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Dothan Premises Liability Lawyers

Home > Personal Injury > Dothan Premises Liability Lawyers

Premises Liability Attorneys Serving Dothan, Mobile & Southern Alabama

The Alabama premises liability lawyers at Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC know the impact a serious injury can have on every aspect of your life. Tragically, many victims of severe injury are not treated fairly or provided the full compensation they need to make the best recovery possible. 

When you sustain an injury on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to seek compensation for economic damages, such as medical expenses, along with non-economic damages, like emotional duress and physical pain. However, seeking fair compensation often requires legal assistance. 

With more than 130 years of combined experience, we have the resources and expertise to help you determine how much your premises liability claim may truly be worth. Our lawyers have secured numerous substantial verdicts and settlements for victims of negligent property owners. We are here to review your claim and help you understand all of your options.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may have options when it comes to compensation. Call Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers at 844-654-6228 to schedule a FREE consultation today. Our premises liability lawyers assist victims of serious injury in Dothan, Mobile, and throughout southern Alabama.

Testimonials From Former Clients

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Love, love, love these people! When no one out there seems to care, let me tell you that this group right here will fight tooth and nail for you.

- Mindy

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Cory Driggers represented my daughter following an car accident. He showed real genuine care for her and the case. He and his staff worked to get all of the medical bills gathered and also to get them decreased. Cory kept us updated and contacted my daughter when decisions needed to be made. Ultimately, Cory got what my daughter deserved for her injuries and my daughter was completely satisfied. I would recommend Cory to anyone that is looking for a good Christian attorney. Thanks Cory for your help!

- Darryl

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“I’ve had Joey take care of three separate cases and two for other family members. The service was always great and he was always there to answer my questions no matter how many times I called. Great m …”

- Jesse

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I would highly recommend Cory Driggers. He kept me informed all during my case. I never felt left in the dark. He was always straightforward with me . I can’t express how impressed I was with him.

- Cristal

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“I was pleased with their work and the outcome of my case.”

- Former Client

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“Our family is so thankful for Mark, Dan and their entire team. Every step of the way they made sure we were comfortable and understood every aspect of our case. It was apparent that our interest was …”

- Sue

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Attorney Driggers and his team did a wonderful job with my case. They were professional and pleasant. They were patient with me and answered all my questions. They addressed all my concerns from the first conversation to the last. I would highly recommend him to anyone needing an attorney.

- Lorraine

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Cory and his staff are very professional and make you feel at ease whether it is by phone or in person. My case was solved quickly and very efficiently. Thanks for everything!!

- Leslie

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Cory was absolutely fantastic. He settled my case beyond what I could even imagine. Not only was he very knowledgeable concerning the law, he was available whenever we needed him, Cory was also so kind and courteous to us at all times. During the time since my case ended I have called on Cory several times to ask questions related to situations I have had going on and he has always been available to help me. I would recommend Cory without a second thought to any friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance.

- Tammy

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Mr.Driggers is a wonderful Lawyer that knows the law, he helped me when I had no idea in my situation where to start and what to do, he worked with me hands on and got the best results for me in my case. It was a privilege to get to know him as my lawyer and a friend. If you need legal representation call him you will be satisfied.

- Darlene Green

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“Never in a million years did I believe that these attorneys would do everything possible to seek justice.”

- Former Client

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Hired Joseph Morris to handle my car accident and he did a great job at handling the case and explained the process as the case went. I would highly recommend him.

- Thelma

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I would highly recommend Cory Driggers. He kept me informed all during my case. I never felt left in the dark. He was always straightforward with me. I can’t express how impressed I was with him.

- Cristal

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The staff handled my case in a prompt and professional manner. They returned my calls in a timely fashion and was always prepared to answer any questions. Furthermore, Attorney Driggers is a Christian man and first class professional. I am certainly happy that i was represented by this Law Firm.

- Sundiata Fleming

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I would recommend Mr. Driggers to anybody needing legal help him and his staff first of all are very nice to you and act like they are very understanding to your needs. He talked to me on the phone like he knew me all my life and that really mattered to me. When we had our hearing he treated me like he had already met me and he hadn’t, I just really loved him and have already been telling people about him and his office.

- Julie

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Joey (and his team) was extremely helpful in a time when we did not know what to do. His professional approach gave us assurance while he settled our case.

- Stephen

premises liability lawyer

Alabama Premises Liability Laws: A Brief Overview

Property owners have a legal obligation to make sure their properties are safe for all intended uses. If they fail to do so and you are injured as a result, you may be eligible to take legal action.

