Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and Fall Accidents

Most slip and fall accidents can be avoided.

On any given day, the average American visits several businesses and stores ranging from gas stations to coffee shops, grocery stores to department stores. While we make the conscious choice to enter a store or business, the owner of the establishment is still responsible to maintain the property in a safe and secure manner. Unfortunately, many owners overlook the safety of their customers in an effort to keep maintenance costs to a minimum. In these cases, patrons may be exposed to hazardous conditions that can result in serious injuries from slips and falls.

In most states, property and business owners are legally responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for visitors. The simple act of picking up items from the floor, cleaning up spills, and ensuring that fixtures, doors, and elevators are functioning properly is the owner’s responsibility. Slip and fall factors include:

  • The presence of water or other liquids that were not cleaned or barricaded off.
  • Inadequate lighting (even in parking lots) that leads to a trip or fall.
  • Malfunctions in escalators or elevators.
  • Broken, uneven, or poorly maintained floors, sidewalks, or aisles.
  • Falls due to loose railings.
  • Unsecured parking garages.
  • Inadequate security.
  • Loose ceiling tiles.

Again, accidents happen, but many slips, trips, and fall-accidents can and should have been avoided. Property owners are responsible to act in accordance with local laws to fix safety-related issues they knew to exist – or should have known to exist.

Many slip and fall accidents occur in or around businesses. As a result, customers who slip and fall may recover a portion of the cost for their injury or loss – that is, if the business owner or establishment failed in their responsibility.

Responsibilities of a property owner vary depending on the classification of the visitor. State law differs in the responsibility of property owners regarding premise liability depending on the classification of the visitor. Basically:

  • Property owners should do their best to ensure that dangerous conditions are removed or minimized.
  • Property owners should post warning signs near hazardous areas, or cordon off the area altogether so that visitors prevented from entering the dangerous area.
  • The property owner must be negligent.

Visitors are distinguished into one of four classifications: invitees, licensees, trespassers, and children. Different standards of care apply depending upon the visitor’s classification.

Property owners owe the highest degree of care to invitees, those who enter a property or business with the express or implied permission of the proper owner. Customers to a store are considered to be an invitee. On the other hand, in some cases, a child who is an invitee can become a trespasser if the child enters a part of the building to which he or she should not enter.

A person classified as a licensee is a person who enters a non-business property with express or implied permission. Acquaintances who enter your home (i.e., social guests) are generally considered a licensee under South Carolina law.

A trespasser is an individual who enters a property without permission from the owner (for curiosity, to hunt, or for other purposes). A property owner’s liability for a trespasser is very limited, normally limited to only intentional injury or injury from willful or wanton negligence or misconduct.

For visitors classified as children, the only responsibility a property owner has is to refrain from willful or wanton negligence or misconduct.

Property owners must provide the highest degree of care to their invited guests, including:
  • Ensuring that the property is not harmful (including reasonable ongoing inspection).
  • Warning visitors about known dangers that cannot be removed or repaired.
  • Rescuing visitors who are injured.
  • Employing trusted people – the property owner may be liable for the conduct and actions of his or her employees.

As mentioned, property owners still have certain duty to care for foreseeable dangers even if the injured party is classified as licensee or trespasser. If you are a licensee or trespasser, call America Law Center to discuss your case. You may still have a claim for injuries.

Proving that you are a visitor may not be easy. This is why it is so important for you to contact America Law Center to help you get through the hurdles you may encounter.

You do not have to understand the complex rules surrounding slip and fall laws. That’s the job of America Law Center!

America Law Center can navigate all of your premise liability issues. But, it is important for injured victims to take immediate action to protect their personal interests. This do this, America Law Center will collect and take photos of your injuries and of the area where the slip or fall occurred, talking with witnesses and other shoppers, taking note of video camera, and more. America Law Center will do all of this and more for you – with no up-front fees!

Remember this rule, if you are hurt any type of slip and fall accident, time is of the essence. The sooner you talk to legal counsel, the better your chances of receiving the compensation due you.

At America Law Center we understand the anger and confusion you may feel when you or a loved one has been injured in a premises liability accident. Let America Law Center give you the legal advice that you need to secure the compensation you are entitled.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to contact legal counsel; documenting the current condition of the area in which the accident occurred can be important in building your case for compensation.

America Law Center will begin investigating your accident immediately. We will take photos of the dangerous situation, interview witnesses and review any video footage of the fall. Any evidence demonstrating negligence on behalf of the property owner will then be used to negotiate a settlement that covers your losses.

If a settlement cannot be reached, America Law Center will take your case to court to pursue a judgment in your favor.

Contact America Law Center to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific legal concerns.

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