A slip and fall accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. One second you're having fun shopping at the mall, walking your furry friend, or just enjoying a hearty meal in your favorite restaurant – and the next second, you're on the floor and in agonizing pain.
When a person purchases property in Alabama, especially for commercial purposes, he or she undertakes specific responsibilities—among them, making sure that the property or premises are in a reasonably safe condition for everyone who is permitted or invited to be there. The total of these liabilities is referred to as premises liability.
Sadly, many times, some building managers and property owners fail to put in the effort, time, and resources necessary to maintain the property, leading to injuries suffered by people merely passing by and even those who have come to conduct business on the property. If you slip, trip and fall and then suffer an injury, you may have a right to sue the negligent property owner for damages.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Montgomery slip and fall lawyers have years of combined experience representing slip and fall victims in Alabama. Property owners and their insurers will often attempt to deny liability. Whatever the reason for your slip and fall accident, we are ready to actively pursue your claim until we achieve the full compensation to which you're entitled.
What Are The Typical Slip And Fall Accidents?
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death in the United States. In 2019 alone, about 39,000 individuals lost their lives in falls at home and work, according to data from Injury Facts. That said, the risk of falling and suffering severe injuries is an issue of concern. The National Safety Council warns property owners and employers to take the necessary measures to remove slip, trip, and fall hazards.
Common types and locations for slip and fall accidents include but are not limited to:
- Poorly lit areas such as parking lots and basements
- Uneven surfaces such as cracked sidewalks or paving stones
- Ladders and scaffolding
- Cluttered aisles, hallways, and other walkways
- Improper maintenance and structural defects such as stairways with loose or broken stairs handrails or treads
- Torn carpeting
- Potholes in parking lots and other walkways
- Malfunctioning escalators or broken staircases
- Wet slippery or slick walkways, staircases, or floors
- Spills that are not cleaned up inside premises such as hospitals etc.
- Hazardous debris such as tree branches
- Weather-related hazardous conditions such as ice or snow that are not get cleared from the walkways
- A failure to install storm drains, gutters, or other anti-slip devices which lead to dangerous conditions during adverse weather conditions such as heavy rainfall or snowfall
- A failure to restrict hazardous areas or place signs when dangerous conditions like any of the above exist
How Can A Montgomery Slip And Fall Lawyer Me With My Case?
If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident in Montgomery, AL, and are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer.
Whatever the cause of your fall or the location of the accident, you'll need to prove liability to secure the damages you're owed. In many slip and fall injury cases, there are no witnesses, and property owners may take measures to try and cover up the cause of the accident, so proving liability can be challenging.
If you were hurt after falling on someone's property anywhere in Alabama, you should consider working with an experienced slip and fall lawyer to protect your rights. Here's what our lawyers can do for your slip and fall claim:
Investigation and case preparation
Our lawyer will work with experienced legal investigators to take photos of the location where you fell, obtain a copy of your incident report, verify exactly who the owners of the property are, determine if there are witnesses, and review any violations of local, state, and federal housing and building laws. This way, we can build a strong case for you.
Our legal investigators will help us determine exactly who the property owners are and examine the maintenance crew hired by the property owner to determine liability.
In addition to investigating your fall and proving liability, our lawyers will deal with other attorneys and insurers. We will file your claim, appeals and handle every aspect of the settlement negotiations while making sure to keep you in the loop every step of the way.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If the claim leads to trial, our Montgomery slip and fall accident lawyers will be more than ready to provide the evidence needed to prove liability for your injuries and recover the full compensation you're owed.
Regardless of the facts surrounding your slip and fall accident, it's a good idea to contact an experienced lawyer to better understand Alabama's premises liability laws and your legal rights.
What Steps Can I Take To Help Support My Slip And Fall Lawsuit?
Proving liability for slip and fall cases can be tricky, especially when it is not clear whether a dangerous condition existed on the property or whether the claimant was distracted and didn't pay attention to his or her surroundings. Because of this, you can take steps to protect your interests and your ability to pursue compensation for damages.
Anyone who has slipped and fallen due to a hazard on someone else's property can be their best advocate. Take the following actions to protect your well-being and rights after a slip and fall accident:
- Focus on your health first. Check on your injury, and if you need medical assistance, get it right away.
- If possible, take all the photos you can, or video of the area and/or condition that caused your fall.
- Report the incident to a manager and fill out an incident report.
