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The Ultimate Guide to Premises Liability Cases in South Carolina: What to Know if You Experience a Trip and Fall or Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina

The Ultimate Guide to Premises Liability Cases in South Carolina_ What to Know if You Experience a Trip and Fall or Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina

If you or someone you know has been injured before in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall case, then the language of these types of cases and injuries is probably not new to you.

If you or a loved one were injured on someone else’s property, you may be unfamiliar with premises liability law. Welcome to the “Ultimate Guide” Series from Goings Law Firm. Discover your rights and avenues for recovery here. Let’s dive in.


What is a trip and fall case?

A trip-and-fall case typically centers around an injury caused to someone when they trip, stumble, or otherwise fall over some physical object or imperfection at a property. We’ve seen injuries occur from trip hazards like:

  • Unmarked changes in elevation between two adjoining sections of concrete in a sidewalk (can occur when tree roots push a portion of the sidewalk up higher than the portion next to it, etc.);
  • Unmarked or poorly marked curbs that are hard to see, causing people to trip over them when moving from a parking lot to a sidewalk, for example;
  • Holes in pavements, sidewalks, or lots/yards that are unseen, hidden, or otherwise hard to detect;
  • Unrestrained cords, wires, or other objects that, without being properly tied down and/or marked, can be easy to trip over.

Those are just a few examples of what might constitute a trip and fall in South Carolina, though. The actual possibilities are as broad and varied as are the types of properties, places, and people in our state.


What is a slip and fall case? 

In a slip-and-fall case, someone typically sustains an injury due to a foreign object on the floor or ground surface that causes them to slip and fall while being a guest or invitee on someone else’s property.

We’ve seen slip-and-fall injuries happen to people in all manner of ways, in situations involving, for example:

  • Water melting from faulty ice collector, pooling on shiny floor, creating unseen trip hazard ignored by store staff;
  • Rain tracked in, making store entrance slick. Lack of staff care in cleanup or warning visitors;
  • Certain surfaces, such as wood decking, can become dangerously slick due to weather, moss, or algae growth. This poses significant risks, especially for older adults or those with limited mobility.
  • Cleaners and chemicals, if mishandled or inadequately cleared, can dangerously slick surfaces and floors;
  • Freshly painted surfaces, like parking lot markings, can get dangerously slippery without nonslip treatment for pedestrians.

Unsafe conditions can cause slip and fall accidents resulting in injuries. Unfortunately, many people allow such conditions to exist or persist, posing a threat to others.


Are these types of injuries and lawsuits frivolous? 

In life, some try to exploit systems for gain. Yet, those injured on others’ property in slip or trip accidents are often innocent. Seeking legal aid isn’t about gaming the system but reclaiming lost stability.

The human cost of someone else’s negligence, especially in premises liability cases, can be catastrophic. Recently, we aided someone whose relative tripped on a known hazard, left unattended by the facility owner. The fall resulted in severe head trauma, leading to substantial blood loss and an urgent ICU admission after transport to the hospital. Despite heroic lifesaving measures by the hospital doctors and staff, this man ultimately succumbed to his injuries and died.

This man was a father and a grandfather, not much older than my own dad. He should have lived another couple of decades and been there for all the firsts in his family that were coming – birthdays, weddings, and holiday celebrations. Instead, his family lost something forever that day when he passed away from a trip-and-fall accident.

I always think of that man when someone asks me, “Well, is that kind of a case just a frivolous lawsuit?” Because there is nothing at all frivolous about a man losing his life and a family losing their father and grandfather.

Injured individuals seek our help not for frivolous claims but because they’ve genuinely suffered, like slipping on a freshly painted surface in a parking lot or a slick deck, leading to serious injuries requiring months of physical therapy for recovery. We’re here to explore their options for a path to healing.

