Charleston Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slips or falls that cause injuries at stores, offices, parks, or someone’s home may have been caused by dangerous conditions that went unrepaired or lacked proper warnings. If the owners or managers of the property were negligent by failing to fix the issue or failing to warn about it, they may be liable.
Falls are a common and dangerous accident for people of all ages but especially older adults. Approximately 7-8 million people get treatment for injuries related to falls each year, and about 1 million of those are slip-and-fall accidents, according to reports.
Approximately 5-7 percent of slip and falls result in a bone fracture. Falls can also prove fatal, particularly among the elderly. Falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death for people between the ages of 65 and 84 and the top cause for those 85 and older, according to the NFSI.
Common Places Slip & Fall Accidents Happen
Streets and roadways
Surfaces covered with snow or ice
Stairs & Steps
Owners Must Keep the Property Safe
The owner can keep a premise safe from hazards and dangers, while the visitor cannot. Because of this, the owner has a legal duty to protect any visitors—whether they are a tenant, shopper, or personal visitor—from any unreasonable risk of injury due to the design of the property, the construction of the property, or the condition of the property.
Visitors are Required to Use the Property Normally
For a property owner to be held liable, the visitor must have used the property as it was intended to be used when the injury occurred. For instance, slip and fall injuries are common at water parks and pools when kids run around. But public pools take proactive measures to avoid premises liability by posting signs that specifically prohibit running around the pool, or that warn, “Slippery When Wet”, therefore, it is difficult to sue for injuries sustained because of running and slipping.
Determining Premises Liability Based on Property Type
Commercial Property: Whether the owner or the occupier should be held responsible is ultimately determined by where on the property the accident occurred, what on the property caused the accident, and what the lease between property owner and occupier states regarding accidents on the property.
Rented Apartment or Home: Typically, if you or a visitor were to get injured on property that you rent to live in – such as an apartment, duplex, or home – the responsibility is determined by whether the cause of injury was a “moveable” or “immoveable” object. For instance, a landlord may be held liable for any injuries that occur as the result of a hazard presented by the hallways, stairways, entrances, floors, walls, fixtures, or appliances that came with the apartment.
Privately Owned Home: If you were to sustain injuries in someone else’s home, they could be held liable, depending on the circumstances.
Proving a South Carolina Premises Liability Claim
The plaintiff in a premises liability case must have been on the property legally to claim a duty of safety by the property owner. A trespasser usually cannot pursue a premises liability claim.
A visitor also has a duty to avoid an “open and obvious hazard.” Plaintiffs injured because of a hazard that a reasonable person would have recognized and avoided may see compensation reduced according to how much their own negligence contributed to their accident and injuries.
Determining the facts of a Slip & Fall Injury case require an investigation by an experienced legal team. Contact our slip and fall attorney, Caroline West, to find out if your slip and fall accident may have been caused by the negligence of another. West Law has been fighting for the rights of the injured for over 25 years.