If you are injured in a slip and fall accident while you were on a residential or commercial property, you should contact a Georgetown slip and fall lawyer to explore your options on pursuing compensation for your losses. After sitting down with a local personal injury lawyer, you could gain a better understanding of your legal rights, and potentially a means to file a lawsuit. Depending on your case, you could seek damages for your physical, psychological, and financial losses sustained because of this accident from the defendant.
Establishing Negligence After a Fall
A slip and fall accident is a typical personal injury case which focuses on the idea of negligence. In these cases, the victim, with the help of a slip and fall attorney from Georgetown, has the burden to prove that the defendant acted in some negligent way, which caused injury. If the plaintiff is able to overcome this burden, then they can move on to seeking damages for their injuries.
Before they are able to address damages, however, the elements of negligence must be proven:
- Duty. The defendant must be shown to have had some affirmative obligation to the plaintiff
- Breach. The defendant must have breached said duty
- Causation. The violation of this duty caused injury to the plaintiff
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered actual harm for which they are able to recover damages
A slip and fall Georgetown lawyer may be able to help the plaintiff bring and argue this often legally complex claim before the court.
Types of Compensation
If the plaintiff successfully proves their case regarding the defendant’s negligence, they then are able to establish what losses they suffered as a result and pursue financial compensation. Under South Carolina law, the plaintiff may seek economic and noneconomic damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be sought as well.
Economic loss, under South Carolina Code §15-32-210(3), refers to any actual out-of-pocket losses the plaintiff experienced as a result of this accident. In the case of a slip and fall, for example, this might be the bill for a trip to the emergency room, the cost of surgery, rehabilitation expenses, and even attorney’s fees. Furthermore, if the injury was significant enough to limit the plaintiff’s ability to work, they could seek compensation for their lost wages and future lost wages if the wound continues to hinder their mobility.
A slip and fall, depending on the seriousness of the accident, could cause broken bones, brain injuries, and other significantly debilitating injuries. Besides the physical aspect of these wounds, they often leave psychological scars as well.
These injuries are accounted for under S.C. Code §15-32-210(9) and are referred to as noneconomic damages. These psychological harms include pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, humiliation, and other injuries. A Georgetown slip and fall attorney may be able to help the plaintiff both calculate and pursue compensation for this category of damages.
Depending on the case, the plaintiff may also be able to pursue punitive damages; they are an additional financial claim that is intended to punish a defendant who has acted maliciously or intentionally. A request for punitive damages must be specifically outlined in the plaintiff’s initial complaint as per S.C. Code §15-32-510.
Punitive damages are generally not awarded against a defendant who is proven only to have acted negligently. Therefore, this form of compensation is the least frequently awarded form of damages. A plaintiff, however, should consult with an experienced lawyer to see whether they could include this claim in their lawsuit.
Consult with an Attorney Today
Even a seemingly minor fall has the chance to cause significant physical harm to an unsuspecting individual. If you are injured, a Georgetown slip and fall lawyer could speak with you regarding the facts and legal circumstances surrounding your case. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to find compensation for the extent of your losses. Reach out today.