It is possible to control conditions on your own property. If a dangerous condition develops, you are likely inspired to fix it to protect yourself and others from harm. Property owners in South Carolina have a legal responsibility to do just that – to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. The situation is different when you are on someone else’s property, public or private. You could be injured because of a hazardous condition that the owner failed to warn you about. If that happens, you have the right to seek compensation in a premises liability claim.
How Could You Be Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
Any number of hazardous conditions can exist on a property. For example, you might be injured in a:
- Trip and fall accident caused by loose carpeting in someone’s home
- Slip and fall accident after a spill in the grocery store that wasn’t promptly marked off or cleaned up
- Elevator accident in an office building
- Fall from a balcony because of a broken railing
- Assault in the parking lot of a nightclub due to inadequate security
- Fire in an apartment building with inadequate fire protection
- Slip and fall on an icy sidewalk outside a retail store
How Is Liability Determined in a Premises Liability Claim?
Property owners in South Carolina can be held liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition on their property. They have a duty of care to visitors under the law. However, the extent of that duty depends on the status of the visitor. For these purposes, property visitors are classified in three different categories:
- Invitee: This is a person invited onto the property by the owner. The category includes customers at a store or restaurant. The reasoning is that a restaurant or store owner profits financially from the presence of a customer on the premises. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees.
- Licensee: A licensee has permission to be on the property for his or her own benefit, not the property owner’s. This category includes people on the property for business and other reasons. Landowners have a lesser duty of care to licensees than invitees.
- Trespassers: Property owners do not owe a duty of care to someone who enters the property without permission. They are not liable for accidental injuries suffered by trespassers. The law prohibits landowners from setting traps or causing intentional harm to intruders.
How Do You Get Help If You Have Been Hurt on Someone Else’s Property?
If you have been seriously injured because of a hazard on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Property owners carry insurance to protect them from liability. It is important to know that the insurance company is not your friend. The goal of the insurance adjuster is to minimize the company’s payout. You may be entitled to claim damages that may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages or earnings, loss of future earning potential, permanent impairment, pain and suffering, and other losses. Your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer by your side.
Why Choose Allen Law?
Our firm was founded in 2015. Founding attorney Julian Allen has more than 15 years of legal and trial experience, including years as a former insurance defense lawyer. He has been awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. We operate a smaller firm, so our clients receive more direct attention. Call us at (843) 882-5005 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured on someone else’s property.