Protecting Your Rights After a Serious Slip and Fall Accident

Charleston Slip and Fall LawyersMost people have slipped and fallen at some point in their lives. Often, people can escape falls with little more than bruised egos, but in some instances falling can produce quite serious injuries. In fact, millions of persons sustain injuries in falls and tens of thousands even die in falls each year in the United States. You may not imagine the seriousness of a slip and fall accident until it happens to you.

At the Hughey Law Firm, our skilled personal injury attorneys represent the rights of clients who suffer serious injuries in slips and falls. We have witnessed how significantly a slip and fall accident can damage your life and we are here to help. If you want to discuss a possible legal claim after a slip and fall, please contact us for a free consultation today.

Charleston Slip and Fall Guide

Common Injuries from Slips and Falls

When you slip, you may fall forward, backward, or to one side or the other. Not only can you suffer traumatic injuries from hitting objects or the ground but you may also sustain soft tissue injuries from twisting or stretching certain parts of the body as you try to avoid a fall. The following are some of the more common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents:

Many slip and fall injuries need emergency medical attention due to pain and the inability to use the injured body part. Always have a doctor diagnose you as soon as possible, whether in an emergency department or urgent care, and begin a treatment plan immediately to enhance your recovery. Some injuries may require hospitalization or surgeries while others may require a course of physical therapy to regain movement and strength.

Because older adults face the increased chances of suffering broken hips, falls can particularly concern them. Broken hips often require surgeries, which can always pose added risks for seniors. Many fall victims who break their hips will need to spend extended periods of time in rehabilitation or assisted living facilities until they fully recover.

No matter what type of injury you suffered, a slip and fall can disrupt your life in many ways. Our skilled legal team knows how to identify and protect your legal rights as a slip and fall victim and determine whether you can hold another party liable for your accident.

Who Caused Your Slip and Fall?

Someone else may face responsibility for your injuries and losses if their actions or omissions led to your slip and fall accident. Many slips and falls take place in grocery stores, large retail establishments, or other businesses. These accidents can also take place in parking lots, malls, schools, office buildings, and other properties. If your accident occurred on another party’s property, we will examine the cause of your fall to determine if you can hold the property or business owner liable.

Business and property owners are required to keep their premises safe for customers and other visitors. If dangerous conditions exist and someone falls as a result, a negligent owner can face liability for all of a victim’s losses. A business or property owner’s negligence can cause a slip and fall case in the following ways:

  • Not cleaning up spills or debris in a timely manner
  • Not properly warning customers if a floor is wet
  • Not clearing sleet, ice, or snow
  • Not replacing or fixing overly worn and slippery carpets or floors
  • Not installing non-slip flooring on steps or ramps

Many businesses will claim they did not know about the hazards on their properties, and therefore they should not face liability for any falls that result. However, this is only a valid defense in a slip and fall case if the business did not have enough time to discover and address the hazard. Businesses have the duty to regularly inspect their premises to identify when hazards have developed—and if they should have known about a hazard, lack of awareness does not constitute a valid defense. You need an attorney who can demonstrate that a business knew or should have known about the dangerous condition to prove negligence in your clip and fall claim.

Slip and Fall Victims Face Extensive Losses

Knowing your legal rights is important after a slip and fall accident since many victims can incur serious losses. While losses will vary from case to case, the following are some damages that victims often seek in slip and fall claims:

Medical costs – Many injuries require medical treatments, and any treatment can prove expensive in this day and age. Some slip and fall victims suffer severe injuries and need ongoing treatments for months or years. We will help you determine all of your past and future medical expenses.

Lost wages – Injuries can keep you from working for different reasons—whether to receive medical treatments or because your injuries caused impairments that prevent you from performing your job duties. You can seek compensation for all past and future lost income and other benefits.

Intangible losses – Some damages are not based on bills, lost income, or other concrete financial losses. Intangible losses can include pain and suffering, permanent disabilities or disfigurement, lost enjoyment of life, and more.

Other Slip and Fall Accident Questions:

What steps should I take after a slip and fall accident?

Charleston Slip and Fall Injury Hughey Law FirmAs after any type of accident, you should seek medical attention if you slip and fall. However, if you are not seriously injured, you should obtain relevant information first, including the names and contact information of any witnesses to your fall. Whenever possible, you should also document the area where you fell. Signage, lighting, and location are important. Additionally, if you fell on an uneven surface, a wet surface, or on a staircase, you should take photographs of anything that could have potentially caused your fall. Once you have documented everything and have sought medical attention, you should contact a personal injury attorney to review your case.

Whom can I hold liable for a slip and fall accident?

Liability may be assigned to anyone who was responsible for fixing a dangerous condition that caused the fall. Homeowners can be liable if someone falls on their property, and a store owner may be liable if someone falls in their store. Victims who are injured at an office building may also hold the property owner, the person renting the property, and the person responsible for maintaining the property liable for an injury they suffered in a slip and fall accident. Victims should speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney to make sure the person or persons responsible for the injuries they suffered are held accountable.

What must I prove to file a successful slip and fall claim?

