In South Carolina, current statistics show that slip & fall injuries are one of the leading causes of hospital emergency room visits. If you, or a family member, have been injured in a slip & fall accident on someone else’s property and their negligence may be involved, you must understand your legal rights.
Any injury due to a slip and fall accident isn’t something for which you can plan. However, when the unexpected does happen, you may be scared, confused, in pain, or worse. You must do everything right after your accident, but you must know where to begin.
If your accidents occurred on private property, it could be owned by an individual, corporation, or even the government, and the way your Beaufort or North Augusta slip and fall lawyer approaches the case may differ.
There are a few things you should do first, they are:
- Obtain immediate medical help – Usually, you should be treated initially at the scene. However, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible so that they may determine just how seriously you are hurt. Also, you must obtain a written professional diagnosis of your injuries. Your complete medical evaluation will assist your personal injury lawyer in getting you the compensation for the treatment you need to recover and thrive.
- Identify the specifics of what happened or caused the incident – Try to write down your thoughts (or, if needed, have someone else document them) as soon as possible at the scene of your accident. This firsthand information is invaluable and can also aid your doctor in giving you the proper treatment and providing you with proof to help your slip and fall lawyer get you and your family what you need to recover.
- Take photos and get the names of witnesses – This helps your medical team and provides proof of exactly what occurred. If you cannot do this yourself, have a friend or someone at the scene help the best they can.
- If outside, note the weather and lighting conditions – Either of these things may have contributed to you having the accident.
- Make notations of any dangerous circumstances – Examples of these would be water puddles, broken or uneven pavement, debris, etc.
- Warning signs for hazardous conditions, or absence of warning signs – If hazardous conditions did exist, or even cause your accident, were the hazards marked or not.
Remember, some slip and fall accidents can affect you temporarily, but others may alter the remainder of your life. Medical treatment and recovery can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So having a thorough and detailed consultation with a South Carolina slip and fall lawyer should be done as soon as possible.
Are South Carolina Slip and Fall Cases Difficult to Prove?
Since slip and fall accidents usually involve you (as the victim) and no one else, it can legally be more difficult to prove the property owner’s liability. There are times when the entire case might become little more than your word against the defendants. That’s why obtaining tangible pertinent evidence is vital to your case.
You need to rest and recover without slowing down your case because your expenses keep climbing. If possible, you should work with a local slip and fall attorney, beginning on the day of your accident.
As shown above, your experienced and knowledgeable South Carolina lawyer can analyze all the evidence collected and move to preserve it before it is discarded or erased. Your personal injury lawyer can also use any evidence you collected at the scene of your accident in a well-presented and in-depth review, finding definitive ways to prove you were not liable for your accident. It’s vital to note, that the less liable you are proven to be, the greater the damages you can recover from a successful claim.
Is There A “Time Limit” for Me To File My Slip & Fall Lawsuit in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for almost all personal injury claims is three years, which means that you have up to three years to file a claim after your accident. The clock for the three years begins when you are injured. This “statute of limitations” holds in most cases regarding private property claims. However, if your claim is against a government entity, the statute of limitations may be reduced to two years.
The discovery rule plays a significant role in establishing the statute of limitations. This rule clarifies that the clock on the statute of limitations officially begins when an accident victim knows or has known about their injury.
In most cases, you are aware of the moment you have been injured, and the time limit begins to coincide with the day that your accident occurred. Therefore, the exact time of your slip & fall accident is not in dispute.
This sounds simple enough, but the defendant’s lawyer may produce ways to dispute when your injury occurred and that their client was not at fault. This is where the professional guidance of your South Carolina personal injury lawyer will be invaluable to presenting and winning your case.
What Are Some Other Key Points I Need to Know Regarding My Slip & Fall Suit?
Remember that it’s vital that you realize that your slip and fall case will primarily depend on whether the private property owner took rational and reasonable actions to keep their property safe. Legally speaking, the most crucial question your South Carolina slip and fall lawyer will answer and prove is: Was the property owner negligent? Also, did that negligence contribute to, or cause, your slip and fall accident?
Secondly, If your slip and fall lawsuit isn’t filed timely and before the deadline passes, you can almost always be sure that the property owner will ask the court to dismiss the case when you file it, which usually is granted.
So, the sooner you thoroughly go over all the details of your case with a Beaufort or North Augusta slip & fall lawyer, the better the chance you can protect all your rights under South Carolina law.
I Do Feel That I Must File a Slip & Fall Lawsuit, How Do I Proceed?
Of course, not every slip and fall injury could lead to the filing of a lawsuit, but many due, and it’s always a promising idea to keep all your options open. So, if you think you may have to file a personal injury claim, then get the guidance and advice of a qualified South Carolina slip and fall lawyer. The dependable, professional, and empathetic South Carolina law firm of Nimmons Malchow Johnson will thoroughly investigate your case and work tirelessly to obtain the results you deserve. Consult with them now, and don’t leave your or your family’s future up to chance.