Some sidewalks in South Carolina are in a state of complete disrepair. The cement is broken and uneven, causing a trip and fall hazard for you and anyone else who passes by. You may have already tripped and fallen while trying to navigate such sidewalks. Moreover, they never seem to be fixed but continue to get worse as the seasons pass. If you have been a victim of a sidewalk accident in South Carolina, please keep reading to see how a personal injury lawyer can help.
Common Injuries Due to Trip and Fall Accidents
Tripping over a dangerous sidewalk can lead to painful and severe injuries. These can include:
- Sprains and muscle strains
- Fractures and broken bones, especially in the foot, ankle, and leg
- Knee and hip joint injuries
- Back and head injuries
If you hit your head during your trip and fall accident, the risk of a severe head injury is significant. Falls led to the deaths of 34,000 individuals over the age of 65 in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are also a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in people of all ages.
Responsibility for Maintaining Sidewalks
South Carolina premises liability law imposes a legal duty on property owners to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition. If there are defects or dangers, the property owner must warn of them, identify them, or fix them. This is generally true, no matter if the property is a business or residential property.
This duty is clear in cases where a business fails to clean up a wet floor, or you are invited over to a friend’s house, and you fall over an electrical cord carelessly left in the open. An injury lawyer could bring a lawsuit in both cases and help you recover damages.
What may be less clear, however, is if you trip on a sidewalk while attempting to enter a business or residence.
In South Carolina, the responsibility for repairing and maintaining sidewalks falls squarely on local government authorities. The adjacent property owner does not have a legal responsibility to fix a broken sidewalk in front of their house or business.
Can a Premises Liability Injury Lawyer Help in My Case?
This does not mean that you are without options if you are hurt due to tripping and falling on a sidewalk. Private individuals and businesses can still be responsible for injuries you suffer if they created a hazard on a sidewalk and did nothing about it. In some situations, you may also be able to hold the local government entity responsible.
There are many complexities in any premises liability case. That is why if you or a loved one has tripped and fallen on the sidewalk while at a store or someone’s home, you should speak with our injury lawyer at Lowcountry Law, LLC. Our legal team has years of experience in representing clients hurt by others’ carelessness.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today so that we can review your case and advise you of your legal options for recovering compensation.