A slip and fall injury happens when people trip or slip then fall, physically hurting themselves. Of course, falls are an inevitable part of life for all of us, at times. Every fall is not a potential lawsuit.
Sometimes people fall because of their own carelessness. We are all responsible to watch what we are doing and to be aware of the situations around us. But sometimes a property owner has neglected dangerous conditions that they should have known about and corrected.
A PROPERTY OWNER HAS RESPONSIBILITIES
Property owners have a legal obligation called, “premises liability.” This means they have a responsibility to care for their property so that they try to prevent foreseeable injuries. This is why personal injury coverage is often part of liability insurance for property.
A property owner may be liable for an injury in certain cases such as where:
- There was a known spill that caused a slippery and potentially dangerous surface and it wasn’t cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time. Or there was no warning to people to alert them to avoid the slippery spill.
- There was a piece of loose carpeting that was an obvious trip hazard that was not corrected in a reasonable amount of time.
- There was a known uneven surface that was difficult for people to anticipate and there was no warning.
- There was a missing or broken step.
- There was a known lighting issue that contributed to the fall and injury.
INDIVIDUALS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES
The person who fell may be responsible for the injury if it can be proven that the person was being careless. For example, if the injured person:
- Ignored warnings about a dangerous spot.
- Was in an area that was obviously roped off.
- Was distracted and not paying attention and missed obvious signs of danger.
If you are the unfortunate victim in a slip and fall case, the insurance company that has liability coverage for the property owner will ask you questions to determine if your carelessness contributed to your injury or illness.
TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES RELATED TO SLIP AND FALL INJURIES
Your Own Carelessness
If you fell because of your carelessness and the property owner hadn’t been negligent, your health insurance will likely cover your medical bills, but you may not have a personal injury case that would withstand legal scrutiny.
A Premise Liability Case
If a business owner was negligent and is responsible for your accident and subsequent injuries, you may need help with your injury case. You’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer who handles slip and fall accidents.
You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages as well as other categories of damages. An experienced lawyer can also help make sure you receive appropriate compensation to the maximum potential of the liability limits of the responsible property owner.
A Work-Related Injury
If you are injured on the job, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation. But even if the employer accepts the claim and you begin to receive worker’s comp for your work-related injury, it would be wise to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can help you determine if you need additional help.
TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES
Personal injury lawyers help people who were injured by the neglect of a responsible party or by the willful actions of others.
Types of personal injury cases include tort claims (when someone commits a wrongful act that results in harm to someone else: intentionally or unintentionally).
- Car accidents (or other motor vehicle accidents)
- Wrongful death
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall cases
- Products liability
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Nursing Home or Daycare Abuse or Neglect
- Assault, battery, and other intentional injuries (sometimes involving criminal charges)
In a strict liability tort claim, a person is held liable for the injured party’s injury even though they may not have acted carelessly. Strict liability simply implies liability as a matter of law. Animal attacks, for instance, fall into this category.
Most personal injury cases don’t make it to trial. For the majority of slip and fall cases, the two parties often settle out of court. If a case makes it to a trial, it is up to a judge and/or jury to determine who was responsible for what in a specific case.
- Did the property owner take reasonable steps to ensure the property was safe?
- Did the individual who fell have any fault in the accident?
- What is legally fair for both sides?
PERSONAL INJURY CASES COMPENSATION
A personal injury attorney would seek to receive monetary compensation for a client to help cover that person’s expenses and damages related to their injury.
The kinds of compensatory damages that tend to occur in many personal injury cases include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property loss
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Lawyers and insurance adjusters use specific formulas to determine the value of the injured party’s damages in a claim. The liability insurance covers expenses related only to the specific injury.
They consider who was at fault and how much damage was caused before deciding how much compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for medical debt, lost wages, and other damages might be appropriate. It is likely that your attorney may not agree with the insurance company, thus the trial system.
LOOKING FOR A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY NEAR YOU?
We are a personal injury law firm in the Columbia, SC area. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, or another kind of personal injury case and are interested in finding representation you can trust, please contact us for a free consultation.
We care about the suffering that personal injury cases create in South Carolina and want to make sure that people get the legal help they need and the compensation they deserve.