Some of most frequently encountered personal injury claims at the Connell Law Firm are premises liability claims, and among them, slip and fall injury claims. These are the claims that an injured person pursues when they slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property and sustain injuries and financial damages. There are a variety of different hazards that cause such an incident, and if the owner of the property is proven as liable for the injury, due to negligence, then you can recover compensation for your damages through a slip and fall premises liability claim. However, there are some important things that you’ll need to know before attempting to pursue such a claim, including the common mistakes that the injured often make.
Most Common Mistakes in Columbia Slip and Fall Claims
The biggest mistakes that you can make when you suffer from a slip and fall injury include failing to seek treatment and report the injury, failing to gather evidence of negligence, and failing to file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out. Sometimes, people don’t seek the treatment that they need quickly enough, because they don’t realize that their injuries are serious. Other times, they don’t realize that they have a valid claim until it’s too late.
Another common mistake is failing to seek the advice of a Columbia personal injury attorney with experience in slip and fall claims. As the victim of a slip and fall injury, you probably aren’t an expert in recovering compensation or the associated laws concerning negligence and liability. It’s important to communicate with a lawyer before deciding you don’t have a claim, giving up on a claim, or initiating a claim that you aren’t confident and informed about.
Determining Liability in a Columbia Premises Liability Claim
You cannot pursue a slip and fall premises liability claim without first establishing liability. This means that you need to know whether or not the property or business owner was negligent in a such a way that it ultimately caused you to become injured. In order for anyone to be liable for your damages, they must have owed you a duty of care as a visitor or invitee on the property. They must also have neglected that duty of care, failing to maintain the property, remove hazards, or warn of hazards. Finally, the negligence has to have been the cause of the incident in which you were injured, and therefore the associated injuries. If all of this is so, then the property or business owner in question is liable for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, any lost wages associated with the injury, and any other relevant damages.
The Location of the Incident Where the Injury Occurred
You have to begin your consideration of whether or not you have a valid claim and who is liable by looking at where the injury occurred. The specific location of the incident can often be enough to point you directly towards the liable party. For instance, if you slipped or tripped and fell because of a hazard that was on a homeowner’s property, such as ice or a wet floor, then the homeowner is likely to be the liable party. If the incident occurred at a store, in a store parking lot, or at a restaurant, then there may be a business owner who is liable. However, location is not the only thing that plays a role in determining liability. There are cases where a property owner has hired someone to remove hazards, but this person or company failed to do so, and this could mean that someone other than the property owner is liable.
Determining What Should Have Been Done to Prevent the Injury
You also need to have an idea of what should have been done to prevent the injury, meaning that perhaps the injury could have been prevented if the property owner salted an icy walkway, cleaned up a spill, fixed their damaged carpeting, etc. Whatever caused you injury, you need to be able to identify that it was something that could have been prevented by proper action on the part of the homeowner, business, or employees of the business.
The Necessity of Seeking Medical Treatment After Any Injury
Any time you have been injured on someone else’s property, you need to seek medical treatment right away. If you do not do this, then you may later find yourself suffering from injuries that you cannot prove occurred on that person or business’ property. If this happens, you won’t be able to get compensation for your injuries, lost wages, or other damages. Waiting until your symptoms get worse will leave you in the difficult position of not being able to provide any evidence of where or how the injury occurred.
Forms of Compensation That You Can Recover After a Slip and Fall Injury
There are different forms of compensation that you may be able to recover after slipping, falling, and becoming injured on the property of someone else who was negligent and is therefore liable for the damages associated with the injury. Which forms of compensation you will be able to recover is going to depend on what damages you’ve suffered. For instance, you can be compensated for all of your medical expenses, including any prescriptions or medical devices that you require. If you need surgery, then this will be covered, if you need physical rehabilitation therapy, then this will be covered.
Then, if your injury also required you to take time off of work in the course of recovery, then you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages. You simply have to produce evidence from your doctor concerning your restrictions, and evidence from your employer concerning the amount of time that you were out of work and the value of the wages lost.
If your injury prevented you from completing your usual tasks, such as housekeeping, grocery shopping, caring for your children and/or yourself, or anything else that involves hiring someone to assist with these tasks or complete them for you, you can recover compensation for this, too. You can even get compensation for your pain and suffering, in many cases. Depending on the details of your claim, there may be other forms of compensation that you can seek or there may be some of these that you cannot seek. It all depends on what happened, why it happened, and what the overall impact on your life has been.
Contact the Connell Law Firm to Learn More
The Connell Law Firm has years of experience handling slip and fall premises liability claims in Columbia, South Carolina. Our skilled personal injury legal team in Columbia, SC is happy to provide a free consultation and give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience in personal injury law.