Regardless of whether the property in question is a grocery store, office building, shopping mall, gym, apartment complex, or other type of private property, owners are required to take reasonable steps to prevent guests, patrons or visitors from being hurt. Under South Carolina's premises liability laws, property owners who fail to take the necessary precautions to provide a safe environment may potentially be held responsible for accidents, injuries and other losses that result.
Were you seriously injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? You may have grounds for a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. The following information can help you decide if taking legal action is right for you and your situation.
Problems That Can Lead to Premises Liability Accidents
There are a number of unsafe conditions that can lead to serious accidents on private property. Some of the most common hazards with the potential to result in accidents include:
- Poor design. Insufficient lighting, inadequate drainage, a lack of handrails and other design flaws can create ideal conditions for premises liability accidents.
- Insufficient maintenance. Even a well-designed property requires regular upkeep to maintain safety. Issues like torn carpeting, broken stairs, uneven flooring, or crumbling concrete must be addressed in a timely fashion to prevent injuries to guests and visitors.
- Inadequate warnings. If a property owner is unable to remedy a safety issue right away, orange cones or caution tape can be used to alert guests and visitors of a potential danger. When a property owner fails to provide adequate warnings for known safety issues, they may be held responsible for resulting accidents and injuries.
- Insufficient security. Property owners have a duty to protect guests and visitors from known dangers, including violent crime in a bad neighborhood. Providing adequate locks, security screenings and personnel, and running background checks on employees can help prevent dangerous criminal activity.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
Though slip and fall (or trip and fall) accidents are the most well-known type of premises liability case, premises liability law actually covers a wide range of negligence-related incidents that can occur on someone else's property, including:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Assaults and batteries
- Sexual assaults and rapes
- And more
Common Premises Liability Injuries
Injuries sustained in premises liability accidents can range from minor scrapes, bruises, and cuts to more significant injuries like broken bones, concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and shoulder injuries, herniated discs, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and even death. While the elderly are especially at risk of sustaining severe injuries in premises liability accidents, anyone can have their life turned upside-down by these unexpected incidents.
Proving a Premises Liability Claim
There are three main elements premises liability accident victims and their attorneys must prove in order to hold a negligent property owner accountable and collect a financial award:
- The property owner had a duty to take reasonable steps to keep the plaintiff safe. This duty often applies to people who were invited onto the property or there legally.
- The property owner breached the duty of care and failed to provide a safe environment for guests and other lawful visitors.
- The plaintiff was hurt as a direct result of the defendant's failure to uphold their duty of care.
A skilled personal injury attorney with experience handling premises liability cases can help investigate the details of your claim, gather important evidence, build a strong case, and navigate the legal system.
Consult a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured on someone else's property due to the property owner's negligence, the seasoned premises liability attorneys with the Law Offices of Shane Smith can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. You may be entitled to collect damages for medical expenses, lost wages, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today to schedule an appointment for a free initial review of your case.