Man walking over a small puddle while at work

What Are the Legal Steps After a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip-and-fall accident can cause severe injuries and damages. Property owners can be liable for damages if someone is injured on their property. However, you must prove a legal claim before you can recover compensation for damages. Our South Carolina slip and fall attorneys discuss the steps you should take after a slip and fall accident to protect your rights.

Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents

Common locations for slip and fall accidents include, but are not limited to:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Shopping centers and grocery stores
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Entertainment and sports venues
  • Playgrounds and parks
  • Swimming pools
  • Workplaces
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Nursing homes
  • Apartment buildings
  • Government offices
  • Schools and daycares

A trip-and-fall accident occurs when you trip over something, causing your body to pitch forward. A slip-and-fall accident occurs when your foot loses traction with the floor, causing you to fall backward. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:

  • Broken steps and staircases
  • Slippery or wet floors
  • Loose or damaged carpeting, floorboards, and other flooring surfaces
  • Missing handrails
  • Debris or items on the floor
  • Broken or damaged sidewalks and walkways
  • Wires and extension cords
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Potholes, cracks, and holes in surfaces
  • Uneven surfaces, including elevators and escalators
  • Lack of warning signs

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the steps you take after the accident could significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim.

Initial Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you are injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident, the steps you should take include:

  • Document the accident scene and gather evidence by taking photographs and videos, especially of the hazard that caused your fall.
  • Ask eyewitnesses for their contact information and names.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Delays in medical care could make proving the fall caused your injuries more difficult.
  • Report the accident to the property owner. If a written report is generated, ask for a copy.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and keep detailed records of all expenses related to the fall and your recovery.
  • Document your damages by keeping medical records and copies of all documents related to expenses and financial losses.

Seek legal advice from an experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer as soon as possible. In a slip-and-fall case, proving the property owner’s negligence can be difficult.

The Role of Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and fall claims are considered premises liability in South Carolina. As the injured victim, you must prove that a property owner or other responsible party was negligent. The elements of negligence for a slip and fall claim are:

  • A dangerous condition existed on the premises.
  • The property owner knew or should have known about the hazard.
  • The owner did not take reasonable actions to correct the problem or warn people of the hazard.
  • You were injured as a result of the dangerous condition and incurred damages because of the fall.

Once you prove negligence, you can seek compensation for your financial losses (economic damages) and your pain and suffering (non-economic damages).

Many slip-and-fall accidents are settled with insurance providers through settlement negotiations. However, you may need to file a lawsuit against the property owner.

Get Help Filing a Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident From a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

Slip and fall cases may involve non-owners who may have had control of the property. Sorting out liability is one reason you need an experienced lawyer to handle your case. Call Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. to schedule a consultation with a South Carolina slip and fall attorney to discuss your case.