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When owners, management companies, or commercial sites fail to keep their property conditions safe, they run the risk of visitors and patrons injuring themselves. In some cases, these victims end up dealing with a great deal of pain and suffering, which often leads them to file a premises liability claim.
In Alabama and Mississippi, the concept of premises liability often comes up in personal injury cases that involve negligence on the part of the property owner. However, our states’ laws are complicated – and many people can’t identify a strong premises liability claim on their own. In this article, our experienced personal injury lawyers outline the signs of an unsafe premise and offer advice for victims.
An unsafe premise can be obvious (like a high, open ledge) or subtle (like a hidden electrical cord). Alabama and Mississippi’s premises liability laws dictate that a residential or commercial property owner must maintain a safe environment and clearly mark unsafe areas, such as a wet floor.
Premises liability cases tend to fall into several categories, depending on the kind of accident or incident. The following circumstances may suggest that you have a legal claim against the property owner or manager.
Exactly as it sounds, a slip and fall incident can result in broken bones, head injuries, and more. Some of the common signs of negligence include:
For example, the Andy Citrin team helped a couple who suffered injuries after falling off an unmarked, hard-to-see step at a business. Because one of our clients used a wheelchair, she suffered serious injuries, including a fractured wrist. We helped the couple fight back and get the compensation they deserved.
Inadequate security can be an issue in apartment or office buildings. Often, these locations will employ security personal for the front door or restrict access to those with specific digital codes or cards.
However, inadequate security measures can result in break-ins — even if a perpetrator simply walks in through an unlocked door. If someone is assaulted or killed by a person who entered due to inadequate security, the property owner may be liable.
Sadly, these cases usually involve children who end up in residential swimming pools. Sometimes an accessible pool is called an “attractive nuisance,” as it is likely to attract any child who sees it — even if they’re not supposed to be there.
Therefore, residential pools should always be enclosed by locked gates. If the owner of the pool fails to adequately protect their guests or patrons, they could face a premise liability lawsuit (or worse).
Any location with typical utilities (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) can have defective components. When utilities aren’t properly maintained, property owners risk leaks, fires, toxic fumes, and more. Further, if the building doesn’t have the proper alert systems (smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, for example), it is probably in violation of safety codes, exposing the proprietor to a potential premises liability lawsuit.
Evidence of a property owner’s negligence and an unsafe premise does not automatically mean that you can sue the owner and secure financial compensation. Often, your legal status as a guest, customer, or trespasser will impact your claim.
For example, an invited and welcomed social guest can assume the owner keeps their property safe. A business invitee who is allowed on the property, such as a customer at a retail store, also deserves to be warned of any unsafe conditions. Trespassers, however, are not afforded the same standards in Alabama and Mississippi. If you are injured on a premise and had no right to be there, you will have a much harder time placing fault on the property owner.
In some cases, the legal status of the visitor is impacted by the age or actions of the visitor themselves. Children who are technically trespassing deserve more protection than adult trespassers. If an owner has any reason to think children will wander onto their property (if there’s an attractive nuisance), they must warn of dangerous conditions and try to prevent foreseeable accidents.
Invited guests might carry some legal responsibility if they were partially at fault for the accident. For example, if an intoxicated party guest climbs on top of an old shed and falls through the roof, breaking a leg, they aren’t fully caring for their own safety and can be held partially responsible for the roof incident.
If you’ve been injured on another party’s neglected property, the team at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys can represent you with compassion and vigor. With our experience, skill, and proven track record, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to achieve fair compensation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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