Alabama Premises Liability Attorney
Under Alabama State Law, property owners, property managers and those occupying or controlling land or property are required to keep their facilities, land, business property and general premises safe to all who could enter or frequent their establishment or property. Premises liability refers to a property owner or occupier being responsible for damages arising from an injury to a visitor on said property. However, the “duty of care” or responsibility of a property owner or occupier in Alabama is dependent upon what type of visitor is on the property. Alabama premises liability laws classify visitors into three categories:
- Invitee: Invitees are owed the highest duty of care by the property owner. Invitees includes business customers, visitors, guests and others who are present on the property for the financial benefit of the owner or occupier. Owners and occupiers of land or property have a legal obligation to maintain a safe property and provide reasonable warnings of possible dangerous or hazardous conditions. Those eating at a restaurant or shopping at a grocery store are considered invitees. Owners can be held liable for dangerous conditions they should have known about and remedied or warned the invitee.
- Licensee: Licensees are people who have received an express or implied invitation onto the property of another but they are not there for business or financial purposes. This is often someone on property for social purposes and these visitors are commonly referred to as “social guests”. Owners and occupiers are responsible for correcting and warning against dangerous conditions and hazardous situations. However, owners can only be held responsible for dangers they actually knew about.
- Trespasser: Owners and occupiers owe the least duty of care to a trespasser, as a trespasser is on the property uninvited and without permission. Property owners are not responsible for keeping their property safe for trespassers. The only duty owed to trespassers is to refrain from engaging in intentional or reckless conduct that causes injuries and to warn the trespasser if you have actual knowledge they are in peril or danger. If the property owner has reasonable knowledge that children trespass onto the property, owners should post warnings of unsafe conditions and take reasonable steps to prevent the children from being exposed to such dangers.
Common premises liability claims can be related to, but not limited to, the following:
- Slip and Falls
- Trip and Falls
- Swimming Pool Accidents and Drownings,
- Dog and Animal bites,
- Property Maintenance Issues
- Defective Decks
- Defective Steps
- Defective Handrails
- Damaged Carpeting
- Retail Store or Business Liabilities
- Falling Products
- Wet or Slippery Floors
- Restaurant Liabilities
- Elevator and Escalator Injuries
- Defective or Dangerous Playground Equipment
- Electrocution and Electric Shock Injuries
Premises liability cases in Alabama can be some of the most challenging cases to pursue on behalf of individuals. Unlike many other personal injury cases, the property owner, property manager and/or occupier can typically avail themselves of what is known as the “open and obvious” defense. If it can be established that the dangerous condition or defect was “open and obvious" to the injured person, then it will be very difficult to recover money damages. In premises liability cases, Alabama law places a corresponding responsibility on the visitor to watch where they are going and avoid dangerous conditions that they can and should observe and avoid. Generating facts and evidence to overcome the “open and obvious” defense is critically important to the successful pursuit of almost every premises liability case.
Another area of premises liability law involves failure to provide security and/or the lack of security. These cases typically involve hotels, bars or other social gathering places that are open late at night. Oftentimes, rapes, murders, fights and/or other criminal acts will occur on the premises or property of another and when someone is injured or killed, the property owner may be liable for these injuries or deaths. In order to be successful in these types of cases, however, the injured person and/or the attorney will have to uncover significant evidence to establish a pattern and/or history of the same or similar type of conduct occurring on the property and will further have to demonstrate that the property owner or occupier knew that the subject event was likely to occur.Trust the Experienced Attorneys of Hollis Wright
The Alabama premises liability attorneys at Hollis, Wright, Clay & Vail have years of experience handling and successfully representing clients in this legal practice area. Our attorneys know the law in this area exceptionally well and know precisely what facts will need to be developed in order to successfully recover money on behalf of an injured person. This is a very nuanced area of the law with many challenges. An injured person should not trust their premises liability case to an attorney that does not have vast experience handling these cases.Recoverable Damages
The attorneys at Hollis Wright have handled premises liability cases involving almost every type of injury imaginable. In premises liability cases, the injured person is entitled to claim damages related to past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish. If the injury is severe and results in a permanent impairment, disfigurement or scarring, then money damages related to a permanent injury can be claimed as well. The premises liability attorneys at Hollis Wright will explore and thoroughly evaluate all of your potential damages and injuries in order to maximize your recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a situation involving premises liability, call the Alabama premises liability attorneys at Hollis, Wright, Clay & Vail for a FREE and private consultation at 844.LAW.TALK or 205.324.3600. You may also contact us here. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis which means Hollis Wright does not get paid unless and until money is recovered on your behalf.