Every year, slip and fall accidents injure many people. These accidents are caused by walking on a slippery or icy sidewalk, walking on a rough stretch of ground, or climbing uneven stairs or stairs that have something out of place. If a slip and fall accident occurs on a property that was negligently maintained, the property owner will be held liable for the injuries.
Apart from private residences, slip and fall injuries can occur in commercial areas such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and other public spaces. If you are injured on a commercial property like a store or a restaurant, you should consider suing the business in question to get compensation for your injuries. However, the problem is that it can be a daunting task to prove fault for your accident.
An experienced Birmingham slip and fall lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. So, for the best outcome when it comes to seeking compensation for slip and fall-related injuries, contact Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as you can at 205-666-6000 and speak to one of our experienced Birmingham premises liability attorneys.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Slip And Fall Accidents?
There are many causes of slip and fall accidents but the most common ones in Birmingham, Alabama, include:
- Unlit walkaways or hallways
- Improper maintenance/upkeep or structural defects which cause the steps to become uneven, resulting in potholes in parking lots/ streets, cracked sidewalks, torn carpeting, or broken floor tiles.
- Wet/slick walkaways, floors or staircases
- Uncleaned spills inside hospitals, stores, nursing homes, and various other places.
- Uncleaned hazardous debris such as tree branches
- Weather-related conditions like ice and snow that hasn't been shoveled away and/or salted
- A failure to install anti-slip devices, storm drains or gutters hence causing hazardous conditions during snowfall or heavy rainfall.
- A failure to restrict areas and/or place signs in places where hazardous conditions such as any of the above exist.
How Can You Prove A Slip And Fall Case in Alabama?
In most cases, premises liability accidents are focused on the place where the accident happened. However, that does not necessarily suggest or mandate a legal theory or a specific legal cause of action. That is why it is a good idea to work with an experienced Birmingham slip and fall attorney after being injured in a slip and fall accident as they have the expertise to flexibly and strategically consider other legal options- ensuring that all feasible theories are in your complaint can determine whether your case will go to trial or dismissed.
Premises liability accident attorneys mostly argue based on negligence or include it among the few potential causes of action. As a claimant in a negligence lawsuit, you have to prove 4 things to be compensated. These 4 things include:
When it comes to negligence actions, injury is defined as any loss suffered by the claimant including physical injuries, medication costs, hospital bills, and other injury-related expenses.
Duty refers to the fact that the party responsible for the slip and fall accident has a responsibility or obligation to ensure that the victim was protected against harm while he or she was on their property. In premises liability actions, the level of duty the defendant owes a duty of care to all those visiting their property. For instance, a property owner who owns a commercial property owes a duty of care to all those who visit their commercial property.
It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that all those who visit their commercial property are safe and if not, the property owner needs to warn them of any dangers. The property owner needs to use diligence and reasonable care to protect those visiting their property. However, if a property owner fails to ensure that those visiting their property are safe, plaintiffs can choose to establish the duty they are or the duty the property owner owes them.
A victim should be able to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to them. However, keep in mind that establishing a breach of duty is face-specific and dependent. For instance, if an accident is caused by an uncleaned spill, the victim could show that a customer had alerted the entity or business about the spill but nothing was done for over one hour.
As a personal injury victim, you have to prove that the breach of duty was the actual and legal cause of the slip and fall-related injuries you suffered. A good Birmingham slip and fall attorney can help you prove that the defendant is at fault and should be held liable for the accident.
The Birmingham slip and fall lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers are professionals and will consider all the successful legal options available and elucidate them.
What to Do After Being Injured in A Slip and Fall Accident in Birmingham
Those who are hurt in a slip and fall accident mostly become confused and disoriented. In worse-case scenarios, the accident can lead to severe injuries. Here is what you should do after a slip and fall accident:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Even if your injuries don't show up right away after the slip and fall accident, seek immediate medical attention as there are injuries that show up hours or even many days after the accident.
Take a few photos of the place where the accident happened if possible
It is very important to document where the accident occurred and focus on the cause of the slip and fall accident. You should also capture the areas surrounding the scene. Find out whether or not there are any signs or barriers around the scene.
Document any Witnesses
If there are people who saw your fall, record their names and contacts. Don't forget to ask the witnesses whether they have ever heard people talking about the place where you fell.
How is Liability Determined in A Slip and Fall Accident?
Determining whether or not you acted negligently or carelessly and are responsible for your slip and fall accident is usually the first thing to be determined after a slip and fall accident. Determining this is very important as this is what property owners often use it as their defense. If you are not responsible for the accident in any way, you need to determine the party responsible for the accident (it may be a business owner or homeowner).
To establish legal responsibility, one has to fully understand the premises liability laws in the city of Birmingham. The professional and experienced legal team at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers have a profound understanding of these laws and can help you prepare your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.
When determining responsibility, you should consider the following:
- Whether the homeowner or business owner knew of the dangerous condition and if they were aware, what did they do about it?
- How long the condition has existed and whether the owners had enough time to resolve the problem.
- If the owner was not aware of the issue, is it something that they should have known about?
- If the owner tried to fix the problem, were they reasonable and adequate to handle the matter?
- If the property owner was not aware, are there circumstances that show that the owner should have known about the issue and try as much as possible to fix the problem?
- Was your slip and fall accident caused by a condition created by the property owner?
Judges and juries usually decide liability in such cases by common sense as commonsense is the overriding legal concept applicable to slip and fall suits. Therefore, if the victim can prove that the property or business owner did nothing to resolve a dangerous situation on time, ignored clear signs that a potentially-dangerous situation exists, or was not aware of a dangerous situation that was apparent, a judge or jury will most likely rule against the property owner or homeowner.
How the law is interpreted in such cases is that the property owner should try as much as possible to ensure the safety of those who visit their property and ensure that the grounds around their property is always clean, unobstructed, and in compliance with the relevant public codes.
What Damages Can You Receive After A Slip and Fall Accident?
If a homeowner or business owner is held legally responsible for your slip and fall accident, he or she will have to pay for injury-related losses including medical bills, lost wages because of being off work, and pain and suffering. The good thing is that determining the cost of medical bills and last wages is relatively easy as these two are documented in the form of pay statements and invoices.
However, calculating pain and suffering can be a daunting task as the subject does not have any guidelines. It only has some estimates that are commonly used. The actual amount awarded as compensation for pain and suffering is mostly an amount that the parties involved have negotiated and agreed on unless the victim pursues trial to a jury decision.
In such cases, if the victim wins the lawsuit, the jury determines the exact amount of money to be awarded to the victim for pain and suffering as documented and described during trial proceedings. At this point in the trial, juries make their decisions based on the severity of the injuries and how the injuries have affected the victim's life now and in the future.
How Long Do I Have to File My Slip and Fall Suit in Alabama?
In most instances, a victim of a slip and fall accident has up to two (2) years to file a claim seeking compensation for their injuries. That is the time limit which is called “statute of limitations” for personal injury claims in Alabama.
Call Our Birmingham Slip and Fall Lawyers For a Free Consultation
Our Birmingham slip and fall attorneys offer legal services you can rely on. So, if you are looking to pursue damages after related to premises liability, consider hiring one of our attorneys. Call us at 205-666-6000 for a no-obligation, free of charge consultation and review. The Birmingham slip and fall attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers are professionals with experience dealing with slip and fall cases.
That is why we proudly stand by our work and take every case on a contingency plan. A contingency plan means that you will only pay us after you only pay us when we win your slip and fall compensation claim case. If you are looking for professional legal advice and representation, call Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers today.