And that’s what we’re all about here at Goings Law Firm. We don’t advertise on TV; we don’t advertise on billboards — our clients are real people who have had real problems and real injuries. Often, they’re at their lowest point when they come to us, and they need help. Special interests and powerful corporations, including massive multistate and multinational insurance companies, are increasingly controlling our country. Their actual fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders is to limit premises liability claims and payouts as much as possible. When you’re just an everyday South Carolinian trying to live your life and take care of your family, how can you hope to stand up to powers like these?

Those situations are the situations we live for — that’s why the team here at Goings Law Firm gets up and goes to work every day. We are here to fight for the average, everyday people like you and me when they are in their moments of greatest need.


How do you know who is responsible in premises liability cases in South Carolina? 

We will break down and simplify the complicated law of premises liability claims and cases, which involve lots of legal jargon like “invitees” and “licensees.”

South Carolina’s laws reflect the state’s ethos of personal responsibility and integrity, embodying traditional American values. The principle of looking after one’s possessions is central, especially when others depend on it, reflecting a pragmatic approach to legal matters.

Examples of premises liability cases:

  • Store owners and managers, from small shops to big-box retailers, must prioritize customer safety to prevent accidents and ensure a pleasant shopping experience.
  • Governments have a duty to ensure the safety of their properties and facilities for citizens, including those who come to vote.
  • Homeowners must maintain their properties to ensure safe visits, avoiding hidden or ignored hazards.

The pattern here across all these examples is the same. You should be able to go to a store or other business without worrying about your safety. For instance, you should be able to grocery shop without thinking about potential hazards. Similarly, paying your bills shouldn’t require you to scan the area for uneven sidewalks or unmarked parking lot holes.

Premises liability law ensures that people can expect to do things safely when they visit someone else’s property. Neglecting to maintain safe public spaces can lead to injuries and threaten society’s standard of safety.


Are you entitled to a financial recovery if you’re injured on someone else’s property in South Carolina? 

Do you recall my late grandfather, who passed from a trip-and-fall? His family wasn’t concerned about money as he fought for his life. His kids and grandkids wanted — still want — their grandfather back. They wanted their family to stay whole, and there was no amount of money in the world that would make up for the loss of their family member.

Recent talk reflects the grief of a son whose dad died in a car crash due to a missing fuel tank shield, akin to the Ford Pinto mishap. Despite a minimal $32 cost, the manufacturer neglected this safety feature, leading to a fatal accident in South Carolina.

We frequently handle numerous cases involving severe injuries and tragedies, but this one hit close to home. The accident victim was similar in age to my dad, and the client, around my age, had two young sons like me. Representing him at mediation underscored a crucial aspect of our civil law system.

Injured people usually want back what they have lost while retaining an attorney for various cases. They’d rather have their health, loved ones, energy, limb, full range of motion, and life expectancy back. Those are the things our clients “want back” from the people and entities who have hurt them.

Once lost, one can never return those things.

Secure Financial Compensation

Our goal is to secure financial compensation for our clients, aiming to restore them as much as possible after accidents. While we can’t bring back lost loved ones, we can seek reparation for their absence. Taking this step can help balance the scales and assist the injured in rebuilding their lives post-accident. Taking this step can help balance the scales and assist the injured in rebuilding their lives post-accident. Money may not replace what’s truly lost, but it can significantly contribute to this process.

(A son lost his father in a car accident due to a $32 car part. While he wanted his father back, he acknowledged that compensation from the automotive giant could provide some relief. Ideas to establish a scholarship fund or reduce work hours to spend more time with his children surfaced.

Yes, all of this implies that the details of your potential case dictate the exact answer. If injured due to someone’s negligence on their South Carolina property, you may seek compensation for your losses.

Most of our clients prefer to regain their health and well-being. However, given the limitations of the civil justice system in South Carolina, rest assured that we will do everything in our power to ensure you recover financially, aiding your journey back to normalcy after your injury or accident. And we take that responsibility incredibly seriously. As South Carolina Lawyers Weekly has said about our Founder, “Robert Goings has a knack for winning big verdicts.”


