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What is Premises Liability?

What is Premises Liability in Alabama?Have you ever slipped and fallen? We all have at one time or another. Fortunately, these are often minor incidents where no one is at fault. However, there are instances where someone slips, trips, or falls because of the negligence of someone else. When these accidents happen while on public property or in a private establishment, the injured person may have a personal injury claim.

Under Alabama law, a “slip and fall” is also referred to as “premises liability.” Meaning, if you suffered an injury from such an accident, you may have a personal injury claim. To recover damages in these kinds of cases, you will have to prove the following:

  1. Duty of Care:  Under Alabama law, the duty of care applies differently. This depends on whether the person suffering the injury is classified as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. An invitee and/or licensee owns the highest duty of care, while a trespasser can afford a much more limited duty of care. In other words, a landowner must take reasonable steps to ensure that the property is safe and must warn visitors of known dangers.

2. Breach of the Duty of Care:  The owner or landlord breaches the duty of care when:

      • They do not take reasonable steps to make sure the property is safe;
      • They do not clearly warn visitors of any known dangers;
      • Their actions create a hazardous or potentially hazardous condition.

3. Causation:  You must show that because the duty of care was breach, there would be no injury. In addition, you must show that the breach of the duty is the proximate cause of the injury.

4. Damages:  There must exist some sort of damages as a result of the accident (physical injury, financial injury, emotional injury, etc.) to the victim.

To determine if you have a premises liability case, you have to answer the questions below:

  • Was there an unsafe condition on the property? Falling down and getting hurt on someone else’s property does not satisfy the requirements to bring such a case. The accident happened by an unsafe or hazardous condition such as:
      • Improper lighting
      • Uneven pavement or cracked sidewalks
      • Wet/slippery floors
      • Loose debris
      • Improperly secured areas
      • Potholes
      • Broken or loose steps or railings
  • Was the owner and/or landlord aware of the unsafe condition? The owner or caretaker has to have knowledge of an unsafe condition. You must be able to show that they should have had knowledge of such a condition.  
  • Was there a posted warning of the unsafe condition? If there is an unsafe condition that a landowner is aware of, they generally have a duty to post a clear warning. For example the “Wet Floor” signs that are usually set up around freshly mopped floors.

Premises Liability CasesInjured in a Slip and Fall Accident in Alabama?

Injured in a slip and fall accident or injured due to a defective condition on someone else’s property? You need an aggressive, experienced personal injury attorney on your side. These cases can be complex and sometimes difficult to pursue. Our injury lawyers have the experience and dedication to get you the best possible result in such cases. Contact us today at 256-686-5532 for a free case evaluation.

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