Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises Liability Claims in South Carolina
Many slip and fall accidents cause victims little more than a moment of embarrassment; but for some unlucky individuals, a slip or fall accident can result in serious injury. At Chappell, Smith & Arden, we are committed to helping victims injured in slip and fall accidents claim the maximum compensation available for their injuries. Our firm has helped countless clients hold negligent property owners liable for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Property owners and proprietors have a legal responsibility to keep their property free from unnecessary risks and hazards. One of the most common types of slip and fall accidents occurs because of wet floors and walkways. Retail stores and public buildings that fail to address wet surfaces or warn customers of slippery surfaces can be held liable for injuries. Carpets, plastic runners, bag stands for wet umbrellas, and caution signs warning passersby of a wet surface can significantly reduce the chance of an accident or injury. Spills in public places should be covered until they are cleaned up, and wet floor fans can be used to help expedite quick drying of wet surfaces.
Snow and ice on sidewalks, parking lots, and roadways may be unavoidable, but it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove these dangers as soon as possible following a storm or cold weather event. Snow and ice removal should be followed by salt or sand applications to reduce the risk of slips and falls. Areas cleared of snow and ice can quickly refreeze once the sun goes down or temperatures drop. Adding a layer of salt or sand can keep ice from reforming on these surfaces. Parking lots with black ice can be dangerous places for vehicles and pedestrians that mistake icy areas for wet surfaces. Reapplication of abrasives to these areas can reduce the likelihood of a slip and fall accident.
Poor lighting in parking lots can also result in serious injuries. Broken bones, serious sprains, cuts and lacerations, and head injuries can result when people fall into a pot hole or over a wheel stop that may not be visible during night time hours. Property owners are responsible for providing adequate lighting in these areas as well as fixing pot holes and painting wheel stops in bright, reflective colors to help avoid accidents.
Loose, damaged, or missing hand rails on stairways can cause people to tumble down stairs and suffer traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. Homeowners, retailers, and managers of public spaces should conduct regular inspections and routine maintenance on stairways and handrails to reduce the risk of injuries.
Torn carpet and damaged flooring that lead to uneven floor surfaces can result in a person losing their balance and falling onto their head, back or spinal area. Torn carpet edges can cause a person to trip and fall forward, often leading to head and facial injuries and broken arms and hands. Property owners can be held responsible for these injuries when they fail to fix loose handrails or broken stairs in a timely manner.
South Carolina Premises Liability Law
Premises liability laws in South Carolina have strict mandates and deadlines. Premises liability laws are complex, and it is imperative that the plaintiff be represented by an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to ensure that the burden of proof is met, and that the statute of limitations fall within the mandated time frame.
Victims of slip and fall accidents should seek medical attention for their injuries as soon as possible. This can help ensure proper treatment of the injury as well as provide valuable documentation of the circumstances regarding the accident. Additionally, pictures of the accident scene and witness testimony should be gathered soon after the incident. Both provide vital forms of evidence needed to help prove the negligence of the property owner. Medical records and documentation of all diagnostic tests and results are also critical when pursuing a claim. An experienced premises liability lawyer will be able to establish the best legal strategy and determine if it is in the best interest of the plaintiff to pursue a trial or negotiate a settlement.
Columbia Premises Liability Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Help Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents Claim Compensation
If you have been a victim of a slip and fall accident caused by negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our premises liability lawyers in Columbia at Chappell, Smith & Arden at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We serve clients in South Carolina with five offices conveniently located throughout the state, including the communities of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.