A slip and fall might occur going about your daily life at work, at home, at school, or about anywhere you can imagine. Older adults are especially at risk for a slip and fall accident and injuries. In fact, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) estimates that fall-related injuries among those over age 65 account for about 7,000 hospital stays and 25,000 emergency department visits in South Carolina each year. Fortunately, not all slip and fall injuries result in hospitalization or injury, and not all require the consult of an attorney. Yet, when someone sustains a severe injury from a slip and fall accident that was caused by a property owner’s failure to maintain a safe environment for visitors, victims need the expertise of seasoned slip and fall attorney.
If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident in the Florence area, you might be eligible for compensation related to losses caused by your injury if a South Carolina court returns a verdict in your favor in civil court. Under South Carolina law, you have three years bring suit against a property owner from the date of your slip and fall accident. Contact the skilled legal team at Hughey Law at (843) 881-8644 for a free case review to discuss your slip and fall accident and injuries and determine the best way forward for your situation.
Our Law Firm’s Results in Slip and Fall Accident Cases
The legal team at Hughey Law Firm has vast experience representing personal injury victims, including those who were injured in slip and fall accidents. Recent case results range from a $215,000 settlement for a client who needed surgery after a fall at a nursing home, to well over $400,000 for a client who fell at a restaurant and another who slipped and broke an ankle. These are only examples of past results, and cannot guarantee results for any particular case; nonetheless, the attorneys at Hughey Law Firm will carefully evaluate your case and fight for the best outcome for your slip and fall accident.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Many scenarios might lead to an unintentional fall that causes injury, but slip and falls typically include a victim losing their balance on a slippery or uneven surface or tripping over a hazard that results in a fall. Here are some of the common hazards that might cause a slip and fall accident:
- Slippery floors from wet or dry spillage or product use such as water, cleaning products, oil, grease, good, granular substances, sawdust, and more;
- Heavily polished floors, especially marble, wood, and tile;
- Uncleared or falling debris;
- Malfunctioning escalators;
- Old stairways with rotting or broken steps and handrails;
- Broken floorboards; and
- Chipped or broken tiles.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall victims might suffer a wide range of injuries that vary in severity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 800,000 per year end up in the hospital as a result of a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common slip and fall injuries include:
- Fractured or broken ankles, legs, and hips;
- Fractured or broken arms and wrists;
- Soft tissue damage including sprains, strains, bruising and more;
- Head traumas, most often traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that range from mild concussions to severe TBIs that cause lifelong disability or death; and
- Mental trauma from falling, especially common in older adults.
Seeking Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident in Florence
Victims who slip and fall an another party’s property and sustain injury can seek damages in civil court under South Carolina law. If the court finds that the landowner’s negligence caused the accident and injury, you might be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses including ambulance rides, emergency room visits, hospital stays, radiology, surgery, and more
- Future medical expenses including costs for long-term care for a permanent disability and rehabilitation costs such as physical therapy for injuries that require multiple surgeries and or a long recovery time.
- Lost wages for time away from work caused by your slip and fall accident
- Lost earning capacity when a permanent disability prevents you from returning to your job
- Non-economic costs such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring and disfigurement, and more
Common Defense Strategies for Property Owners
When an individual property owner or business is named in a personal injury suit, they likely want to take every opportunity they can to avoid paying damages; this also includes insurance companies names in the suit. Often, defense strategies include claiming that the plaintiff is responsible for their injuries. South Carolina courts apply a modified comparative negligence rule to personal injury cases, meaning the court assigns a percentage blame to each party in the suit if they find the property owner was negligent. The court reduces damages by that percentage; if the defendant isn’t at least 50 percent at fault for injuries, South Carolina law bars the plaintiff from recovering damages.
Comparative negligence offers significant motivation for the defense to shift the blame to the plaintiff. Here are some of the more common tactics they might use to reduce or avoid liability:
- Trespassing. A property owner has no duty of care, nor are they liable for injury when someone trespasses on their property unless they intentionally harm someone. Proving that you trespassed jeopardizes the viability of your case and the likelihood that you will recover damages for your injuries. They might also claim that you had permission to be on the property, but you were in a prohibited area.
- Ignoring posted signs and/or verbal warnings. The property owner is require to warn visitors of potential dangers. They might claim that they warned you of the hazard, but you ignored the warning.
- Distracted visitor. The defense might argue that you were busy on your cell phone, chatting with someone next to you, eating, or participating in some other distracting behavior that caused you to miss the obvious danger.
Contact a Skilled Slip and Fall Attorney in Florence
An experienced slip and fall injury lawyer will advocate for you to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, including fighting against defense tactics to avoid liability. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in or near Florence, contact Hughey Law Firm online or call at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our skilled slip and fall attorneys.