Alabama Premises Liability Attorney
Accidents sustained while on the property of a third party are among the most common forms of personal injury. These types of injuries are often the result of a defective or hazardous condition on the property and/or negligence on the part of the property owner/occupant. When this occurs, a personal injury case can be pursued under the legal theory of “premises liability” or the closely related theory of “landowner negligence”. If you or someone close to you was injured while on the property of another party, you may have a right to compensation.
At Jones & Associates, we are committed to providing strong legal representation for those who have suffered injury as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another party. Our award-winning attorneys have many years of experience with premises liability and other types of personal injury cases in Alabama. We have a proven track record of success in this area of the law, and we have the skills, resources, and dedication to handle even the most complex cases. We routinely go up against the large insurers and their armies of high-priced lawyers, and we are ready and able to pursue just compensation for our clients at trial and upon appeal (when necessary).
Premises Liability and Landowner Negligence Claims
If you were injured on the property of another party, you may have a right to file a personal injury claim. This may fall under the purview of either landowner negligence or premises liability. In a landowner negligence claim, you must prove the following:
- The owner or caretaker (defendant) owed a duty of legal care to the injured party (plaintiff);
- The defendant breached that duty of care;
- This breach of care was the proximate cause of injury to the plaintiff.
With a premises liability claim, the plaintiff attempts to prove that his/her injuries are the result of the hazardous and/or defective condition of the property, rather than the negligence of the defendant.
It is important to note that the duty of care owed by property owners/occupants differs depending on the type of visitor that enters the property. This is broken into three general categories:
- Invitees: The highest duty of care is owed to invited guests who enter the premises. This may include employees, subcontractors, customers, and tenants.
- Licensees: The second highest duty of care is owed to licensees, those with implied permission to enter the property. These may include door to door sales persons, mail carriers, and social guests.
- Trespassers: Trespassers are persons who have not been invited and have no legal right to enter the premises. The only duty of care owed to trespassers is that the owner/occupant refrains from willful or wanton misconduct or entrapment that leads to injury.
Types of Premises Liability Cases in Alabama
There are several situations in which the legal theories of “premises liability” and/or “landowner negligence” may come into play. Some of the most common include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Playground and School Accidents
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents
- Amusement Park Accidents
- Toxic Chemicals, Fumes and Fires on the Property
- Water Leaks and/or Flooding on the Property
- Accidents Resulting from Defective Property Conditions
- Accidents Resulting from Inadequate Property Maintenance
- Assaults and/or Injuries resulting from Inadequate Property Security
Owners and occupants are supposed to routinely inspect their property to ensure that it is free of hazards and defects that could pose a danger to visitors and guests. If they identify hazards that cannot be dealt with immediately, they are supposed to clearly warn visitors and guests of their existence. When owners/occupants fail to live up to this responsibility and someone suffers injury as a result, they must be held accountable to ensure that those who are injured receive full compensation, and that other property visitors do not suffer similar injuries in the future.
Damages Available in a Premises Liability Case
If there is sufficient evidence to support your premises liability or landowner negligence claim, you may be entitled to compensation. Damages sustained from your injuries may be physical, financial, emotional, and psychological. These may include:
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses (past, present and future);
- Lost wages for time missed from work (past, present and future) due to the injuries;
- Past, present, and future physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement;
- In the most severe cases, wrongful death that results from the injuries sustained.
Premises Liability Actions in Alabama
Proving fault in a premises liability or landlord negligence case is an uphill battle. In Alabama, if a defendant can prove that the plaintiff is even 1% at fault for the accident, the plaintiff is not allowed to collect damages. Other possible defenses that may be used against you include:
- Assumption of Risk: This is the legal theory that the plaintiff assumes a reasonable risk when entering the premises and is expected to intelligently confront the risk presented.
- Lack of Knowledge: The defendant may claim lack of knowledge or lack of notice of the hazard or defect on the premises.
- Open and Obvious: Under this defense, the defendant claims that the hazard or defect was “open and obvious” and the plaintiff should have anticipated the potential harm.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the property of a third party, it is important to speak with skilled legal counsel, so you understand your rights and options. Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, so it is best to act on this sooner rather than later. At Jones & Associates, we understand the complexities of premises liability cases, and what it takes to prevail even in a state where the laws are not friendly to personal injury victims. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their rights are protected, and that they receive the just compensation they deserve.
For a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Alabama premises liability lawyers, contact our office today at (334) 699-5599.
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