Every year, 37.3 million people suffer serious injuries in falls that require medical care. The World Health Organization says these accidents are the second-leading cause of injuries and deaths. WHO researchers discovered most falls are preventable if landowners keep their premises safe. Unfortunately, some don’t maintain their properties to ensure they’re free of hazards. A 52-year-old California resident learned this the hard way.
Chris Goodrum decided to take his dogs for a walk late one May evening. It was almost midnight, and the area was dark. The auto technician decided to visit the 600 Block of East Morris Street. This was a route he’d never visited before. Unfortunately, this decision would cost him.
Goodrum was only a few blocks from home when he tripped and fell hard. On the ground, the Modesto man noticed the deep sidewalk hole for the first time. He didn’t realize that Modesto city workers removed a large concrete segment to dig a hole for a tree. There were no caution signs warning pedestrians of the danger.
Paramedics rushed him to the emergency room. Doctors told Goodrum he broke his ankle. From that moment, his life turned upside down: the auto technician underwent two surgeries to repair the injury, but these procedures did little good. Goodrum could no longer meet the physical demands of the auto shop, so he lost his job. Additionally, his quality of life diminished. He was an active sports enthusiast that loved biking, jogging, and golf. Now, this Modesto resident can no longer do any of his favorite activities he once enjoyed because of his broken ankle.
Goodrum sued the City of Modesto in Stanislaus County Superior Court. The city settled the case in April 2018 for $250,000. Today, Goodrum must still wear an ankle brace. In the future, he will need to undergo a complete ankle replacement surgery.
A trip and fall accident isn’t a minor incident. These traumatic incidents can ruin the lives of victims. Some people suffer catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Other victims must take time off work to recuperate and heal from their trauma. Most must pay mounting medical bills and other costs due to their injury.
Did you suffer severe injuries in a trip and fall accident? Were you hurt due to the negligence of a property owner? Don’t wait. Contact Hughey Law Firm today to schedule a free evaluation. Our Mt. Pleasant trip and fall lawyers will evaluate your claim. We’ll fight to get you justice. You can also reach us at (843) 881-8644.
Hughey Law Firm gets results for our clients. We help clients get the compensation they’re entitled to after a trip and fall case. Our firm has received a 10.0 superb rating from Avvo in personal injury law, and our firm has won over $100 million in judgments and settlements.
Past settlements we’ve received include:
- $350,000 – We helped a client collect damages after a fall due to a slippery stairway with poor lighting.
- $350,000 – Our firm won $350,000 for a client who had a serious fall in a hospital.
- $300,000 – A client that fractured her ankle after slipping on an icy sidewalk at an office received a $300,000 settlement.
- $250,000 – A client suffered a traumatic brain injury at an assisted living facility. We helped the client receive a $250,000 settlement.
Obviously, every case is unique, and past results are no guarantee of outcome in other cases.
What Is a Trip and Fall Accident?
Trip and fall accidents fall under premises liability law. These accidents may occur on private and commercial properties. The owners may not maintain state, local, or federal safety codes. Uneven surfaces and stationary objects on walkways can cause trip and fall accidents. Other causes include open manholes, gaps, and vents. The majority of injuries occur on the front side of a person’s body. This trauma includes but is not limited to:
- Superficial abrasions;
- Cuts and wounds;
- Fractures (arms, wrists, and hands);
- Shoulders and joint dislocations;
- Knee issues;
- Broken bones;
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI);
- Soft tissue injuries; and
Damages Victims May Recover in Trip and Fall Accidents
Injured victims can collect economic and non-economic damages from liable property owners. South Carolina allows eligible plaintiffs to collect the following awards:
- Past and future medical expenses – Healthcare bills can mount after a trip and fall accident. This monetary award will help you pay off hospital expenses.
- Pain and suffering – Plaintiffs can ask for damages that address the physical problems they’ve endured after the accident.
- Lost income – Many people miss work after a fall to recover from their serious injuries. Under the law, you can collect lost wages. South Carolina law requires you to provide pay stubs or tax returns to show how much you’ve earned in the past.
- Lost future wages – Some fall victims can no longer return to their old jobs after suffering fall-related injuries. You can sue for any future earnings you’ve lost due to the accident. You can also ask for the liable party to pay for education to enter a new field.
- Miscellaneous costs – These damages cover any incidental expenses you must pay due to the injury. They can include gas money and other costs.
How Property Owners Try to Reduce Their Liability
Trip-and-fall incidents leave most victims shocked, frightened, and confused. They want immediate medical care for their serious injuries. Unfortunately, most victims should also start by gathering information about the accident. This step will protect them if they need to file a claim.
First, if you’re a trip-and-fall victim, tell the store manager or property owner about the accident. Next, speak to eyewitnesses. Ask for their names and contact information; their critical testimony may help bolster your case. Some stores will ask you to fill out a statement form about the accident. You should only provide basic, factual information. The property owner’s lawyer may scour your statement to find evidence to show you were at fault.
South Carolina uses a comparative negligence system for all personal injury cases. Victims shown to have some fault can have their judgments or settlements lowered. Courts will determine your judgment based on your percentage of fault. Their attorneys and investigators may stop by your hospital room for a visit. They may pretend to care about your best interests. Instead, these professionals will likely gather proof to reduce any damage amounts. Don’t sign anything before hiring your own personal injury legal team. The Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant will defend your interests: tell defendant insurers to speak to your lawyer first.
How Can I Hire a Lawyer?
Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant handles personal injury cases on a contingency basis: this means we only collect our attorney’s fees from any judgment or settlement you win. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
The Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant Trip Can Handle Your Claim
Trip and Fall Victims can hire veteran personal injury attorneys to handle their trip and fall cases today. Contact Hughey Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant to schedule a free consultation at (843) 881-8644, or contact us online.