Columbia Slip & Fall Lawyers
It can all happen so fast. One moment, a person is walking along, minding their own business. The next moment, they’re on the ground. Maybe the severity of the injuries is apparent immediately. Or, maybe it will take days and even weeks to manifest, as is common with back and neck injuries. They face medical expenses. They may face lost time at work. They face a loss of joy and perhaps even some mental trauma. What they need to do is call a Columbia, SC slip and fall lawyer who can help make their case and secure a fair settlement.
Proving Breach of Duty in South Carolina Slip & Fall Cases
All personal injury cases require establishing that the defendant was negligent, and a basic part of negligence is demonstrating that a duty of care was owed the injured plaintiff and then breached.
What constitutes a breach of duty? It happens when the defendant fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care. The state of South Carolina does not expect defendants, or anyone else, to be perfect. It’s understood that accidents do happen. It’s accidents that could have been prevented with some reasonable foresight or action that can result in lawsuits.
As an example, let’s say the injured plaintiff was out with their friends for an evening on the town in Five Points. They’re at a pub and drinks are spilled on the floor. The plaintiff slips and falls. Did the defendant—presumably the pub, in this example—breach their duty of care to their customers?
It’s possible, but a lot of context will be required. Did anyone make the wait staff aware of the spill? How long did the spill linger before it was cleaned up? Was the injured plaintiff themselves acting responsibly?
If staff was notified, but the spill still lay on the floor an hour later, there’s a good chance the pub will be found to have breached its duty. But if the slip and fall happened just minutes after the spill occurred, there’s a good chance a court might find that the pub did not have a reasonable opportunity to clean it up. Of course, this might also depend on who caused the spill. Was it a staffer, who could have been expected to immediately clean it up? Or was it a patron, where the staff would have no reasonable way of knowing about the spill unless they were told.
In the backdrop of all this is the comparative modified fault law the state of South Carolina uses in applying damages. That is, the fault of the injured plaintiff can be considered. Was the plaintiff intoxicated or otherwise acting inappropriately when the slip and fall occurred? If so, a jury might still find a breach of duty and might still award damages. But South Carolina law allows the jury to also assign a percentage of the blame to the plaintiff.
If a plaintiff is found to be 35 percent responsible for their fall, then their share of the damages is reduced by that amount. For example, a $100,000 payout would be reduced by $35,000, meaning the plaintiff only collects $65,000.
Anyone that is injured in a slip and fall should immediately seek medical attention. Whether the fall takes place in a context similar to what’s described above, whether it happens in a shopping mall, a parking lot, or anywhere else, it’s important to act right away—even if the person who fell thinks they are fine.
The person that gets up and says they are fine, and then finds out two days later that they have some serious back problems has hurt their case. An experienced Columbia, SC slip and fall lawyer may still be able to salvage a case, but an essential part of that case will be connecting the specific injuries to the specific fall. Seeing a doctor immediately helps make that case.
If the injured person is able, they should collect whatever witness contact information they can. Our attorneys can follow up to get testimony that may help strengthen the case.
Relentless Lawyers for Serious Cases
There are nearly 9 million people every year who suffer falls serious enough to need medical care. That’s according to the National Safety Council (NSC). The people who get experienced lawyers on their side are the ones giving themselves a chance at a fair settlement.
We've Fought and Beaten Government Agencies
We've recovered over $100M in verdicts, settlements, and awards for our clients, much of that against government agencies. We know what you're facing, and we're the team to help you win.
These Cases Are Close to Home For Us
Not only are we North and South Carolina attorneys, but our families, friends, and neighbors have fallen victim to the injustices at Camp Lejeune. We'll fight vigorously for you and your family not just because it's the right thing to do, but because we've been hurt by this too.
We Know How to Protect and Service Our ClientsWe've fought for whistleblowers. We've fought for catastrophic injury victims. We know this can feel like a daunting road, but we have the experience and know what it takes to provide you the justice you deserve.
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