What Are My Legal Options After a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip and fall accident can lead to substantial medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering for victims. These types of injuries are extremely common, particularly for older adults who are prone to broken bones. From 2007 through 2016, slip and fall death rates increased 30% for older adults.

Proving Negligence

A slip and fall case is more complicated than most people think. It is not as simple as slipping and falling on someone’s property and getting a payout. In fact, there are several elements that must be proven in a slip and fall case for the other party to be considered liable:

  • There was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff by the defendant
  • The defendant did not fulfill their obligation, either through negligence or omission
  • There were measurable damages that occurred as a result of the breach of duty

Each element must be present for a slip and fall case to be successful. If any element is difficult to prove, then it may be more challenging to negotiate a settlement or win in court. For example, consider a trespasser. It is difficult to prove that a store owner has a duty of care to a person who is not supposed to be on the property.

The Statute of Limitations in South Carolina

Each state has its own statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents. In South Carolina, victims can file a personal injury case within three years of the incident. However, there may be unique circumstances that affect the statute of limitations for your slip and fall case. Always consult with an attorney before making any major decisions about filing deadlines.

Evidence to Keep After a Slip and Fall Accident

Compared to other types of injury cases, a slip and fall accident can be difficult to prove. For example, in a car accident case, there is typically a police report that records the incident and indicates the damage suffered on both sides. There is rarely a police report for a slip and fall, which makes it even more important to collect evidence. A personal injury attorney can help you conduct an investigation of the accident scene. Types of evidence include:

  • Security camera footage, which often needs to be pulled and backed up immediately to prevent intentional or unintentional erasure
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records and reports
  • Incident report filled out by the manager on duty

Explore Your Legal Options by Contacting Our South Carolina Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Contacting a lawyer promptly after your fall can help you save necessary evidence and build a strong case against the property owner. For help with your Rock Hill slip and fall accident claim, contact the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. today at (803) 324-7200.

Your Guide to Getting Personal Injury Compensation for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health problem that can affect an individual after a life-threatening incident. Common triggers of PTSD include combat, a car crash, witnessing the death of a loved one, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. While the symptoms of PTSD are common in the aftermath of any traumatic event, if they last for months and do not improve with time, these symptoms may point to PTSD.

If the root cause of your PTSD is an event caused by someone else—for example, a car crash—you may be able to seek damages with a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially helpful for those who are unable to find or maintain employment due to the severity of their PTSD symptoms. Before heading to court, you will need to hire South Carolina personal injury lawyers and consider the following factors in your case.

Evidence Is Key

Every personal injury case relies heavily on evidence, but this is especially true when a mental disorder is the primary injury for which you are seeking compensation. Not only must your legal team be able to prove that you have the disorder in question, they must also demonstrate how it affects your life, prove that the initial accident caused your PTSD, and show how the other party’s action or inaction caused the initial accident. Your legal team may consult with psychiatric experts and researchers to build a solid case on your behalf.

Using Witnesses to Back Up Your Case

Witnesses are an important part of a personal injury case involving PTSD. PTSD is still widely misunderstood by much of the general population, with many still believing that it only affects those who have participated in armed combat. Expert witnesses can testify about the diagnostic requirements of PTSD and how PTSD manifests in individuals. They may also indicate whether the plaintiff’s symptoms would lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.

Your team may also call witnesses who can testify about your behavior after the incident. This does not necessarily mean someone with a background in medicine. Witnesses may simply be people who know you and have seen your PTSD symptoms impact your daily life. However, any mental health professionals you have seen may be able to provide expert testimony and testify that you have exhibited PTSD symptoms.

Determining Damages

For any personal injury case to succeed, a victim must have verifiable damages. Compensatory damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that you can easily put a financial value on. General damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages that are harder to quantify. Your legal team must prove that you have verifiable damages as a result of your PTSD diagnosis.

Looking for Help With Your Personal Injury Case?

Choosing the right team of South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you build the strongest case possible. Reach out to the team at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. to discuss your potential case. Contact our Rock Hill office at (803) 324-7200.

Additional Reading:

Avoiding Construction Site Hazards: Six Tips

Construction is a necessary but sometimes-dangerous industry to work in. The fatal injury rate for construction workers is higher than the national average, with 4,836 workers killed on the job in 2015 alone. Construction companies and workers alike, though, can take steps to make the industry safer. Here are some of the top construction industry problems commonly found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and how to fix them.

Unsafe Scaffolding

Improper construction or use of scaffolds was the most common reason for an OSHA citation in 2004. OSHA estimates that improving scaffold-related safety would prevent 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths per year.

Construction companies can improve scaffold safety by ensuring that any scaffold is able to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Scaffolds must also have guardrails, midrails, and toeboards. If working on a construction site, always inspect the rigging on suspension scaffolds before each shift to ensure that all connections are tight and the rigging is undamaged.

Lack of Fall Protection

Falls are the number one cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Construction companies can prevent injury and fatality by using a guardrail system with toeboards and warning lines, and by covering floor holes. They should also install control line systems to protect those working near the edges of floors and roofs.

Unsafe Ladders and Stairways

There are an estimated 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders. Almost half of these injuries required workers to take time off work.

