The realm of personal injury claims in Greenville, South Carolina is broad and includes a number of different types of personal injury claims. Among them is the premises liability claim. Premises liability claims are those which result from personal injuries that occur on someone else’s property, whether that is a neighbor, a friend, a family member, a business, or the government.
Of course, each of these entities may have different rules associated with claims filed against them. The government has more protection from liability, for example. A business may have more liability for hazards than your neighbor, depending on the case. Yet, one thing that all of these premises liability claims have in common is that the most frequent injuries are caused by slip or trip and fall accidents from hazards on the property.
Further, this is an area of personal injury law where many people make mistakes by simply not knowing what to do after the injury occurs or what kind of compensation they are owed.
What Kinds of Compensation Are You Owed After a Slip or Trip and Fall Injury?
When you suffer from injuries related to a slip or trip and fall on the property of someone else, you can seek compensation for all of your medical expenses and procedures, any lost wages from taking time off of work, any loss in your future earning potential in cases of disability, any prescription medications that you may require, any medical devices that you need, and any physical rehabilitation therapy that is necessary for you to get back on your feet.
For example, if you broke a leg, you may need surgery, a cast, a wheelchair and/or crutches, more surgeries, physical rehabilitation therapy to walk again, and a substantial amount of time off of work. Throughout, you may require expensive medications for pain. You may even become overwhelmed by the stress and isolation of recovery and end up with depression, which may lead to further expense for more medication and treatment. That broken leg will also make it harder for you to take care of yourself, to shop for yourself, to clean your house, and more. You might need to hire somebody to help with all of these ordinary tasks. All of these things can be compensated by the negligent party or their insurance policy.
How to Avoid Mistakes in a Slip or Trip and Fall Injury Claim
Perhaps the most common mistake that people make in Greenville, South Carolina after a slip or trip and fall injury is to pretend that it didn’t happen. You might be surprised at how often people do this and end up with injuries and medical needs that cannot be compensated by the liable party. This happens most often because of embarrassment.
While you may be surprised that so many people don’t seek treatment right away, you can probably empathize with the embarrassment that comes with slipping or tripping and falling down. In fact, it can be embarrassing even if nobody witnesses it and even if you don’t actually fall. Many people have slipped and almost fallen, then quickly looked to make sure nobody saw, and then laughed at themselves as they continued on their way. They were lucky not get hurt, and can walk it off without consequences. Yet, if you slip or trip and actually fall down and injure yourself, the worst thing you can do is hope nobody saw and walk away.
What should you do, instead? Notify the owner of the property and seek medical treatment. You may think that your injury is not serious. Perhaps it is just a bruised tailbone or a bruised ankle. However, it very well may be a cracked tailbone, a slipped disc, a sprained ankle, a broken toe, a broken foot, or even a head injury, depending on how you fell. There are many ways that a slip or trip and fall accident can lead to serious injuries that may or may not be obvious at first. Seeking medical treatment is necessary to know the extent of your injuries and have medical records as evidence that you were in fact injured.
You also need to know about the statute of limitations in your Greenville, South Carolina premises liability claim. In most cases, you will have three years from the date of the injury to file the claim. Missing this deadline is another common mistake in slip and trip and fall injuries. You may think that three years is plenty of time, but the sooner you file your claim, the stronger your case is going to be. You want to file the claim while your memory of the incident is fresh, while evidence and witness testimony are still available, and with plenty of time for you and your attorney to negotiate for a fair settlement with the liable party. Also, the statute of limitations for a governmental entity is only two years. Sometimes, it may not be immediately apparent whether the property where the injury occurred belongs to a governmental entity. This is another reason why you file your claim sooner, rather than later.
This is another key mistake to avoid: negotiating without a lawyer. While there is no law stating that you cannot pursue your premises liability claim without a Greenville, South Carolina personal injury attorney, it is absolutely in your best interest to have one. This is because someone who works without the benefit of an attorney is going to be less informed on their rights and options as well as the value of their claim. They will find it more difficult to prove their case, and the insurance company they deal with may not take them seriously at all. They are likely to get a settlement offer that far beneath what they are owed, or even to have their claim unjustly denied. You can avoid these unfortunate outcomes by working with a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in slip and trip and fall claims like yours.
The lawyers at David R. Price, Jr. P.A. are always happy to offer a free consultation and make sure that you get started on the right foot. Call our skilled premises liability attorneys in Greenville today to learn more about your case and how we can help.