If you were hurt on another person’s property, you might be wondering how you will manage your medical bills, lost income, and other damages you have endured. It isn’t fair that you have to shoulder the burden of these unforeseen expenses due to a hazardous situation that could have been avoided altogether had the owner of the property acted responsibly. Unfortunately, securing fair compensation can be difficult.
You will have to contend with an insurance company or other third party that will almost certainly deny responsibility and might even try to point the finger at you. To learn more about your rights in Alabama after being injured on someone else’s property, contact the Huntsville premises liability attorneys at Mama Justice through our online form or by giving us a call and scheduling a free, confidential consultation.
Alabama law states that property owners are required to maintain their property to keep visitors reasonably safe. When property managers, or property owners, fail to maintain their premises adequately and someone gets hurt, that manager or owner could be liable for compensating them.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that being injured on another person’s, municipality’s, or business's property does not naturally make the property manager or owner liable. Multiple factors must be proven before receiving a personal injury award in court or an insurance settlement. You might also have to combat charges of contributory negligence. According to Alabama law, if the victim is responsible to any degree for their injuries, they are prohibited from collecting financial compensation.
Premises liability law is highly nuanced. Whether or not a property manager or someone else is legally responsible for your injuries hinges on various factors, including what kind of visitor you were. Property owners are not required to provide the same level of care to every visitor, and they owe almost none to trespassers.
If you were hurt while on another person’s property, we urge you to speak with a premises liability lawyer at Mama Justice as soon as possible to learn about your rights and all legal avenues of recovery.
The duty of care that a property manager or property owner owes you is based on your status as a visitor on their property. There are three basic kinds of visitors:
Invitees are implicitly or explicitly invited onto the property and are therefore a commercial enterprise that benefits both them and the property manager or owner. Invitees are typically clients or business customers. You are also considered an invitee when you eat at a restaurant, go to the grocery store, or see your doctor.
As an invitee, property managers and owners owe you the highest standard of care. They are expected to routinely inspect the property, repair any potential hazards, and warn you and other invitees of any possible dangers. The property manager or owner could be liable for your injuries if they were unaware of a danger they could reasonably have been expected to know about, failed to fix or close off a known danger, or failed to warn invitees about the danger.
A licensee is someone who enters another person’s, business’s, or municipality’s property by an implicit or explicit invitation but is not there for commercial reasons. You are considered a licensee when you are a guest in someone’s home. You might also be a licensee when you enter public land, or private land with consent, for recreational purposes.
The duty of care that a property manager or owner’ owes you as a licensee is less than is owed to an invitee. They must fix or warn against known dangers. As an invitee, you may hold property owners and property managers accountable for any hazards of which they should have been aware. As a licensee, a basic guest, you may only hold them responsible for hazards they already knew about.
If you set foot on another person’s property without their permission, you are a trespasser. For example, if you use a homeowner’s private beach or hunt on your neighbor's land without their consent or knowledge, you are a trespasser in the eyes of the law.
Trespassers are owed very little by property managers and owners. They are not required to maintain their property in a safe condition for those who were not given permission to be there. However, if a property owner knows that trespassers are common, they must warn them of any known dangers. Property owners are also not permitted to set traps for trespassers.
With that in mind, property owners owe a very different and more substantial standard of care toward children even if they are trespassing. If a property manager or owner knows or reasonably should know that children might come onto their property, they have an obligation to keep their premises safe.
In Alabama, civil courts observe the legal doctrine of contributory negligence. This principle renounces the damages a plaintiff could have received in a personal injury case if they are shown to share even 1% of fault in the accident that caused their injuries. For instance, if a person walking across a dimly lit parking lot at night was also sending a text message on their phone when they stepped in a pothole and broke their ankle, they could conceivably forfeit their right to any economic recovery.
Part of your Huntsville, AL premises liability attorney’s job is to collect sufficient evidence that shows you did not contribute in any way to the incident that resulted in your injuries.
The most common premises liability cases are slips and falls. These claims usually arise from pooled liquids, ice, snow, debris, spilled substances, uneven flooring, or insufficient lighting in a structure or outside walkway.
Invitee slips and falls at a business are not uncommon. For instance, a jug of leaking wiper fluid at an auto parts store might be hard to notice on the tile and could cause a guest to slip and fall. If you were injured due to a slip on a business’s property, reach out to the slip and fall attorneys at Mama Justice right away. Alabama slip and fall cases require plaintiffs to prove that the owner had knowledge or constructive notice of the spilled fluid or other hazards before victims can file a compensation claim.
Some situations require an intensive investigation to determine if the business was aware of or should have been aware of the spill and whether or not they neglected to maintain their duty of care, making them responsible for compensating you.
Slips and falls can also happen when you are a guest, a licensee, on someone else’s property, like attending a birthday party or visiting the playground at a local park. There is less of a chance that the homeowner is legally liable for an issue when you are a licensee, but there is no way to know for certain until you get a Huntsville premises liability lawyer’s objective and trained opinion.
For example, in the rare event that it snows in Alabama and your hosts do not shovel or salt their walkways, they could be held liable if you slip and fall.
While slip and fall cases are the kind that most people associate with premises liability, many other scenarios also fall under that category. Accidents involving stairs, decks, and balconies are also common at both residences and businesses. These accidents most often occur due to:
If you fell down a flight of stairs or off a balcony, you might have sustained significant injuries. Our attorneys are here to investigate your accident, collect evidence, and give you objective and reliable advice regarding your best course of action. If you have a legitimate premises liability case, we will help you through the insurance claim and/or process of filing a lawsuit.
Another typical premises liability claim is from injuries involving a swimming pool. Our premises liability attorneys have handled numerous cases in which an adult or child has been exposed to dangerous chemicals, sliced by sharp objects around or in a swimming pool, hurt by inflatable pool accessories, shocked, or tripped and fell because of an improperly maintained pool structure or deck.
Negligent security can create conditions that cause you to be seriously injured in a place where you should have been safe. A property manager or owner is most likely responsible for enforcing security measures, like surveillance cameras, security personnel, and locked doors.
For example, if you were assaulted in the common area of an apartment complex, and no security was employed to make sure strangers stayed out of the building, then the landlord could be liable. You may, however, have to demonstrate that security precautions were reasonably necessary. If you were injured during an assault and you feel that there wasn’t adequate security, contact our law firm today to discuss starting a claim.
There are numerous kinds of injuries that a victim can sustain during an accident on another person’s property, including:
Establishing fault in a landlord negligence or premises liability case can be an uphill battle. In Alabama, if a defendant can show that the plaintiff was even 1% responsible for their accident, they will not be able to collect damages. Other potential defenses that can, and often are, used against victims include:
If you or a family member was injured on a third party’s property, it is vital that you seek the guidance of experienced legal counsel to ensure you know your rights and understand all of your options. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Alabama is two years from the date of your accident, so time is a factor.
Premises liability claims can be challenging to win. Victims, however, shouldn’t make assumptions about the strengths or weaknesses of their case until they speak with a Huntsville premises liability lawyer from Mama Justice. We will listen to your side of the story, conduct inquiries to establish vital facts, and then offer an educated opinion regarding the next steps you should take. If we feel that you have a reasonable claim, we will launch a thorough investigation and begin gathering evidence that supports your version of events.
Once we have the information we need, we can start the process of an insurance claim or premises liability suit. Our objective is to get you full and fair financial compensation for your injuries. Contact the Huntsville premises liability attorneys at Mama Justice by calling (888) 699-1846.