In Texas, when a person is injured on another’s property, or premise, it means more than simply in or around a building. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code includes in its definition of premises waterways, roads, equipment and bodies of water, along with building structures and land. The broad definition can lead to an injured party being unsure of proper liability.
When an injury occurs, it is best to take the following steps, then follow up with legal counsel.
- Seek Medical Attention. If the injury is severe, get help immediately. If it is not urgent enough to warrant onsite attention, make a plan to see a medical professional in the following days for a full evaluation. Oftentimes, injuries that do not present themselves initially become apparent after a few days or even weeks.
- Take photographs. Chances are, someone nearby will have a smartphone handy that is capable of taking photographs of the situation. It is important to get pictures of the injury itself, if possible, as well as the cause of the grievance. This might include environmental factors such as poor lighting, a spill, an icy or uneven sidewalk, damaged equipment or broken steps.
- File a complaint. If the property is residential, the homeowner should be notified. If it is commercial, the store owner or manager needs to know. It is also important to fill out a formal complaint to be placed on record. If there was criminal activity involved, the victim should immediately contact the police and file a report.
- Keep records. A person should document any and all medical expenses as well as time spent off work or dealing with injury-related issues. Doctors’ visits, over the counter aids and travel should all be included. As time drags on, it can become difficult to remember details from early on without proper documentation, which can lead to a loss of reclaimed expenses later.
According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, a person making a personal injury claim has a two-year limitation period. While the injured party may consider waiting to see the full depth of the injuries or the exent of costs accrued, waiting can potentially impede the recouping of expenses if the statute of limitations runs out. It is best to consult with a legal professional as soon as the incident occurs to ensure all proper steps are followed in a timely fashion.