Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common types of accidents in Greenville that can lead to disability or even death. Sometimes those accidents are caused by the negligence of the owner of the property where the accident happened. It is possible to sue for damages in such cases. Successful slip and fall claims recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one was recently injured in such an accident, you can count on the Greenville slip and fall accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra to help. We know how to navigate South Carolina’s premises liability laws for your own good. We will use our resources to help you hold a business or property owner or occupier accountable for your injuries and losses.
Contact our personal injury lawyers in Greenville today for your free no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.
What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents?
A slip and fall case is generally in which the injured party seeks to file a lawsuit seeking compensation is generally where an individual is hurt while on someone else’s property and the injury would have been prevented only if the owner had acted responsibly.
The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include but aren’t limited to:
- Poorly lit or unlit hallways or walkways
- Weather-related conditions such as ice or snow that isn’t salted or shoveled away
- Hazardous debris such as tree branches, etc. that isn’t cleaned up
- Failure to install storm drains, gutters, or anti-slip devices leading to hazardous conditions during heavy snowfall or rainfall
- Spills that are not cleaned up inside nursing homes, hospitals, stores, etc.
- Slipping on slick/wet staircases, walkways, or floors in public places such as a grocery store
- Broken staircases or malfunctioning escalators
- Improper maintenance or structural defects/ that leads to cracked sidewalks, uneven steps, street potholes, torn carpeting, or broken floor tiles
- Touching a surface with a caustic chemical that causes burns
- Tripping on a piece of loose flooring in a public building
- Being struck by merchandize that’s improperly stacked
- Getting cut by a piece of sharp metal on playground equipment
- Failure to place signs and/or restrict access to areas where hazardous conditions like any of the above exist.
How Can a Greenville Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A Greenville slip and fall attorney such as those at Hernandez & Cabra can help you identify who was at fault for your accident and help you pursue proper compensation for your injuries and/or losses. In many situations, the property or business owner won’t be willing to take responsibility even when it is clear that there was negligence on their part.
Our lawyers can help you build a strong premises liability case that clearly points to negligence or inaction on the part of the business or property owner to prove that your injuries and/or losses were completely avoidable. Some of the important ways that our Greenville slip and fall lawyers can help include the following:
- Gathering all the evidence required to support your claim
- Managing the forms, letters, and any documentation involved in your claim
- Working with professionals to understand the accident and the injuries and/or losses you suffered
- Exploring insurance policies and alternative compensation sources
- Representing you with integrity and skill in any slip and fall settlement negotiations
- Filing a lawsuit if the at-fault party is unwilling to compensate you fairly.
Our slip and fall lawyers are known for being both tenacious and passionate when it comes to trial. Insurance companies know that we are capable of producing great results, which means that they are often unwilling to go up against us in court. That, alone, is enough to help you secure a substantial settlement.
If the insurance companies are not willing to budge, however, you can be sure that we will be more than ready to present your case before the court. It is important to get started on your case within the shortest time possible. So, don’t delay in contacting our Greenville law firm for immediate assistance.
What Steps Can Be Taken to Help a Slip and Fall Case?
You can easily feel overwhelmed immediately following your accident. However, if you are able to maintain your cool, you can assess the situation and your injuries. If you slip and fall in a public location, you can be your own best advocate. Here are the things that you need to do after a slip and fall in Greenville, SC:
Take All the Photos You Can at the Time
If you have a phone with a camera feature, use it to take photos of the accident scene, the unsafe condition that caused the accident such as icy patches, stairs, or other conditions that could have contributed to the accident and the resulting injuries. It can also be a good idea to note the date, time, and location of the accident for your records.
Report the Incident to a Manager
If you have suffered an accident on someone else’s property, you need to notify whoever owns or manages the property about the accident happening. If you have been injured on the premises of a business establishment, the manager in charge may ask you to make an accident report that requires a statement containing all the relevant details of the incident.
Take Down the Names and Numbers of Witnesses
You need to collect the names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses of all potential witnesses. Witness testimony can be incredibly useful when it comes to pursuing compensation in a slip and fall accident. If the defendant attempts to either deny their role in the accident or counter your story, witness statements can confirm your version of events if you choose to pursue a legal claim.
