Premises liability law is a wide and often complicated area of practice. In general, it usually involves the liability faced by the owner of a property whenever there are people on the property. The duties and responsibilities of the property owner vary, depending on the status of the visiting individuals as well as the nature of the property in question. These two factors may prove very important during the determination of a potential legal outcome.
Considering the complexity of this area of law, it's important to get help from an experienced Anniston premises liability lawyer if you're injured on someone's property. Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys can assess the strength of your case and advise you on your legal options. If your injury was the result of negligence, a qualified accident lawyer will help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.
What are the Major Causes of Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability cases usually cover a large number of accidents and defects. Some causes of premises liability cases may be more common than others. Here are some examples of the causes of premises liability cases:
- Defective sidewalks
- Trips, slip and fall accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Faulty stairs
- Structural failings
- Accidents involving children playing in unsecured or unsafe areas
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Being hit by falling objects
- Inadequate lighting
- Dog bites
- Inadequate security
- Swimming pool accidents
These are a few examples of accidents, and perhaps the most common ones, that can lead to premises liability cases.
What are the Common Injuries Sustained in Premises Liability Cases?
A premises liability claim allows an injured victim to seek compensation due to the injuries sustained. A good number of premises liability cases involve serious injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and, in some cases, even rehabilitation. Some of the injuries that are commonly claimed during premises liability cases include:
- Broken bones
- Joint injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Electric shock injuries
- Illnesses occurring due to exposure to toxic chemicals
Besides physical injuries, most of the premise liability injuries can lead to trauma as well as emotional distress. Emotional pain is likely to affect the victim just as much as physical pain does.
Compensation Victims Can Receive in a Premises Liability Claim
When victims file a premise liability claim, there's always the burden of proving the claim. It needs to be proven before a court that the victim sustained injuries due to the property owner's negligence. The property owner is considered to be negligent if they had an idea of the danger, or should have known about it, and failed to rectify it.
If a victim proves the case before a court, they may be eligible to recover damages. Simply, damages are the losses caused by the injury. Some of the damages a victim may qualify for include:
Economic damages can be termed as damages that can easily be quantified and proved. These are the expenses or losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of an earning capacity
Non-economic damages are losses that are not directly related to the finances of the victim. These losses are difficult to quantify but are equally vital to the case. Example of non-economic damages the victim may qualify for include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship (which is the case where there's the death of a victim)
Determining what damages, a victim may qualify for isn't a simple process. They need to work with a premises liability lawyer to find out the amounts of damages they may pursue. Victims shouldn't attempt to file a premises liability lawsuit before consulting a qualified lawyer.
What Is Covered Under Premises Liability Law in Anniston?
Properties liability is a wide area of practice and it affects a large number of property types, such as:
- Sporting events
When an individual suffers an injury in one of these locations or a related one, as a result of an existing or foreseeable hazard that the owner of the property should have rectified may offer grounds for a premises liability claim.
What are the Types of Visitors in a Property?
Property owners take the biggest responsibility in ensuring visitors are in a safe environment. Visitors can be divided into three groups – invitees, licensees, and trespassers. A property owner or a landlord needs to make sure that a premise is reasonably safe for invitees as well as licensees and owe little to almost no duty to those who trespass. An attorney may want to determine whether the victim who's making a claim was allowed in the property at the time of the injury.
Invitees are normally invited to the property by the landowner and are usually on the premises for business purposes that are of benefit to the landlord. Some examples of invitees include shoppers at a grocery store or a contractor who's making repairs and renovations to a private home.
Licensees also set foot legally on the premises they visit. They may be making social calls or using the facilities of businesses that offer them. Examples of licensees are travelers using the restroom located in a gas station and dinner guests in private homes.
Trespassers are unwelcomed or individuals who get into a property illegally. Landowners may however not engage in unreasonable and willful activities that are likely to cause harm to a trespasser. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, property owners are tasked with eliminating dangers that are seen as a risk to child trespassers, for example, the lure of residential swimming pools.
Who is Responsible for an Injury in a Premises Liability Case?
To prove the claim by a victim, four facts need to be established:
- There was an unsafe condition in the property that led to the injuries
- The owner knew about the condition or needed to have known about it if they were taking great care of the property
- The owner of the property failed to fix or remove the hazardous condition or failed to properly warn the victims about the danger
- The victim was injured due to the unsafe condition
When all these facts are established, the following parties may be held liable in a premise liability case:
Whether they are homeowners or amusement park owners, the individual who owns the individual who's the real owner of the property may be liable for the injuries sustained within the property.
In some cases, landlords may be held responsible for the injuries sustained by tenants and visitors, especially when a latent defect caused injury to an individual and the landlord had the knowledge or should have known about the defect when the tenant was taking possession of the property.
When this is the case, the business owner might not be the owner of the property. However, they still need to keep the premises safe for the visitors.
What If a Child is Injured?
An attractive nuisance is something within the property that may attract a curious child or a child who is playing and threatens them with harm. Such things can be considered a premise liability. The following are some typical attractive nuisances:
- Swimming pools
- Machinery such as gasoline pumps
- Paths and stairs
- Dangerous animals, such as dogs
Tips for Taking Precaution
Childproofing property is never required but taking some basic measures to prevent injury is needed. Courts may heavily punish people who seem careless and fail to put any effort towards ensuring safety. For instance, in pools, homeowners may be required to set up a fence around the pool, install an alarm system, own a first aid kit, and even have water rescue equipment nearby.
Other ways of securing hazards include covering open pits and fencing construction sites to prevent the entry of children.
What if the Injury Occurred at the Workplace?
In Anniston, individuals have the same rights at the workplace as they do at any other place. If they are injured on the premises during work time, they have a workers compensation claim.
Is there a Deadline to File a Premises Liability Claim?
Yes, there's a deadline. Every claim in Anniston has a deadline to file a lawsuit. If the victim fails to file a claim before the deadline, they may lose their right to recover any money for the injuries sustained. However, the deadline depends on the specifics of the case.
In most instances, a victim in a premises liability case has up to two years to file a claim seeking compensation for their injuries. That is the time limit which is called the “statute of limitations” for personal injury claims in Alabama.
Contact Our Anniston Premises Liability Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Our Anniston personal injury lawyers offer legal services you can rely on. So, if you are looking to pursue damages related to premises liability, consider hiring one of our attorneys. Call us at 256-666-6000 for a no-obligation, free of charge consultation and review. The attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers are professionals with experience dealing with premises liability cases.
That is why we proudly stand by our work and take every case on a contingency basis. This means that you will only pay us after you only pay us when we win compensation for you. If you are looking for professional legal advice and representation, get in touch with us today.