Legal Matters

What Are Your Rights If You Are Injured at a Business


As a familiar saying goes, “The law does not favor those who sleep on their rights.” This legal maxim emphasizes that knowing your rights under Alabama law is indeed essential and even life changing. Alabama law dictates that the owners, managers or lessors of a property have a duty to those individuals who visit and enter their premises. Slip and falls are common and are often mentioned in the news, but there is much more that falls under the legal umbrella called “premise liability.” Premise liability simply means there is a responsibility or duty on the part of the owner, manager or lessor of a particular property to the general public, visitors or customers that enter the property to keep the premises in a reasonable safe condition, free of defects and hazardous conditions and to warn the public if there is a hazardous condition. The level of responsibility or duty depends on three major categories a person could fall under: invitees or business invitees, licensees and trespassers.

  1. Invitees, coming from the root word “invite,” refers to individuals who got invited into a home or a business. When it comes to businesses, there is already an implied invitation that a person may come in. An example of that would be people who go to a restaurant, spa, salon, pharmacy, convenience store, bakery, gas station, gym, office or bank. It is the duty and responsibility of the owners or managers to extend utmost care and diligence to keep visitors from harm. If a person slips on a puddle of coffee that has been on the floor and the manager had prior notice of the spill but failed to clean it up, there is legal liability on the part of the owner. The injured person has the right to ask for damages to compensate the injury sustained.
  2. Licensees are those people who go to a property with the direct or indirect permission of the owner, but they are there not for business purposes. The main duty of the owner is to warn the licensees of any potential harm or injury. If that duty is breached then the licensees have the right to recover for damages.
  3. Unlike other states, in Alabama, trespassers have certain rights under the law. With that, the owners are mandated not to set up traps to purposely injure the trespassers or other people, and have a duty to maintain safety in their property.

All this boils down to knowing your rights under the law, and protecting yourself and acting on it.

photoFrank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 40 years.  We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 89 years of combined trial experience. You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533.  Please call us for a free consultation.

Read more from Frank Buck at Click on News/Family/Legal Matters.

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