As with any type of accident where another person is negligent, the burden to prove negligence is important. Unlike in an auto accident, for instance, a slip and fall accident claim can be extremely complicated because you must prove the property owner had prior knowledge of the hazard and had time to reasonably address the hazard. This is to avoid holding the property owner accountable for instances where a “new” hazard causes an injury, such as if, for example, someone drops a bottle of pickles in a supermarket and the person behind them slips in the juice.

A property owner may also avoid liability if they warn visitors of a hazard if they know about it but have not had the opportunity to fix it. The burden is typically on the victim to prove the property owner knew about the hazard, had time to properly repair the hazard, or failed to warn guests to the property of the hazard.

Are there time limits on filing a slip and fall claim?

Yes. South Carolina, like most states, has a statute of limitations that provides a timeframe in which a victim may file a civil lawsuit. In very rare instances, the court may deem the time frame inapplicable in a personal injury case involving a slip and fall accident. However, the typical statute of limitations is three years. The three years begins on the date the accident occurred.

What is the typical dollar value of a slip and fall accident?

Nate HugheyThere is no typical value of a slip and fall accident lawsuit. The court will consider numerous factors, including the extent of the victim’s injuries, the medical care they may require after the accident, the length of time they may be out of work, and what type of ongoing help they may need after an accident to fully recover. Anyone who believes they would not have been injured if it weren’t for someone else’s negligence should seek the advice of a skilled slip and fall attorney who has experience with premises liability cases.

Discuss Your Accident and Injuries With a South Carolina Slip and Fall Lawyer Today

The Charleston slip and fall attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm have seen the serious injuries that slip and fall accidents can cause. We will do everything in our power to obtain the full compensation you deserve in the most efficient manner possible. We can handle insurance claims, personal injury lawsuits, and every aspect of a legal claim. Consultations are free, so please do not wait to call (843) 881-8644 or contact us online today for more information.

Client Testimonial

“Thank you Hughey Law Firm! It was a pleasure to work with you on my case! From the beginning, every contact I had with your firm was professional, kind, helpful, and painless! I always felt kept in the loop, and important to you as a client. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney with integrity, I would highly recommend Hughey Law Firm!”

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Charleston Slip & Fall Accident

Did you suffer a slip and fall accident in Charleston? If so, you may find yourself with a lot of questions about your legal right to compensation. Take a look at the FAQ below to learn more, or contact an experienced Charleston slip and fall attorney to learn more about recovery from your Charleston slip and fall accident and your right to compensation.

You slipped and fell while visiting a Charleston property. Your medical bills have piled up, and you have considerable financial challenges that seem to continue to grow. How long should you expect it to take to settle your claim?

Talk to your attorney about the timeline you should expect in your slip and fall accident claim. Most of the time, you will not see a fast resolution to your claim. You should plan for it to take some time, based on these considerations.

What injuries did you suffer? Serious injuries may mean a long recovery period, including substantial time in the hospital. Your doctors may not even issue a prediction regarding how much you will eventually recover from your injuries until several months down the line.

Your attorney may recommend waiting until you have a clear timeline for your recovery and a good idea of what your eventual prognosis will look like before proceeding with your slip and fall accident claim, since your injuries and your medical costs have a heavy influence on the compensation you can recover.

How complex is your accident? Your attorney and the liable party’s insurance company will both want time to investigate the accident and discover what elements led to it. In a more complex accident scenario, it may take longer to investigate the accident and get a good idea of exactly what occurred.

How much do you have to negotiate? Negotiation also takes time. You may need to go through several rounds of negotiations before you and the insurance company agree to the compensation you recover. The more you must negotiate, the longer it may take to resolve your claim.

You may have many medical bills with which to contend after your Charleston slip and fall accident. Who has to pay for them? Your doctors expect payment for the services rendered after your accident, from the immediate cost of emergency care to the ongoing costs associated with rehabilitation after your accident.

As the injured party, you will need to make plans to pay those bills, whether that means utilizing your health insurance or setting up a payment plan to help you take care of those bills.

A slip and fall accident claim can make it easier for you to pay those bills. The party liable for your injuries will not pay your bills directly. Instead, you will receive compensation for the financial losses you have faced due to your injuries, including compensation for your medical costs and your lost wages.

While those funds may not cover the full amount of all your medical bills, they can provide much-needed compensation that can make it easier for you to pay those bills.

Always have a lawyer look at any settlement offer related to your injuries before you take any further action with it. A settlement offer may look great on the surface. You may even think that accepting the offer quickly will help get the funds you need in your hands faster, which could seem vital in the immediate aftermath of a severe accident.

The insurance company, however, may not have your best interests at heart as it issues that settlement. In many cases, insurance companies may actually try to minimize the compensation they have to pay out following an accident, including a Charleston slip and fall.

Minimizing the payout starts with that initial settlement offer. Many insurance companies will send out a low-ball offer: one that fails to take the compensation you really deserve for those injuries into consideration.

Without a clear idea of how much compensation you should really expect for your injuries, you might accept that offer before you have a chance to consider it further. If you accept the offer, it may limit the compensation you can eventually recover and leave you without the compensation you really need for your injuries.

