People slip, trip, or stumble and fall every day. Often, these incidents are minor and due to clumsiness or carelessness, but in other instances, a slip and fall incident occurs due to the carelessness or negligence of a property owner. This is a legal area referred to as premises liability law.
Whether you were walking through a public space, shopping in a mall, or walking into a restaurant, the property owner has a legal obligation to keep their property well-maintained and safe for visitors. When property owners neglect this duty, they can be found negligent and held liable by law for injuries that occur. This means that if you got hurt due to a slip and fall accident on someone else's premises, the property owner could be liable for medical expenses and other damages.
Slip and fall accident cases can be challenging to win, which is why victims and their families need serious representation from experienced premises liability lawyers. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping injury victims and promise to fight tirelessly on your behalf.
Call us at 256-666-6000 to speak to our Anniston slip and fall lawyers. Trust our experienced and compassionate legal team with your case today!
Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident can occur in nearly any setting, from neighborhood facilities to local stores, from obstacles on floors to spills. Even seemingly minor issues such as an unmarked pit can lead to a devastating slip and fall accident.
Often, the cause of a slip and fall accident can be traced back to the property owner's negligence to maintain their property in a safe condition.
Some of the most common hazardous conditions that lead to slip and fall accidents include but are not limited to:
- Faulty handrails or broken staircases
- Structural defects or improper upkeep/maintenance that leads to broken floor tiles, uneven steps, potholes in streets/parking lots, cracked sidewalks, or torn carpeting
- Malfunctioning escalators
- Wet/slick floors, walkways, or staircases
- Spills that aren't cleaned up inside premises
- Hazardous debris or obstacles such as tree branches, etc. that does not get cleaned up
- Weather-related conditions such as snow or ice that doesn't get shoveled away and/or salted
- A failure to install storm drains, gutters, or anti-slip devices which lead to dangerous conditions during snowfall or heavy rainfall
- Failure to comply with industry standards
- Unlit walkways or hallways
- A failure to place warning signs and/or restrict areas when dangerous conditions like any of the above exist
Regardless of the exact settings or cause of your slip and fall accident, the chances are you're facing a severe injury, mounting medical bills, time out of work, and other physical, emotional, and financial hardships. The Anniston slip and fall accident lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers want to help you pursue justice and recover the full compensation you deserve. Call 66-6MB-WINS to get started with a free case review.
How Can An Anniston Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me With My Case?
A slip and fall accident can cause serious injuries such as fractures and brain injuries. Suffering severe or permanent injuries because of another's negligence can be very stressful. While you might have legal recourse and could potentially hold the owner of the property accountable for your injuries and other damages, you will need to prove the property owner's negligence with compelling evidence.
An Anniston slip and fall accident lawyer working on your behalf can help with all aspects of your lawsuit, freeing up your time to focus on your health and recovering from your injuries.
There are plenty of benefits of working with an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer. These include:
In the first instance, your lawyer can review your case and advise you comprehensively and help you understand your legal options. Your lawyer can recommend the next steps to potentially get the justice and full compensation you deserve.
Case Investigation (Establishing Negligence)
One of the trickiest parts of a slip and fall lawsuit is proving the at-fault party's negligence. As the claimant, you must provide adequate proof to establish who is at fault. A Lawyer can work with expert witnesses and private investigators to gather vital evidence to prove who was liable.
Even if you did trip or slip and fall due to poor maintenance and hazardous conditions, it could be challenging to know just how extensive your injuries are, so always get medical attention. A skilled Anniston slip and fall accident lawyer can compile your medical records and establish the full extent of your injuries while quantifying your damages.
Often, an out-of-court settlement can be advantageous to the victim. However, a novice might not have the skills or experience to handle negotiations with insurance companies. If you don't know your actual damages and take on insurance companies on your own, you risk being out of pocket in the long run.
Insurance companies want to settle your claim fast and will offer you a settlement that you later realize was a low-ball offer and only covers a fraction of your losses. A lawyer can take care of all correspondence with insurance companies and review any settlement offers you receive to make sure they meet your needs.
Court Preparation & Representation
When negotiations with insurance companies fall through, going to court is the only way to fight for justice and compensation.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we can take care of all technicalities of preparing for court, such as ensuring you don't miss any deadlines and that all papers are in order. Our lawyers will also represent you professionally in court.
What Steps Can Be Taken To Help Your Slip And Fall Case?
If you slip, trip, and fall in a public place, you can be your best advocate. Proving negligence in Alabama for a slip and fall lawsuit is often challenging, so following the right steps and taking measures to protect your rights will give you the best chance at proving negligence.
Below are crucial things to do if you ever get into a slip and fall accident:
Take Photos: Details may be altered or forgotten, and the scene may be repaired after you leave. Act fast and take as many photos of the scene and your injuries as possible. Take pictures of the hazardous condition that caused your fall in the first place. Was the floor wet? Was there poor lighting in the parking lot?
