Preventable falls happen every day in Columbia. You never know where you might encounter a fall hazard. Maybe you are shopping at a supermarket in Forest Acres, eating at a restaurant on Gervais Street, or visiting friends at their house in Eau Claire. But no matter where a fall happens in Columbia, it can have dire consequences for your health, well-being, and financial future.
If you or a loved one fell and got hurt at someone else's property in Columbia, you may recover significant compensation. The experienced Columbia slip and fall lawyers at Morris Law Firm can review your situation and explain your options. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
- A Seasoned Slip and Fall Team
- What Makes a Slip and Fall into a Legal Case?
- What Is the Owner/Tenantâs Liability for a Slip and Fall in Columbia?
- Third-Party Liability for a Slip and Fall in Columbia
- Potential Compensation for a Columbia Slip and Fall
- What We Can Do for a Columbia Slip and Fall Victim
- Protect Your Rights After a Columbia Slip and Fall Injury
- Contact a Columbia Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
A Seasoned Slip and Fall Team
Morris Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury law firm serving clients throughout South Carolina. Our team represents injured victims of preventable incidents and accidents, fighting to get them justice and fair compensation for their losses.
We're known as a team that gets results. Since our founding, we've secured millions for our clients, including numerous substantial settlements and awards in slip and fall cases. Our clients receive individualized attention and our solemn commitment to protect their interests and pursue their rights, no matter how complicated or challenging their slip and fall claims.
What Makes a Slip and Fall into a Legal Case?
Lawyers use the term slip and fall to refer to any preventable fall on someone else's property that injures you. You don't actually have to have slipped before falling to have a slip and fall case. You could also trip, stumble, or lose your balance some other way. So long as you fell and got hurt because of a dangerous condition at a property you don't own in Columbia, you could have a slip and fall case.
Common examples of slip and fall accidents in Columbia include:
- Slipping on a wet tile floor;
- Tripping on a loose floorboard or area rug;
- Misstepping on uneven or poorly-lighted stairs;
- Stumbling over debris left in a walkway;
- Losing your balance when a handrail gives way; or
- Stepping awkwardly into a pothole or crack in the sidewalk.
These are just some illustrations of how a fall can happen because of a property hazard in Columbia. The Morris Law Firm team has handled many cases of fall victims. Talk to us today about the circumstances that led to your fall and injury.
What Is the Owner/Tenant’s Liability for a Slip and Fall in Columbia?
We can hold various individuals, businesses, and government entities in Columbia liable for the injuries you suffered in a fall. In any given slip and fall case, one or multiple parties could owe compensation to you. At Morris Law Firm, we dig into the details of a fall to identify every party who may have had a hand in causing it and should pay for your losses.
The party most commonly held accountable for a slip and fall in Columbia is the owner or tenant of the property where the fall occurred. Under South Carolina law, owners and tenants owe duties of reasonable care to keep people who come onto their properties safe. In many cases, their failure to fix, keep you away from, or warn you about a fall hazard can constitute a violation of that duty, making them liable for injuries you suffered in a fall.
Specifically, in South Carolina, when you're an adult and you go to someone's property with permission (that is, you're not a trespasser), the law treats you as either an invitee or a licensee.
An invitee is someone asked onto a property through an express or implied invitation for a purpose relating to business the property owner conducts there, some other activity conducted for the mutual benefit of the owner and invitee, or because the property is held open for public access. For example, you're an invitee when shopping at a supermarket or at a post office.
In contrast, a licensee is someone who is allowed to be on property by the owner's express or implied consent primarily for the licensee's benefit. You're a licensee when you go to someone's house for dinner, do door-to-door political canvassing, or volunteer on someone else's land.
South Carolina property owners and tenants owe different duties of care to invitees versus licensees. They must exercise reasonable and ordinary care to make their property safe for an invitee, which includes taking affirmative steps to find and fix dangerous conditions and warn visitors about them. For a licensee, however, owners and tenants need only warn about hidden dangers or changed conditions on the property. (Owners and tenants owe minimal duties to trespassers.)
At Morris Law Firm, we can analyze the circumstances of your fall to determine if you were an invitee or licensee on the property in Columbia where you fell. By determining your classification, we can explore your options and explain your options for holding the owner or tenant of the property accountable for your losses.
Third-Party Liability for a Slip and Fall in Columbia
Owners and tenants aren't the only parties who might owe you compensation for injuries you suffered in a Columbia slip and fall. Under South Carolina law, you may also have the legal right to seek compensation from third parties whose dangerous decisions and actions contributed to the cause of your fall.
The Morris Law Firm team can explore the evidence of your fall to determine if we can hold a third party liable for your fall-related losses.
Every slip and fall case we handle differs, but our investigation could reveal liability on the part of, for example:
- The manufacturer of defective flooring materials that pose an unacceptably high risk of causing a fall;
- An individual whose careless actions, such as pushing past you aggressively, caused you to fall; or
- A contractor on premises who negligently created a temporary fall hazard that the owner or tenant couldn't have known about.
