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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > If I’m Hurt in a Fall, Do I Automatically Get a Settlement?

If I’m Hurt in a Fall, Do I Automatically Get a Settlement?


We wish the answer to this question was yes, but unfortunately, fall injury victims don’t automatically get settlements. These incidents send over eight million Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year. The ER bill is only the beginning of the medical bills in these cases. Additional medical expenses, such as physical therapy costs, are almost inevitable. Furthermore, a slip-and-fall injury causes significant pain and suffering throughout the treatment and recovery process.

Although fall injury victims don’t always get settlements, a Columbia personal injury attorney always puts in the same amount of effort. Diligent attorneys who work hard usually obtain maximum compensation, just like students who do their homework usually do well on tests. Compensation in a fall injury case usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress.

Comparative Fault

Since so much money is at stake in these cases, insurance company lawyers do whatever it takes to reduce or deny compensation. The comparative fault rule is one of the most common defenses in these cases.

Quite simply, insurance company lawyers argue that the victim didn’t watch where s/he was going. And, the failure to maintain a proper lookout, as opposed to the landowner’s negligence, substantially caused the victim’s injury. There was a lot of Legalese in that paragraph, so let’s break it down.

Negligence is basically a lack of care. Landowners are negligent if they had a duty of care and they knew about, or should have known about, a hazard that caused injury. Most commercial and social guests are invitees, a status that invokes a very high legal responsibility. Owners must ensure their premises are reasonably safe.

Substantial cause basically means primary cause. Bad weather, like wet roads, sometimes contributes to car crashes. Driver negligence, usually speeding, substantially causes these wrecks.

The comparative fault defense is a two-step process. Attorneys must convince a judge, and then the jury, that the defense applies. So, a Columbia personal injury lawyer has two opportunities to refute this defense. Direct evidence of negligence, like proof the owner ignored the hazard, almost always does the trick.

In the unlikely event the jury considers this defense in its verdict, all is not lost. South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. So, even if the victim was 49 percent responsible for the fall, the tortfeasor (negligent owner) must pay a proportionate share of damages.

Assumption of the Risk

This defense is an offshoot of comparative fault in South Carolina. If the owner displayed a warning sign, like Caution Wet Floor,a similar two-step analysis applies.

First, the insurance company must establish the legal elements of this defense, which are a voluntary assumption of a known risk.

Second, to the jury, the insurance company must prove the victim’s failure to heed the sign, as opposed to the owner’s negligence, substantially caused the fall. The defense only applies if the victim:

  • Saw the sign,
  • Could read the sign, and
  • Could understand what the sign meant.

One or more of these elements could be almost impossible to establish. Many older adults don’t see well. Many young children and recent immigrants don’t speak or read English well.

Reach Out to a Diligent Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we start working for you.

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Car Accidents

When a car accident happens, your life may be turned upside down in a matter of seconds. Let us help to restore your life.

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Trucking Accidents

Attorney Marc Brown is a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer. We can help you when you need it most.

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Wrongful Death

Experiencing the death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time. It can also be financially devastating. Let us help!

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Slip & Fall

Marc Brown is an experienced slip and fall attorney that serves the entire states of South Carolina and Georgia.

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Dog Bites

If you need legal help with a dog bite injury, reach out to a South Carolina dog bite lawyer at the Marc Brown Law Firm.

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In cases of shootings and other crimes, victims can seek financial compensation by filing a civil claim for damages.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award