Protecting Your Rights After a Serious Slip and Fall Accident
Most 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.
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:
- Fractured hands or arms
- Broken hips
- Bruised or fractured tailbones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Shoulder dislocations
- Knee dislocations
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Sprains or strains
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?
As 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?
There 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.
“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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