San Antonio Premises Liability Attorneys
Helping People Injured By Negligent Property Owners
Premises liability is a term for an entire class of lawsuits against a property owner for harm you sustain on their property. Those in control of their property cannot do whatever they want when others are invited or allowed onto it. A property owner has specific legal obligations that they assume as soon as you are on their property, so long as you are not a trespasser. If they failed to uphold these obligations and you suffered an injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Our San Antonio Premises Liability Lawyer can help you today.
A simple day of errands and entertainment can mean that you are on the property of dozens of others, each of whom owes you a legal duty. Even the local government owes you a duty when you are on their property.
Wyatt Law Firm handles many types of cases stemming from dangerous property conditions, and we have achieved many results that covered our clients’ losses.
- $6.1 million for injuries from an oilfield blowout
- $4.2 million for carbon monoxide exposure at a hotel
- $6.2 million for burn injuries in an apartment
These are only some examples of what we obtained for clients in premises liability claims. Contact our attorneys in San Antonio to learn whether you have a case and what it might be worth.
Table of Contents
- PREMISES NEGLIGENCE CASES WE HANDLE
- WHERE PREMISES LIABILITY INJURIES OCCUR
- WHAT TO DO AFTER A PREMISES LIABILITY INJURY
- HOW TO PROVE YOUR PREMISES LIABILITY CASE
- SAN ANTONIO PREMISES LIABILITY FAQS
- CONTACT A SAN ANTONIO PREMISES LIABILITY LAWYER TODAY
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.
Common Places Where Premises Liability Injuries Occur in San Antonio
Here are some of the places where you can suffer premises liability injuries in the San Antonio area:
- City sidewalks, including the River Walk
- Parking lots
- Store aisles in Central Market or HEB
- Amusement parks
- Apartment complexes
- Swimming pools
Look to obtain financial compensation as soon as you can after your injury. Time is not on your side. Evidence can be lost, and bills can mount. Your stress level is already high, and things can get worse quickly. Even though you may think that the legal process can wait, it absolutely cannot. At the minimum, you need to take the initial steps toward the legal process.
What to Do After a Premises Liability Injury in San Antonio
Take these steps before filing a claim in your case:
- See a doctor to diagnose and treat your injuries. Some premises liability injuries are not immediately apparent and can worsen over time. Besides, you cannot ask for money if you do not know how much to ask for.
- Call an experienced lawyer who will immediately begin an investigation into what happened and assemble the proof necessary to win your case.
Your Attorney Can Find Who to Blame and Why
Your lawyer will also zero in on who was responsible for the accident. In a premises liability case, you may not always know the responsible party right off the bat. Although we speak about the property owner, they are not always the defendant. It is the party that has control of the property that is responsible for your injuries.
In addition, there may be a complex web of companies that are a part of any corporate entity. Owners often hold property in the name of a limited liability company. You may have more than one possible defendant in your case, possibly maximizing your compensation. Your lawyer will research to determine the right party against whom to act.
Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
Premises liability law arises from the theory that a property owner is not an insurance company. They do not have to compensate for every injury on their property, no matter what. Instead, you must prove that the property owner did something wrong by actively committing an act or failing to do something they should have done. In legal terms, this is negligence.
Property owners must inspect their properties. In some cases, they must anticipate dangerous conditions and protect you. The key in any premises liability case is that the property owner knew or should have known of the danger. That principle is the same across nearly every type of premises liability case.
- In a slip and fall case, the property owner will be liable for the dangerous condition created by someone else if they knew or should have known about it. If too much time passes, the law will act as if the property owner knew about the dangerous condition and did nothing about it.
- In a negligent security case, the property owner must take security measures if they should know the area is dangerous. The law will assume they know of the crime, either on their property or in the area.
If a property owner has something like a swimming pool or an escalator on their property, they are obligated to conduct regular inspections and perform maintenance as necessary. They will be unable to plead ignorance when you have suffered an injury.
You can get the idea that the property owner must make at least some effort to keep you safe. Of course, the law also recognizes that accidents can and do happen. However, any premises liability case will examine whether the property owner did something to cause the accident or can have done something that might have prevented it. If the evidence shows that the answer to either of these questions is yes, you can get financial compensation.
