Slip and Fall Lawsuit: Who’s Responsible in South Carolina?

South Carolina requires property owners to make sure areas accessible to the public or guests remain free of hazards.

If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, the Palmetto State allows you to file a complaint to obtain compensation for the harm caused. In some cases, a third party could be at fault. A knowledgeable premises liability attorney at Jordan Law Center can answer your questions about filing a slip and fall lawsuit.

When Should You Consider Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

Consider filing a premises liability complaint if you were harmed in a fall caused by another party’s negligence while on their property. Sometimes, a third party, such as a renter or an outside service, may have caused your injuries rather than the property owner. An experienced premises liability attorney will review the evidence to determine which party’s negligence is responsible for your injuries.

Regardless of where the fault lies, you should not have to pay for your recovery costs or suffer income losses that result from someone else’s negligence. The resulting injuries could prove life-altering depending on how and where a fall occurs. A claim for personal injury damages could also consider a reduced quality of life and include pain and suffering.

Almost one-third of injuries caused by falls involve spinal cord damage. Traumatic brain injuries and broken bones are also common issues in slip and fall lawsuits. The sought-after compensation can also include the lost future earnings a long-term or permanent disability has hindered.

What Are Some Examples of Negligence That Could Justify a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?

Although you could experience a slip and fall injury as a guest at someone’s home, commercial properties such as supermarkets, restaurants, and retail stores are where most accidents involving premises liability lawsuits occur. In addition to the greater degree of foot traffic, there are more opportunities for slip and fall hazards, such as wet floors and spilled foods or liquids. Anything on the floor that can cause a customer to lose traction could become a slip-and-fall accident.

Who can you sue for slip and fall injuries?

The issue of negligence hinges on when the property owner discovers a hazardous condition and how quickly it’s attended to. A commercial establishment has a duty of care to ensure that any hazards are found and addressed as soon as possible. If the issue cannot be fixed immediately, clearly viewable warnings such as orange cones or yellow hazard tape should be used to seal off the affected area until the issue is remedied. A commercial establishment could face a slip-and-fall lawsuit if there is a failure to respond quickly and adequately to a hazard that causes a customer to suffer harm.

A property owner, however, may not be the responsible party if the location is leased to a commercial enterprise.

The store owner typically owes customers the duty of care to maintain a hazard-free environment. The property owner may only be responsible for keeping the outside area, such as the parking lot, free of hazards. Sometimes, a third party, such as a custodial service or maintenance company, may assume responsibility for preventing and remedying certain hazards.

A slip and fall injury could involve a complex set of responsibility issues. An experienced premises liability attorney will investigate all aspects of the case to determine who the defendant will be in a slip-and-fall lawsuit, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

How Does South Carolina Slip and Fall Law Work?

South Carolina relies on the modified comparative negligence formula in personal injury cases. This means that if you contributed in some way to a slip and fall accident, the degree of your fault will reduce the compensation you receive. For example, the defendant’s insurance company may claim that you ignored the orange warning cones that a retail store’s employees placed around a hazardous spill or a floor needing repair. The modified comparative negligence formula also requires that your contribution to an accident not exceed 50% to obtain compensation.

After your attorney has determined the party responsible for causing you harm, South Carolina’s civil laws require proving three factors to win a personal injury lawsuit:

  • The party you are suing had a duty of care to ensure your safety was not jeopardized.
  • The defendant’s negligence and failure to ensure your safety caused the harm you suffered.
  • The harm you suffered caused monetary losses such as medical expenses and income lost during your recovery.

The Palmetto State’s civil laws also require you to file your slip and fall lawsuit within three years from the date your accident occurred.

What Should You Do If You Experience a Slip and Fall Accident?

The first thing you should do if you’ve been injured, regardless of whose fault it may be, is to seek medical attention. If your injuries are the result of another party’s negligence, you have a right to file a complaint to seek compensation for the harm caused. Documentation from a doctor that describes the extent of your injuries and how they occurred could play a vital role in your slip and fall accident lawsuit.

Unless you plan on negotiating a settlement with an insurance company on your own, which may not be in your best interest, speak to an experienced premises liability attorney after suffering a slip and fall injury. Don’t waste time.

There could be accident scene evidence that proves your injuries resulted from someone’s negligence, and it needs to be gathered before it disappears. If there were witnesses to your accident, waiting too long could cause their memories to fade.

Schedule a Consultation Regarding Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit

Don’t let the complexities of filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit stand in the way of obtaining the compensation your injuries deserve. The skilled premises liability team at Jordan Law Center will determine the party responsible for the harm caused and take your case to trial if needed. You’ll owe us nothing unless we win your case.

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