to determine the best course of action for your unique situation. Our entire legal team is here to listen to your story – and we make certain that your voice is heard in a court of law.
Responsibilities Of Property Owners In San Antonio
Like other property owners, nightclub owners are required to adhere to a specific set of rules, regulations, and laws. When followed, these codes ensure the safety and security of patrons and guests. Nightclub owners and operators have a responsibility to make sure their code complies. When they fail in this duty and people are injured, they can be held responsible.
In an effort to gain more profit or popularity in an increasingly competitive market, nightclub owners can sacrifice adherence to codes like maximum occupancy rules. This, combined with a primary focus on alcohol sales, can be a fatal combination that may put the lives of innocent attendees in jeopardy.
Common nightclub injuries are caused by:
- Negligent security leading to attacks, assaults, brawls, rapes, and violent fights
- Poor lighting or inadequate handrails on stairs or walkways, resulting in slip-and-fall injuries
- Negligent maintenance, such as leaving slick or sticky liquids on the floor, leading to slip-and-falls
- Fires or explosions caused by pyrotechnics or other defective equipment
- Injury or wrongful death sustained by a bouncer or patron
- Injury or wrongful death caused by over-pouring or over-serving alcoholic beverages
San Antonio Premises Liability FAQs
Next to auto accidents, premises liability is the largest subset of San Antonio personal injury cases. From dog bites and security failures to slipping accidents and dangerous roller coasters, the dedicated San Antonio premises liability lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm commonly receive these questions:
Q. Can I always recover damages if I was injured on another person’s property?
- Premises liability covers claims involving negligent property owners and lawful guests. To recover damages from property insurers or owners, the claimant must have been lawfully present on the premises, not a trespasser, and suffered injuries due to an unsafe condition. Generally, the standard of care in premises liability cases depends on the claimant’s status when the injury occurred.
Invited guests and business patrons (paying customers). Property owners owe the highest duty of care to claimants specifically invited to the premises, like wedding guests, or present for business purposes, such as purchasing food. Owners must inspect and make the property reasonably safe for these patrons. This often means conducting periodic bathroom checks for spills, immediately blocking patrons from dangerous areas, and providing appropriate security in high-risk establishments. These claims generally involve guests assaulted at San Antonio nightclubs, injured by dangerous amusement park rides, or hurt after tripping at restaurants.
Social guests and pedestrians (licensees). Property owners must warn claimants lawfully present on the property—including joggers traveling down public sidewalks, families in public parks, or the occasional stopover at the neighbor’s—of known and hidden dangers. Sufficient warnings often involve placing cones over spills or verbally letting guests know about rotten deck planks.
Most public premises liability and causal guest claims involve licensees. Claimants lawfully present without the intent to purchase, such as running into the River Walk McDonald’s to use the bathroom, also fall into this category. Delivery persons and other on-duty emergency responders/state workers also have licensee protections.
Adult trespassers. Property owners do not owe a general duty of care to trespassers, whether intentional or unintentional. They cannot, however, set potentially fatal traps, like spring guns, for trespassers. This category includes criminal trespassers, such as burglars, and those who trespass by mistake, like going into the wrong house.
Child trespassers. A special exception to the trespasser law exists for young children.
This exception, called the attractive nuisance doctrine, might hold San Antonio property owners liable if:
- The owner had something on her property reasonably likely to attract children, like puppies, a swimming pool, or playground equipment
- The owner knew that the condition would attract children
- The owner took no safety precautions like placing a fence around the pool
- The child suffered injuries due to a dangerous condition on the property, and
- The child was too young, generally under age seven, to appreciate the risk
These cases most often involve swimming pool and dog bite accidents, but they are not limited to these claims.
Q. Can I recover damages if my child fell into the neighbor’s swimming pool?
- San Antonio’s summer heat often drives children and parents alike to local pools. Young children generally have additional legal protections under Texas premises liability laws. For example, parents might recover damages for children injured while falling into a neighbor’s unfenced pool. Liability generally arises when neighbors do nothing to prevent young children from unintentionally falling into their pools, such as failing to place or maintain proper fencing. It might not apply to children who climb the fence or older kids who understand drowning risks.
