What is a Slip & Fall Accident?
Slip and fall is a term used in personal injury cases. Suppose a person slips and falls and injures themselves in a situation they otherwise wouldn’t have had it not been for another person’s negligence. In that case, they may be able to pursue damages or recover compensation from the negligent party.
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common forms of personal injuries across the United States, with the most common injuries sustained being broken bones or fractures.
Most Common Examples of Slip and Fall Injuries
Falls are common causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBIs occur when the head is violently jarred, shaken, or forcefully slammed against something, such as when you fall and hit your head. TBI symptoms can range from headaches or confusion to hemorrhages or serious brain complications.
Internal organ injuries can quickly occur during a slip and fall as well. For example, if you are falling down a set of stairs, you may experience internal organ injuries from landing on an object.
Spinal cord or back injuries are also common slip and fall injuries. Vertebrae or discs can be shifted, pushed out of place, or fractured, leading to back issues or spinal cord compromises.
Fractured or broken bones are very common in slips and falls. Individuals have an instinct to try and brace themselves from impact, leading to fractures or broken bones such as wrists, arms, shoulders, ankles, and more.
Why is Negligence an Important Factor?
If the other party involved in your slip and fall injury, such as the property owner, had a duty of care to you, breached that duty, and resulted in your injury, you may have a practical case to pursue damages.
What does that mean? Everyone has a reasonable duty of care, for the most part, to one another. Suppose you are a store owner or property owner. In that case, you have a reasonable duty of care to those present on your property to ensure their safety, which falls into the category of premises liability.
In fact, as a store owner, you have an elevated duty of care as you invite patrons to visit your store, which benefits you. In this case, you have a higher responsibility to ensure those patrons are safe and to mitigate the anticipated risks of them getting hurt while they shop.
If you are aware that you have faulty handrailings on stairs and refuse to fix them, for example, and someone gets hurt falling down those stairs, you have breached your reasonable duty to that person. You can be found negligent and, therefore, partially or fully responsible for their injuries.
What Should You Do Immediately After Experiencing a Slip and Fall Accident?
First and foremost, you should seek medical attention and document your symptoms immediately. In many cases, even if you aren’t experiencing apparent symptoms but have hit your head, it can be incredibly beneficial to seek medical attention to rule out any issues that may not have been presented yet, such as soft tissue injuries or a concussion.
Once you have sought medical attention, it’s helpful to document the events leading up to the fall as best as possible. If there were witnesses, contact them and confirm their account of the incident. If there were security cameras in the area where you fell, try to access them to obtain that for your records.
Keep a journal of your symptoms and any communication with other parties involved. Follow all recommendations from medical staff thoroughly, including follow-up appointments or physical therapy, etc.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Navigating the aftermath of an injury can be overwhelming. Still, an experienced attorney has vast knowledge of negligence, local laws regarding safety hazards, and premises liability issues that may affect your situation. They can offer you legal guidance and assurance that you are taking care of the necessary measures should you need to pursue legal options in the future.
What if I Feel I am Partially at Fault for the Accident?
In some cases, we share some of the faults in the accidents. For some, this may mean they feel they were somewhat responsible, and therefore, they will have to pay all their medical expenses independently. This thought or theory is typically not the case.
South Carolina follows a modified comparative fault rule. That means that even if you are partially at fault, you may still be able to recover a portion of the damages from the case. An exception to this is if you are 51% or more at fault.
An example of where you may be found partially at fault is if you were running in a place where it was unreasonable to do so, and this was part of the reason that you slipped and fell on someone’s property. You may have a reduction in the damages that you are eligible for due to partial fault.
Your Tireless Advocate
There is no time like now to reach out for professional legal guidance. There is a three-year statute of limitations on slip and fall cases in South Carolina. So, if it has been some time since you fell, but you are still battling with injury symptoms, it may be time to consult an experienced and compassionate team to help.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall case recently, please follow the suggested steps above and tend to your injuries, and then contact our office at (803) 219-8870 to learn more about how we can help you.