Winning a Slip and Fall Case in South Carolina
What is a Slip and Fall?
A “slip and fall” is a common accident that can lead to injury, disability or death. The victim of a slip and fall accident can sue the person responsible for causing the accident and may receive damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.
Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
To win a slip and fall case, the plaintiff (victim) must establish negligence. The following three elements must be shown:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- There was a breach of that duty of care by negligent act or omission
- Damages resulted from the breach of duty
In other words, if you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident, you must show that the owner of the property where the slip and fall occurred was negligent, and that negligence led to the accident. You also must show that the property owner owed you a “duty of care.”
A property owner owes a duty of care to people who have a legal right to be there and has the responsibility of making sure his or her property is free of dangerous conditions. A property owner does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser, who shouldn’t be on the property in the first place. (The exception is for “known trespassers.”)
Slip and fall example: Timing is everything
A slip and fall case might look something like this. A customer is walking down the frozen food aisle in the grocery store and slips and falls, breaking a wrist. One hour earlier, an employee stocking shelves was careless and let some ice melt on the floor, leading to unsafe conditions.
The victim in this case can prove all three elements: the store owed the customer a duty of care because the customer had a legal right to be there, there was an act of negligence, and that negligence resulted in injury.
However, imagine a slightly different scenario: the ice didn’t melt on the floor one hour earlier, but only one minute earlier. This is a different story. It’s reasonable to expect the store owner or one of the employees to clean the water within one hour, but not as reasonable to expect it to be cleaned within one minute. This case will be more difficult to win, as the second element cannot be proved.
What to do if you’re in a slip and fall accident
Slip and fall accidents can be tricky to win because unlike in car accidents, police officers are typically not called to the scene after the accident to take a statement. Because of that, it’s smart to start a paper trail and gather evidence yourself as soon as you can. Take photos of the location of the accident with your smartphone showing the conditions. If you’re in a store, building, or public space, ask someone in charge to fill out a report recording the incident and get a copy of the report.
It’s also important to speak with an attorney right away so that any existing security footage can be preserved. The attorney will then put the responsible party on notice by sending a notification letter.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney at The Carolina Law Group
Have you been involved in a slip and fall accident? If so, contact an attorney at The Carolina Law Group. The Carolina Law Group handles personal injury and criminal cases as well as workers’ compensation and immigration. Contact The Carolina Law Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices across South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville* (call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer* (call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg* (864.312.4444). Call to schedule your consultation with a local personal injury attorney today.
910 E Washington St
Greenville, SC 29601
210 W Poinsett St
Greer, SC 29650
7612 Asheville Hwy
Spartanburg, SC 29303
West Greenville Office
6304 White Horse Rd. Suite B-6
Greenville, SC 29601