“Slip and Fall” is a term used to describe a type of claim against a property owner for negligently up keeping the premises of his property. The courts in Alabama have laid out the general law for slip and fall cases in stating, “[t]he storekeeper is not an insurer of the safety of his customers, but rather is liable only if he negligently fails to exercise reasonable care to maintain the premises of the store in a reasonably safe condition.” Strahsburg v. Winn-Dixie Montgormery, Inc., 601 So.2d 916, 917-18 (Ala. 1992) (citing Cox v. Western Supermarkets, Inc., 557 So.2d 831, 832 (Ala.1989)).
Thus, it is the store owner’s or any property owner’s responsibility to maintain his premises such that a reasonable person would not be harmed while on the premises of that property. For example, a slip and fall could occur from when a person travels over an area on the property owner’s land where there is a wet floor, poor lighting, torn carpeting, or cracked flooring. If the person sustains an injury while slipping or falling over this kind of hazard, they must prove that the property owner was negligent in the maintenance of the property to be able to collect on the claim.
The main thing to take away from this article is that a property owner will only be liable to the person who is harmed on his property if he is a part of the fault for the injury. If the owner is in no way at fault for the injury, then he will not be liable. However, an owner will almost certainly be liable for any injury sustained on his land if he created a hazardous situation on his property by negligently maintaining it.
This article is meant to be an overview of slip and fall cases and premises liability law. If you have a more specific question, please contact the attorneys at the Nomberg Law Firm (205) 930-6900 or contact us here.
The Nomberg Law Firm is based in Birmingham, Alabama, specializing in workers’ compensation, personal injury and Social Security disability.