- Talk to witnesses or people that helped and take down their contact info.
- Call a trusted personal injury lawyer.
- Do not wash or throw away torn clothes or broken personal possessions because the substance that caused your fall may be on them.
- Don't speak with anyone about your incident until you speak with a Montgomery slip and fall lawyer.
- If you can, check to see if the hazardous condition has been addressed right away.
How Can A Slip And Fall Accident Be Proved?
Many people who get hurt after a slip and fall accident on someone else's property in Alabama often believe that the property owner is automatically liable for the losses and injuries suffered as a result of the fall. However, this is not the case.
For a slip and fall accident plaintiff to recover damages, they must prove that the property owner was liable for damages to establish liability on the property owner's part.
Many lawyers shy away from taking slip and fall claims in Alabama due to the high burden of proof. But the legal team at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers has the experience and resources to litigate complex premises liability cases effectively, and we're prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
To hold a property owner (business, multiple businesses, or other potentially liable parties) liable for your injuries, we have to prove a couple of things:
- First, we must show that the property owner or an employee knew or should have known about a hazardous condition.
- Next, we have to prove that the owner or an employee failed to address the hazard within a reasonable time.
- We must also show that the sufferer was not aware of the dangerous condition, i.e., you did not have “actual” or “constructive” notice about the specific hazardous condition befall the fall.
- We must prove the plaintiff suffered actual injuries and damages.
How Is Liability Determined In A Montgomery, AL, Slip And Fall Case?
Slip and fall claims are an important way to hold negligent property owners and managers liable accountable. But premises liability cases can be complex. Besides, Alabama's pure contributory negligence rule leaves room for insurance companies to try and shift the blame on victims.
The Montgomery slip and fall attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers have a track record of successful jury verdicts for slip and fall cases because we determine liability and counter any arguments defense lawyers and insurers make. We are prepared to prove the property owner's liability and help you get justice.
Alabama's Pure Contributory Negligence Rule
Under this doctrine, victims of a slip and fall injury can only recover compensation for damages from liable parties only if they did not share fault for the accident. In other words, even if you are successful in proving the property owner's negligence but share some blame for your fall, the responsible party can walk away without paying any damages.
The outcome for slip and fall cases depends on liability. Below are some questions to ask yourself, witnesses, and the property owner to help determine liability for your slip and fall case:
- Did you have a right or a good reason to be on the property at the time of the incident?
- What conditions contributed to or caused your fall?
- Who manages, owns, or oversees the property?
- Was an employee, manager, or owner aware of the dangerous condition?
- Were the risks clearly identified?
- Would an individual of reasonable caution in the same situation have had any notice of the dangerous condition? Could they have avoided it?
- Were you engaging in any activities that could have caused or contributed to your slip and fall injury?
- Did the property owners install sufficient warnings to bring attention to the dangerous condition?
If the answers to one of the questions mentioned above come out in your favor, you may have a winnable slip and fall claim for compensation.
To determine liability and win your slip and fall case, you must demonstrate that you did not have any role in the fall, and those responsible for the maintenance of the property were failed to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
How Much Is My Slip And Fall Injury Case Worth?
Slip and fall victims often ask how much money they can recover for their slip and fall injuries. The answer depends on many factors. For instance, Alabama courts look at the following (but not limited to) to determine compensation:
- Severity of injuries
- Victim's ability to prevent injury
- Surveillance video
- Traffic in the location
- Timing (the amount of time a hazardous condition was sitting on the floor before the incident)
- Victim's age and occupation
Here's an overview of the typical recoverable damages for a slip and fall case:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills including hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation, medical devices, medication, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses in the event of wrongful death
There's no one-size-fits-all for the amount of money you can get for your slip and fall claim. Please talk to a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case and learn more about how much to expect for your claim.
Are There Time Limits For Filing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit In Alabama?
Yes. If you tripped, slipped, and fell on another person's property in Alabama and want to recover compensation for damages, you have two years from the incident date to file your claim. If you do nothing during this period, you will be barred from recovering any compensation.
Put Your Trust In Our Montgomery Slip and Fall Lawyers At Mike Bell
If you've suffered an injury because of a slip and fall incident, our Montgomery personal injury law firm can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact the Montgomery slip and fall attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers today. Call 334-666-5000 and schedule a free claim review. We proudly serve injury victims throughout the state from offices in Montgomery, Anniston, Gadsden, and Birmingham.