Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common accidents out there, and they are also some of the most dangerous, especially when they happen from heights, such as on stairs. Commercial property owners and managers owe customers, clients, guests, and other visitors a duty of care that includes maintaining their premises in the reasonably safe condition that is necessary to help ensure their safe passage, and when they fail to meet this standard, it can lead to dangerous accidents that include slip and falls. If a property owner or manager’s negligence causes you to be injured in a slip and fall accident, seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced South Carolina slip and fall accident attorney today.
The Answers to Your Questions
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by a property owner’s negligence, you have concerns, and the answers to the most frequently asked questions can help.
Can I be compensated for my injuries?
If a property owner or manager’s negligence causes you to be injured in a slip and fall accident, you can seek compensation for all of the following legal damages (or losses):
- Your medical costs – The medical expenses common to slip and falls are often extensive and can include emergency treatment, surgery, hospital stays, treatment from doctors and specialists, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, adaptive physical devices, and much more.
- Your lost wages – The serious injuries that are common to slip and fall accidents are closely associated with lost hours on the job and associated lost earnings. If your ability to do your job is affected, you could also experience a downturn in your earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – The physical and emotional pain and suffering that accompanies a terrifying slip and fall accident can prove to be a serious hurdle.
It’s important to note that accounting for your full range of physical, financial, and emotional damages is critical to bringing your strongest slip and fall claim.
What are the elements of slip and fall claims in South Carolina?
In the state of South Carolina, the following conditions must be present in order to bring a successful slip and fall claim:
- The property owner or manager owed you a duty of care (this is true for the vast majority of business owners out there).
- The property owner or manager failed to live up to this duty of care.
- As a result of this breach, you were injured and suffered damages.
Generally, property owners owe a duty of care to anyone who has the legal right to be on their premises. In other words, this duty may not extend to trespassers. If there is a dangerous tripping hazard on the premises, the property owner must have known about it (or it must be reasonable that they should have known about it). Further, the standard for the property owner’s responsibilities extends to taking the same level of action that other reasonable property owners would take in similar situations.
Should the property owner have known about the danger?
Whether or not the property owner knew (or reasonably should have known) about the danger that caused you to slip and fall can play an important role in your claim. And the answer to this question can be complicated. For example, if you can prove that another customer or client had already warned the business owner about the dangerous element in question, it can go a long way toward bolstering your claim. But even if the hazard hadn’t been brought to the property owner’s attention, this does not necessarily leave them off the hook. The fact is that property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties, which includes being on the lookout for potential dangers. If the majority of reasonable property owners in similar situations would have known about the danger, the property owner in your case can likely be held accountable.
How much time is a reasonable amount of time to take care of a slip-and-fall risk?
While property owners may not be able to take care of every slip and fall risk immediately upon identifying them, they are responsible for doing so within a reasonable amount of time. For example, if a restaurant server spills a drink and a patron who is walking behind the server immediately slips on the spill, the property owner couldn’t reasonably be expected to have known about the spill and to have cleaned it up prior to the patron slipping and falling. If, on the other hand, the spill was left unattended for an hour, you’d have a much stronger case since the property owner either knew about the spill or should have known about it. After all, spills in restaurants are common, and it is reasonable to expect restaurant owners to remain vigilant.
What are some common causes of slip and falls?
No two slip and falls are ever exactly alike, but there are several causes that commonly apply, including:
- Uneven, cracked, buckled, or otherwise dangerously worn outdoor walkways
- Outdoor walkways made slippery by wet debris, such as leaves, or by ice, slush, or rain
- Inadequate outdoor or indoor lighting
- Dangerously uneven entrances
- Entryways made slippery by tracked-in moisture or debris
- Floor coverings that are bunched, ripped, worn, frayed, or otherwise dangerously worn
- Floor surfaces that are overly slippery, such as highly polished marble
- Staircases that are poorly designed, constructed, or maintained
- Walkways with tripping hazards or other obstacles to safe passage
Consult With an Experienced South Carolina Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Slip and falls accidents are dangerous, common, and, with appropriate maintenance, are generally preventable. If a property owner’s negligence leaves you injured in a slip and fall, the impressive slip and fall accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina are standing by to help. Your claim matters, so please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 864-388-9100 today.