The main theory of premise liability holds the owner or occupier of real property responsible for accidents that occur on their property. The most common type of accident that gives rise to a premise liability claim is an ordinary slip and fall. However premise liability is not limited to ordinary slip and falls. There are many serious injuries that give rise to a claim for premise liability.
In Texas the liability of the owner or occupier of the property is dependent on what is called the injured parties status. There are three standard classifications for an injured party.
An invitee is someone who is expressly or impliedly invited onto the property of another. The owner owes the invitee the highest duty of care, which includes taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the invitee’s safety.
A licensee, by contrast, enters the property for his or her own purposes but is present at the consent of the owner. The owner is required to warn a licensee of hidden dangers, but is not necessarily required to fix them.
A trespasser enters the property without any right whatsoever to do so. In the case of adult trespassers, the owner generally has no duty of care and need not take reasonable care of his property or warn of hidden dangers. Even if a person was trespassing at the time of his or her injury, he or she may still be able to recover, however, if he or she can show that the owner knew it was likely that trespassers would enter the property