Phenix City Premises Liability Attorney
If you were injured while on someone else’s property, you are likely wondering whether you may have a claim against the individual or business that is responsible for the property. If the responsible party failed to keep the property reasonably safe, you may have what’s known as a premises liability claim.
Because these types of claims are often complex, it’s important to have a Phenix City premises liability attorney on your side who can help you understand your legal rights and options in your specific case.
No two cases are the same, which is why it’s important to sit down with an experienced attorney who can walk you through the process and ensure your rights are protected throughout the course of litigation.
Contact the Bence Law Firm LLC now for a free consultation about your injury on someone else’s property.
What Is Premises Liability?
The laws in Alabama require that property owners maintain their property and keep it reasonably safe for visitors. This duty applies to both private and commercial spaces. Failure to keep your property safe can mean the property owner or occupant could be held liable for any injuries that someone suffers while on the property.
Premises liability cases often involve slip-and-fall accidents or trip-and-fall accidents, as well as dog bites, injuries caused by inadequate lighting, swimming pool accidents, attacks due to inadequate security, and more.
Duty of Care in a Premises Liability Case
The property owner’s duty of care will vary based on what type of visitor you are. In Alabama, the main classes of a visitor are:
- Invitee – An invitee is someone who has express or implied permission to be on the property for a commercial transaction that benefits both parties. This could be a customer entering a store to make a purchase or a patron dining at a restaurant. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. They should regularly inspect the property to catch and fix any hazards and warn you of any possible dangers. Failure to discover a hazard that they should have corrected or failed to warn you about could result in liability.
- Licensee – A licensee is someone who is invited on the property but has no commercial purpose. Perhaps it’s social guests in someone’s home, or you’re on private or public property with permission for a recreational purpose. The duty of care is lower here, but owners are still required to warn you of or correct any known hazards.
- Trespasser – Trespassers are people who enter someone’s land without permission. While property owners typically owe no duty to trespassers, children are a different story. There is an obligation to provide some level of protection for children in certain circumstances, like a fence around your pool in order to keep them out. If the property owner is aware that trespassers are common, they also need to warn of dangers and can’t set traps to harm them.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle
Premises liability matters can encompass a wide variety of accidents and injuries. One of the most common is a slip and fall claim. Slip and falls can occur due to a variety of hazards, some of which include debris, pooled liquids, ice, snow, damaged flooring, or poor lighting.
Slip and falls typically happen in an invitee situation. A business is required to keep on top of potential hazards. If it’s a rainy day and people are tracking water inside the store with them, the business has a duty to warn them and take extra precautions to continually clean the floors so water doesn’t pool and cause someone to slip and fall, for example.
Other issues that can cause a slip and fall include:
- Spilled food or drink left on the floor
- Untethered cords
- Freshly waxed floors that are unmarked
- Loose handrails, steps, or deck boards
- Debris left in walkways
- Broken steps
- Lack of handrails
- Uneven stairs
- Uneven sidewalk or parking lot pavement
- Rotten decking or stairs
Slip and falls only make up a portion of all premises liability cases in Alabama. Examples of some of the other premises liability matters we handle include:
- Dog and other animal bites and attacks
- Retail store liability
- Inadequate maintenance
- Negligent security
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Attractive nuisance
- Swimming pool injuries
When it comes to landlord/tenant situations, it’s usually assumed that the tenant has control of the property. There are situations where a landlord can be liable, like when a dangerous and concealed condition existed when the tenant took possession of the property. Landlords are also usually liable for hazards in common areas.