Every year, people in Alabama are injured while on the property of others. Property owners and businesses have a duty to ensure that they maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for their customers, and other visitors. If the property owner or business knows about a hidden danger, they are required to effectively warn others of these dangers. Premises liability involves the property owners’ duty to maintain safe conditions for people coming on their property.
Despite what many people may think, these types of cases are often very difficult cases for the injured party and the outcome is typically determined by the legal status of the injured person.
Under Alabama law, the injured person could be designated as an Invitee, a Licensee, or a Trespasser.
Generally, if the owner by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he may be found liable for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises reasonably safe. This type of status is often found where a customer enters business as a business invitee. The invitation can be express or it can be implied from customary use the premises. The duty that is owed by the premises owner is highest where the injured person is an invitee.
A licensee is a person who is permitted, expressly or impliedly, to go on the premises merely for his own interests, convenience, or gratification. A social guest may not be considered an “invitee,” even though the social guest may have been invited. The duty owed to the licensee is lower.
A trespasser is a person who enters the premises of another without permission and for the trespasser’s own benefit. Understandably, the duty owed to trespassers is the lowest of all. However, the premises owner may still be liable to “trespassers” if the property owner sets a pitfall to injure him.
In Alabama, by statute, it is very difficult to recover against a land owner who holds his property open for recreational use.
Criminal assaults on business premises. A business owner is typically not responsible for the criminal acts of third parties. There are some exceptions to this rule and it is important that you get advise from a lawyer experienced at handling premise liability case.
There are many different types of viable premises liability cases, including but not limited to:
- Slip-and-falls caused by slippery floors or debris
- Trip-and-falls caused by damaged or defective stairs, foreign objects, or poor maintenance
- Poor lighting
- Products falling off of shelves at a store
- Pool drownings
If you or someone you know was injured and may have premises liability claim, contact Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann today. Our office is located in Birmingham, but we have represented clients in every county in Alabama.
Contact Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann today.