Slip and fall accidents fall under the governance of personal injury law when the person sustains injuries on someone else’s property because of the property owner’s negligence.
If you suffered an injury in an avoidable slip and fall incident, you may have the opportunity to recover your financial losses and more. Our Columbia slip and fall attorneys could explain your rights and help you understand the legal avenues to compensation available. Contact the Shealey Law Firm to begin.
How Can a Columbia Slip and Fall Attorney Help You?
Hiring legal representation means you can prioritize healing while your attorney handles all the administrative and investigative work to build a strong claim for adequate compensation. Proving a property owner liable for your fall is a challenge an experienced lawyer can meet, and some will take your case without charging upfront fees.
Essential aspects of a slip and fall attorney’s job include the following:
- Investigating the accident for proof of the property owner’s negligence
- Drafting your demands package, including the explanation of what happened, a list of your damages and the documents necessary to prove your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement reflective of your losses
- Drafting interrogatories for the property owner
- Providing professional representation and personalized support
A committed Columbia slip and fall attorney cares about your rights and will fight to protect them. Unfortunately, these accidents can result in devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences that are out of your control. You deserve a legal professional who will adequately value your claim and ensure you get the compensation needed to restore your life.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
You can slip and fall anywhere. However, not all accidents constitute a personal injury claim. Those that do warrant a civil suit most commonly occur on private property and in business establishments:
- Parking lots and sidewalks
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Restaurants and bars
- Shopping centers and supermarkets
- Old buildings
Residential property owners also owe a duty of care to anyone lawfully present on their land. Therefore, the first step in determining who is liable for damages is to connect the accident’s cause to the property owner’s negligent inaction.
Most Common Causes and Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Common causes of slips and falls include:
- Wet floors for spills in restaurants and supermarkets left without proper signage
- Uneven flooring or bulging carpet
- Broken tiles and torn carpets
- Staircases with loose railing or floorboards
- Potholes or cracks in parking lots and sidewalks
Neglected staircases, elevators, escalators and decks can also present dangerous conditions for unaware visitors.
Injuries from slip and fall accidents can range drastically based on the circumstances and the person’s health status. However, the most common injuries include bruises, lacerations, fractured or broken bones, sprained muscles, dislocated shoulder or torn ligaments.
Your attorney must prove negligence to ensure you get the compensation you need to accommodate the losses associated with your injuries.
How Does a Columbia Slip and Fall Attorney Prove Negligence?
To recover damages from the property owner, you, and your attorney by extension, are responsible for providing evidence to support the elements of a negligence claim:
- Duty of care: Did the property owner owe you a duty of care at the time of the accident? If you were lawfully present on their property, they had a duty to ensure it was safe.
- Breach of duty: Did the owner breach their duty of care by not maintaining safe conditions on the property, such as failing to fix broken tiles or clean a spill?
- Causation: Did the owner’s actions directly cause the accident and your injuries?
- Damages: Did your injuries result in recoverable losses, known as damages?
A valid personal injury claim must have damages. We know where to look for all recoverable losses and will ensure your settlement matches the value of your claim.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Slip and Fall Accident?
All personal injury and slip and fall accidents have unique circumstances that can affect the type and value of recoverable damages. Losses fall within the two categories of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages cover all financial consequences of your accident and injuries. They can vary based on the severity of your injuries and the conditions under which the accident occurred, but the most common examples are:
- The cost of medical bills, including all necessary current and future treatments, medications, medical devices and rehabilitative care
- The value of lost wages from missing work or loss of earning capacity
- The cost of necessary replacement services during recovery, including help with household duties, childcare expenses and transportation to medical visits
- The cost of repairing or replacing any property damaged during the accident
A Columbia slip and fall attorney will help you gather all the supporting evidence necessary to prove economic damages. This includes detailed records and bills from your medical visits, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses and pay stubs from your job.
Non-economic damages cover the psychological impact of your accident, assigning monetary value to the adverse emotional and mental effects of your accident and injuries. Consider the most common examples:
- The pain and suffering you endured from the injuries and treatment
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Degradation of your quality of life due to your injuries
Identifying the non-economic damages from a slip and fall accident is critical to an attorney’s job. Additionally, they understand the careful balance of adequately valuing these losses.
The most common technique is the multiplier method, which entails multiplying the total medical expenses by a number between 1.5 and 5, using a higher number with more severe injuries.
Should You Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney in Columbia?
If you sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident in Columbia, you might have the opportunity to receive compensation for your losses. A lawyer can listen to the details of your case and answer your questions at no cost. Contact Shealey Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and speak with an experienced Columbia slip and fall attorney.