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Birmingham Slip and Fall Lawyer

If a person slips and falls while on the property of another, it is easy to assume that the property owner is legally responsible for any injury that may occur. However, Alabama law is more nuanced than this.

A number of factors need to be considered including: why the visitor was on the property, whether the owner knew of the hazardous condition, and whether the owner had a chance to fix the problem before the injury occurred.

Additionally, Alabama has adopted the concept of contributory negligence, making it more difficult for plaintiffs to succeed in slip and fall cases.

Birmingham slip and fall lawyers work with clients who have been injured while on the property of another to fight for the fair compensation that they deserve. To begin the claims process and discuss your case, consult with a Birmingham accident attorney today.

Slip and Fall Laws in Alabama

Consider an example where a convenience store does not clean up a spill in the aisle and the plaintiff slips and breaks their leg.

Alabama has created a more stringent standard for a plaintiff to prevail in this sort of case. Whereas many states require only that the plaintiff demonstrates the traditional elements of negligence, Alabama has created an additional hurdle.

Here, the plaintiff or their Birmingham slip and fall lawyer must make a prima facie, or first impression, case that the foreign substance caused the fall and that the owner had notice, or should have had notice, that the substance was on the floor.

Continuing with the convenience store example, the plaintiff must show the court that the spill caused the fall and that the store knew, or should have known about it prior to the fall happening.

One other thing that needs to be kept in mind when considering slip and fall cases is why the plaintiff was on the property, to begin with. When a person enters the property of another they are placed into one of three categories:

  1. Business Invitee – This common category covers all customers of shops and restaurants. Essentially, any time a business opens its doors to customers, those customers are business invitees. Property owners have a duty to ensure that business invitees are warned of any unsafe conditions, and also have a duty to keep the property in a safe condition.
  2. Licensee – Licensees are people invited onto private property for a non-business purpose. This generally concerns inviting visitors to one’s house. Licensees must be protected from any hazards that the owner knows about. This is a less strict standard than that for business invitees.
  3. Trespasser – Trespassers are any people on private property without the owner’s permission. In most cases, a landowner need only avoid intentionally injuring trespassers, though the rule changes if the trespassers are children.

In the example of the convenience store, the customer who fell and broke their leg is clearly a business invitee. Therefore, the store had a duty to ensure that the customer was warned of any hazard. Helpful information, in this case, could include whether the spill was identified or cordoned off in any way.

Statute of Limitations in Slip and Fall Cases

One further aspect of premises liability law to consider is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations can be viewed as a time limit for a plaintiff to come forward and should be taken into account by a Birmingham slip and fall lawyer.

Alabama Code Title 6-2-38 states that a complaint alleging personal injury must be filed within two years of the accident. While this can seem like a long time, medical treatment and negotiations with insurance companies can often stretch for months or even years.

It is important to keep in mind that Alabama has adopted the concept of contributory negligence. Under Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure 8(c), the defendant can utilize the affirmative defense at trial that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident.

For example, even if the convenience store did not cordon off the spill in any way, if the plaintiff was running down the aisle when they slipped, a jury might find that the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries and bar recovery.

How a Birmingham Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help

If you have been injured after falling on another person’s property, lawyers are here to help. We will examine your case to determine what protections you had when you visited that property and to evaluate if the property owner breached their duty to keep you safe.

Insurance companies often try to bully plaintiffs by minimizing their injuries or making them think that the accident was their fault, and not the property owner’s.

We will talk to the insurance company on your behalf. If a settlement cannot be reached, our litigators will speak for you at court to convince the jury that you are entitled to fair compensation. Time is of the essence, contact our firm’s Birmingham slip and fall lawyers today.