The Challenges You Face in a Premises Liability Case
Premises liability cases are not easy for you as a plaintiff. Often, these cases are about gathering the evidence to prove what a property owner knew or what they should have known. The property owner usually will not admit to knowing there was something wrong on their property that they did nothing about. You need to show this with direct evidence that the property owner does not want to hand it over to you.
For you, the case requires that you gather evidence that you may be unable to get on your own. Most accident victims cannot document their claim on the spot. However, act quickly to gather the proof because you have minimal time, making your call to a lawyer even more important.
How to Prove Your Premises Liability Case
The type of evidence necessary depends on the premises liability case you are filing.
In a slip and fall case, you may need:
- Pictures of the scene of your accident
- Testimony from people who saw what happened
- Pictures or testimony that can describe the condition in the area before you fell
- Surveillance camera footage of the accident or the scene
- Maintenance and inspection logs that can show what the property owner did (or did not do) to fix the problem
- Testimony from an expert witness
If you file a lawsuit for a swimming pool or daycare injury, you must show that the property owner did not take the proper steps to protect others. For negligent security cases, you will need evidence that shows that the building owner was aware of, or should have been aware of, danger in the area. The theme is the same in all these cases. The property owner needed to take a specific action that they did not.
Without the necessary evidence, you will be unable to carry your burden and proof and put yourself in a position to receive a settlement check. If you handle your own case, you will struggle to gather the proof you need, and the insurance company may deny your claim.
Getting the Right Compensation in Your Premises Liability Case
Even if you are eligible for a check, there is still plenty of work that you will need to do. There is a wide range of outcomes in compensation in premises liability cases. Only some of that variance is because of the different severity of injuries. Other differences come from the fact that the insurance company gets away with quite a bit in other cases.
Our job is not to let that happen to our clients. We do not let the insurance company push you around. We hold powerful companies accountable on your behalf.
To understand the potential value of your case, you should know more about how courts calculate personal injury compensation. The responsible party is legally obliged to pay you for all your accident damages. These are not just limited to physical injuries and their associated costs.
Your premises liability compensation will include:
- The full costs of your medical bills and all related medical expenses, such as doctor’s bills, prescriptions, medical equipment, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages for the time that you miss from work or if you can never work again
- Pain and suffering for the physical and psychological issues that you must deal with after the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life, comparing your life now to the one you had before the accident
- Emotional trauma (these damages can be severe when you are filing a negligent security lawsuit after being attacked)
- Wrongful death damages for a family if a loved one dies in an accident
- Possible punitive damages in rare cases where the defendant was extraordinarily negligent or reckless
Our job as your attorney is to tell you what your case is worth so you know how much you should seek.
You May Need to Deal With a Company as the Defendant
In many premises liability cases, you deal with a corporate defendant who owns the property. If they were bright and planned well, they will have a comprehensive insurance policy to protect their business assets from judgment creditors like you. The significant policy is a boon for you. Still, it also means that you will need extra effort to deal with a difficult insurance company looking to protect its financial interests.
In practically every premises liability case, you are dealing with an insurance company, whether you have filed a lawsuit or a direct claim.
Your lawyer can help maximize your compensation by knowing the value of your claim and negotiating. You must follow a process first, and it can take time. You need to be patient and let your attorney do their job. In turn, your lawyer will make life easier for you during a difficult time in your life.
Insurance Companies May Make a Settlement Difficult
There is a time-honored tradition of how any insurance company handles a settlement negotiation. They go low while you start high. Eventually, the two parties will meet in the middle. In the interim, you will likely exchange numerous settlement proposals with the insurance company, slowly bridging what starts as a large gap.
If you cannot narrow the difference, or if the insurance company denies the claim, you can file a lawsuit.
When you suffer an injury in a premises liability accident, you are in good hands with an experienced lawyer with a track record of winning for their clients. That is precisely what we have at Wyatt Law Firm. We go the extra mile for our clients and can take the fight to the insurance companies and other powerful defendants.
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.
Call a San Antonio Premises Liability Lawyer Today
When you need legal help, Wyatt Law Firm is here for you. We will get to work quickly while taking the time to build a strong case out of your facts. We will give you realistic legal advice when we discuss your case. For your free initial consultation, call us today at (210) 340-5550 or contact us online. You owe us nothing unless you win your case.
Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC
21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10
San Antonio, Texas 78218