January 30, 2019

I Slipped and Fell at a Restaurant. Am I Entitled to Compensation?

Slip and fall accidents are common and sometimes they result in injuries. They may be due to uneven floors, loose carpets or badly maintained parking lots. In the case of restaurants, spilled drinks and food pose additional hazards. If you slipped, fell and suffered an injury while out to lunch or dinner, you may want to seek compensation. Since these cases can be quite complex, you will need a personal injury lawyer on your side.

Damages You Can Seek after a Slip and Fall with the Help of an Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer

Each case is different but there are some common damages to which you may be entitled.

Medical Expenses

One of the first things you should do after a fall is to seek medical attention. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may need medication, hospitalization, surgery or ongoing physical therapy. The at-fault party should have to compensate you for all current and future costs relating to the accident. You will need to support your claim with medical records, prescriptions, and other evidence.

Pain and Suffering

If your injuries are severe, you may also be able to claim pain and suffering damages. These cover physical pain and mental anguish suffered as a result of the fall. Pain and suffering include anxiety, sleep problems, embarrassment, and shock. If you were left disabled or disfigured, you are more likely to be able to get this type of compensation. A personal statement on how you’ve suffered and testimony from those close to you may support your claim.

Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity

If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. You will have to present evidence of your previous earnings and how long you have been unable to work. If you can no longer do the work you used to, you may get damages for lost earning capacity. An expert will have to testify to your inability to resume your previous duties. Compensation may take the form of a lump sum payment or payment for training in another field.

Key Considerations Relating to Slip and Fall

Let’s say you stepped in a puddle at a restaurant, slipped and fell, and broke your hand. You may think this is a straightforward case. However, like many other personal injury cases, slip and fall claims hinge on negligence. You will need to prove that:

  • The restaurant had a duty of care towards you
  • The restaurant breached that duty
  • That breach caused you to be injured
  • You actually suffered harm

As part of this you will need to show the restaurant:

  • Knew or should have known about the hazard
  • Failed to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents

Suppose a waiter spilled a drink. The puddle was left on the floor for hours and no one placed a caution sign. Even if you were hurt, the restaurant may still try to deny liability. Alabama follows the contributory negligence rule in personal injury cases. If you are found to have contributed to your fall in any way, you can’t claim any compensation. This means the restaurant may seek to blame you for the accident.

They may argue that you weren’t looking to see where you were going. Another defense may be that you went into an area of the property where guests aren’t expected to go. The restaurant may even argue that it should have been obvious that the floor was wet. You may still be able to get them to take responsibility. However, you will need a personal injury lawyer to help you. If negotiation doesn’t work, you will have to file a lawsuit.

If you want to take the matter to court, you will need to do so within the statute of limitations. In Alabama, you have two years following the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This is set out under the Code of Alabama section 6-2-38 which covers personal injuries. You, therefore, should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your fall. It takes time to gather evidence and attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Contact a Personal Injury Accident Lawyer for Assistance Today

Reach out to an Alabama personal injury attorney at The Vance Law Firm Today. You deserve to be compensated if someone’s negligence caused you to be injured. It may be difficult to get the restaurant to accept liability. However, we have lots of experience with cases like these. We are ready to assist you in getting the money you need to meet your medical expenses. Set up a consultation with us today!

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