To establish grounds for a premises liability claim in Alabama, three things must be shown:

  1. The property owner had a duty to protect you from harm or warn you of danger
  2. The property owner failed in their duty to keep you safe
  3. You were injured as a direct result of this failure

The first of these that must be established, your right to protection from harm or reasonable warning of danger, is determined by your purpose on the property.

Property owners in Alabama have varying levels of legal obligation to ensure their properties are safe for:

  • Invitees. These are customers or others on the premises for purposes that are commercially beneficial to the property owner.
  • Licensee. These are people on the property with the owner’s permission for entertainment purposes, curiosity, or other approved reasons.
  • Trespassers. These are people who do not have permission from the owner to be on the property for any reason.

Of these groups, invitees have the most significant protections.

Property owners must practice reasonable care and diligence to protect invitees from harm or to give sufficient warning about dangers. This includes dangers that the owner should have known about as well as those they have failed to address. 

Licensees enjoy most of the protections afforded to invitees, but may not be protected from dangers that were not known about – even if they arguably should have been known about at the time of the accident. 

Trespassers have the least amount of protection. People on a property without permission are only protected against intentional harm from the owner. This excludes injuries sustained when a property owner is protecting themself under Alabama’s Stand Your Ground Law. (See Code of Alabama § 13A-3-23)

At Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, our premises liability lawyers welcome claims from invitees, licensees, and others who were injured while legally on someone else’s property. To learn more about your options, reach out and schedule your FREE case review today. 

A Note on Premises Liability Claims and Trespassing Children

Generally speaking, a trespasser is anyone on a property without permission from the owner. In Alabama, this does not typically apply to children. 

Children don’t always understand right from wrong and, even when they do, may not have developed the skills necessary to control their impulses. Understanding this, Alabama follows the attractive nuisance doctrine. (See Code of Alabama § 6-5-345)

Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, property owners in Alabama have a special obligation to protect children from harm, particularly from things that may not be recognizable to a child as a danger. Think of unsupervised swimming pools or trampolines, construction sites, unfinished buildings, and similar things that can easily attract children.

If your child was injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to seek compensation through legal action even if they did not have permission to be there. The premises liability lawyers at our firm are here to listen to your story, help you understand your rights, and assist you in choosing the best path forward.

Notable Verdicts & Settlements

$209,000

Products Liability

$1,445,000

Product Liability

$2,800,000

Home Health Case

What Are the Most Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents?

Some of the most common causes of premises liability injuries are:

  • Animal Attacks. Vicious dogs and uncontrolled wildlife are deadly. Dog bites and animal attacks are particularly dangerous for children.
  • Defective Elevators or Escalators. From crushing injuries to getting caught in machinery, elevators and escalators pose several threats to safety.
    • Unsecured Overhead Stock/Objects. Objects such as tools or overstock can cause serious harm when they fall on passersby.
    • Stair Collapse. Common in older buildings, poorly maintained stairs can easily injure or kill during a collapse.
    • Missing or Inadequate Safety Features. This includes missing or poorly installed handrails, anti-slip surfaces, and similarly reasonable safety protections.
    • Poor Lighting. Dimly lit walkways, stairwells, and more can become extremely dangerous in the absence of natural light.
  • Negligent Security. This may include missing or defective cameras, broken locks, or any other inadequate security measure that allows violence or harm.

Poor maintenance and improper upkeep are leading causes of accidents as well, often resulting in catastrophic and life-altering injuries such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, fractured bones, burns, and even death. When you suffer injury due to someone else’s negligence, you owe it to yourself to explore all of your options. Our Alabama premises liability attorneys are here to review your claim, free of cost and obligation, to help you understand which of your choices might be best.

What Kinds of Damages Can I Claim in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?

Three types of damages may be sought in an Alabama premises liability claim. These are:

  • Special Damages. Also known as economic damages, special damages include lost wages along with out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, related to an accident.
  • General Damages. Also known as non-economic damages, general damages include things that do not necessarily have a monetary value. General damages often include physical pain, psychological distress, and forced changes to lifestyle.
  • Punitive Damages. Punitive damages seek to punish particularly egregious behavior such as malicious intent or gross negligence and are rarely awarded in premises liability claims. Under most circumstances, these damages are not even pursued.

It is important to remember that Alabama only caps damages in wrongful death claims and cases in which punitive damages are sought. Generally speaking, there are no caps on economic or non-economic damages for Alabama personal injury claims. 

How Much Is My Premises Liability Claim Worth?

Every premises liability claim in Alabama is unique, but certain damages are common across these cases, such as:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Costs
  • Current and Future Lost Income
  • Pain and Suffering

Some cases involve injuries that require home modifications for the addition of things like ramps and grab-bars. Others require accessibility reconstruction to make life manageable or to accommodate assistive technologies and mobility aids. When determining the worth of your claim, all related damages must be taken into account.

At Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, our Alabama premises liability lawyers take time to understand how injuries have and will continue to impact the lives of our clients. We will carefully evaluate your claim and take into account everything your accident has affected to help you determine what your case may be worth.

Should I Accept an Insurance Offer For My Premises Liability Claim?

When you sustain a serious injury on someone else’s property, their insurance provider may be quick to offer you a settlement. Insurance is often faster than a personal injury claim, though these settlements do not typically account for all related damages. Nonetheless, once you have accepted a settlement offer from insurance, you will no longer be eligible to take legal action.

It can be confusing and more than a little frightening to try and determine the best course of action following a serious injury. It is important to remember that the most immediately available option is not always the best. You may lose out on the compensation you are entitled to if you choose to accept an offer before speaking with a qualified premises liability lawyer.

Do I Need a Premises Liability Lawyer to File a Claim in Alabama?

You are not required to have an attorney file your premises liability claim in Alabama, but you will want one if you choose to take legal action. Going forward alone puts you at the mercy of insurance companies and defense attorneys who know Alabama premises liability law inside and out. Having an experienced legal team on your side helps to protect you against the tactics the defense may employ to cheat you out of fair compensation.

The Alabama premises liability lawyers at Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers have decades of personal and combined experience helping victims of injury get justice. During your FREE initial consultation, we will pay close attention to the details of your case, review any settlement offers you have received, and help you decide whether filing suit is in your best interests.

We work on a contingency basis. You owe us nothing for our services if we do not win your case. Before you accept a settlement offer, call us for a commitment-free consultation to learn how we can help.

premises liability lawyer

How Long Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in Alabama?

Under most circumstances, Alabama Code § 6-2-38 provides two years for victims of injury to file a premises liability claim. There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations for personal injury in Alabama, but two years is standard. However, it is seldom a good idea to wait until the statute of limitations is approaching to speak with an attorney.

Several actions need to be taken following a serious injury. One of these, and chief in establishing both liability and damages, is a thorough investigation into the accident. The closer this can take place to the actual event, the higher the likelihood of evidence preservation. Waiting to file a claim can complicate the investigative process, delay proceedings, and diminish or even eliminate awarded damages.

Alabama is one of only five states to follow contributory negligence laws. If it can be established that you contributed to your accident, you may be barred from filing suit. A swift and thorough investigation may be necessary to properly establish liability and, thereby, protect your right to take legal action.

What If I Don’t File Right Away? 

Taking action quickly is preferable, but it is not always possible. We are here whenever you are able to reach out. Our award-winning personal injury lawyers have decades of experience collecting evidence and building strong cases under a variety of circumstances. We welcome the opportunity to assist you in navigating yours.

No matter when you come to us with your premises liability claim, we will get to work right away to investigate the cause of your accident, establish liability, and determine the worth of your case. We strongly encourage you to reach out as soon as possible to help safeguard your rights and protect all of your legal options.

How Long Do Premises Liability Lawsuits Take?

As with establishing how much a claim is worth, it is difficult to provide a pat answer to the question, “How long will my Alabama premises liability claim take?” However, most are resolved within a year.

A majority of premises liability claims in Alabama are settled during pre-trial negotiations. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that only around three to four percent of these cases go to trial nationally. When a claim settles pre-trial, it can often be satisfactorily resolved within six to 12 months.

Some premises liability claims cannot be settled during mediation and will require a jury trial. These can result in significantly more compensation for people who have been seriously injured. However, depending on the complexities of the case, the court’s docket, and other factors, a trial may require two years or more to reach a verdict.

Our experienced premises liability lawyers prepare every case for the eventuality of a trial, even if we fully expect to settle during negotiations. In this way, we can provide effective representation no matter the direction required for your case.

You Deserve Competent and Effective Legal Representation

When you are injured on someone else’s property, you deserve a law firm with a proven history of securing maximum compensation for its clients. Many of our attorneys have been nominated as Super Lawyers, recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association, awarded the AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. But despite our recognitions and awards, we do not rest on our laurels. We give our all to each client we represent.

If you have been injured or a loved one has suffered a fatal injury on someone else’s property, please contact Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers online or by calling 844-654-6228 to schedule your complimentary case review today. We fight for victims of serious injury throughout Alabama from our offices in Mobile and Dothan. We also accept cases from the Florida Panhandle and Southwest Georgia.

How to Determine If You Have a Premises Liability Case

All landlords, property managers, supervisors, or lease owners should ensure that all invited visitors (invitees, licensees, children, employees, and trespassers) on their property are reasonably safe while on their property.

So, if a visitor suffers injuries because of negligence on the property, the guest (you), may be eligible for compensation. However, before you can file a claim, there’s a list of criteria that you must meet.

