Help is Only a Heartbeat Away logo with McPhillips Shinbaum Attorneys

What Are My Rights if I am Injured in a Store?

A customer at a fast food restaurant in Hawaii was awarded damages worth $5.67 million after she slipped on the floor of the restaurant. At the time of her accident, Beverly Munguia was sitting at a table enjoying a meal with several family members at a branch of McDonald’s in Maui when she stood up to get a drink. As she placed her left foot on the floor to walk, she slipped on a wet spot and lost her footing, landing on her buttocks. She immediately felt severe pain and a trip to the hospital revealed she sustained a fracture in her lower back. She underwent surgery but is now unable to walk normally and is largely confined to a wheelchair. Mrs. Munguia sued the restaurant owner for negligence in failing to take reasonable action to discover and remove the slippery spot.

When can I sue under premises liability law?

If you are injured on business premises in Alabama under certain conditions, you may be able to recover damages for negligence. Premises liability law holds property owners and managers responsible for keeping premises safe and free from hazards and for warning the public of potential dangers. Whether you can file a lawsuit against the occupier depends on the circumstances of your injury. In general, you can file a premises liability lawsuit if you:

  • Slipped or tripped due to a foreign substance on the premises
  • Slipped or tripped due to the defective condition of the premises
  • Were injured by spilled or falling merchandise
  • Were attacked by a person due to lack of proper security on the premises

In all three cases, you need to be able to show that the injury was caused by the dangerous or defective condition of the premises. In cases of slipping on a foreign substance, like what happened to Mrs. Munguia, you also need to demonstrate that the store either knew of the dangerous condition or would have known had they taken reasonable action. The store could have a viable defense if the dangerous condition was open and obvious and you were injured because you did not take reasonable care.

Get a fair settlement

Your injuries could affect you for the rest of your life. Arrange a consultation with a compassionate personal injury lawyer to learn more about your rights under Alabama law.