One of the unique—and complicated—elements of premises liability law is that property owners may not owe the same “duty” under the law to every visitor on their land. Instead, the duty property owners owe to other people often depends on the guest’s reason for visiting. In the context of negligent security claims, a property’s location and history can significantly impact how much an owner is responsible for a visitor or tenant’s injuries.

Making sense of the duty of Houston landowners and possessors in negligent security claims can be much easier with guidance from a dedicated premises liability lawyer. Beyond ensuring you understand how state law governs these cases and how regulations might apply to your situation, a legal representative at Roberts Markland LLP could demand every cent of compensation you deserve.

What Duty do Landowners Owe Visitors?

Whether a case is built around a car crash, professional misconduct, or a failure to provide adequate security measures on private property, the core legal principle at the heart of civil lawsuits is “negligence.” In brief, a person is negligent if they have a “duty” to act a certain way to protect another person from avoidable harm and subsequently violate said duty in a way that directly leads to that person getting hurt.

When it comes to negligent security claims in Houston, the duty a landowner or possessor owes to a visitor or tenant changes based on whether the visitor is a trespasser, licensee, or invitee. Like other states, Texas imposes no obligations on landowners to protect unlawful trespassers from accidental harm so long as property owners do not deliberately cause an injury or demonstrate gross negligence in maintaining their property.

On the other hand, landowners are obligated to protect licensees—people visiting for their purposes or financial benefit, like social guests or contractors—by warning them of any known hazards on their property and remedying known risks within a reasonable period. When it comes to invitees who benefit the landowner directly through their lawful presence, landowners must demonstrate “ordinary care” by regularly inspecting their land for unknown hazards and the duties they have for licensees.

What Counts as “Ordinary Care” in Negligent Security Claims?

The actions a landowner or possessor of property in Houston must take to avoid liability in a negligent security claim can vary from situation to situation. First, however, property owners must account for reasonably foreseeable criminal activity which might occur on their land. In certain areas, this might mean putting up a fence to prevent trespassing, discouraging people from loitering, or warning visitors of a recent increase in certain crimes nearby.

A landowner may be expected to provide good lighting in public spaces, retain security personnel, or install security cameras in more extreme situations. A knowledgeable legal professional could examine a specific situation and offer preliminary guidance during a private meeting about whether a property owner’s actions could be considered “negligent” under premises liability law.

Discuss the Duty of Landowners/Possessors in Negligent Security Claims with a Houston Attorney

The duty of Houston landowners/possessors in negligent security claims can vary wildly from person to person. Making sense of how state law applies to your unique situation can only be possible with the legal expertise that a seasoned premises liability lawyer could provide.

The help you might need with your settlement proposal or lawsuit is just a phone call or click away. Get in touch with us today to get started.