You must be able to establish that all four elements indicating negligence were present:

  • You were owed a duty of reasonable safety while on the property — Anyone in reasonably direct control of the safety of the space has a responsibility to keep it safe. For example, if you were to slip and fall on a wet floor in an office space that was rented from a property owner, the tenant who didn’t have the floor cleaned up could be held liable.
  • The liable party was negligent — The liable party didn’t do everything possible to ensure that you were reasonably safe within their premises. For instance, they refused to have the wet floor cleaned, ignored it, or didn’t put up safety signs indicating that the floor was wet.
  • You sustained injuries directly because of the liable party’s negligence — You broke an arm or a hip because you slipped on the wet floor in the office space.
  • The injuries led to losses or damages — You had to get medical help, spend money getting treatment, lose valuable work or income, and suffered other losses.

However, there are exceptions to premises liability claims in Alabama. These include:

  • You intentionally self-harmed in a bid to get compensation
  • You intentionally ignored an “obvious and open” hazard
  • You trespassed on a property and were injured in the process

How to Document the Scene of the Incident for a Premises Liability Claim

If you are able, you should take pictures and/or videos of the scene. Most cell phones have cameras and decent-sized memory capacity, so that shouldn’t be a problem for most people. Ensure that you also capture the hazard that caused your injury.

Also, write down as much of your recollections leading up to, during, and after the incident. If there were witnesses, ask if they could provide statements or send you their copies of recordings or photos. This will help provide your lawyer with perspective from different angles.

How to Gather Evidence of Negligence for Your Premises Liability Case

Unless you’re in pretty good shape after the incident, you may not be able to collect evidence yourself. So, it’s best to talk to your premises liability lawyer about the possibility of doing that. In most instances, experienced premises liability lawyers will collect the following evidence:

  • Visit the accident site to see the hazard or cause of your accident
  • View the incident or police report
  • Get videos and pictures from surrounding cameras if possible
  • Talk to other eyewitnesses and take their statements

How to Report the Incident to the Property Owner or Management

If there’s no police report, you should report the incident in writing. Not via word of mouth or just telling the person in charge of the property. File a report in person and keep a copy of the same report. A paper trail is crucial to your case if you want to be compensated for your injuries.

However, if law enforcement was called to the scene, you may not need an official report as the presence of law enforcement agents already indicates that there’s an incident. Plus, they will likely give the people in charge of the property a copy of the report.

How to Choose a Premises Liability Attorney

Even though premises liability cases seem straightforward, they can be complicated. This is mainly because the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (you).

If you want to get the compensation that you deserve, you need an experienced premises liability lawyer who understands the nuances and technicalities of these types of cases.

Choose your premises liability attorney based on competence, experience, specialty, track records, good reviews, and previously won cases. A more experienced and skilled premises liability lawyer is more likely to get the total settlement amount.

How to Understand the Property Owner's Duty of Care

The basis for all successful premises liability claims is proving that the property owner or management was negligent in providing a reasonably safe environment for you. And that their negligence led to you being harmed or injured and suffering losses. This is known as duty of care, and it extends to or covers the following entities:

  • Invitees — These are lawful occupants who are generally welcome on the property. Examples include guests on the property, customers in a store, renters on property grounds, and others.
  • Licensees — These are people who are implicitly or explicitly invited onto a property for non-commercial reasons. Examples include friends and family members in the home.
  • Trespassers — These are people who step onto people’s property without any form of permission or continue to stay there after their permission to visit has been withdrawn. Although the law in Ala. Code § 6-5-345 doesn’t protect them, it prevents property owners or possessors from intentionally setting up hazards that will hurt them.

However, there’s a particular class of trespassers that the law protects: children. Under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, property owners and managers are required to put up reasonable protections for trespassing children e.g. a fence around a pool or gates to prevent entry into a dangerous area of the property.

How to Calculate Damages for a Premises Liability Claim

Your damages will typically include some or all of the following:

  • Lost wages or benefits
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress and emotional anguish

If the accident is fatal, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death suit to recover compensation from the liable property management.

Your lawyer will calculate the value of these and file a compensation claim that covers all of the losses you suffered because of the incident. If your premises liability attorney does a great job of fighting for your rights, you should win the case.

How to Ensure a Medical Malpractice Claim is Filed on Time

Alabama’s statute of limitations – how much time you have to file a premises liability claim– for personal injury cases is two years. Failure to file an injury claim within those two years means that you will be time-barred and unable to recover compensation from the liable party.

And if you decide to file, your claim will be denied and your case thrown out. It’s always good to speak to an experienced Alabama premises liability lawyer right after your accident to determine when to file your claim.