Columbia Premises Liability Lawyer

Until an accident happens, you probably do not worry about how safe other people’s properties are, whether retail stores and parking lots, apartments, or wooded lots. Generally, owners are responsible for the safety of visitors.

Owners who allow hazardous conditions on their properties or fail to warn visitors of a known danger could be held liable for the damage done. If you are injured on the property of another, contact a Columbia premises liability lawyer to discuss whether you have an actionable claim for financial compensation. A knowledgeable attorney could be the advocate you need.

Premises Liability Claims in Columbia

Not all accidents occurring on someone else’s property are caused by careless owners. To recover financial compensation, the harmed party must prove the owner or landlord was negligent. Several of the most common causes of action in premises liability include:

  • Slip and falls on spills that were not cleaned up, uneven stairs or floors, and buckled carpeting that is not repaired
  • Dangers the owner leaves unrepaired, such as unlit stairwells, broken stairs, or leaky plumbing
  • Inadequate security in areas where criminal activity is more likely, such as parking lots
  • Ignoring attractive nuisances that draw children, such as failing to lock and fence backyard swimming pools

Generally, owners have a duty to keep their property as safe as a reasonable person would. If the failure to do that causes harm to another individual, a personal injury lawsuit could get injured parties the compensation they need. A skilled attorney could determine if an owner should be liable for the injuries incurred on their property.

Duty to Visitors on Columbia Premises

Property owners and managers owe different duties of care to trespassers, invitees, and licensees, all considered visitors.

Adult and Child Trespassers

Landowners do not owe a duty to adult trespassers who are on an owner’s property without permission. However, owners cannot purposely harm trespassers. For example, they cannot shoot to injure or kill them.

Owners do owe a duty to children under South Carolina’s attractive nuisance doctrine. Even though a child is an uninvited visitor, a dangerous condition the owner knows about, and that attracts children could amount to premises liability if the owner also knows or should know it is likely that children will be attracted to it, and injury is a reasonable outcome. This doctrine is in place because the law considers children less capable of discerning danger until their brains mature.

Some attractive nuisances include backyard swimming pools and trampolines, homes under construction, and abandoned cars or refrigerators in junkyards. Owners can protect themselves by fencing, locking, and posting warning signs about known dangers. A well-versed lawyer can explain the additional nuances of South Carolina’s attractive nuisance doctrine and how it relates to premise liability claims.

Licensees

Licensees are guests of an owner for social reasons, such as friends visiting an owner’s home for dinner or visiting a manager at work. Owners, within reason, must alert licensees about dangers the owner created and knows about. Owners must also alert licensees about dangers the owner did not create but knows about. Warnings can be as simple as saying ‘watch your step’ or more complicated, such as cordoning off a slippery area.

Invitees

Owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. Invitees are generally on the property to conduct business that benefits the owner, such as grocery stores, retail store customers, or diners in restaurants. Owners are expected to protect invitees against dangers the owner is aware of or should know are a threat. This concept can be complicated. For instance, a grocery store shopper who slips on a banana peel that has been lying on the floor for three hours may fare better than one who slips ten seconds after another shopper discards it if premises liability lawsuits are filed. The case may turn on how much time is reasonable for an owner to know about and fix a problem.

Get in Touch with a Columbia Premises Liability Attorney Now

If you are a legitimate visitor on an owner or manager’s property and you are injured, you have a lot to worry about, including how to support your family if you cannot work. If a negligent owner caused your injuries, you might have recourse, and we can help.

A Columbia premises liability lawyer will fight for your right to receive compensation from the party responsible for your plight. Call for your initial consultation.