Slip-and-fall accidents always happen unexpectedly. While some of them seem minor, many lead to serious injuries. Slip-and-falls account for over a million emergency room visits every year.
If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident caused by someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. From medical bills to pain and suffering, the at-fault party could cover your damages. A Dothan slip-and-fall accident attorney from Morris Bart can review your case and evaluate your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
When you slip and fall, the responsibility isn’t always obvious. If you slipped on spilled milk in a grocery store, is the owner always liable? What if a customer’s kid spilled the milk a couple of seconds before you stepped on it?
The responsible parties may be:
- Commercial property owner – if you can prove that the store or hotel owner knew (or should have known) about the slip-and-fall hazard but didn’t do anything to prevent the accident, they may be held liable.
- Residential property owner – if you can demonstrate that the property owner knew (or should have known) about the hazard but didn’t warn you about it or failed to fix it, they could be liable for the incident.
- Government – finding the government liable if the accident occurred on their property can be hard since it usually has some type of immunity to such claims. The possibility of recovering damages may depend on what type of government entity (local, county, state) you are trying to sue.
Determining responsibility is a big part of building a strong slip-and-fall accident case. While the evidence may seem straightforward at first, the circumstances of the fall could make it hard to prove premises liability.
One of the highly important factors that contribute to liability is the person’s right to be in a place where the fall occurred. If the property owner can prove that the person was trespassing, both insurance companies and courts are likely to dismiss the case.
Contributory Negligence in a Slip-and-Fall Case
Sometimes, the person who slipped and fell may be partially responsible for the accident. For example, it could happen if you:
- Ignore the signs warning you about a spill.
- Wear shoes that are inappropriate for the circumstance.
- Don’t use the available guardrails to avoid a fall on steep stairs.
Alabama is a contributory negligence state. It means that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident, you can’t recover damages. That’s why the defendant’s legal team is likely to try and prove your partial fault.
To avoid this issue, you may want to consider hiring a slip-and-fall attorney. They can help prove the defendant’s 100% liability.
For a free legal consultation with a Slip and Fall Accident lawyer serving Dothan, call 800-537-8185
Who Pays for My Slip-and-Fall Damages?
If you can prove premises liability, you are likely to receive a settlement from:
- Commercial property – general liability insurance, premises liability insurance.
- Residential property – homeowners’ insurance.
- Government property – government entity (the majority of government entities impose caps on damage payouts).
In case the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, or the coverage is too small to compensate your damages, you could file a lawsuit against the property owner personally.
How Much Money Can I Recover in a Slip-and-Fall Accident Case?
The size of slip-and-fall settlements varies dramatically. You could recover anywhere from $10,000 to $1 million and beyond. The amount you may be entitled to depends on many factors including:
- The extent of your injuries – for example, treatment for a traumatic brain injury is much more expensive than treatment for a broken bone.
- Evidence quality – the more evidence you can provide to prove the premise liability, the easier it will be to make your case.
- Eyewitness testimony – eyewitness testimonies can be crucial to proving that you aren’t partially liable for the accident.
- Expert witness testimonies – expert witnesses can testify to the extent of your injuries and emotional trauma. This is essential to collecting compensation for damages that you may continue experiencing in the future.
One of the key factors that affects the settlement amount is your legal expertise. While you can be compensated without an attorney’s assistance, the size of the settlement is likely to be lower than you hope for. An experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney can make sure you don’t make any legal mistakes and fight for the money you deserve.
When Should I Contact a Dothan Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney?
The earlier a slip-and-fall accident lawyer in Dothan can start working on your case, the more likely you are to win it. With time, eyewitnesses begin to forget accident circumstances while some evidence fades. This makes investigating liability harder.
If you didn’t contact an attorney right after the accident, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of winning the case. An experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney in Dothan can still build it for you. However, waiting could make it harder.
The Statute of Limitations in Dothan
One of the reasons to contact a lawyer as soon after the accident as possible is to file a claim on time. According to Ala. Code §6-2-38, the statute of limitations for filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit is two years.
If you don’t do it within two years, you may lose your chance of damage recovery. However, there are a few exceptions. If the two years are over, don’t give up on your case just yet. Contact a slip-and-fall lawyer for a consultation.
Call an Experienced Dothan Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney Today
Slip-and-fall accidents could lead to serious injuries that require long-term treatment and recovery. If you were hurt in such an accident, you may need to work with an attorney. Otherwise, it could be hard to recover fair damages, especially while you are busy treating your injuries.
A Dothan slip-and-fall accident attorney from Morris Bart can help you obtain compensation. Call us for a free case evaluation today.
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