If you have been hurt due to dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, the owner or property manager could be held responsible for the resulting medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other losses.
Premises Liability Attorney in South Carolina
The legal term “premises liability” specifically refers to an owner’s obligation to make sure that their property is safe for all visitors or that they warn visitors about potential hazards.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in an accident caused by a property owner’s failure to correct or warn about a dangerous condition, it is critical that you speak to an experienced premises liability lawyer right away. Your attorney can protect your rights and work to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence.
It is also essential to have a lawyer on your side because in many cases, property owners will claim that accidents were the fault of the victims themselves. It is extremely common for a person injured in a premises liability accident to then be accused of having caused their injuries through their own negligence. Don’t let them get away with it.
Jebaily Law Firm has been representing accident victims in South Carolina for nearly a half-century. We’re ready to help you if you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property due. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
Premises Liability Laws in South Carolina
Premises liability cases generally hinge on the duty of care a property owner owed the victim of an accident while on the property. South Carolina recognizes three different classifications of people on another person’s property:
- Invitee — A person who is on the property by the expressed or implied invitation of a property owner. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care. Most business customers are considered invitees.
- Licensee — A person who is on the premises with the permission of the owner but usually for their own purposes. A meter reader or utility worker could be a licensee.
- Trespasser — A person who is on the premises without the consent of the property owner. Trespassers are generally not owed a duty of care.
One notable exception to the trespasser classification is the duty owed to children. Because children may be too young to recognize that they are trespassing or may be tempted by potentially hazardous features (legally referred to as “attractive nuisances”) on the property like swimming pools, trampolines, or playscapes, a trespassing child could be entitled to bring a premises liability action.
If a child wandered onto the property without permission and was hurt or killed, a property owner might still be subject to a premises liability claim if they failed to prevent the attractive nuisance from being accessible to children.
Common Premises Liability Cases in South Carolina
The most well-known type of premises liability claim is undoubtedly the slip and fall accident. In these types of incidents, a person suffers injuries after slipping and falling because of a hazardous condition.
Other common kinds of premises liability actions include:
- Dog bites
- Missing handrails
- Broken stairs
- Building collapses
- Negligent security
- Inadequate maintenance
- Defective equipment
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Whether you were injured on public or private property, the property owner or manager will likely deny liability and claim that you were at fault for your injuries. A victim’s actions are likely to be a focus of any premises liability claim. You should avoid making any statements about the accident until you have legal representation.
Instead, it is important to take photos of the scene (if you are able) and be sure to capture pictures of the specific hazard that was present. It is also a good idea to record eyewitness statements and get their contact information. You should also save any clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident (especially shoes, if your case involved a slip-and-fall accident) so that your legal team can begin building a persuasive claim on your behalf.
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
People who are seriously injured in accidents caused by dangerous property conditions could be entitled to compensation that covers all of their past, present, and future expenses due to the accident. However, insurance companies are more concerned about their profits than your financial wellbeing. They will usually try to pay as little as possible to resolve these claims.
When you are injured in a premises liability accident, an insurer for the property owner may attempt to contact you and try to get information about the accident. You should avoid saying anything to an insurance company without first getting help from a lawyer.
In most cases, representatives for insurers will try to get victims to unknowingly make statements that could diminish their claims. Some victims may be offered settlements to resolve their cases, but the initial offers are usually nowhere near what people are actually entitled to.
The types of damages you can receive when you are injured on another party’s property will depend on the severity of your injuries. In most cases, victims are eligible to receive compensatory damages that are usually a combination of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are expenses that can be readily calculated and proven, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages are more subjective, usually involving awards for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
A jury could also award punitive damages when a property owner’s conduct was particularly reckless, but punitive damage awards are relatively rare.
How Jebaily Law Firm Can Help in Premises Liability Cases
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed because of a property owner’s failure to fix or warn you about a dangerous condition? If so, you could be owed significant compensation for your injury claim.
The South Carolina premises liability lawyers of Jebaily Law Firm can immediately conduct an independent investigation of your accident to determine the cause, preserve relevant evidence, and seek compensation from those responsible. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights and legal options.