The doctrine of premises liability is the legal principle in Alabama that establishes the responsibility of a property owner when someone is injured at the location. There are a number of factors that come into play in regard to establishing the responsibility of a property owner pursuant to the doctrine of premises liability.
Control of the premises
A major consideration in regard to the application of the doctrine of premises liability is who has control of the property. There can be situations in which a property owner may not be liable for injuries sustained by a visitor to the premises. For example, if a retail store rents space from the property owner, certain types of accidents may not render the property owner responsible for damages.
If water is left unattended on the floor of a merchant who rents space from the property owner and a slip and fall accident occurs, the store owner but not the property owner is likely to be held responsible for any injuries.
On the other hand, if there is a physical defect on the building structure itself that creates a hazard, the property owner may bear responsibility if someone is injured at the premises because of the flaw. This would be the case even if a retailer is renting the premises.
Establish legal liability
Pursuant to the doctrine of premises liability, a property owner is responsible for injuries arising from an accident if four elements are satisfied. First, the property owner needs to have an established duty of care. Specifically, a property owner needs to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
Second, the property owner must have breached that duty. Third, the breach must have been the cause of the accident and subsequent injury. Finally, the person involved in an accident must have suffered actual injuries as a result of the incident.
Premises liability cases can prove to be complex. Therefore, an injured person is wise to retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.