Report The Incident To The Manager: Report your trip or slip and fall accident to the property owner or manager where the incident occurred. Do this within 24 hours of the slip and fall accident.
Write Down Your Recollection Of The Incident: It's a good idea to take a minute to write down your recollection of the slip and fall accident. Facts and details can change in your memory as time passes, and your claim may not be settled for a while. For this reason, you should write an account of everything while it's fresh in your memory. It will be invaluable.
Get Witness Contact Information: A witness can be invaluable to your claim, and getting restitution for what happened to you, you have to identify witnesses. If they are willing, write down statements and get their contact information.
Get Medical Attention And Document Your Injuries And Treatment: Seek medical attention as quickly as possible. If you are genuinely hurt after a slip and fall accident, having medical documentation is crucial to your case. It will help establish the timing of your injuries and their extent.
See Property Conditions Before You Leave: Check if changes were made.
Don't Post Any Details On Social Media: Avoid posting any information on social media.
Hire A Slip And Fall Lawyer: Protect your interests from the get-go and hire an experienced Anniston slip and fall accident lawyer to help you get the full compensation you need and deserve.
How Can A Slip And Fall Accident Be Proved In Alabama?
Property owners have a responsibility to people who visit their premises. Whether the party is a government agency, business establishment, individual, or company, they must maintain the property in a safe manner. When managers and owners ignore this legal duty and allow hazardous conditions to persist on their premises/property, they can be held accountable for injuries or wrongful death that results. This is referred to as premises liability.
However, a premises liability lawsuit must be proven by the claimant. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we work with experienced investigators and other experts to determine and establish the incident's actual cause and why the property owner should be liable. Our seasoned Anniston slip and fall accident lawyers help injured victims successfully assert slip and fall claims in Alabama by proving the following elements:
- The injury resulted from a hazard or dangerous condition on the owner's premises/property;
- The injury did not result from the victim's own carelessness or actions such as distraction;
- The victim was not aware of the hazardous condition and could not see it in time, or there were no signs posted;
- The owner knew or should have known that the hazardous condition existed and negligently failed to remedy the problem in a timely manner.
Property managers and owners often make quick repairs and cleanups following a slip and fall accident. For this reason, it is crucial to call a lawyer as soon as possible.
How Is Liability Determined In An Anniston Slip And Fall Case?
While the mechanism that led to your fall may seem obvious, Alabama's contributory negligence law is relatively complicated. Injury victims in Alabama must understand that according to the state's contributory negligence rule if the victim even contributed to their injuries by 1%, they cannot recover compensation.
Unfortunately, property owners and insurance companies frequently blame victims, arguing that the claimant shared fault in the incident. During the process of lodging a slip and fall accident lawsuit in Alabama, you may be asked questions such as:
- Did you have a legal reason or good reason to be on the property owner's property at the time of the incident?
- Would an individual of reasonable alertness (if they weren't distracted in any way) in the same setting have seen and avoided the dangerous condition?
- Did the property owner put up signs warning visitors of the hazardous condition that led to your slip and fall accident?
- Were you engaging in any activities (such as using your phone) that contributed to your slip and fall injury?
To respond to these questions, you'll need a solid legal strategy and an aggressive attorney. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we will implement our winning approach are not afraid to fight insurance companies that unfairly blame victims.
How Much Is My Slip And Fall Case Worth?
It's important to note that every case has its own unique circumstances and story. Several variables come into play when determining how much your claim is worth, including:
- The extent of your injuries
- Your age
- Your inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills (past, current, and future)
- Type of injuries (temporary or permanent)
- The financial condition and identity of the liable party
Damages Available In Alabama Slip And Fall Accident Claims
While there's no one-size-fits-all approach for calculating the value of your slip and fall accident claim, generally, slip and fall accident victims in Alabama who can prove the defendant's total liability can recover the following damages:
- Economic Damages: E.g., Medical costs (hospitalization costs, medical treatment, cost of surgeries, future medical expenses), lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: E.g., Physical pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, psychological distress, permanent disability, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages: These are capped at 3x the amount of economic and non-economic damages (compensatory damages) and are awarded to punish the defendant. There is also a hard cap or maximum limit for recoverable punitive damages of $1.5 million, regardless of how much the victim recovers for compensatory damages.
Are There Any Time Limits For Filing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit?
A vital element to slip and fall claims is the timeliness of reporting the incident and filing the lawsuit. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents is two years. Your claim must be filled during this short window to have any case at all. Otherwise, you risk being barred from recovering compensation, and you will walk away empty-handed.
Contact Our Anniston Slip and Fall Lawyers for a Free Consultation
For many years, the lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers have fought to get justice and financial compensation for slip and fall accident victims. Our personal injury lawyers understand what needs to be proven to recover full compensation in these types of claims. They will diligently work to make sure you get the justice and compensation you are owed.
Call us at 256-666-6000 and have our Anniston slip and fall lawyers review your case for free and answer all your legal questions.