What Happens if I Slip and Fall in a Store in Alabama?
Slipping and falling in a store or place of business usually happens without warning. You may believe your situation is clear example of negligence, with the store or business owner being the responsible party, but under Alabama law, proving premises liability cases can actually be quite difficult to prove.
Alabama law states that property owners must use “reasonable care and diligence” to keep their property safe, or that there should be sufficient warning that the property is in a dangerous condition. For example, if there is a liquid spill in the store, it should be cleaned up immediately and then there should be clear signage that cautions customers to avoid the slippery area.
The challenge in these kinds of cases is that you and your attorney have to prove that the business or property owner knew, or should have known, of the potential hazard and should have taken steps to address the hazard. If it was obvious that the hazard that caused the injury was dangerous or defective or if the injured party did not use reasonable care to avoid injury, then the business or property owner may not be held liable.
When you slip and fall in a store, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to help prove your case. First, make sure that you’re OK. Seek medical attention if necessary. Then take pictures of the area with your cell phone documenting the hazardous area. Take the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Notify the store’s manager and tell them about your injuries so that they can document the accident as well. You do not need to provide anything in writing about this to store management until you have consulted with an experienced Alabama premises liability attorney.
You should get checked out by a physician, even if you feel alright. Injuries may show up later, and if you hit your head, you may have suffered a brain injury that isn’t initially evident (i.e. a concussion). This will make it harder for the business or property owner to claim that you made these injuries up, or that you are conflating old injuries for these newer ones. This will also add to the documentation you already have.
A personal injury attorney can also investigate into your slip and fall by talking to customers, tracking down any relevant video surveillance tapes, and other kinds of evidence that can help to support your case. You should consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer to see if you have a strong case.
Recovering Damages in an Alabama Slip and Fall
Depending on the severity of your fall, you may be facing a lot of medical treatment and subsequent bills. You may have broken your back, neck, or other bones. If you are able to prove that the business or property owner was negligent and is now liable, then you may recover damages such as medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, transportation costs for your medical and physical therapist visits, money for replacing or repairing your clothing, compensation for a cleaning service or other help that you hired that you need as you recover, and pain and suffering. In addition to compensatory damages, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Filing a Lawsuit after an Slip and Fall in Alabama
In terms of litigation, sometimes a business or property owner, or his business’s insurance company, will be open to settling out of court as a way to resolve your case. Other times, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit against the business owner. You have two years from the date of injury in which to file a lawsuit.
Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
A slip and fall in a store can be not only shocking, but it can leave you in a lot of pain. Slip and fall cases can prove to be more challenging than other types of personal injury cases, so it is in your best interest to work with a dedicated, passionate Personal Injury Attorney who is familiar with Alabama premises liability law. Contact the dedicated attorneys at Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC at (251) 473-6691 for a free consultation.