Owners of business establishments, apartment buildings and other property owe a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for persons on their premises. When an accident occurs, difficult questions can arise concerning the fault of the property owner or the injured party, the nature and extent of the injury, and other important legal matters. The knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys at Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb in Dothan provide skilled representation in premises liability cases throughout southeastern Alabama and the Florida panhandle, including cases involving slip & fall or dog bite injuries.
Slip & Fall
Slip and fall or trip and fall cases are notoriously difficult to prove and can be equally challenging to defend against. Both Alabama and Florida premises liability laws require the injured plaintiff to prove that the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition but failed to fix it or warn of the danger in a reasonable time before the accident happened. Yet when the cause of the accident is a “transitory foreign substance,” such as a food or drink spill in a grocery store or restaurant, or an object obstructing the aisle in a retail store, how does one prove that the condition did or did not exist for a reasonable or unreasonable time before the accident? When direct evidence is lacking, it may be necessary to call on industry experts to determine how long the condition likely existed. At Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb, our attorneys have the resources to investigate and build a strong case right from the start.
While property owners in Alabama owe a duty to anyone legally on the premises, Florida adds an additional layer of complexity with a complicated scheme of varying duties depending upon the accident victim’s status as a public invitee, business invitee, invited licensee, uninvited licensee or even a trespasser. Comparative negligence principles frequently play an important role in slip and fall cases as well, particularly in Alabama where any amount of the victim’s contributory negligence can spell doom for the plaintiff’s claim.
A dog bite or animal attack can be particularly severe or even fatal, often depending upon the age or physical condition of the victim and the viciousness of the animal. Regardless of the severity of the injury, a dog bite is nearly always painful and traumatic to the victim. Handling a dog bite injury case requires a thorough grasp of the proper damages calculation as well as a clear understanding of the complex legal principles involved. For instance, Alabama dog bite law holds a careless owner responsible for damages but also imposes strict liability in some cases, although damages can be decreased for an owner with no prior knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensities. Florida imposes strict liability in all cases where the attack occurred on public property or where the victim was lawfully on private property at the time. This means that no proof of negligence or prior knowledge of the animal’s viciousness is required. Yet comparative negligence rules still apply, and Florida allows a defense if the owner had a “bad dog” sign posted, provided the victim was six years old or older and the owner was not otherwise negligent.
At Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb, our attorneys possess a thorough understanding of the laws and legal principles involved in a dog bite claim, as well as the facts and evidence which must be developed in order to properly and successfully handle a case.