An ordinary day can quickly become a disaster, with a slip and fall on a friend’s property causing a fun afternoon to take a serious turn. An unexpected fall may require a lengthy recovery, from both the physical injuries and the financial toll. What are my options after a fall on residential property?
If the slip-and-fall injury occurred on residential property, you may be entitled to compensation. Did your neighbor adequately warn you about a faulty step before your fall? Or did they make you aware of the missing handrail on their stairs?
Keep reading to learn more about premises liability, and to find out how Hoffman Law Firm can help you recover from a fall.
Slips, Falls, and Premises Liability
Suffering from a slip and fall on a neighbor’s property is anything but friendly, with complicated legal terminology making the situation particularly overwhelming. With the help of our personal injury attorneys at Hoffman Law Firm, we will help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What is a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
The terms “slip,” “trip,” and “fall” are often used interchangeably when describing an accident, but they are, in fact, very different legal terms. A “slip” refers to a loss of friction between your feet and the surface. More often, a slip is caused by a wet or slippery surface, like a wet floor. Slips can also be caused by items that have been spilled on the floor, such as beads or other objects.
A “trip” occurs when your body comes into contact with a fixed object, causing you to lose your footing and stumble. A trip could be due to the following:
- Loose carpets or rugs
- Items left on the floor
- Poorly lit spaces with unseen obstacles
- Uneven pavement
A “fall” is the result of a trip or a slip. It is the event where a person unexpectedly makes contact with the ground or other lower levels. Slip and fall accidents are more common than you may realize, happening anywhere from the workplace to your neighbor’s living room. On average, slip and fall accidents account for more than a million hospital visits every year.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that refers to the responsibility of a property owner for the injuries sustained on their property. Premises liability not only applies to residential properties, but to commercial properties as well.
A slip and fall is not the only situation that could lead to a premises liability lawsuit. Other situations include:
- Amusement park accidents
- Dog or other animal attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
If you suffered an injury in any of these situations, contact a personal injury lawyer near you for a consultation.
Understanding the Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
The claims process may seem daunting, from the specialized legal language to the different elements involved. Hoffman Law Firm can help! Our qualified team of premises liability lawyers not only offers decades of combined experience, but peace of mind when you need it most.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Premises Liability Claim?
Keep in mind that the property owner is not to blame in every slip and fall injury suffered on a residential property. In order to establish that a property owner is liable for your injuries, there has to be proof to back up your claim. To receive compensation from the property owner, your attorney at Hoffman Law Firm must prove that negligence was involved. The elements of negligence include:
- The property owner had a duty to protect you from harm.
- The property owner breached their duty to protect you.
- You were injured as a result of their negligence.
- You have experienced real damages that you can be compensated for, such as medical bills.
Invitee vs. Licensee vs. Trespasser
In South Carolina, your legal status at the time of your incident affects the level of responsibility of the property owner – and your chances of receiving full compensation for your losses.
- Invitee: People who come out to the property with the sole intent of doing business. An example, a shopper in a grocery store. The highest duty of care is extended to invitees, meaning that the property owner is obligated to adequately correct or warn about potential hazards on the property.
- Licensee: A licensee is an invited guest, such as a friend or family member. The level of care owed to licensees is intermediate, meaning they must warn or correct potential dangers but don’t have the same obligations as they would for an invitee.
- Trespasser: Even people who enter the property without permission are owed some duty of care by the owner.
Note that employees and children fall into a different category in premises liability claims. Children are not expected to have the same sensibilities as adults, meaning that they can’t be held accountable for failing to recognize potential dangers. The owner has the duty to reduce a potential danger, such as by putting up a fence, and could be held liable if an incident occurs.
An employee, if injured on a personal property, would instead file a Workers’ Compensation claim because their injury happened “on the job.”
Recovering Damages After a Fall
At Hoffman Law Firm, our slip and fall attorneys near you will advocate for you each step of the way, guiding you from claim to compensation. When it comes to an injury on a residential property, there are several factors to focus on. If our team is successful, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Suffer a Fall on a Residential Property? Hoffman Law Firm Can Help.
Suffering a fall on a residential property can have devastating effects, leaving you with physical injuries as well as emotional ones – not to mention the mounting medical bills. Our qualified team of slip and fall lawyers near you is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve!
Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.
Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State. Our personal injury attorneys are skilled in a wide variety of areas, including slip, trip, and fall incidents. To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today.
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