To prevent accidents on ladders and stairways, make sure all ladders are inspected for defects before use. When ladders are damaged, mark them for repair or replacement, or destroy them immediately. Companies should make sure that all ladders can support whatever load is necessary, including the workers, their tools and their materials. Everyone should keep stairways free of debris and dangerous objects.

Improper Head Protection

Make sure that you wear a hard hat any time there is a chance that you could bump your head, or objects could fall from above, or you could make contact with an electrical hazard.

Lack of Hazard Communication

Companies should keep a list of hazardous substances used in the workplace and ensure that the list is updated regularly and made readily available. All containers of hazardous substances must be labelled with the product identity and a hazard warning. Companies should also ensure that employees are trained effectively on dealing with hazardous substances.

Electrical Dangers

Work should not commence on hot electrical circuits unless all power is shut off and grounds are attached, and an effective lockout/tagout system is in place. Companies should immediately replace any damaged or worn electrical cords or cables, and they should make sure that ladders, scaffolds, and other equipment never come within 10 feet of electrical lines.

Have you been injured in a construction liability accident? Read on.

South Carolina Construction Accident Attorney of Choice

If you are the victim of a construction liability accident in South Carolina, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson can pursue your case to help you receive a fair settlement. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve Following a Burn Injury

There are few things more painful than suffering a severe burn injury. Victims that suffer from these injuries can take weeks, months, and sometimes years to recover. Some will never recover fully, and instead suffer from permanent disfigurement. 

Because of the seriousness of burn injuries, those found responsible are required to provide compensation — sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth.

However, in many cases, you must prove the defendant was guilty of negligence or recklessness in a court of law before recovering your compensation.

Proving Negligence

A burn injury lawsuit is a specific type of personal injury lawsuit, which is typically filed when the negligence of another person leads to serious injury or wrongful death. 

Proving negligence is, unfortunately, not as simple as giving a sworn testament. You must prove that (1) the defendant owed you a certain duty of care, (2) that duty of care was violated, and (3) that violation led directly to your injuries.

For example, if you were driving on the roadway, other drivers automatically owe you a certain duty of care. That duty of care is violated when another driver causes an accident. If that accident led directly to your burn injury, you can prove negligence in court.

It’s important to note that, in cases where a manufacturer or defective product is responsible for your burn injury, the process is quite different and may not require proof of negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help sort through the details and gather information to assist in building your case.

Types of Compensation

Should you win your burn injury lawsuit, there are several types of compensation you may be awarded. These include:

  • Medical Bills — The defendant may be responsible for paying your medical bills, including surgeries, medication, and long-term care. He or she may also be responsible for any future medical bills you incur due to your injury. This number will be estimated, so the court can render a full decision.
  • Loss of Income — When you suffer from a serious injury, you miss work. When you miss work, you lose income necessary to pay your bills. The defendant may be responsible for this missed time.
  • Property Damage — If the fire that caused your burn injuries also led to the destruction of your property, the defendant will likely be held responsible for footing the bill. This includes your home, personal property, equipment, or vehicle.
  • Disfigurement or Disability — Because burn injuries can so often lead to life-long damage, the defendant may be required to compensate for disfigurement or disability. This type of compensation is less tangible, but can amount to thousands of dollars.
  • Pain and Suffering — Much like disfigurement or disability, there is no surefire way to measure the amount of pain and suffering your injury caused. However, the defendant may be required to compensate for the emotional damage that came with your physical injury. Again, this type of compensation can be quite exhaustive, bringing your total to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Lawyer for Assistance

Have you or a loved one been the victim of a burn injury caused by a negligent or reckless party? You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. For representation, contact our team of South Carolina burn injury lawyers at The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster, or Union by calling (803)-324-7200.

Additional Reading:

Personal Injury Lawyers: Three Most Common Questions Asked

 

Although each personal injury case is unique, the questions that usually get asked have plenty in common – and Craig Wilkerson shares what those three questions are, along with his answers.

Question 1: Do I need a lawyer?

The answer is, of course, it depends. But, if you’ve been in an accident and are thinking you can pursue legal remedies without an attorney, make sure you understand:

  • The difference between uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists
  • What subrogation means in connection with health insurance and how that concept can affect your eligibility for health care coverage
  • The difference between the North Carolina collateral source rule and the South Carolina collateral source rule – because they are mirror opposites of one another
  • The difference between comparative negligence and contributory negligence

If you’re good so far, be sure to also watch this video to find out what else you need to know if you’d like to proceed with your personal injury case without an attorney:

If you can accurately answer all of the questions in the video, then you may not need a lawyer. If you can’t, then you definitely do.

Question 2: How long will my case take?

Craig suggests that you reframe that question to “How long will it take for me to get well?” Think about what events have transpired to bring you to this point and what it will take to remedy that situation.

Question 3: How much is my case worth?

First, the simple answer. Craig says, “I can’t tell you.” He compares that to knowing how much it would take to build a house without seeing the plans for the house. What he can tell you: that he and his firm of personal injury lawyers provide excellent, aggressive representation with a proven track record of success, including in the South Carolina Supreme Court. Find more information about those court cases.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today

Our law firm provides representation in the following areas of service:

Our offices are located in Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Lancaster, and we primarily represent clients in three counties: York, Chester and Lancaster – but are available for representation through the state of South Carolina.

You can find more information about our personal injury lawyers here.

Contact us online for a free case evaluation from our personal injury attorneys or call 803-324-7200 today.