Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?


If you have a slip and fall, a car accident, or are hurt due to another person, you may be liable to sue for personal injury. Lets find out here in case of premises liability who is responsible.

Premises liability comes into play in personal injury cases when the plaintiff was injured due to the negligence of another party. This could be anything, from the inability of the government to provide proper roads, defective conditions at a workplace, or a lack of safety practices at a site.

Premises Liability Situations

There are numerous circumstances that can result in a premises liability lawsuit. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Trip and fall accidents
  • Lack of security
  • Improper maintenance
  • Animal or dog bites
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Fires
  • Snow and ice accidents
  • Retail store liability
  • Restaurant liability

In order to win such cases, a personal injury lawyer must be able to demonstrate that the injuries that the plaintiff sustained were a direct result of the accident/case and that the owner of the estate was negligent with respect to the upkeep of the property.

The Status of the Visitor

The status of the visitor falls under four categories. These categories include:

  • An invitee: a person who has been invited to the property, for example a client in a retail store. The responsibility of the customer lies in the hands of the property owner to maintain a safe environment.
  • A licensee: someone who enters the property on their own accord and for their own purposes, such as salesmen, but have permission from the property owner
  • A social guest: a guest who is visiting the property
  • A trespasser: a person who is not allowed on the estate at all

In terms of licensees and trespassers, the owner of the property is not liable to provide appropriate care or safety measures. However, these laws vary in every state, which is why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer should be your top priority in these cases.

Condition of Property

Some states, such as Alabama, also take into account the condition of the property and the activities of the visitor along with the owner. The law requires that appropriate care be taken for invitees and licensees.

For licensees, the standard of reasonableness is different. When fighting your case, a personal injury lawyer will look at the following in order to determine the strength of your case:

  • Lesser duty is awarded if the licensee would easily be able to discover the damage
  • Circumstances under which the licensee is on the property
  • The manner in which the property is being used
  • How much effort the property owner has taken to repair the dangerous conditions of the property

However, if a trespasser is a child, then the duties of the landowner differ. The property owner should be able to provide appropriate warning to the child if they are aware of any hazards on the property, since it may result in harm, injury, or potentially even death. Known as the attractive nuisance doctrine, a higher duty of care is owed. Furthermore, for normal trespassers, the landowner must not actively aim to harm them by setting up traps.

Limitations on Recovering for Premises Liability

Most states, including Alabama, uses the principles of comparative fault in premises liability cases. This means that if the plaintiff is slightly or completely at fault for the accident, then they will either recover partial damages or none at all. The visitor has the duty to use reasonable care in keeping themselves safe.

For example, if the jury determines that the plaintiff is at 20% fault for the incident, and the total claim is $100,000, then the plaintiff will only receive $80,000. However, in some states, if the plaintiff is found to be even partly at fault, they may not receive any damages at all, which is why it’s necessary to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Professional personal injury lawyers will be able to examine the situation and prepare a case convincing enough to help you win your claim. The damages that you will avail from this case may be used to treat your injuries, pay for medical bills that are a result of the incident, pay for wages lost at work, loss of future wages, pain and anguish, and much more.

Expert Personal Injury Lawyers in Alabama

Hare | Wynn, Newell & Newton is a law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. With a team of highly experienced expert lawyers, they deal with many personal injury cases such as birth injuries, catastrophic injuries, medical malpractice, medication error, and more.

Get in touch with them for more info.


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