Slip, Trip, Twist, Spin, or Fall Law in South Carolina

When you slip and  fall on someone else's property, this is commonly referred to as premises liability. These cases are typically more complex and difficult to resolve than a motor vehicle collision. The reason for this is just because you fall on someone else's property does not mean they are responsible for the injuries you incur. The law is very specific in South Carolina and determining the factors surrounding your slip, trip, twist, spin, wrench, slide, unintended dance move, and/or fall is paramount to determining if you have a case.

I hate to do this but I will let you all in on a little secret...come closer:

Regardless of the circumstances of your fall, more than 80% (Eighty percent) of the time, a corporate landowner will deny, or disclaim, liability for your fall on their property!  --Trey Mills

Why is this, you think? It's very simple and what I call the Cost Benefits Analysis. If a corporate entity through their insurance company denies liability on 80 people out of 100, the 80 percent they scare away saves them millions of dollars in comparison to the 20 people that stood up and fought.

I like to fight for the 20% but would rather that percentage of people increase to not be run off by negligent property owners that knowingly attract people to their property to spend money but don't want to take the time to make safe the premises or warn their patrons of any dangerous conditions on the property.

The Cliff Notes version of the law is this:

To have a viable premises liability claim from a slip, trip, and/or fall on someone else's property, the property owner must have created a dangerous condition, have actual notice (knew) of a dangerous condition, and/or constructive notice (should have known) of the dangerous condition and failed to warn patrons or make safe the area or hazard.

Cases I have turned down recently consist of the following:

  • Roofer power washing a tin roof for a customer slips and falls from the roof breaking his foot; (Nobody else's fault but his own-accidents happen.)
  • Lady slipped in convenience store on water. (No one knew how the water got there including my client. Landowner had no actual or constructive notice of the water. Roof did not appear to have a leak and no nearby coolers.)
  • Gentleman tripped over "something" walking into a store. (He didn't know what he tripped over, there were no issues with the threshold, and video of the incident indicated he simply tripped. Thus not landowners fault he tripped.)

Cases I have taken recently consist of the following:

  • Roots from a nearby tree growing up throughout a parking lot at a restaurant  causing injury to my client. (Landowner knew or should have known the roots were causing a dangerous condition as they do not just grow up through the pavement in one night.);
  • Spilled milk in a grocery store causing my client to fall. (Grocery store did not follow protocol and knew the spill was there but failed to make safe the area or warn their patrons.);
  • A one inch "lip" formed between the sidewalk and a recently repaved parking lot at a shopping mall that appears flush, or even, to patrons walking towards it. (Created a dangerous condition.)
  • Before that same mall repaved their parking lot, client injured as a result of potholes. (Knew or should have known of the dangerous condition as potholes don't form over night. )

 

Every case is different and presents a separate set of facts leading to the injury. We are always available to review your  slip, trip, twist, spin, wrench, slide, unintended dance move, and/or fall. Your consultation is free and we do not receive any payment unless we successfully resolve your case through settlement or verdict. Please give us a call at 864-231-7171, check us out on Facebook, or email us.

 I have covered this issue with more detailed links to the law and language as indicated below.

Related Articles:

South Carolina Slip and Fall Law: Premises Liability

South Carolina Slip and Fall Law: When It's Nobody's Fault But Your Own

Crashes and Falls Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

When You Fall Head Over Heels, Call Trammell & Mills

When You Fall Head Over Heels, Call Trammell & Mills

We can't help you when you fall in love, or out of love, but we can help you.  What we do involves holding other individuals and companies responsible for their negligence, ignorance, or omissions that caused you harm. Yes, that really means the insurance company hiding behind the people and companies that pay for just that type of incident.  Those negligent, ignorant, or forgetful people and companies often have little to do with the decisions that make you whole again. A wide array of real world examples and some of the most common types of cases are below:

  • injured while working and not really getting straight answers from your employer or HR person;
  • another driver not paying attention and rammed their 3,000 pound hunk of metal into your only means of transportation. Now you can't move your neck or get to work;
  • a tractor trailer driver on interstate 85 nearly kill you when they were switching lanes while texting;
  • neighbor's dog get loose again and bite your child, leaving permanent scars and an infected wound;
  • finally realize you are in need of Social Security benefits and got denied;
  • can't believe a manufacturer would sell a product so dangerous;
  • slip, trip, or fall on someone's property that knew there was a problem where you fell;
  • get jumped on, beat up, called dirty names, and held without your permission until a large retailer realized you actually paid your bill.  Oops, they made a mistake;
  • something not true being written and/or said about you to others;
  • have to lay your motorcycle down because another driver didn't see you.

Those are just the top ten or more scenarios that have come into the office in the past couple months. I am sure there are more but I think you get the point. Enjoy your Valentine's Day and hopefully you never need us. HOWEVER, if you ever do, or know someone that does, just tell them to call us or visit our website.

 

Pedestrian and Motorcycle Deaths on the Rise in South Carolina

The injuries from a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle collision and motorcycle vs. motor vehicle collision are never minor. I just settled a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle collision that occurred in the Five Points area of Columbia, South Carolina. The client was lucky to be alive but his injuries were in no way minor and he had to undergo surgery.

As everyone knows in upstate South Carolina, especially throughout Anderson, Abbeville, Belton, Clemson, Easley, Iva,  Oconee, Pickens, Seneca, and Westminster,  rural roads can be the most dangerous. As The Greenville News indicated in their Sunday article entitled, "Highway Deaths Start to Rise":

South Carolina led the nation in the fatality rate on non-interstate, rural roads in 2009 with 4.7 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, according to numbers released earlier this month by the Washington-based nonprofit TRIP.

The news article was prompted from two separate motor vehicle collisions recently that resulted in five fatalities, the statistics are alarming for South Carolina drivers on rural roads.

I have had dozens of motorcycle collision cases and 99% of motorcycle drivers will tell you that they have to constantly watch out for other drivers in upcoming intersections, stop signs, and lane changes.

As for pedestrians on the rural roadways, you need to take every precaution possible. Since most rural roads dont have sidewalks, make sure you are facing oncoming traffic while walking so that you have time to react as the vehicle approaches. South Carolina Department of Transportation is doing their part with infrastructure and enforcement as indicated with the article "Safety Programs Target Rural Roads in South Carolina" listing these improvements:

  • Adding paved shoulder and safety edge to most rural roadways through roadway resurfacing program to address run off road crashes and shoulder drop-offs;
  • Installing rumble strips on all high speed rural roadways where adequate shoulder is available to address run off road crashes; and
  • Provide funding for overtime speed enforcement by the South Carolina Highway Patrol of high crash rural road corridors.