What is the Statute of Limitations for slip and fall and trip and fall cases in South Carolina? 

In this Guide, we discuss how laws ensure checks and balances for American society. Understanding the Statute of Limitations is crucial for assessing premises liability claims.

Statute of Limitations sets a time limit post premises liability incident when pursuing a claim or lawsuit becomes impossible. Usually, it begins from the accident date, often ending after three years.

Limiting legal action time fosters confidence in society, reducing worry about past legal exposure.

If we determine that you have a case, we’ll cover our own costs up front and only receive payment when you do – whether we settle your case or take it to trial. In South Carolina, the Statute of Limitations for premises liability cases is three years. So, if you believe your injuries may be due to negligence, seek legal counsel and representation as soon as possible.

What is the insurance company’s role in a trip and fall or slip and fall case? 

People often associate insurance companies with the cheery, positive commercials they see on TV. Insurance firms frequently employ marketing tactics featuring iconic figures such as Flo (Progressive), Jake (State Farm), and the Gecko (GEICO), investing billions annually to foster favorable public perception.

Insurance firms mitigate risk and minimize exposure for businesses, corporations, and nonprofits by insuring them against premises liability. Injury claim payouts typically stem from the insurer’s fund, not the entity directly.

The trouble comes when an insurance company decides to push the limits of reasonableness and fight back against liability claims, which unfortunately happens all too often, as you’ll read about in the next section.


Do you need an attorney and the legal representation of a lawyer if you’re hurt in a fall or other similar accident in South Carolina? 

In legal cases, too often the negligent party or their insurance carrier refuses to accept responsibility for their actions, causing severe harm to someone else.

Many reasons contribute to this phenomenon. Human nature drives people to seek exoneration, while the adversarial nature of our legal and civic justice system compels parties in premises liability cases to vigorously advocate for their respective interests.

If you hire an experienced premises liability lawyer, you can guarantee they will work hard for you. The system and the lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility require it.

The problem comes when everyday citizens decide to try to handle things “on their own.” The American system of civic justice and litigation does not accommodate a “DIY” approach. Premises liability claims for trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accidents can be a difficult battle against big companies and insurers with expensive lawyers. Handling it alone puts you at a disadvantage.

If you experience a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injury, it’s advisable to promptly seek legal counsel and representation. This ensures that you protect your interests and have someone advocating for you in your premises liability case.


What if I can’t afford a lawyer? 

Premises liability lawyer pointing at a laptop with a gavel on the table

It’s not a surprise that legal services — good ones, especially — can be expensive. A limited number of lawyers in any given jurisdiction artificially constrains the supply of legal services, causing prices to increase as a result. (This is the old “supply and demand” problem you might remember from high school economics class.) For the best lawyers, clients often have to pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per hour of work in a premises liability case.

If someone else’s actions harm you, it may be tough to pay for the damages while defending yourself.

But that’s where you’re in luck.

At [frim-name], we cover the costs of litigation ourselves and don’t charge any upfront fees. Our aim is to align 100% with our clients and their interests.

When you work with Goings Law Firm, you can rest assured that if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall case, you won’t have to pay for an attorney upfront. Our highly experienced lawyers offer free case evaluations. If your case is viable, we cover upfront costs and only charge if successful, whether through settlement or trial.


CONCLUSION: How to make your case if you’re hurt or injured on someone else’s property in a slip and fall or trip and fall case in South Carolina

Congratulations and thank you for sticking with us this far in this in-depth guide, committed to the learning process. Personal injury cases like slip and fall accidents can be legally complex.

If you suspect you have a case, we have experience in fighting alongside our clients in similar situations. Let’s talk and find out. then reach out and get in touch with us, or click around here on our website to read more about premises liability cases and recent outcomes we’ve achieved for our clients. We are here to work with you to make our world a more safe, just and fair place for everyone.

Last Updated : April 15, 2024
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