If you live or work in a big city, you’re probably used to parking in garages. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a private parking lot at their job. And if you live in a condo or apartment building, you may need to use off-street parking at night. While parking garages can be expensive, sometimes, they’re the only option. You pay your hourly rate but think you can at least trust that your car will be safe. You should also be able to trust that you’ll be safe.
Most of us can’t imagine why somebody would accost a stranger while in a parking garage. Maybe they want to rob you and part of that involves them assaulting you. Other people may have a problem with you personally and followed you to the garage with the intention of hurting you. Finally, somebody want to sexually assault you and they think a deserted parking garage is the best place to find their victim.
It makes sense to think that the company who owns the garage should prevent this sort of thing from happening. After all, you’re paying to use their facility. The least they can do is make sure you’re safe. However, you’d be surprised at the limited liability imposed on garage owners in these situations. While most parking garage accidents would be covered under personal injury, assaults are not necessarily something the property owner is responsible for. Call our Houston personal injury attorneys today and we’ll explain the basics of premises liability law in Texas. We’ll also explain what sorts of incidents parking garage owners are legally responsible for.
What is Premises Liability and How Does it Apply to Parking Garage Owners?
If you get hurt on anyone else’s property, you’ll probably be entitled to damages. For example, if you fall in a grocery store because the floor is wet, you may have a claim for damages. The same is true if you get hurt while at a friend’s party. When it comes to a parking garage, it makes sense to hold them responsible for certain types of injuries. If they create or fail to repair an unsafe condition, they would be liable under premises liability law. The same is true if you fall and get hurt because their stair railings are broken. But, what about an attack? Would the garage owner be liable for injuries resulting from an attack by a third party?
It’s hard to say for sure. When you enter a private parking garage, you typically get an incoming ticket. These tickets have language printed on them. This language usually tells you that the garage isn’t responsible for stolen items. Or, it may indicate that they aren’t responsible for your car being broken into. Even when it comes to a car accident inside the garage, there’s no guarantee that the garage is responsible.
Your Houston Injury Attorney Will Have to Prove Negligence
In order to hold a garage owner liability for an attack or an assault, your Houston injury lawyer will need to prove negligence. This involves four things:
- They need to show that the garage owner owed you a duty of care – This is a given. If they invite you into their garage and you pay them a fee, they owe you a certain duty of care. This includes providing you with a safe environment.
- They breached this duty – The garage owner is required to take certain steps to protect your safety. For example, they need to install cameras so that, if someone is hurt, they have it on video. They may also need to provide security officers to assist you if you do get injured. For example, if you can show that their security officer was asleep on the job, it could show a breach.
- You were injured – It isn’t enough that you were assaulted. You also have to prove that you were hurt. Your Houston personal injury attorney will rely on your medical records to do this.
- Your injuries were caused by their breach – You’ll need to show that your injuries were caused by the garage owner. If you got hurt in an accident after you left the garage, the property owner wouldn’t be liable for this.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston
If you or your loved one are hurt while in a Houston parking garage, call our office. Schedule your free initial consultation today. The defendant will have lawyers working for them and you should too.