If You Need Medical Attention, Get It Immediately
The top priority following a slip and fall accident should be your health or the health of your loved one. If you or a loved one has been hurt, you need to see a doctor immediately so that your injuries can be properly treated and documented. Your medical records will be key pieces of evidence if you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries.
If You Can, See the Problem Is Addressed Right Away
You obviously don’t want another person to suffer the same injuries and losses that you have suffered. So, if you can, see to it that the problem is addressed immediately. For instance, you can ask the manager of a grocery store where you slipped and fell to clean the spill that caused you to fall.
Call an Attorney
If you are considering taking legal action, you need to have an experienced Greenville slip and fall accident lawyer representing you. Since slip and fall cases are often complex and difficult to prove, you are best served by the resources of a successful law firm such as Hernandez & Cabra. We have the knowledge, experience, and track record of success to recover the money that you deserve.
How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Be Proven?
The complexities of personal injury law often make it rather challenging to pursue a compensation claim yourself, but an experienced attorney can investigate your accident and preserve evidence to prove fault in your claim. Here are the two things that have to be proven to have a valid slip and fall claim:
- The property owner/occupier knew about the hazardous condition or should have reasonably been aware of its existence.
- You (injury victim) were not aware of the dangerous conditions since you were unable to see it in time and there were no signs posted.
How is Liability Determined in a Greenville Slip and Fall Case?
The 4 elements needed to establish liability in a slip and fall case are no different than with any other type of personal injury case. The 4 elements are:
- Duty of Care: The owner/occupier of the property had a duty under the law to provide premises that are safe from dangerous hazards.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The property owner/occupier did not uphold the duty of care. Here, you would need to prove that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about a hazard but failed to fix it or warn visitors about it.
- Causation: The breach of duty of care was the direct cause of your accident and the resulting injuries and/or losses.
- Damages: You suffered damages such as lost earning capacity, lost wages, medical expenses, or mental anguish.
For you to have a successful claim, you are required to establish each of the 4 elements. For instance, you won’t be entitled to compensation if the accident didn’t result in damages. This is true even if the other 3 elements of negligence are met.
How Does My Own Carelessness Affect My Slip and Fall Claim?
In just about all slip and fall cases, it will be determined whether your inattentiveness or carelessness could have contributed to the accident. The “modified comparative negligence” rules in South Carolina help you measure your own reasonableness in going where you did, in the way you did, just prior to the accident happening.
You need to ask yourself some questions about your own conduct when pursuing compensation in a slip and fall claim since you can be sure that the legal representatives of the property owner or occupier will definitely be asking those questions if you file a claim. Here are some of the questions that you can be asked:
- Did you have a good reason to be on the property owner or occupied premises at the time of the accident?
- Would a person of reasonable caution (if they weren’t distracted in any way) in the same situation have noticed and avoided the dangerous condition?
- Did the property owner or occupier give a warning of the dangerous condition that led to your slip and fall accident?
- Were you engaging in activities that contributed to your slip and fall injury?
Under South Carolina’s comparative negligence rules, it is still possible for a plaintiff to recover compensation even if they were partially negligent as long as their negligence doesn’t exceed the negligence of others. The recovery is reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s percentage of negligence.
For instance, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault for the slip and fall accident, and the damages determined by the court are $100,000, you wouldn’t get this amount, but rather $70,000 from the defendant.
How Much is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?
The average slip and fall settlement is between $15,000 and $45,000. Whether your case falls within the average range will depend on several factors such as:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Your diagnosis and prognosis
- Your age and pre-incident health
- Your occupation and income
If your injuries are relatively minor, your case may be below average. If you have serious injuries and your case is legally strong, you can expect a higher than average settlement. However, the average slip and fall settlement typically falls somewhere in the middle.
Are There Any Time Limits for Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations, which is the time limit for filing a slip and fall lawsuit in South Carolina is usually the same as that of any personal injury case. Under South Carolina law, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to pursue a civil remedy for any personal injury, death, or damage to property.
Talk to Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyers in Greenville Today!
If you have been injured in a fall on someone else’s property, contact Hernandez & Cabra today. As a local law firm with experienced lawyers, we have helped people recover from serious slip and fall accidents in Greenville.
We are always available to discuss your case and answer your questions. Contact us either online or by calling 864-501-4384 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers.