Premises Liability Law Basics

Published July 17, 2014

slip-fall-4.jpgPremises liability means that the owner of a property is responsible for the elimination of any hazards on the premises, either through repair or removal. These hazards could be manmade, such as vandalism and unsecured property, or they could be naturally occurring, such as ice and wet floors. Slip and fall accidents can occur on residential properties just as easily as on commercial ones, and understanding the liability of all involved parties can be key to avoiding costly medical bills, especially if the injuries suffered are severe enough to affect one's ability to work.

There are three types of visitors on a property that the owner is responsible for under Alabama premises liability law today: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Your specific rights and your available recourse depend on the category you belonged in when injured on the premises.

Invitees

Invitees are individuals on the premises for the express purpose of business. While this applies to the average shopper in any store, this definition is wide enough to include individuals in office buildings performing business, such as banks, or instances where an individual is working at a private home. This means that repair service workers, meter readers, and mail delivery workers are all covered under premises liability while on the property. This is generally considered the most protected category, as any known hazards must usually be corrected.

Licensees

Licensees are individuals on the premises for reasons besides business that still receive explicit or implied permission to be on the property. Houseguests of tenants and people visiting friends at the workplace fall under this category. They are still owed the protection of the owner in that they cannot legally be intentionally injured, and should be made aware of any hazards. However, there is not as much of a duty on the owner to correct the issues.

Trespassers

Trespassers are individuals on the premises without the knowledge or permission of the owner, and are provided the fewest rights under premises liability law. However, they also may not be intentionally harmed, such as through the laying of traps by the owner.

If you have suffered personal injury on another individual's property and are unsure which category you fall under, contact a skilled premises liability attorney to learn your rights and your best course of action. Call 205.588.8070 today to schedule a free case consultation with a premises liability attorney from McBrayer Law Firm.

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