A Columbia slip and fall lawyer on our team can discuss your injuries and legal options with you today. You can meet with us to learn about your right to pursue compensation and hold the property owner or occupier legally responsible for your expenses and losses. Our Columbia slip and fall lawyers are here for you and may be able to help you get justice in your case.
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., we provide free initial consultations for injury victims in Columbia, SC, and nearby areas. Our Columbia personal injury lawyers want to ensure you know your rights. You can recover compensation if you can show the property owner was negligent and that this carelessness led to your injuries. Call today to get started.
Recovering Damages Based on a Columbia Fall Incident
Falls happen in several different ways. How the fall occurs can affect the injuries that occur. Types of falls include trips, slips, and falls from an elevated height.
Slips and trips cause injuries to different parts of the body. A slip generally causes the person to fall backward while a trip pivots them forward. In either case, though, fractures and joint injuries are common. These often affect the ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Other injuries that can occur in a trip or slip include:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Other neck or back injuries
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Severe cuts and lacerations
Falls from an elevated area, such as the stairs or when a railing gives way, often cause catastrophic injuries that leave victims with lifelong disabilities. Many require treatment, support, or ongoing care for the rest of their lives.
What Expenses and Losses Do Fall Victims Incur?
Our Louthian Law Firm, P.A., lawyers know that falls can cause serious injuries and significant expenses. Many people do not think of trips or slips as major accidents, but we understand how disruptive these injuries often are for our clients and their families. We pursue compensation to cover the expenses and losses our clients experienced because of their falls.
These damages could include:
- Ambulance transportation, emergency department treatment, and other medical bills
- Future or ongoing care expenses as estimated by experts
- Lost income from any source
- Reduced ability to work and earn in the future
- Property damages, such as broken glasses
- Related documented expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Our attorney helps each client document their damages as a part of investigating the case. This essential step helps us to understand their full range of losses and seek the appropriate compensation based on the case’s facts.
Pursuing Wrongful Death Damages in South Carolina
Sometimes, a family calls us because their loved one died from fall injuries. Wrongful deaths from falls may not be as common as car accidents or other personal injuries, but the possibility can happen. If your loved one suffered fatal fall injuries, our team can help. We represent clients who lost an immediate family member because of a property owner’s negligence.
The lawyers from Louthian Law Firm, P.A., understand the South Carolina wrongful death laws and how they work, which include:
- The victim’s personal representative (executor) must file the case.
- The spouse, children, and/or parents are the most common beneficiaries.
- Insurance settlements or lawsuits recover this compensation.
- The court must approve each settlement.
If you suffered a loss in your family because of a premises liability accident in Columbia, our team can meet with you to discuss your legal rights and options. Your family may be able to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost income, loss of services, intangible losses, and more. Our team may be able to help you develop and file your case and negotiate a fair settlement.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Helps Clients with Premises Liability Injury Cases
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., we have helped clients with injuries like yours for more than half a century. We know what it takes to develop, file, and win a slip and fall claim. If necessary, we take these cases to trial in Richland County, presenting strong evidence to the judge and jury.
We work one-on-one with our clients. Their attorney always knows their name, the facts of their case, and what justice looks like to them. Attorney Herb Louthian founded our firm in 1959 to help South Carolinians hold at-fault parties accountable and recover full compensation for their injuries. We work toward this goal in every case we handle today.
Our firm represents clients based on contingency, meaning:
- We provide free initial consultations for potential clients.
- We do not charge our clients anything upfront.
- Our clients only pay attorney’s fees when we recover compensation.
- We receive a pre-approved portion of the settlement or court award recovered in the case.
- We answer any questions our clients have about this before asking them to sign our agreement.
We Have Recovered Awards for Premises Liability Clients
Our attorneys fight to protect our clients’ rights and seek compensation for them based on the facts of their cases. Each case has its own value depending on the losses and expenses the victim incurred. For example, we recently recovered $225,000 in a negotiated settlement in a South Carolina premises liability case. This award represented the damages the client suffered because of their injuries.
We use receipts, bills, expert opinions, and other resources to establish a fair settlement value for each claim we handle. Our assessment allows us to know when an insurer offers a fair settlement. We will not agree to accept too little for our clients. Many fall victims risk receiving a low settlement when they try to handle their claims without our help.
