South Carolina Slip-and-Fall
Everyone slips and falls occasionally, but there are certain circumstances when you will want to take legal action. If the fall led to injuries that require medical attention and occurred on someone else's property due to their lack of care or maintenance, you may have a case against the owner.
If you were injured in a Charleston, South Carolina slip and fall accident that may have been the result of someone else's negligence, the Hopkins Law Firm can help. Read on to find out how our years of experience can get you the compensation you deserve.
What are Slip and Fall Accidents?
As the name suggests, a slip and fall accident is any type of accident that involves a loss of balance that leads to a fall. These accidents are often due to unsafe situations such as bumpy surfaces, objects being placed where they should not be, a wet floor, poor lighting, or a lack of a handrail or banister.
Not all slip and fall accidents are serious, but if the victim becomes injured, they may be able to go after the responsible party for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
What are Common Hazards That Lead to Slip and Fall Accidents?
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) estimates that one-third of those over age 65 fall every year. These falls result in more than 7,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 emergency room visits in South Carolina each year.
Slip and fall accidents typically happen when someone loses their balance on an uneven or wet surface, or even trips over a hazard. Here are some common hazards that can lead to dangerous slip and fall accidents:
• Wet and dry spills
• Heavily polished marble, wood, or tile floors
• Falling debris/uncleared trash
• Broken or malfunctioning escalators
• Rotten wood on steps and stair rails
• Broken floorboards in old buildings
• Loose carpeting and broken tiles
• Uneven walking paths and sidewalks
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere including the following locations:
• Your own home: If a slip and fall accident occurs in your home, it will be difficult to go after anyone for damages.
• Someone else's home: If a slip and fall occurs in someone else's home, you may be able to go after the owner or tenant for damages.
• At Work: Unsafe work conditions may cause a slip and fall accident. In these instances, a worker may recoup damages by filing a worker's compensation claim. If complications arise, you may want to consult a lawyer.
• In a Business: If you slip and fall while on a business property, you can seek compensation through the business or property owner.
• In an Apartment Building: If your slip and fall occurs in an apartment building, the building owner or tenant may be responsible. It will depend on the circumstances of the slip and fall and where in the building it occurred.
• On a Sidewalk or Public Space: If you fall on a sidewalk or in a public space such as a park or public pool, the city or governmental entity responsible for the maintenance of the public space may be liable for damages. Suing the government can be quite complicated, and you will want an experienced lawyer on your side.
Establishing Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
To become compensated in a slip and fall accident, you must determine that the property owner was responsible for the accident. Therefore, you must establish that:
• The owner of the property caused the dangerous situation that led to the injury
• The owner of the property knew about the danger and did nothing about it
• The owner or keeper of the property should have known about the danger because a ‘reasonable' person would have removed it or repaired it
What Defines Reasonable?
The powers that be will need to decide if the property owner acted reasonably. An owner that acts reasonably will try to keep their property safe. Here are some factors that will determine whether the owner was reasonable.
• Was the danger there long enough so that the owner should have known about it?
• Does the property owner have a regular maintenance procedure?
• If you tripped over an object left on the floor, was there a legitimate reason for the object being there?
• If there was a legitimate reason for the object being there, but that reason no longer exists, could that object have been removed?
• Was there an alternate safe place where the object could be moved to?
• Could a sign have been put up to make the victim aware of the dangerous situation?
• Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?
What is Comparative Negligence?
South Carolina is a comparative negligence state. That means that when an accident occurs, the amount of blame assigned to each party must be considered and that will affect the damages awarded in the case.
For example, you are in someone's home and you decide to take a ride down the stairway banister which also happens to be broken. In this case, both you and the homeowner would be at fault. You would be to blame for engaging in reckless behavior while the homeowner would be responsible for failing to fix the broken banister.
In terms of finding fault, the jury may decide that you are 40% responsible and the homeowner is 60% responsible. So, if the total amount of damages were $100,000, you would only receive $60,000.
If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you will not be eligible for any payout.
Here are some questions that will be asked to determine whether the accident was due to your own carelessness.
• Did you have a legitimate reason for being in the dangerous area?
• Could you have taken caution and walked through the area without getting hurt?
• Were any warning signs displayed stating the area might be dangerous?
• Were you distracted or jumping and fooling around when the accident occurred?
Why the Hopkins Law Firm is Your First Choice for Slip and Fall Accidents in Charleston, South Carolina?
Slip and fall accidents can get confusing, especially when it comes to establishing fault. If you are the victim of a slip and fall, you will need a reliable lawyer on your side.
The Hopkins Law Firm has years of experience in personal injury and slip and fall cases. Not only have they obtained favorable results for other slip and fall cases, they provide terrific service, and they treat the people they represent like family.
If you were injured in a slip and fall, you may be dealing with excessive expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call Hopkins Law Firm for a free consultation and take the first step to getting your life back.
Hopkins Law Firm's Most Recent Results in Slip and Fall Accident Claims
The award-winning legal team at Hopkins Law Firm has been advocating for injured clients for more than a decade, including those who have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents. Our commitment to seeking justice and client service has led to tens of millions in settlements and jury awards for our clients and their families. Ultimately, helping to eliminate or reduce the economic burden that often comes with a major injury.
Some of Hopkins Law Firm's most recent slip and fall accident case results include the following settlements and court-awarded damages:
• $465,000 for a client who suffered falls and a broken hip at a nursing home.
• $250,000 for a client who suffered falls and a broken arm at a nursing home.
• $245,000 for a client who fell over a rolled floor mat at a restaurant.
• $188,000 for a client who broke an ankle in a slip and fall accident.
• $100,000 for a client who suffered a fall on the stairs at church.
Any results the Hopkins Law Firm, LLC might have achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. The personal injury attorneys at Hopkins Law Firm have the resources and knowledge to help build the best case possible against the negligent property owner who ultimately caused harm to our clients.