Slip and fall claims and other premises liability cases may be difficult to win. Even when victims can recover their losses and costs, their compensation may be significantly reduced because of how South Carolina law applies to these accidents.
Slip and fall claims are hard to win because of the necessary evidence to hold the property owner liable and prove you did not contribute significantly to causing your injuries. If you are seeking to recover from a slip and fall injury, our attorney may be able to help you develop a stronger claim.
What Does It Take to Prove a Property Owner Is Liable?
Most personal injury cases, including premises liability claims, are based on negligence. You must prove the at-fault party acted negligently to hold them accountable and recover monetary damages. In general, there are four elements to document negligence:
- The property owner or lessee owed you a duty of care to ensure your safety from known or foreseeable hazards
- They failed to uphold the duty of care
- You suffered injuries when a hazard occurred
- You incurred financial losses, physical injuries, and other harm
In a slip and fall case, the property owner may be responsible for your injury if:
- They knew or should have known about the hazard but failed to prevent your fall.
- They created the hazard or allowed it to remain.
- They should have known about the hazard.
Some of the evidence necessary to prove this may be hard to get. The property owner likely has any video of the incident, if it exists, and they may also have access to all witnesses in your case, especially if they are employees. An attorney from our firm can take actions to protect, preserve, and access the evidence, but they need to act quickly.
If you can prove the property owner, occupier, or another responsible party caused your fall, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against them. An attorney will handle this process for you if you choose to work with one.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-740-8653
Understanding the Effect of Contributory Negligence on Your Claim
South Carolina’s laws regarding shared fault, known as contributory negligence, also make it challenging to recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical care and other expenses.
Under the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means if you contribute to your own fall and injuries in any way, it will affect the compensation available through a claim or civil suit.
Any measure of fault assigned to you does not bar you from financial recovery, but it reduces the amount you may be able to recover. As long as your role in causing your injuries was less than the property owner’s, you can seek damages. However:
- The court or insurer will determine your percentage of fault.
- Your recoverable compensation will decrease based on this percentage.
This means that if you were 30 percent responsible for your fall, you can only recover up to 70 percent of the damages you experienced. If you were 50 percent or more at fault, the law bars you from recovery.
A Strong Case Could Allow You to Recover Damages
Slip and trip and fall cases are sometimes hard to win. However, if there is strong enough evidence to prove negligence and convince the insurance company to take them seriously, you may be able to recover a wide range of damages.
This could include:
- Medical assessment, treatment, and follow-up care
- Future medical needs related to your injuries
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Wrongful death losses if your family member died from injuries
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You Can Work with Our Attorney to Build a Convincing Case
Proving a slip and fall claim may be difficult or impossible on your own. Our premises liability lawyer who regularly represents fall victims will know how to protect and access key evidence, develop a strong argument, and value your claim.
Most attorneys provide free initial consultations so that you can learn more about their services and team. Many also work based on contingency. Your personal injury attorney should not ask for any upfront fees. They generally only get paid from the payout in your case.
There is a deadline for suing the liable party in a slip and fall case. This is usually three years from the date of the fall under S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530. Missing this deadline could bar you from recovering compensation in your case.
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Hammack Law Firm Fights for Justice for Fall Victims in South Carolina
Our compassionate and understanding legal team at Hammack Law Firm provides free case assessments and consultations for fall victims. We may be able to represent you and recover compensation on your behalf. We have offices in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, and Seneca, South Carolina.
Call (864) 326-3333 today to get started with your complimentary slip and fall case review.