No matter how careful you are, chances are good that you’ve tripped and fallen down at some point in your life. In many cases, you can hop back up and dust yourself off with few injuries. But when you’re seriously injured in a fall, it can lead to more serious, life-changing injuries.
If you were hurt in a fall on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Through a premises liability claim, you can hold a negligent property owner responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other losses. A skilled Greenville slip and fall accident lawyer can help you with the process.
At the Derrick Law Office, we are committed to helping injury victims get the money that they deserve. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you never pay a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.
When Can I File a Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and falls are a type of personal injury claim known as premises liability. Like other kinds of personal injury cases, you typically have to prove that the at-fault party was negligent in some way. For a slip and fall, the at-fault party might be the owner of residential or commercial private property, a renter, or even a government entity responsible for maintaining public property.
To prove that someone was negligent, you have to demonstrate that the property owner or occupier had a duty to protect you from harm, that they breached that duty in some way, and that you were injured as a result. Slip and fall cases typically focus on the duty owed by the property owner to the injury victim.
Under South Carolina law, the level of duty owed by property owners is based on the reason why a person was on the property at the time. People may be classified as invitees, licensees, or trespassers:
- An invitee is a person who is invited or permitted to enter the premises for the benefit of the property owner, such as a customer at a store. Property owners owe the highest degree of care to invitees, including the duty to locate, fix and/or provide a warning about any dangerous conditions on the property.
- A licensee is a person who is on the premises with permission from the owner for their own convenience or entertainment, such as a social guest. Property owners owe licensees a duty to use reasonable care and to warn licensees of any concealed dangerous conditions that are known to the property owners.
- A trespasser is an individual who is on the property without permission. Property owners only owe trespassers a duty to refrain from willfully injuring trespassers.
These rules can be confusing, particularly if you are unsure of your status at the time that you fell on someone else’s property. If you have any questions about your rights and legal options for pursuing a legal claim, reach out to a Greenville slip and fall accident attorney to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common in the United States. According to some estimates, slip and falls are responsible for 1 million hospital visits in the U.S. each year.
There are many different causes of slip and fall accidents, including:
- Broken sidewalks
- Wet surfaces
- Uneven surfaces, such as loose floorboards, mats, and potholes
- Rainy, icy, or snowy streets and sidewalks
- Stray cords and electrical wires
- Broken or damaged handrails
- Poor lighting
If a property has one or more of these dangerous conditions, the owner or occupier is generally responsible for fixing it or warning people about the hazard. If they fail to do so and someone is hurt as a result, then the property owner may be liable for any damages that the fall victim suffers.
When a person slips and falls on a hard surface, they run the risk of catastrophic injuries. Our law firm has represented individuals who have suffered a range of injuries in slip and fall accidents, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury and/or paralysis
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Sprains and strains
- Cuts and contusions
A personal injury lawsuit can help injury victims get the money that they need to pay for medical treatment and future medical care after a slip and fall. If you have suffered any injuries in this type of accident, reach out to a slip and fall accident attorney in Greenville to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Need a Slip and Fall Attorney?
After an accident, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster. They may ask you to give a statement or sign paperwork. They may even offer you a settlement.
In this situation, it can be tempting to just take the settlement so that you can move forward with your life. Unfortunately, taking an initial settlement from an insurance company can often leave you without enough money to cover all of your expenses.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. As a general rule, they will never pay you a fair settlement unless they don’t have any other choice. Having a Greenville slip and fall accident lawyer on your side can increase the likelihood of getting maximum compensation for your injuries.
An attorney will investigate the facts of your case and put together a strong case for liability. From there, they will use their experience handling similar cases to demand that the insurance company give you fair compensation. If the insurer won’t negotiate a good settlement, then your lawyer will take the case to trial to ask a jury to return a verdict in your favor.
Studies show that people who have legal representation recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves in personal injury matters. When it comes down to it, the best way to get top dollar for your slip and fall accident is to retain a slip and fall accident attorney in Greenville to fight for your rights.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in South Carolina?
South Carolina law has a 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This rule means that you have 3 years from the date of your slip and fall accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you don’t file a claim within that time period, then you may not be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
A Greenville slip and fall accident attorney can help you get the process started, beginning with a free initial consultation. Reach out to the Derrick Law Office to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
I Fell on a City Sidewalk. Can I Sue the City?
Yes. If you are hurt in a fall on public property, you may be able to file a claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining it. However, there are special rules for these types of cases, including a shorter statute of limitations of just 2 years.
A seasoned Greenville slip and fall accident attorney can advise you of your rights under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. Reach out to the Derrick Law Office today to schedule a free consultation.
I Fell and Got Hurt at Work. Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Boss?
In most cases, if you get hurt at work, you will be limited to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp is an exclusive remedy for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. Through workers’ compensation, you can obtain medical care and qualify for cash benefits for lost wages.
However, there may be situations where you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a workplace injury – such as if your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance or a third party is responsible for your accident. An experienced slip and fall accident attorney in Greenville, SC can help you determine the best course of action. Call the Derrick Law Office today for a free consultation.
Hurt in a Fall? Our Greenville Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys can Help.
If you have been injured in a fall on someone else’s property, you may not know what to do next. You may have a vague idea that you can file a claim, but don’t have a real idea of how to get started – or how you can get the most possible compensation. Our legal team will guide you through the process.
Derrick Law Office represents South Carolina injury victims who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including slip and falls. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Greenville personal injury attorney, give us a call at 864-531-7765 or fill out our online contact form.