You’re walking through your favorite grocery store. Suddenly, you feel your feet starting to slip on the recently polished floor. While you’re able to catch yourself on a nearby rack, you’ve badly twisted your knee – which is already beginning to swell. You report your injuries and the lack of warning signs to the store, but you’re not sure what to do next.
Slipping and falling is a part of life. However, when dangerous conditions or defective features cause you to fall and get hurt, it’s more than simple clumsiness. Under Alabama law, the property manager may owe you compensation for your serious injuries.
The Basics of Slip and Fall Injuries in Alabama
Slip and fall injuries seem relatively simple. You’re walking, and you slip, trip, or stumble due to a hazardous condition, causing injuries. Common hazards include liquids, debris, fallen merchandise, uneven or defective flooring or stairs, poor lighting, and slick surfaces. However, many factors can lead to a slip and fall injury.
While the mechanism that caused your fall may seem obvious, Alabama’s premises liability laws are relatively complicated. The strength of your legal claims will depend on a variety of factors, including:
Your Relationship to the Property Owner or Manager
Property owners don’t owe everyone the same duty of care. For example, a store has a higher duty to protect and warn its customers than a landowner has to most trespassers. Under Alabama premises liability laws, we place people into three categories:
- Customers or business invitees: if a business is open to the public, it must keep people safe from hazards that it knew (or should have known) about and warn customers of uncorrected hazards.
- Social guests: if a friend or neighbor invites you onto their property for social activities, they must warn you about known hazards or fix them.
- Trespassers: property owners don’t need to warn trespassers of most hazards, but they cannot intentionally or recklessly create them. However, if the trespassers are children, different rules apply.
When you meet with one of our premises liability lawyers, we’ll carefully listen to your story and determine which standard applies to your claim. Then, we’ll help you understand the strength of your legal claims, based on the facts surrounding your slip and fall.
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Whether the Property Owner Has Defenses
Even if you can prove that the property owner or manager failed to protect or warn you, they can still offer legal defenses. Two of the most common defenses in slip and fall claims are:
- Open and obvious hazards: if the hazard was objectively obvious and could be easily observed, property owners do not have to warn you of the risk.
- Contributory negligence: if you even contributed to your injuries by 1%, you cannot recover damages in Alabama.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and property owners frequently try to blame victims, arguing that people should have seen the risk, weren’t paying attention, or even were wearing the wrong kind of footwear for the conditions.
To respond to these defenses, you’ll need a comprehensive legal strategy and an aggressive lawyer. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we use our winning approach and aren’t afraid to stand up to insurance companies that unfairly blame victims.
When You File Your Slip and Fall Claim
Like all Alabama injury claims, slip and fall cases have strict filing deadlines. If you wait too long to file your lawsuit, you may lose out on your right to compensation. In most cases, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the slip and fall.
However, you should never wait that long to consult with a lawyer. When you meet with an injury attorney, they can help you identify and preserve valuable evidence, such as surveillance footage, that can strengthen your claims. Unless you act quickly, the store may destroy this irreplaceable information.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After experiencing a painful slip and fall accident, it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can help you diagnose injuries you might not even know you have, and help treat them before they get worse. Common injuries after a slip and fall include:
- Sprained wrists and ankles
- Knee damage, such as a torn meniscus or ligament
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and other soft tissue injuries
Additionally, the doctors’ medical records will help document your injuries, link them to the fall, and may serve as valuable evidence during a lawsuit.
After going to the doctor, the insurance company or the person responsible for your fall may refuse to take responsibility for your injuries. When you’re suffering because of someone else’s negligent actions, you deserve to understand your options. When you’re stuck with pain and medical bills, and you aren’t sure where to go next, don’t wait to call the Andy Citrin team.
As experienced slip and fall injury attorneys, we can efficiently assess the situation, preserve evidence that would otherwise disappear, and help you understand who is responsible for your pain.
Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident? Don’t Wait to Call Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love is in pain after slipping and falling, don’t wait! The Andy Citrin team is ready to listen to your story and help you understand your options. We’re happy to meet with you in a free, no-risk consultation; we’ll even meet you in your home if that’s easiest for you. Simply give our office a call at 251-888-8888, or fill out our easy online contact form to schedule your consolation today.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.