Negligence and Falls Injuries in Columbia, South Carolina
Negligence can cause fall injuries in many ways. A property owner who fails to properly maintain their land or buildings can hurt people. If a hazard exists, the owner or occupier must identify and repair it to the fullest extent possible. If they fail to do so and someone suffers an injury, the victim may have a legal case against them.
Some ways that negligence can lead to fall injuries include:
- Tripping over items in the walkway
- Cords across the aisle
- Uneven or damaged flooring or pavement
- Unmarked steps
- Spills or leaks
- Tracked rainwater or snow
- Improper cleaning, such as leaving too much wax on the floor
- Loose or broken railings
- Poor lighting on stairs
Any of these causes, and many others, could point to negligence. Our team can assess your case and legal options following a fall incident. An assessment could let you know if you have a case against the property owner or occupier. We provide free consultations for injured victims in Columbia and other nearby areas.
What Does South Carolina Law Say About Premises Liability?
South Carolina recognizes premises liability under case law, Sojourner v. Autozone Inc et al. This U.S. District Court decision states that property owners and occupiers are liable for injuries that occur and harm guests and other visitors legally on their property.
The injury victim can receive a financial recovery if they can show:
- The property owner knew or should have known about the issue.
- The liable party failed to address the hazard.
- The hazard caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered physical and financial harm.
The state’s premises liability laws apply in almost any location. Fall injuries can happen anywhere, including:
- Local restaurants and shops
- Shopping malls, including Columbiana Centre, Columbia Place Mall, or Richland Mall
- Live music venues, such as Koger Center for the Arts or Township Auditorium
- Theaters for movies or live productions
- Bars like The Senate
- Williams-Brice Stadium or Colonial Life Arena
- Private homes or other privately-owned locations
- Public areas such as government buildings, sidewalks, and parks
A common defense in these cases is the owner or occupier claiming that the victim trespassed at the time. Under South Carolina law, property owners do not owe trespassers a duty of care in most cases.
Who Is Legally Responsible for My Injuries?
The legally responsible party for your accident and injuries will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
In general, it may be:
- The owner of the property where the fall occurred
- The lessee of the property where the fall occurred
- Both the property owner and the occupier
The party tasked with providing maintenance and repairs to the property is most likely the one legally responsible. The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., can determine the liable party when we investigate a fall accident. We can discuss this in more detail when we assess your case.
The legally responsible party, known as the liable party, is the one whose insurance policy we can file your claim against or sue in a Richland County civil court to recover damages on your behalf.
What Evidence Is Available in a Slip and Fall Case?
Identifying the liable party is not the first step our team takes to build a case and pursue damages for our clients. We must understand the circumstances that led to the fall and injuries, including what happened, where, and when. We need evidence to present to the insurer or jury to show negligence and liability.
Obtaining evidence requires an investigation.
The evidence we may be able to identify, gather, and analyze in these cases could include:
- Official incident reports related to the fall
- Video of the fall
- Photographs of the hazard
- Eyewitness statements
- A survey of the accident scene
- Relevant medical records
- Expert opinions about injuries, ongoing care needs, and prognosis
- Documentation of our client’s damages
Every case has differences; there may be more or less evidence available to support your fall claim. Our team knows how to develop a strong argument for compensation based on what we learn about your case during our investigation.
Act Quickly to Gather Evidence and Hold the Liable Party Accountable
Our attorneys recommend that you act fast to build a case following your fall injuries. Evidence often disappears quickly, which could affect the strength of your claim. Begin thinking about your financial recovery and how you will pay your medical bills as soon as your injuries are stable. You do not want to wait too long and run out of time or let key evidence slip away.
Don’t overlook the fact that the likely liable party probably has a lot of key evidence in their possession as well. The sooner we can act to preserve these items, possibly including a video of the fall, the better.
Deadlines for Filing a Richland County, SC, Lawsuit
South Carolina has deadlines for filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. In general, South Carolina law gives most victims up to three years to file the initial lawsuit paperwork. However, exceptions may apply.
Some of them mean you have less time to act. For example, if you suffered injuries in a municipal building in Columbia, you only have two years to sue per another South Carolina law. You must follow other rules when pursuing compensation from a municipality, so you get started early. Our team can help.
Consult a Columbia Slip and Fall Lawyer at Our Firm About Your Case Today
The Louthian Law Firm provides complimentary initial consultations for victims hurt in Columbia slip and fall incidents. We also work with clients from other nearby areas. We can explain your rights and discuss how we can help you get justice based on the details of your case. Let us go to work for you.