Nothing to laugh at
We’ve probably all done it – laughed at someone who takes a spill and lands awkwardly. Trips and falls have long been a staple of slapstick comedy, these days often captured on home videos featured in television shows. But falls really are nothing to laugh at, and neither are the slip-and-fall lawsuits brought to seek compensation for a victim’s medical expenses and pain.
Frequency of fall injuries
Not only have most of us laughed at the sight of someone else falling, most of us have fallen down at some point. And even if you were fortunate enough not to be seriously injured, many thousands of others each year are not so lucky. Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million emergency room visits annually, according to 2011 statistics from the National Safety Council.
Every day in the U.S., approximately 8,000 children are treated in the emergency room for injuries received in a fall. Older adults are particularly prone to fall-related injuries: According to the CDC, 2.4 million older adults were treated in emergency departments in 2012 for non-fatal falls, and more than 722,000 of them had to be hospitalized. Slip-and-fall accidents are also the third most common cause of worker’s compensation claims.
If you or someone you care about suffered a personal injury in a South Carolina slip-and-fall accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, contact the Louthian Law Firm at 803-454-1200. We promise hands-on help and achieve exceptional results.
Typical scenarios leading to a fall injury
Slips, trips and falls can happen just about anywhere. These are just a few of the scenarios we have seen in our Columbia personal injury law practice:
- Cluttered store aisles – Boxes, merchandise, pallets or other objects left in store walkways create a hazardous situation and may subject merchants to liability if a patron suffers an injury from stumbling over them.
- Sidewalks and parking lots – Broken pavement, holes and uneven surfaces can cause a trip or fall, as can ice or snow which is not timely removed.
- Wet and slippery floors – Similarly, floors which have been mopped or become wet with tracked-in rain or snow become hazardous for people walking through the area.
- Loose or uneven flooring – Frayed or buckling carpet, loose rugs or doormats, cracked tiles, or other flooring surfaces that are improperly installed or maintained are a common cause of falls.
- Hospitals and nursing homes – Inadequate supervision leads to thousands of nursing home and hospital injuries each year.
- Improper lighting – Failure to install or maintain lighting in stairwells, parking lots or around the premises can cause patrons of hotels, restaurants, and shops to slip or trip and fall.
- Staircases and handrails – Improper design, construction or maintenance of stairs, steps and handrails can be a factor in serious falls.
Falls cause numerous injuries
Injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident can range from minor to severe – even fatal – depending on the circumstances of the fall and the age of the victim. Some of the most common slip-and-fall injuries are:
- Fractures, most commonly of the hip, vertebra, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, wrist or hand
- Head trauma, like a TBI (traumatic brain injury) or subdural hematoma
- Back injury such as a herniated disc
- Muscle strains and sprains, sometimes from trying to prevent the fall
- Spinal cord injury
- Knee damage
- Torn ligaments and soft tissue injury.
Challenges for the South Carolina slip and fall lawyer
Just because you trip or fall on someone else’s property, that doesn’t automatically entitle you to compensation. While the law holds property owners responsible for ensuring there are no clearly unsafe conditions that could injure someone, it also acknowledges that they need a reasonable amount of time to correct a hazard of which they become aware.
South Carolina law on premises liability is complex. If you or someone you care about was injured in a slip, trip or fall accident, you should speak to an experienced Columbia SC slip and fall lawyer from the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible. We have 80 years of experience helping injured South Carolinians.
We understand personal injury law, and we understand that our clients are often going through a tough time when they come to us. That’s why we always offer free, no-obligation case evaluations and never take a dime until after we’ve won your case. To speak with a Columbia SC slip and fall lawyer about your case, call us today or fill out our confidential consultation form.