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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?

Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?

Get organized after a slip and fall incident with our comprehensive accident report and notepad. Document details efficiently for legal purposes.

Slip and falls are some of the most common causes of personal injury in the U.S., and determining who is legally responsible for these accidents requires careful consideration. Slip and fall lawyers must examine all aspects of a case to successfully seek compensation for injured victims.

If you slipped and fell on another property and suffered injuries, you should immediately consult a Columbia slip and fall accident attorney who can assess liability for your losses.

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What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?

Accidents happen! Illustration of a mature man slipping on a wet floor caused by a spilled water bucket at home. Stay safe and prevent slips with proper precautions.

A slip and fall happens when a person trips, slips, or falls due to a hazardous condition on another party’s property. This type of mishap can happen just about anywhere or at any time. You can slip, trip, or fall in a retail store, someone’s home, a parking lot, or a public facility.

Slip and fall accidents can occur due to various hazardous conditions – some of which may include the following:

  • Wet or slippery floors without warning signs
  • Uneven or damaged flooring, sidewalks, or stairs
  • Obstructions or debris on walkways
  • Insufficient lighting in walking areas

Injuries from these accidents can be surprisingly serious, including soft tissue tears, fractures, back injuries, concussions, and more. Claimants of slip and falls often ask for damages that reimburse them for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering from liable businesses or property owners.

But how do you know who should be liable for your losses? The best thing to do is allow a slip and fall lawyer to evaluate what happened.

The Principles of Premises Liability

At the heart of slip and fall cases is the legal doctrine of “premises liability.” This doctrine holds that a property owner is obligated to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This responsibility varies depending on the classification of the visitor.

Why Were You on the Property?

If you wish to file a slip and fall claim based on the principle of premises liability, you must first consider your reason for visiting a property. You may be categorized as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, and liability can vary depending on your classification.

Invitees are invited by property owners onto their premises, often for the owner’s benefit. They generally include customers in stores or restaurants. Therefore, it’s up to an owner to perform regular property inspections and take steps to repair or warn of known hazards.

Licensees enter a property for non-commercial reasons and are owed a slightly lesser duty and care. An owner must warn visitors of any known hazards that may not be obvious to their guests. Social visitors who are visiting a friend’s house may fall under this classification.

Trespassers are owed the least duty of care, as they are accessing a property without permission. While owners can’t willfully harm someone who trespasses on their property, they do not have to warn them of certain hazards, as they must do for invitees or guests.

These can be complex legal principles, and your slip and fall attorney can determine your status on the property when identifying liability.

Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

When a slip and fall accident occurs, your lawyer must prove all the elements of negligence on the part of the property owner or occupier. These include:

  • Duty of Care: Did the property owner assume a duty of care to keep the injured party safe? This is generally determined by the injured party’s status (invitee, licensee, or trespasser).
  • Breach of Duty: Did the property owner fail to meet their duty of care by not maintaining the property or failing to warn visitors of dangerous conditions?
  • Causation: Was the owner’s breach of duty a direct cause of the accident and the resulting injuries?
  • Damages: Did the injured party suffer quantifiable losses due to the accident, such as medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering?

If your attorney can prove all four elements, they can hold the property owner responsible for premises liability and your losses.

Always Work with a Slip and Fall Attorney

Our lawyer-prepared slip and fall accident report form. Streamline the documentation process and ensure your case is thoroughly recorded for legal purposes.

Given what you must prove in premises liability claims, you should always contact a slip and fall attorney about your case. They can negotiate with insurance companies and make sure you receive fair compensation. You will usually go up against businesses and their insurance companies, which is never easy, especially when already dealing with injuries and medical treatment.

Your attorney will handle everything, including:

  • Investigating all the factors that led to the accident
  • Calculating your quantifiable damages, including medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering
  • Filing a claim with the proper insurance company
  • Filing a lawsuit if they cannot obtain a fair settlement with the insurer
  • Making sure your claim is filed within the legal time frame of the statute of limitations

How a Slip and Fall Attorney Assesses Your Damages

Legal professionals review the following factors when they determine a favorable settlement amount:

  • Medical costs – The past and projected costs for medical treatment – reviewing medical bills and records
  • Lost earnings – The income you’ve lost because of the accident – looking at pay stubs and similar income statements
  • Pain and suffering – Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress from your injuries – often through your reports and expert opinions

Once the above factors are assessed, your attorney can proceed to negotiations, mediation, or possibly trial, if necessary. They will do what it takes to hold parties fully liable for causing your slip and fall accident and injuries.

Consult a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Your Area

Determining who is liable in a slip and fall accident requires thoroughly examining the facts, an in-depth understanding of premises liability law, and a keen awareness of state legislation.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe premises, but an injured party must take proper action to uphold their rights following an accident. When accidents occur, determining liability can be challenging, often requiring a skilled professional to carefully examine all the evidence.

Don’t wait to begin the process, as time is of the essence. Contact a Columbia personal injury attorney for a free consultation now.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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