Rock Hill Slip and Fall Lawyer
All property owners have a responsibility to maintain their land in a way that is safe for visitors. While this may seem like a simple concept, filing a personal injury claim against property owners who failed to maintain a safe environment for their guests could prove to be complex.
In general, if you are injured while visiting another’s land, you may have the right to compensation. However, the case may examine both the actions taken by the landowner and your own motivations for entering the land in determining liability. This complex analysis can frustrate and confuse many unrepresented plaintiffs.
Fortunately, a Rock Hill slip and fall lawyer could help. They could work to explain the relevant premises liability laws that control slip and fall cases, clarify your legal rights, and build a case that a landowner was responsible for your injuries.
Obligations of Landowners in Rock Hill
Slips and falls are just one example of injuries that fall under the umbrella of premises liability. The law states that all property owners have a responsibility to protect visitors on their land. However, the amount of protection that a landowner owes depends on the visitor’s reason for entering the property. The law creates three classes of visitors—invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Invitees are people who enter land for a business purpose, such as a shopper in a grocery store. Landowners owe invitees the greatest level of protection and must keep the guests safe from all hazards, both those that they know about and those that the landowner should know about.
Licensees enter private property for a social purpose, such as guests at a barbecue. Here, the property owner must protect visitors from all known hazards.
A trespasser is anyone who enters land without the owner’s permission or those who overstay a welcome. Landowners must refrain from causing intentional or wanton harm to trespassers.
A Rock Hill slip and fall attorney could help plaintiffs understand their classification under the premises liability laws. They then work to evaluate the actions of landowners to determine if they violated their duty to keep the injured person safe.
Common Types of Slipping Injuries
Whether a person slips in a puddle of spilled liquid in a grocery store or on an icy sidewalk outside a restaurant, falling injuries can be severe. In addition to broken bones and lacerations, the individual may experience long-term injuries that require months or years of intensive medical care.
For example, an accident victim could hit their head during the fall. This blunt force trauma can lead to a concussion or another type of brain injury. Anyone involved in a slip and fall could also suffer a severe back, hip, or neck injury. Depending on whether the spinal cord is damaged in the fall, they might even experience mobility loss.
Whenever a preventable accident results in severe injuries, it is crucial to talk to a lawyer about taking legal action. A dedicated attorney who focuses on slip and fall cases can help injured parties seek compensation for all their damages.
How to Find the Right Rock Hill Slip and Fall Lawyer
Many people like to get recommendations from other people before they select a new lawyer. We do not blame you – we do the same thing before we try a new restaurant or store.
You might find it helpful to read what our happy clients say about the work we did for them. Here are some of our many five-star Google reviews:
- “Our teenage daughter was seriously injured while a passenger in a vehicle and was admitted to a hospital. I contacted Joel Hamilton and gave him the pertinent information. He met with us the next day and had already sent his investigator to take pictures of the vehicle. Fortunately his quick action allowed the investigator to take the pictures just prior to the vehicle being removed to an unknown location.
Joel handled everything for us from beginning to end. He got three different settlements for our daughter from the driver’s insurance company. He also called often to check on our daughter’s condition. They really care about their clients, and it shows.” Tom’s C.E.
- “I highly recommend Schiller and Hamilton Law firm! They have gave me their very best from the time I started working with them and even after my case closed. They make sure to give you as many updates as they can. I will most definitely use them again for any legal advice I need.” Jalilah O.
- “Everyone was very professional but most importantly they were kind. From the beginning of my process down to the receiving of my payment, my best interest was placed above the dollar sign. Charlie, Derek and Melissa treated me as if I was one of their close family members. You always want people (a company) like this in your corner!” Sheresa H.
We truly care about our clients and it shows. You can get a free initial consultation to find out for yourself.
Limitations on Trip and Fall Cases
The law states that at-fault defendants are responsible for providing compensation for a plaintiff’s losses. However, many instances are not solely the fault of the landowner. Sometimes, a plaintiff shares blame for the accident. The state utilizes the concept of modified comparative negligence to assign blame in these situations.
Can Partial Fault Negatively Impact a Case?