A lawyer can help review that settlement offer, calculate the compensation you really deserve, and give you a better idea of whether you should continue to negotiate or accept the offer.

A lawyer can also offer a lot of other advantages to your claim.

A lawyer will investigate all the elements of your claim. Did the insurance company try to claim that you caused the accident through unsafe behavior or entering an area you should not have entered? Did the insurance company pressure you to admit that your actions may have contributed to the accident?

An attorney can investigate your claim and give you a better idea of who may have caused or contributed to your accident, which can help prove your innocence and limit the liability you may face for your slip and fall accident injuries.

Furthermore, a thorough investigation may actually uncover another party who shares liability for the accident, which may increase the compensation you can recover.

A lawyer will negotiate for you. Dealing with the insurance company does not leave many people happy with the experience. In fact, the insurance company may put pressure on you, try to trip you up, or just in general cause unnecessary stress that you certainly do not need while recovering from your injuries.

An attorney can take over those interactions for you, which means you will not have to worry about that pressure or about inadvertently limiting the compensation you can recover.

You suffered injuries in a Charleston slip and fall accident. What next? The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a slip and fall accident can go a long way toward providing both physical and financial protection following your injury.

Report your injury to the premises owner. If you suffered injuries at a business, the business may have a specific procedure it needs to go through to create a record of the accident. The record will serve as evidence of when the accident took place, which can later make it easy for you to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.

Create your own record of the accident. As soon as possible after your accident, take the time to sit down and create a record of the accident. You may want to take photos of the accident scene, including any clear signs of what led to your fall. If, for example, you suffered injuries when the stairs down to the beach collapsed beneath you, you might want to snap photos of the stairs. Ask for contact information from any witnesses to the accident.

As soon as you can, write down or record your account of what happened. Your memory may prove clearer in the immediate aftermath of the accident, which can make it easier for you to create an accurate view of exactly what led to your accident and your injuries.

Seek medical attention. Charleston offers several opportunities to seek medical attention, including MEDcare Urgent Care, Health First Urgent Care, and Access Urgent as well as Roper Hospital, MUSC Health University Medical Center, and a Children’s Hospital, where children can receive treatment for serious injuries. If you feel any pain or see any sign of injury after a fall, or if you have underlying health conditions that could make a fall more dangerous to you, always seek medical attention immediately.

Your doctor may uncover injuries that you did not even recognize in the immediate aftermath of the accident, including injuries like broken bones or even traumatic brain injury. Failure to seek treatment for those injuries could worsen your symptoms and leave you with more severe long-term impacts than you initially anticipated.

Contact an attorney. Do not try to handle a Charleston slip and fall accident claim on your own. Instead, get in touch with an experienced Charleston premises liability attorney. An attorney can help you decide on your next steps, give you vital advice, and make it easier for you to recover the compensation you deserve.

You visited a friend’s property, only to discover that your friend did not take care of necessary maintenance on the stairs. The stairs broke, sending you tumbling and resulting in a herniated disc in your back, broken bones, or even traumatic brain injury.

Do you have the right to seek compensation for those injuries?

You might know that if you suffered serious injuries while visiting a publicly accessible location, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. Most businesses carry insurance that will protect visitors who may sustain serious injuries as a result of the negligence of a property owner.

Private homeowners do not carry the same type of insurance as business owners. They do, however, frequently carry homeowner’s insurance, which can help provide a vital layer of protection to anyone who suffers serious injuries on that property.

Sometimes, if you suffer injuries on a friend’s property, that friend may try to convince you not to report the accident or file a personal injury claim. While a claim may make your friend’s homeowner’s insurance policy increase in cost in the future, that claim can also provide you with vitally-needed compensation that can help you recover from your slip and fall accident injuries and cover the financial losses you faced due to your injuries. Contact an attorney to learn more about how you should proceed with your claim.

Charleston’s many attractions draw families from all over. Each year, it sees more than seven-million visitors who come to check out the beaches, parks, and amazing arts and culture in the area.

That wide range of facilities, however, must properly maintain their properties to reduce accident risk and keep visitors to those properties as safe as possible.

Accidents can occur anywhere, but when businesses fail to properly maintain their facilities, it can raise the risk of accidents that may include serious slip and fall injuries.

  • Hotels. Whether you plan to spend time hanging out by the pool or you want to take a walk down to a local beach using the walkways provided by the hotel, you expect to have a safe experience in your hotel room. Improper maintenance, from damaged walkways to slick flooring in the pool area, can substantially increase your risk of suffering injuries in a slip and fall accident.
  • Local Attractions. Charleston has museums, gardens, theaters, farmers markets, and even aquariums: an incredible range of activities that act as a steady draw for residents and visitors alike. While those attractions may make for a great day, if they fail to properly maintain their buildings and the areas in front of them, they can pose a slip and fall hazard to visitors in the area.
  • Businesses. Your visit to Charleston might include shopping at a range of local stores. As a visitor or resident, you rely on those stores to provide you with a safe experience, including cleaning up wet flooring before it poses a serious fall hazard. Unfortunately, Charleston businesses do not always take the steps they must take to provide a safe experience.