Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents in Aiken, South Carolina, are all too common. These accidents can occur indoors and outdoors and on public or private premises.
In many cases, these accidents happen when property owners and their employees fail to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of property visitors.
Suppose you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else's property. In that case, consult a premises liability lawyer in your area as quickly as possible to go over your legal options and develop a plan of action for your case.
Your attorney can gather important documents, assemble those documents into a settlement demand package, and forward that demand package to the insurance company representative handling your claim.
Your attorney can also negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the monetary compensation you deserve for your slip and fall injuries. Moreover, if the insurance company does not make you a fair and reasonable financial settlement offer, your attorney can file a lawsuit in court and pursue the compensation you deserve through litigation.
Every step of the way, your Aiken slip and fall accident lawyer will be in your corner, aggressively advocating for your legal interests and working to maximize your total monetary award.
What Is the Legal Duty of Care That Property Owners Owe to Visitors?
Property owners owe a high legal duty of care to certain property visitors. The duty of care that a landowner owes to a property visitor typically depends upon the visitor's status at a particular time. Property owners of business invitees, such as store customers or restaurant patrons, owe the highest possible legal duty of care.
A business invitee is someone who goes onto someone else's premises to benefit the premises owner. In general, a property owner in South Carolina owes a business invitee a duty to warn about or correct known hazardous conditions on the premises within a reasonable timeframe.
They may also need to locate any previously unknown premises hazards and promptly warn about or repair those hazards within a reasonable amount of time.
Similarly, a licensee is an individual who goes onto someone else's property for their own purposes. One typical example of a premises licensee is a social guest on someone else's property. Property owners have a duty to warn about any latent dangers or defects on the premises that the premises owner is aware of.
Finally, a trespasser is a person who is present on someone else's premises without permission from the property owner.
In any situation, a property owner only has a duty not to intentionally injure the trespasser. However, if the trespasser is a child who is otherwise known to the premises owner, the premises owner may owe some legal duty of care to the trespasser.
A skilled slip and fall attorney in Aiken can determine if the premises owner in your case likely violated their legal duty of care.
If such a violation occurs, your lawyer can take the appropriate legal steps on your behalf and pursue a claim seeking the financial compensation you deserve.
How Do You Prove a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
In addition to establishing that the premises owner owed you a legal duty of care under the circumstances, you will need to satisfy other legal elements in a slip and fall case.
For example, you must establish that the property owner breached or violated the legal duty of care they owed you. For instance, if you were on a business premises and slipped and fell, the property owner may have failed to clean up a spill on the floor despite being aware of it for some time.
In addition, the premises visitor must show that their slip and fall accident directly resulted from the property owner's negligence. Finally, the premises owner must establish that as a direct and foreseeable result of the accident, they suffered at least one type of physical injury or damage.
When it comes to establishing the causal connection, or relationship, between a slip and fall accident and subsequent injuries, your attorney can retain a qualified medical expert who can draft a favorable report or testify as a witness in your case, for example, at a discovery deposition or civil jury trial.
The medical provider may be willing to state on the record, and to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that you sustained at least one physical injury as a direct result of your accident. They can also demonstrate that one or more of your accident-related injuries are permanent and you will have ongoing effects.
Slip and Fall Injuries
When an individual falls on the ground in a slip and fall accident, there is a likelihood that they will suffer a permanent and debilitating injury. This is because individuals do not ordinarily have an outer protective covering or shell that serves as a barrier between their bodies and the ground when they fall.
Consequently, if they strike the ground with a significant amount of force, they are likely to experience debilitating injuries, along with pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
The specific injuries that a slip and fall accident victim may suffer will depend upon the surface on which they fall and the force with which they fall.
Some of the most likely injuries that slip and fall accident victims may suffer include broken bones, traumatic head and brain injuries, muscular contusions, eye injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, spinal cord damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, rib fractures, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, open lacerations, and severe bruising.
If you suffered any of these injuries in a recent slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else's property, you should seek treatment from a medical provider right away.
That provider can refer you to a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor if you suffered a bone fracture or soft tissue injury in your slip and fall accident. Additionally, you may need to undergo surgery or attend physical therapy sessions to make a complete recovery from your injuries.
Also, you need to continuously receive treatment for your slip and fall injuries and refrain from lengthy treatment gaps. Otherwise, the insurance company might question the nature and extent of your injuries and refuse to offer you favorable monetary compensation.
To increase your chances of success, your lawyer can start working on your case immediately, gathering the medical documentation you need to prove your claim or lawsuit.
Recovering Monetary Damages After a Premises Accident
When accident victims suffer a serious injury in a premises accident, they may be in a position to receive various types of monetary damages.
First, the accident victim will need to satisfy the legal burden of proof in their case. Next, their lawyer will need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit on their behalf, seeking various types of monetary damages.
The total monetary damage award that a premises accident victim receives will depend upon numerous factors, including the scope of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and the amount of money they incurred in medical expenses and lost income.
Additionally, if the accident victim had to switch jobs and accept a lower pay rate, they may recover compensation for their loss of earning capacity. In addition to the out-of-pocket costs that an accident victim can incur due to their injuries and medical treatment, they can make a claim for various types of intangible losses.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for all their mental anguish, loss of the ability to use an injured body part (e.g., a full or partial paralysis injury), loss of spousal consortium, lost quality of life, permanent disability and disfigurement, long-term or lifetime care costs, inconvenience, and past and anticipated pain and suffering.
Your Aiken slip and fall attorney can estimate the likely value of your personal injury case, depending upon the injuries that you suffered, your medical treatment, and other related factors.
Your lawyer can then take all the necessary legal actions on your behalf to secure the full monetary recovery you deserve.
Filing a Timely Premises Liability Claim or Lawsuit After a Slip and Fall
A premises liability attorney in Aiken can gather the documents necessary to file a personal injury claim on your behalf. In any situation, your attorney will file this claim with the insurance company for the at-fault property owner.
Documents that your attorney can request and subsequently submit to the insurance company include copies of incident reports, medical bills, medical treatment records, expert reports, lost-wage documents from employers, injury photographs, photographs of the slip and fall scene, and security camera footage which shows the slip and fall accident taking place.
Your attorney can also speak with eyewitnesses who can provide a report about how the slip and fall accident occurred.
Once your attorney submits these documents to the insurance company in the form of a settlement demand package, the insurance company adjuster handling the case will analyze them and can put an initial settlement offer on the table.
Your attorney can then engage in settlement negotiations with the insurance company adjuster in pursuit of a higher settlement offer. If the insurance company does not make you a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with a lawsuit in court.
If your case ultimately proceeds to litigation, your attorney may continue their settlement negotiations with the adjuster.
However, your lawyer can handle every step of the litigation process for you, including representing you at various legal proceedings, such as settlement conferences, discovery depositions, and civil jury trials. Instead of taking your case to a trial, your lawyer can pursue alternative dispute resolution, or ADR on your behalf, such as a mediation session or binding arbitration hearing.
Your attorney can provide you with the information you need so that you can make important decisions throughout your slip and fall case.
Call an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer Right Away
If you recently sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred on someone else's premises, consult an experienced premises liability lawyer in your area as soon as possible.
Under the statute of limitations, slip and fall accident victims must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of their accident date. Consequently, you need to involve legal counsel in your case right away so that you do not miss the deadline and the court does not prevent you from recovering the monetary damages you need.
Your attorney will be your advocate throughout the entire process and will zealously pursue your legal rights and interests, including your right to favorable monetary compensation.
Your Aiken personal injury attorney will handle every aspect of your case from start to finish and work to secure a fair financial settlement offer or litigation result that makes you whole again.