Were You Injured On Someone’s Property? Time to Get Your Rightful Compensation
The first thing we usually ask when someone gets into an accident is – “How did it happen?”
And the very next question you need to address is – “WHERE did it happen?”
The place where the accident happens plays a huge role in the legal rights you’re entitled to if you were injured in an accident. Every property owner has to fulfill their duty of care to keep their premises safe for visitors. If they neglect this duty and you get injured on their property, you have the legal right to seek compensation from them.
The injuries you suffer on someone else’s property can have far-reaching consequences.
You could be facing medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and other losses. Premises liability laws are meant to be your shield during these turbulent times. But you still need strong legal representation to make your case.
You could easily get pulled into a deadly debt trap if you don’t take the right legal steps at the right time.
Don’t worry! We won’t let you down.
At Mezrano, our Alabama injury lawyers specializing in premises liability cases will watch your back. We have a proven track record of efficiently navigating the compensation process to win the best possible settlements for our clients.
Alabama’s Premises Liability Law and Responsibilities
Alabama State Law requires all property owners or managers to keep their land and general premises safe for anyone who visits them. Premises liability laws hold the property owner or manager legally responsible for any injuries caused to visitors on their property.
But getting compensated is not as simple as pointing a finger and getting a fat check.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, here are the steps you’ll need to take to establish their liability:
- The defendant is a legal owner or occupant of the property
- They neglected their duty of keeping their premises safe for visitors
- This negligence was the proximate cause of your accident
- You suffered an injury due to this accident
What qualifies as an act of negligence?
Let’s say there was an oil spill in a grocery store aisle. The store staff ignored it and didn’t promptly clean it up, which eventually led to a customer slipping and breaking their hand. So it’s clear that the store staff’s act of negligence led to this dangerous condition.
The property owner or manager can either create these conditions, fail to fix them promptly or fail to warn visitors about them. For instance, the grocery store owner could have kept a clear warning sign around the oil spill till their staff cleaned it up. This could’ve possibly prevented the slip and fall accident.
The Alabama courts follow the legal principle of contributory negligence, which denies the damages that a plaintiff might receive if they can be shown to have even one percent of fault in causing the accident. For example, if the person walking across a poorly lit parking lot at night was scrolling through his phone when he stepped into the pothole and broke his ankle, he may forfeit his right to recover any damages.
Part of your Alabama premises liability lawyer’s job is to gather enough evidence proving you did not contribute to the accident that caused your injury.
When it comes to establishing liability, the burden of proof is on you. You need to recover as much evidence as possible to establish this link clearly. You can only seek compensation from the property owner or manager once you’ve successfully established their liability.
However, there is a clear set of laws to protect property owners and managers from unfair liability too. Their duty of care depends on the type of visitor on their property.
Here are the three types of visitors classified under Alabama premises liability laws:
Invitee – They are visitors who are invited by the property owner, usually for their financial benefit. They could include customers, visitors, and guests of the property owner or occupier.
Licensee – Licensees are visitors who have the property owner’s permission to be on the property. They may or may not be visiting for business purposes. They can even be social guests.
Trespasser – They are illegal visitors like intruders and trespassers who are present on the property without the owner’s permission.
Different Standards of Care for Visitors
There are varying standards of care for different types of visitors:
Invitees – Property owners must exercise reasonable care and diligence to secure their premises for invitees. They are obligated to warn invitees about any dangerous property conditions that they know of or should know about. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care.
Licensees – Property owners must fix or warn against any dangerous conditions on their premises. They are only liable for the perils they were aware of.
Trespassers – They are not owed any duty of care by property owners. It’s not your responsibility to keep your property safe for them. However, you can’t recklessly endanger them if know they are in peril. You may need to put up warning signs or take reasonable steps to protect any trespassing children on your property.
Alabama has an attractive nuisance doctrine to protect the rights of child trespassers who get into an accident on someone’s property. Sometimes a child may get attracted to a site like a swimming pool, trampoline, junkyard, or a partially built home.
You can be held liable for a trespassing child’s injuries if:
- There’s a dangerous condition on your property
- This condition is particularly unsafe for children and may not be understood by them
- It particularly attracts children
- The injury could have been reasonably predicted and avoided
Slip and Fall Cases
Did you know slip and fall accidents rank among the top five cases of death for Alabama workers? The National Floor Safety Institute reported that these accidents account for over one million hospitalizations every year. They can cause traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, soft tissue injuries, and even wrongful deaths.
Slip and fall cases are one of the most common types of premises liability claims filed by injured visitors.
Here are some common dangerous conditions that can lead to a slip-and-fall accident:
- Wet or icy walkway
- Damaged flooring
- Carpet defects
- Loose gravel
- Broken stairs
- Loose or missing handrails
- Poor lighting
One of the biggest challenges in slip and fall cases is proving the owner’s liability. You’ll need to dig for evidence to prove they were aware of the danger but didn’t take any timely measures to fix it or warn you against it.
You need detailed knowledge about the timeline of the dangerous condition to build a strong claim. So it must highlight when the owner became aware of the issue and whether they had reasonable time to correct it. A skillful Alabama premises liability lawyer can quickly retrieve these valuable details and fast-track your compensation process.
Beyond Slip and Fall: Other Premises Liability Claims
Apart from slip and fall cases, our lawyers also see a lot of premises liability claims due to stair, deck, and balcony injuries. It’s clear that slippery substances, uneven surfaces, and lack of railings are some of the biggest culprits for accidents.
Here are a few more common premises liability claims:
- Poor security – Business owners are expected to provide a certain level of security for their patrons and workers. They can be held liable if it’s found that they didn’t take these measures.
- Debris – Any obstruction on the ground or debris falling from above can seriously injure visitors. Walkways must be cleared of all debris. And visitors must be warned of any overhangs that could pose a threat.
- Inadequate maintenance – Commercial properties often use a lot of equipment and fixtures to function smoothly. The business owners or managers are obliged to schedule regular cleaning and maintenance of their whole facility. For instance, mall management must schedule regular escalator or elevator maintenance. Similarly, swimming pools must use the right balance of chemicals in the pool water to keep it clean without harming visitors.
Compensation for Premises Liability Cases
Let’s take a look at the types of compensation you can seek in premises liability cases:
- Economic damages – Includes easily calculable damages, including medical costs, lost income, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages – Includes damages that are more subjective for each victim and can’t easily be documented. They could include damages such as physical pain, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
Mezrano’s skillful Alabama premises liability lawyers will help you accurately present the true impact of the accident on your life. We know what it takes to build a strong claim and how to negotiate with all the parties involved in the case.
We’re dedicated to getting you a settlement that covers your immediate and long-term needs. And guess what? You won’t have to pay us a dime until we win your settlement.