Slip and fall premises liability claims are among the most frequently seen personal injury cases in South Carolina. However, these claims are not all straightforward and simple as they may seem from the surface. There are plenty of issues that can arise and may be difficult to overcome, depending on the unique variables of the situation.
One of the most common hindrances to such claims is that the victims fail to report the incident and seek treatment right away. This is partially because such falls can be humiliating, and the victim wants to brush it off and move on with life like it didn’t happen. It is also partially because victims may not realize that they have serious injuries until later.
For those who are aware of injuries and who report them after a slip and fall accident, they may think that it’s not worthwhile to pursue a claim or that they won’t be able to prove liability. They may not even realize that someone else is actually responsible for the incident. Some people will start a claim, but will quickly give up when they meet the first obstacle.
Is Someone Else Liable for Your Injuries in a Slip and Fall Accident?
The most important question that we need to answer when it comes to slip and fall accidents in South Carolina is whether or not someone else is liable for the injury. A lot of people who sustain injuries in this way mistakenly believe that it was just bad luck, their own lack of attention, or something that nobody could have prevented. In reality, it is often the direct result of someone else’s negligence. To get an understanding of why this is so, let’s look at some of the most common ways that slip and fall incidents happen:
- Wet floors
- Icy walkways
- Slushy walkways
- Clutter and debris
- Damaged floors
- Oily floors
- Spilled products
- Uneven walkways
- Slippery stairs
Now, let’s look at some of the most common locations for slip and fall accidents:
- Parking lots
If your slip and fall injury occurred in one of these ways and/or in one of these locations, then you might have a claim against someone who was actually responsible for the injury. You might think at first that the ice in the parking lot is a weather issue, something nobody could control. Yet, it might turn out to be a maintenance issue, something that should have been addressed by the staff of the store, restaurant, or other location of the incident.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself After a Slip and Fall Injury
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, then it might just be in your best interests to seek the advice and representation of a South Carolina personal injury attorney. You can get a free consultation, in this way, to establish whether or not you really have a valid claim and how much compensation you might be able to seek in that claim. If you still aren’t sure if it’s worthwhile to pursue the issue, consider the following questions carefully:
- Where were you when you slipped and fell?
- What hazard caused you to slip and fall?
- Could proper action on the part of someone else have prevented the slip and fall?
- Have you had a medical evaluation and are you injured?
- What effects are experiencing from your injuries?
- Do you have medical expenses associated with your injuries?
- Did you have to take time off of work to recover from injuries?
- What does your attorney think?
Where Were You When You Slipped and Fell?
Where you were when you slipped and fell will determine who might be liable for the injuries. If you were in a public place, such as a restaurant or a grocery store, then the business owner might be responsible. If you at someone else’s home, then the homeowner might be responsible. If you were at a hotel or motel, then the owner of this establishment might be responsible. If it happened at work, you might have a workers’ compensation claim.
What Hazard Caused You to Slip and Fall?
The next question to address is what the hazard was that caused you to slip and fall. It may have been ice, slush, water, spilled products, clutter, floor damage, slippery floors or stairs, uneven walkways, etc. In most cases, it will be a hazard that should have been addressed, cleaned up, cleared away, or repaired to prevent such accidents.
Could Proper Action on the Part of Someone Else Have Prevented the Slip and Fall?
In many slip and fall injuries, the fact is that somebody else is negligent because they should have done something to prevent slip and fall accidents. They should have but salt out to clear away the ice. They should have cleaned up the spill. They should have repaired the damaged floors. They should have put up signs warning of the slippery floor. These are just examples of how your slip and fall injury could be attributed to someone else’s negligence in failing to warn of, correct, or eliminate the hazard that caused the accident.
Have You Had a Medical Evaluation and Are You Injured?
It is important to seek a full medical evaluation after any accident that could cause an injury, even if you don’t notice an injury or think your injuries are not severe. In many cases, the injury will present symptoms later, and you’ll wish that you had sought proper medical attention right away. You may experience whiplash symptoms, or you might have bruised or fractured your tailbone. If you hit your head, you might have a concussion.
What Effects Are You Experiencing From Your Injuries?
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might find that your lifestyle is seriously impacted when you cannot manage daily activities, work, drive a car, go shopping, etc.
Do You Have Medical Expenses Associated With Your Injuries?
When your injuries require medical attention, this comes with medical expense. If someone else is liable for your injuries, then you should be able to recover fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, including any prescription medications that you need.
Did You Have To Take Time Off Work To Recover From Injuries?
In cases where your injuries required you to take time off of work to recover, you can recover compensation for lost wages in a personal injury claim. You have to prove liability, the value of your wages, the time you spent away from work, and the medical need to miss work.
What Does Your Attorney Think?
With all of these questions in mind and having answered them to the best of your ability, you’ll want to seek the advice of a skilled South Carolina personal injury lawyer to learn more about the strength of your case, the value of your claim, and the steps ahead of you. Call the David Aylor Law Offices to schedule your free consultation today.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.