Accidents outside restaurants put the safety of eating in outdoor areas in question.


Vehicles have crashed into temporary outdoor dining areas across different cities in the U.S at an alarming rate since various states allowed restaurants to serve outdoor meals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some recent examples include a car that struck an open-air restaurant in Manhattan in August, leaving several slightly injured and the driver hospitalized. One couple reported they had just finished eating and paid their bill when they heard a loud noise. The next thing they knew they were running for their lives.

Last month, a runaway truck crashed into the outdoor dining room at a restaurant in New York and sent three people to the hospital. A few weeks before that, a driver who passed out behind the wheel crashed into outdoor seats at a restaurant in Waldwick, New Jersey, and there were several people injured in that incident.

Most recently, a woman was killed while waiting for a latte when an SUV crashed through the front of a Starbucks in Missouri.

With restaurants being forced to offer only outdoor meals due to the pandemic, diners are often concerned about car accidents like these. There is currently no timeline for the return of indoor dining in some areas.

Who is responsible for these types of accidents?

Landlords are required by law to maintain their property and protect visitors from injury, and a landlord’s failure to fix known problems or warn visitors of potential hazards can lead to serious injury. For the owner to be liable, the visitor must be on the property legally and use the property as intended.

If a visitor is injured while trespassing or acting in a dangerous, careless, or unauthorized manner, the owner will likely not be liable. The most common types of property liability injuries are spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and neck and back injuries. Our property liability attorneys understand how to navigate the many nuances of a property liability case.

Types of Property Liability Injuries

Property liability accidents cover a wide range of incidents and can include cases as simple as a slip and fall or as complex as construction accidents. These accidents arise when a person is injured or killed on someone else’s property due to dangerous or unsafe conditions.

Property liability can apply to private or public property, including office buildings, private residences, and restaurants. Due to the diversity of location and type of injuries, not all cases involving premises are handled in the same way.

The most common property liability accidents are slip and fall injuries. Hazardous property conditions such as wet or slippery surfaces, broken tiles, broken windows, missing handrails or barriers, and inadequate lighting can cause significant injury to visitors. Property liability injuries can also be the result of inadequate building security that can lead to injury or assault.

Consult with a Texas property liability attorney today for the legal guidance you need to recover damages from your injury. By retaining the services of a trusted attorney, you can get the justice you deserve.

Property Liability Laws in Texas

Under Texas’ property liability statute, an injured person can sue the landlord (i.e., the restaurant owner), for injuries sustained while on the property and be entitled to compensation. Landowners owe different standards of care to people depending on their legal status as guests, licensees, or trespassers.

-Guests: someone who is invited, directly or indirectly, to enter or remain on the premises (Ex: customers, consumer of a restaurant) 

-Licensees: someone who is invited for a purpose other than business or commercial use (Ex: guest) 

-Trespassers – someone who enters the property without the owner’s express or implied permission 

Filing a Property Liability Claim in Texas

To file a cause of action for property liability in Texas, the injured party must show that the defendant owed them a duty, was negligent and did not act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Negligence requires that the defendant have a duty to care for the plaintiff, breached that duty of care and that the breach caused injury and damage to the plaintiff.

If the plaintiff is partially at fault for the injury, Texas law allows recovery of damages as long as the plaintiff was not 50 percent or more at fault for the injury. Texas also has a two-year statute of limitations that requires the plaintiff to file a property liability lawsuit within two years of the incident.

The type and amount of damages depend on many factors, including the severity of the injuries and the circumstances of the accident. Damages commonly awarded in a liability claim include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Connect with a Texas Property Liability Attorney

A Texas property liability attorney can take the steps necessary to establish your rights under the law, uncover evidence of a landlord’s failure to keep you safe and measure your losses to demand adequate compensation. There is a limited time to pursue your case after an injury.

Contact PMR Law Today

At PMR Law, our attorneys have experience handling property liability claims in Houston and the surrounding region.

We can help you regardless of the type or severity of the injury. Reach out online or by phone to speak with a Houston personal injury attorney.

If you need legal representation for a personal injury lawsuit, we are here to help. Get in touch online or by phone to speak with a Texas personal injury attorney. We represent injury victims throughout Texas. 

Contact our auto accident lawyers at 832-667-7700. Get in touch with us immediately so we can evaluate your case for free. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out a form by clicking here. 

PMR Law is considered one of the Best Law Firms of America, by Rue Ratings. Several of our attorneys have been given the honor of being named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has named our attorneys 10 Best in Client Satisfaction. Speaking of personal injury, Attorney and Practice Magazine awarded our attorneys with Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney distinctions. The National Trial Lawyers have named three of our attorneys as Top 100 attorneys. The Academy of Attorneys has named two of our attorneys as Top 40 Under 40. Our attorneys have been recognized as Best Attorneys of America, by Rue Ratings. PMR Law is a proud member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum.