Slipping and falling is one of the most common types of accident, and they are often caused by negligence on the part of the commercial property owner or manager. If someone else’s negligence leaves you or someone you love injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s time to consult with an experienced Moncks Corner slip and fall accident lawyer at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers.
Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
The CDC shares all the following sobering statistics in relation to slip and fall accidents:
- One out of every fall leads to a serious injury, such as a concussion or broken bone.
- More than 800,000 people are hospitalized every year for injuries like broken hips or head injuries that they sustain in slip and fall accidents.
- More than 95 percent of broken hips are caused by falls.
- The most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are falls.
Slip and fall accidents happen far too often and are extremely dangerous.
The Elements of Your Slip and Fall Injury Claim
There are several elements that must be present in order to bring a successful slip and fall accident claim. These include:
- The property owner or manager owed you a duty of care – or had a responsibility to your safety. This is generally true whenever you enter a store, business, restaurant, or facility.
- The property owner failed to employ the standard of care that most other property owner’s employ in similar situations.
- The property owner’s negligence caused you to slip, fall, and be injured.
- The injuries you sustained caused you to experience losses that are covered by the law.
Identifying Your Losses From a Slip and Fall
The losses you suffer as a result of a slip and fall accident can include all the following:
- Your medical expenses, which can include related treatment and care that you’ll need in the future
- Your lost income, which may include losses related to earning potential
- Your pain and suffering, which can be one of the most challenging obstacles you face.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
While no two slip and fall accident claims every include exactly the same circumstances, the majority of these claims are caused by slipping and tripping hazards like the following:
- Outdoor parking lots, parking structures, or grounds that have uneven, buckled, cracked, overly slippery, or otherwise dangerous walkways
- Outdoor walkways that aren’t cleared of slippery debris, such as wet leaves or ice and slush
- Inadequately lit walkways, both indoors and outdoors
- Walkways that incorporate slipping hazards
- Dangerously bunched, frayed, ripped, or otherwise worn floor coverings
- Floor coverings or surfaces that are naturally slippery
- Dangerously designed or constructed staircases
The Property’s Insurance Company Is Profit-Driven
While it’s true that the insurance company handling your slip and fall accident claim is paid specifically to cover claims like yours, it’s important to recognize that the company is profit driven and will do what it can to keep the amount of your settlement low.
As such, beware of the insurance company’s tactics like the following:
- An early settlement offer, which is often an attempt to finalize a claim before the claimant recognizes how extensive their losses are
- An artificially complicated or lengthy claims process, which is the insurance company’s way of encouraging claimants to give up
- Attempts to shift fault from the policyholder to the claimant
- Attempts to minimize the losses experienced by the claimant
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement with you that addresses your complete losses, you can file a lawsuit against them and look to the court to determine the amount to which you are entitled.
Protecting Your Slip and Fall Accident Case
Your slip and fall claim will be unique to you and your exact situation, but there are steps you can take to help protect your claim throughout the legal process, including:
- Carefully adhering to the advice and instructions you receive from your healthcare team
- Seeking the professional legal counsel of a dedicated slip and fall accident lawyer early in the process
- Allowing your skilled lawyer to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in pursuit of a fair settlement
- Conferring with your slip and fall lawyer prior to accepting a settlement offer
- Taking a break from posting on social media while your claim is pending; the insurance company is watching
The bottom line is that the insurance company is practiced at eliciting statements and information from claimants that the company later twists to its own purposes. The less interaction you have with the insurance company, the better off you’re likely to be.
Contact an Experienced Moncks Corner Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is a family firm with strong ties to the community. E. Mason West is the firm’s capable slip and fall accident lawyer, and he has an impressive range of experience successfully guiding challenging claims like yours toward advantageous resolutions.
Slip and Fall Case FAQs
What if the insurance company denies my claim outright?
Just because the insurance company denies your claim does not mean that you do not have a valid slip and fall claim. In such an instance, filing a lawsuit against the company and allowing the court to make the necessary determinations regarding your compensation is likely the best path forward.
Do I need professional legal counsel?
Without a seasoned slip and fall accident lawyer on your side, you’re far less likely to obtain fair compensation that covers your complete physical, financial, and emotional losses.
Do I have a strong claim?
The best way to evaluate your claim for its strengths — and any weaknesses — is by discussing the matter with a knowledgeable slip and fall accident lawyer who will help you determine what your next steps should be.