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Slip-and-fall accidents are unfortunately very common. While some falls may only result in minor bruises and scrapes, others can lead to severe and debilitating injuries that can affect a person’s life permanently. Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents in public settings are not uncommon in South Carolina, and determining who is responsible for the accident can be challenging.
Establishing liability requires answering the question of whether anyone was responsible for the fall. Some parties that are commonly responsible in these cases include a lessee who maintains the property, a company tasked with property maintenance, or another occupier of the property.
If multiple parties are responsible for the property, liability may be shared by those jointly responsible for the maintenance of the property.
Who is responsible will depend on where exactly the fall took place. For example, if you fell in public at a supermarket, the owner may be responsible. However, if you fell on a sidewalk because it wasn’t maintained properly, the local municipality could be liable. These cases are more challenging because it’s harder to file lawsuits against the government. You should speak with an experienced lawyer right away to determine if you have a case.
Insurance companies and defendants will often argue that the person who suffered the slip-and-fall accident was careless and was not watching where they were going. However, in South Carolina, a person’s own negligence will not bar recovery in a slip-and-fall accident case, so long as they were not more than 50% responsible for the accident.
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall accident in a public place in South Carolina, you should take the following steps:
The first thing you should do after experiencing a slip and fall accident is to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel okay, it’s essential to get yourself checked by a medical professional as soon as possible. Slip and fall accidents can cause injuries that may not be visible or can worsen over time, even leading to long-term health issues. Plus, if you need to pursue a legal claim, medical records are crucial evidence needed to support your case.
After you’ve taken care of your immediate medical needs, your next step should be to document the accident scene. Take photographs of anything relevant to your accident, such as the location of the fall, any hazards present (e.g., wet floors, uneven surfaces, debris), and any injuries you sustained.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to collect their contact information, as their testimony can be valuable evidence in your case. These pieces of information can help you establish the details of your accident and support your case.
It is essential to report a slip and fall accident to whoever is responsible for maintaining the property and file a written report. This document is proof that the incident occurred, and it can help you secure your legal rights. Keep a copy of this report and any communication you have with the party responsible for the property, including their response to your accident, for future reference.
Because every case is unique, you’ll need to speak with a Charleston slip and fall accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and whether you have a viable case. One of the critical factors in slip and fall cases is whether anyone was negligent or responsible for the accident. A lawyer will be able to provide you with guidance on how to proceed further in your case.
If you need help after a slip and fall in a public place, contact us to schedule a free consultation.