According to Nelson vs. Concrete Supply Co. 303 S.C. 243, 399 S.E.2d 783 (1991), a jury in these cases will apportion blame for the accident to all parties. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, they cannot recover any compensation. Similarly, the plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility limits their recovery. For example, a plaintiff 25 percent at fault in a $10,000 claim can receive only $7,500.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Rock Hill?
Another limiting factor in these cases is time. The state’s statute of limitations, contained in South Carolina Code §15-3-530, states that plaintiffs have only three years from the date of the accident to file a case. A Rock Hill slip and fall lawyer could help pursue cases on time and convince juries that a defendant is completely at-fault for the incident.
If your close relative dies because of a slip and fall accident, S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530 says that you must file the wrongful death lawsuit within three years or forever lose the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Sometimes, a city or town might have caused or contributed to the conditions that led to a slip and fall accident. S.C. Ann. § 15-78-110 states that a lawsuit against a municipality must get filed within two years.
Five Mistakes to Avoid After Getting Hurt in a Rock Hill Slip and Fall Accident
Some people think they could save money by trying to handle their slip and fall accident injury claim instead of working with an attorney. What they do not realize is that simple mistakes can decrease the financial value of their injury claim.
You Should Not Delay in Getting Medical Treatment
There are several reasons why waiting to get medical treatment for your slip and fall injuries could cause adverse consequences.
- Getting prompt medical attention usually offers the best chance for optimal medical recovery from your injuries.
- Your medical bills will be essential evidence of the dollar value of your injury claim.
- The information in your medical file will provide details that connect your injuries to the slip and fall accident.
- The at-fault party will use any delay in treatment as an excuse to argue that your injuries were from some other event, not the slip and fall accident.
Although it might be your nature to try to “tough it out” instead of going straight to the doctor or emergency room, you should resist that temptation after getting hurt in a slip and fall accident.
Do Not Get Tricked into Accepting a Lowball Settlement
You might have medical bills and living expenses piling up and be unable to work while recuperating from your slip and fall injuries. Nonetheless, you will want to think twice about accepting the first offer from the insurance company’s claims adjuster.
An early offer from the insurer is often a lowball settlement offer. After you deduct all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses from that check, you might find little if anything left over. You may not even be able to fully cover all your damages. You do not want to find out later that you should have received much more money for your injury claim.
Make Sure You Know about Any Residual Impairment Before Settling Your Claim
You will not be able to go back to the insurance company and ask for more money after you settle your injury claim. Let’s say that you discover a few months after settling your claim that you still have pain and the injured area does not have the strength or range of motion it had before your slip and fall accident.
When you settled your claim against the at-fault party, you had to sign a waiver that released that party and its insurance company from any future claims arising from that accident. As a result, you will not get more money, even though you did not know at the time of the settlement about the ongoing impairment you now have.
Stay Off Social Media
It is human nature to want to share news of our lives with people we care about, and many people accomplish that goal by posting photos and information on social media. Regardless of the privacy settings on your account, the insurance company will likely be able to access what you post.
The insurer can twist your words and take your photographs out of context to use against you. It is best to take a break from social media until your slip and fall injury claim gets resolved.
Negotiating Your Injury Claim Without Database Information Is Like Going to War Without Ammunition
You might have a general idea of how much money you would accept to settle your slip and fall injury claim, but insurance companies have access to databases that put you at a disadvantage. These databases tell insurers and personal injury lawyers how much money a jury would likely award in a case like yours.
If you try to handle your injury claim without a lawyer on your side, you will not have this essential information. You will not have the data necessary to make an informed decision about whether a settlement offer is fair to you.
These things are but a few examples of the many costly mistakes that can happen when an injured person tries to handle their claim without a lawyer.
Let Our Rock Hill Slip and Fall Attorney Help
Slips and falls are a leading cause of personal injuries in Rock Hill. Something as simple as a shop owner who fails to clean a spill or a homeowner with loose carpeting could cause a life-changing injury. These injuries can be surprisingly harsh, with many victims requiring extensive medical care and missing significant time at work.
A Rock Hill slip and fall lawyer at Schiller & Hamilton could help you pursue the compensation you need to make things right. This includes determining your rights as a visitor and evaluating the steps taken by the defendant that may have caused your injury. Get in touch with a dedicated attorney today to discuss your case.