We must distinguish between negligent supervision and premises liability in these cases, although an experienced San Antonio injury lawyer might bring both claims. Negligent supervision often involves unsupervised drowning accidents resulting in death or traumatic brain injuries. These claims do not involve dangerous property conditions but rather lack of age-appropriate supervision.
Premises liability claims involving dangerous physical conditions leading to drownings, such as children falling into the pool due to loose filter covers or extremely young kids stepping into unfenced water attractions. Premises liability and negligent supervision claims might both arise if children sustain injuries in overcrowded public or summer camp pools, which often occurs when one child accidentally jumps onto another.
Q. What is the assumption of risk, and does it apply if I suffered injuries at Six Flags Fiesta?
- Amusement park cases are a complicated subset of law often handled by the experienced premises liability attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm. The assumption of risk defense no longer bars financial recovery in Texas—see Austin v. Kroger—but it once stood for the principle that claimants couldn’t recover damages if they knowingly engaged in dangerous activities.
Now, claimants injured at Six Flags and related water or amusement parks might recover compensation if park owners did not make the premises, including rides and attractions, reasonably safe.
Park owners must provide claimants, especially paying guests, with appropriate warning signs and safety equipment. This includes maintaining rides and seatbelts, following food safety protocols (especially in the hot San Antonio sun), and cleaning up slippery surfaces. You might recover damages from Six Flags for safety equipment failures, employee negligence, and dangerous spills. Discuss your specific injuries with our San Antonio Six Flags Fiesta Texas legal team for free today.
Q. Who’s responsible if I almost drowned or sustained injuries in a San Antonio swimming pool or water park?
- Swimming pool claims often involve multiple responsible parties. These may include property owners, pool maintenance companies, designated supervisors, property management companies, summer camp managers, and lifeguards (or their employers). Individuals might also bear direct liability for pushing claimants into pools or jumping on top of them. The same rules generally apply to corporations, such as water park owners and city-owned pools and waterways.
Most swimming pool claims settle with liable property or umbrella insurers, but sometimes this coverage isn’t enough to fully compensate claimants for the life-altering brain injuries and neck fractures (paralysis) often associated with swimming pool accidents. In such cases, the dedicated San Antonio premises liability lawyers might pursue additional negligence claims against all liable individual and corporate parties.
Q. What kind of injuries do you commonly see in San Antonio premises liability cases?
- Because premises liability encompasses a variety of claims, including physical assaults, drowning, and tripping, we’ve seen nearly every type of injury at Wyatt Law.
The most common personal injuries resulting from property owner neglect, including falls and attacks, include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among elderly Americans and young children. Drowning accidents also frequently result in cerebral hypoxia (oxygen deprivation injuries), resulting in brain cell damage and permanent disabilities. Many traumatic brain injuries cause immediate or eventual brain death. Paula Wyatt and her San Antonio injury team have recovered millions for clients suffering from brain trauma.
- Fractures – Falls cause over 95 percent of all hip fractures and are the leading cause of broken bones in the United States. Many fractures, even seemingly minor broken wrists, necessitate complex surgery and months of physical rehabilitation. Patients with serious compound, comminuted, and transverse fractures often need multiple surgeries and struggle with lifelong complications.
- Paralysis – Damage to the spinal cord after falls, including broken necks, often causes paraplegia or quadriplegia. These conditions require lifetime care and result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in medical expenses and lost wages.
- Herniated discs (back & neck pain) – As the most common disabling condition in the world, back and neck pain impacts every aspect of life. It’s difficult for claimants to sit, stand, or lay down for long periods. Many claimants struggle with typing, sitting, lifting, and walking. Surgery can sometimes correct herniations, but many have low success rates.
- Sexual assault – This is considered a personal injury in Texas, and survivors of sexual assault might demand civil damages. Hotels, landlords, and nightclub owners might bear liability for sexual abuse if they failed to provide adequate security from offenders. This may include failing to monitor for signs of the date-rape drug or failing to fix broken locks.
Call our dedicated San Antonio premises liability lawyers to discuss recovering compensation in your case.
