The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports several million injuries from unintentional falls each year, including more than 30,000 fatalities. Slip and falls might occur at home, at work, or while going about day-to-day errands and activities. Not all slip and fall injuries are serious and require legal action, but injuries that have caused someone to incur losses and occurred on another party’s property require the guidance of an experienced slip and fall attorney.
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, you might be eligible to recover damages related to your injury if a South Carolina court finds the property owner breached a duty of care to you. South Carolina law provides a three-year statute of limitations to take legal action from the date of injury, so it may be important to contact a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Call (843) 881-8644 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your injuries with one of the skilled slip and fall lawyers at Hughey Law Firm in Greenville.
Hughey Law Firm’s Results in Slip and Fall Injury Cases
The attorneys at Hughey Law Firm have extensive experience negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury lawsuits, including those that involve slip and fall accidents. Recent cases include recovering almost $500,000 for a client who suffered falls at a nursing home, $435,000 for a client who fell at a restaurant because of a rolled up floor mat, $425,000 for a client who slipped and broke an ankle, $415,000 for a client who fell at a church, and $375,000 for a client who fell on a poorly maintained section of a sidewalk. These are examples of past cases and do not guarantee results in any particular case, but the legal team at Hughey Law Firm will diligently pursue the best outcome for the individual circumstances of your slip and fall accident.
Slip and Fall Accidents Aren’t Just About “Slipping”
A wide variety of unintentional falls might result in injury, but slip and falls usually include a victim losing their balance and falls. Yes, that might mean slipping on a wet floor or sidewalk, but it can also include tripping over an unexpected obstruction or losing your balance because of a loose railing or banister. Here are some of the more common culprits that can lead to a slip and fall accident and injury:
- Flooring surfaces that are slippery from wet or dry spills, cleaning products, waxing, or rain
- Snow and ice that hasn’t been removed from sidewalks and parking lots
- Poorly maintained walkways and sidewalks
- Uneven or broken steps, floorboards, and flooring tiles
- Dilapidated stairways
- Falling debris
Slip and Fall Injuries Can Be Serious, Life Threatening
Slip and fall accidents might result in a wide range of injuries, from bumps and bruises to life-threatening conditions. The CDC reports that more than 800,000 people per year are hospitalized for slip and fall accidents, most of which include a head injury or hip fracture. Some of the most common, severe injuries that result from falls include:
- Fractured or broken bones, especially ankles, legs, and hips
- Fractured or broken wrists and arms when victims attempt to break their fall
- Head injuries that might result in traumatic brain injuries, especially when a victim falls backward
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue damage
- Psychological trauma of a fall that results in the fear of being active, especially common in elders
Damages Potentially Available For a Slip and Fall Injury
Under South Carolina law, when a person slips and falls on another party’s property and the court finds the property owner responsible, victims might be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical costs including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, doctor visits, X-rays, prescription medication, and more
- Rehabilitation costs for injuries that have a long recovery time include visits to a physical therapist and assistive devices such as canes or walkers
- Future medical costs in the event of a permanent disability
- Lost wages for time missed from work as a result of the slip and fall accident injury
- Loss of earning capacity in the event of a long-term disability that prohibits the victim from returning to work or forces a career change
- Pain and suffering
Slip and Fall Cases Are Never a Slam Dunk
Property owners and their commercial or homeowners’ insurance carriers who are named in a slip and fall accident lawsuit typically want to avoid paying claims or damages. A common strategy they employ is to shift fault for the accident and injury to the victim. South Carolina is a so-called “modified comparative negligence” state, which means the court assigns a portion of fault to each party potentially responsible for an injury. The court reduces damages based on the percentage that a claimant is found to be responsible for his or her own injuries. If the injured party is more than 50 percent at fault, South Carolina law prohibits that party from recovering any compensation.
This modified comparative negligence rule gives defendants and their insurance companies an incentive to blame the victim, which they might try to do in one or more of the following ways:
- Claiming that you were trespassing on the property. Property owners may not trap or intentionally harm a trespasser, but they have no legal obligation under South Carolina law to protect a trespasser from injury.
- Claiming that you ignored warnings. The hazard that led to your accident was obvious; a reasonable person would have seen it and avoided it. The defense might also claim they had explicit warning signs posted that you ignored.
- You were distracted while walking. You were talking to someone next to you, chatting on your cell phone, or texting, which distracted you so you didn’t see the warnings or the obvious hazard.
Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer in Greenville
An experienced slip and fall accident attorney understands and anticipates the strategies and tactics the defense might use to avoid compensating you fairly and completely for your injuries. If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident in the Greenville area, contact the legal team at Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the best path forward for your situation.