A person can get hurt on someone else’s property in many different ways. However, falls tend to be the most common way to suffer injury.
This is why it is so important for property owners in South Carolina to use reasonable care to prevent fall-related injuries on their premises. If they fail to do so, victims of their negligence may be eligible to pursue a Charleston premises liability claim.
With nearly 250 years of combined legal experience, the South Carolina slip and fall lawyers of Joye Law Firm are here to help you. We care about our clients and go beyond seeking compensation for their injuries. We truly want to help our clients to improve the quality of their lives.
With offices around the state, including North Charleston, we make it convenient for you to get the help you need. To learn more, contact us today and receive a free consultation about your case.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents in Charleston
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere in the Charleston area. Most often, they occur at commercial properties such as stores, malls, shopping centers and office buildings. However, they also frequently occur at hotels or motels or on resort properties. They can even happen on a person’s private residential property.
Property owners and those who are otherwise in control of property must take caution and exercise common sense in order to remove hazards and keep the property as safe as possible for visitors. Unfortunately, they often fail to live up to this duty. Some common causes of slip and falls are:
- Wet floors
- Broken stairs and ramps
- Loose or broken railings
- Uneven surfaces (such as cracked pavement or torn rugs or carpets)
- Unstable surfaces (such as wobbly flooring)
- Bad lighting
- Cluttered workplaces (such as at construction sites and in factories)
- Icy sidewalks and parking lots.
Joye Law Firm conducts prompt, thorough investigations of slip and falls. We examine all evidence and often consult with experts in order to determine the causes of these accidents as well as the impact of the accident on our clients’ lives.
Common Injuries in Charleston Slip and Fall Accidents
When a person suffers a slip and fall injury, it can happen in a split second – and it may be more severe than the person initially suspects. For instance, a person may believe that he or she suffered only a twisted knee. However, further examination may show that the injury actually is a fracture or torn ligament. Some of the most common types of slip and fall injuries that people in the Charleston area suffer are:
- Fractures – These injuries may occur when a person hits the ground or when a person tries to reach out and break the fall. Foot, leg, ankle, hip and wrist fractures frequently occur in these accidents.
- Torn ligaments – A stretched or torn ligament can cause a great deal of pain and take a long time to heal. These injuries often occur in the knee such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL). However, people can also suffer injuries in their shoulders or biceps when they reach out to catch themselves.
- Head and brain injuries – A fall can cause skull damage or traumatic brain injury (TBI) such as a concussion. TBI can have lasting effects on a person, causing problems with the way a person moves, thinks and behaves. Severe head trauma can lead to permanent disability or even death.
- Back and spine injuries – People can suffer lower back injuries, herniated discs or more severe spinal injuries in a fall such as paralysis. These injuries may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
- Bruises and lacerations – When people fall to the ground, they often hit rails, handles and other objects on their way down. Likewise, the surface is rarely soft. Hard concrete, pavement, gravel and other surfaces can cause serious cuts, bruises and scarring.
Some people such as older adults and disabled individuals are vulnerable to slip-and-fall injuries. A fractured hip in a fall can cause an elderly person to become bed-bound for an extended period of time. In many cases, a broken hip can be so serious that the person never fully recovers the ability to move around on his or her own. This can lead to a rapid deterioration in health.
Proving Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries in South Carolina
Slip and fall cases in South Carolina can be highly complex. Generally, to establish liability, you must show that:
- The property owner owed a duty to you as a visitor
- You were on the property legally and for a lawful purpose
- The property owner violated that duty
- That violation (a negligent act or failure to act) caused your injuries.
The evidence in a slip and fall claim can consist of photos of the accident scene, witness statements and surveillance camera footage. The evidence can also include records that show inspection and maintenance (or a lack thereof) of the property where the slip and fall occurred. Medical records can also establish the nature and extent of the slip and fall injuries that you have suffered.
Steps You Should Take After a Charleston Slip and Fall
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident, you can take several specific steps to protect yourself and preserve your right to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries, including:
- Call for help right away. Getting immediate medical attention should be your first priority.
- If you can, take pictures. If you can’t do it, ask someone you trust to try to get photos of the location of the accident and anything else you think might help.
- Get contact information for eyewitnesses. After police and/or EMTs arrive, most bystanders will leave. So, you should make sure to get their contact information as soon as possible.
- Report your injury to the property owner or a manager on duty. If you can do so in writing, it will help to document the incident.
- Keep your records. Use a folder or a box to keep copies of all of your medical bills and other slip and fall-related expenses.
- Don’t sign anything, and don’t speak to any insurance adjusters. You need to remember that the insurance company will be focused on paying you as little as possible for your claim (and possibly denying your claim altogether).
- Call an experienced South Carolina premises injury attorney. South Carolina law strictly limits how long you can wait to bring a personal injury claim. If you wait too long, your case will be forever barred. As soon as you are ready to take action, you should get in touch with a lawyer about your case.
Our Charleston Slip and Fall Lawyers Can Help You
You can trust the Charleston slip and fall attorneys of Joye Law Firm to protect your rights and pursue all options for recovering compensation on your behalf.
We believe in giving our clients all the information and letting them make an informed decision. We never charge upfront retainers or attorney fees for a consultation, and we only collect fees if we are able to recover compensation for you. Contact us today in Charleston to set up a free no-strings case evaluation today.