In our years of law practice at Morris Law Firm, we've found that you only know who might owe damages for your fall once a skilled lawyer has reviewed your case. We frequently identify liable parties with which our clients never imagined they could pursue compensation.
Potential Compensation for a Columbia Slip and Fall
As the victim of a slip and fall accident in Columbia, you may receive significant compensation for the harm you suffered. It may surprise you to learn how broad your rights are.
Though every slip and fall claim differs, our team at Morris Law Firm may secure payment for a fall victim's:
- Past and future medical expenses relating to the treatment of fall-related injuries and health complications;
- Other costs of living with or adapting to an injury, such as hiring help or with childcare at home while healing or modifying a living space to accommodate a disability;
- Job pay and benefits lost by missing work;
- Loss of future income and earning opportunities due to a temporary or permanent disability;
- Physical pain from injuries or medical treatments;
- Emotional suffering;
- Loss of independence;
- Diminished quality of life.
Sometimes, we can also convince a court to award our client punitive damages when the party at fault for their fall engaged in extreme or malicious misconduct. The most reliable way to find out how much compensation you could claim for a fall you took in Columbia is to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Morris Law Firm.
What We Can Do for a Columbia Slip and Fall Victim
The lawyers and legal professionals of Morris Law Firm work tirelessly to see justice done and fair compensation paid in every case we handle. We represent clients who do not deserve to be suffering from injuries and rely on us to get them the money they need to pay their bills and recover from their fall injuries. We take seriously our duty to serve our client's interests and our mission to get them the maximum compensation possible.
Every slip and fall case we handle represents a unique event. We tailor our legal services to meet our client's needs and priorities.
As needed in any given case, our team can:
- Investigate a fall to determine how it happened and who should pay damages to our client;
- Analyze insurance policies that may cover our client's losses;
- Handle all interactions with insurance companies so that our clients never have to;
- Evaluate our client's losses to establish the maximum damages they can claim;
- Answer a client's questions and explain their options;
- Collect evidence to support a claim against a property owner, tenant, or other liable party;
- Prepare and pursue lawsuits and insurance claims seeking payment for our client's losses;
- Negotiate settlements of our client's claims when possible;
- Advise our client whether to accept or reject a settlement offer;
- Take our client's slip and fall claim to trial before a Columbia judge and jury;
- Follow through to ensure our client receives money owed under a settlement, judgment, or jury verdict.
Morris Law Firm strives to make these and other services affordable for our clients. We offer a free consultation to anyone who wants to learn about their rights after getting hurt in a preventable fall in Columbia. You never have to pay us for that meeting, even if you decide not to hire us or proceed with legal action.
We also represent slip and fall victims on a contingent fee basis. We won't charge you an upfront retainer or bill you by the hour for our time. We only receive a fee if we get you paid for your losses.
Protect Your Rights After a Columbia Slip and Fall Injury
To protect your legal rights after you fall and get hurt at a residential, commercial, or public property in Columbia:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Falls can cause severe, even life-threatening, injuries, including spinal damage, brain trauma, and complex fractures. But you may not realize that right away. Some injuries take time to start exhibiting symptoms, even though you need immediate care to prevent them from worsening.
Therefore, seek medical attention immediately after any fall, even if you think you avoided major trauma. A doctor can evaluate your condition and begin any necessary treatment. Plus, the medical records of your treatment can serve as valuable evidence in a later claim for slip and fall damages.
Report the Fall to the Property Owner
Promptly report the fall to the owner, tenant, or someone else in charge of the property where you fell. This helps to create a record of the injury that a lawyer can use to prove where and when your fall occurred. Keep your report of the fall simple and to the point. Don't point fingers or assign blame. Stick to the facts.
Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer
When you've addressed your immediate health needs, hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer to handle your claim. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better your chances of achieving the maximum possible financial recovery. Hiring a lawyer also ensures you meet legal deadlines applicable to your case and safeguards against making mistakes like saying the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster.
Don’t Accept In-Kind Payments or Quick Settlement Offers Until You’ve Consulted a Lawyer
The property owner where you fell may offer an in-kind payment (for example, a free meal or hotel stay) to compensate for your fall. Beware of accepting it. Depending on the circumstances, saying yes to freebies could jeopardize your rights to compensation.
Similarly, an insurance company representing a liable party may offer a quick cash settlement of your claim even before you file it. Once again, call us before accepting it. Quick settlements rarely amount to what you have the right to receive, and agreeing to them can forfeit your rights to more money later.
Before accepting any offer from an at-fault party or insurer, consult an experienced Columbia slip and fall lawyer who can advise you of your rights. Often, a lawyer handling negotiations for you can get you far more than what someone offered you directly.
Contact a Columbia Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one fell and got hurt because of a dangerous condition at a property you don't own in Columbia, you may recover significant compensation. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Morris Law Firm wants to help you explore your options. Contact us today for a free case consultation at (843) 232-0944.