Q. Should I preserve any evidence after my slip and fall?
- Most slip and fall cases occur when patrons step through clear liquids present on slick surfaces. This combination creates a low coefficient of friction (COF), often leading to sudden backward momentum and head trauma. Most supermarkets and other premises owners quickly mop up the water or substance for safety. Even if they do not, water often evaporates. Video evidence may catch the fall, but it may not show the dangerous substance.
After San Antonio HEB or supermarket slips and falls, gather and maintain this evidence (if you medically can):
- Unwashed pants and clothes that contain the substance
- Unwashed shoes from the accident
- Photographs of the substance/item and surrounding area
- Photographs of any nearby ceiling cameras
- Names and titles of any responding/nearby employees and managers
- Copies of any incident reports
- Video evidence
Employees may refuse to provide copies of the internal incident report or video evidence, and an attorney should act quickly in such cases. Your lawyer may send a certified letter requesting the store owner/manager preserve and produce any evidence from the incident. Destroying or manipulating evidence after receiving notice may result in automatic liability.
Q. How does premises liability work in bars, nightclubs, and related assault cases?
- Unfortunately, San Antonio’s vast nightlife and tourist industry lead to a disproportionate number of sexual assault and robbery cases. Premises owners might bear liability for criminal conduct on their properties if they knew (via past assaults or criminal hot-zone reports) that patrons faced a higher likelihood of danger. This is especially true on “ladies’ nights” or in clubs encouraging the patronage of young women.
To avoid liability, owners should provide competent security, sufficient lighting, door checks, and employee training. This could include monitoring patrons for signs of involuntary intoxication from date-rape drugs, and watching the dance floor for sexual assaults.
Q. What damages can I recover in San Antonio premises liability cases?
- Texas’s injury compensation laws permit successful premises liability claimants to demand:
- Economic damages – Compensation for any financial losses resulting from the injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, lost inheritance, lost earning capacity, and household help.
- Non-economic damages – These are the real but often incalculable losses associated with serious injuries and trauma. These damages may include lost enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, frustration, inconvenience, impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, and physical pain.
- Exemplary damages (exceptional cases only) – Juries may award these punitive damages in cases of exceptional recklessness and intentional assaults. They punish the offender for shockingly unlawful and grossly negligent conduct, including rape and abuse. Insurance companies often do not cover these damages (as that would not punish the offender). Exemplary damages are only available in rare cases.
Many factors go into the determination of the settlement value of your premises case. Short-term injury cases typically settle for less than long-term injury cases. Long-term and permanent disabilities, including wrongful death cases, often settle for substantial amounts, depending on the insurance available. Our experienced San Antonio injury lawyers might estimate the value and settlement timeline of your premises liability claims.
Q. How much does it cost to hire a San Antonio premises liability lawyer?
- There are generally no out-of-pocket or upfront costs associated with retaining a premises liability attorney at the Wyatt Law Firm. Paula Wyatt and her dedicated injury team accept eligible cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you recover compensation. This is a no recovery, no fee guarantee. Our firm might even front all necessary litigation costs and expert witness expenses to maximize the value of your settlement.
Most viable premises negligence claims settle with liable property insurers without the need for litigation. In such cases, premises liability lawyers take a percentage of the overall settlement and reimburse themselves for expenses. Clients typically take home the rest, after they pay their medical and other bills related to the accident. Most claimants obtain substantially higher settlements and verdicts with the help of dedicated counsel, even after accounting for attorney’s fees.
For a free and confidential premises liability consultation with our San Antonio lawyers, call us today.
Benefits of Retaining a San Antonio Premises Liability Lawyer at The Wyatt Law Firm
No Recovery – No Fee!
If we don’t win a financial recovery, our clients owe us nothing. Contingency fees free people up to choose the attorney best suited for their case, not simply one they can afford.
Advocating for the Injured Since 1990
For 25 years, we have been standing up for the wrongfully injured. Our experience gives us a distinctive advantage both in and outside of court.
Wondering if you have a claim? It costs nothing to contact us! With our free initial consultations, you can learn your legal rights and options.
Our firm gets results. While every case is different, and past results are no guarantee of future recovery, our recoveries indicate an ability to get clients the compensation they deserve.
Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC
21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10
San Antonio, Texas 78218