Alabama Slip and Fall Attorneys Helping Answer Your Questions After an Accident
What may initially seem to be a simple slip, trip, or fall could end up causing devastating and life-changing injuries for victims. Premises liability is a key area of law that has the potential to affect us all and is a major factor in attaining justice.
Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, we have assisted slip and trip victims across Alabama, and our experienced team will work hard to help ensure that your case enjoys the desired outcome.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the property owner’s responsibility for any damages which arise as a result of an injury to someone visiting the property, such as a slip or fall. The concept is often found in personal injury cases where the injury was the result of unsafe conditions or defective equipment on someone’s property.
This principal revolves largely around the duty of care placed on the owner and is dependent mainly on the type of visitor present on the property at the time of the accident. To prove that they are the victim in a premises liability case, the plaintiff must be able to prove the property owner’s negligence with regards to the ownership or maintenance of the property and determine that this negligence caused the injury.
As a general rule, any evidence that the property owner failed to use reasonable care in connection with the property will count as negligence.
Why Does the Type of Visitor Matter?
The nature of the relationship between the property owner and victim, and the subsequent duty of care, has a large bearing on the outcome of the case and the availability of damages or compensation. There are three types of visitors:
- Invitees: this is someone with either explicit or implied permission from the owner to be on the property. A property owner will owe a duty of reasonable care to any invitee.
- Licensees: again, they have the express or implied permission of the owner to be present but have their own reason for being on the property (e.g., tradesperson, salespeople, or delivery couriers). A duty of care exists for the property owner to warn the licensee of any dangerous condition which may create an unreasonable risk of harm, provided that the owner knows of the condition and the licensee is unlikely to discover it.
- Trespassers: they have no permission to be on the property and are owed no duty of care. The only exception is children—here, the property owner owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid a likely foreseeable risk of hardship to children (e.g., include covering a swimming pool).
Will I Be Blamed for the Accident?
Alabama operates under the concept of contributory negligence. In short, this means that if a judge rules that you are in any way to blame for the accident—even if that is only by 1%—you will be prohibited from recovering damages.
There are certain conditions where you could shoulder the blame, and these include:
- Not paying attention to where you were going (e.g., being on your phone or otherwise distracted)
- You were injured on an area of the property closed to visitors or in a location which visitors are not usually expected to be
- The dangerous condition which caused the injury was clearly marked and cordoned off by cones with adequate signage
- The dangerous condition is something which should have been visible to you
- You were wearing footwear which could be considered inappropriate or unsafe for the conditions and circumstances
What Can Cause Slips or Trips?
In order to win a premises liability case, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent and that this negligence caused your injuries. Slips and trips can occur in a number of situations, including:
- Poorly lit or unlit areas
- Loose stair carpets creating an unsafe surface
- Uneven paving or flooring
- Unstable hand or support rails
- Snow, ice, or water which had not been cleared
- Poor signage or a dangerous path when a safer alternative existed
How Long Do I Have?
Alabama law gives victims two years from the accident’s date to pursue a case for premises liability. This means it is important to get things moving quickly, and we can help.
Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, we have aided victims across Alabama and worked hard to prove premises liability to earn the justice and damages they are owed. Get in touch with the team today by calling (256) 487-6080 and see how you could be our next success story!