South Carolina Premises Liability Lawyer

Every landowner throughout the State of South Carolina must take appropriate steps to protect visitors on their property. However, the extent of this obligation varies based on a visitor’s permission to be on the land and their reasons for being on the land. When an accident occurs on another’s property, those who have been injured should retain the services of a seasoned attorney.

A South Carolina premises liability lawyer could investigate the cause of your accident, and help you seek the compensation you need to move forward. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney could work to establish your rights under the law, to demonstrate how a landowner violated those rights, and calculate your losses to demand proper compensation.

What is a Premises Liability Claim?

A premises liability claim always centers around an incident that occurs on another party’s property. Landowners must provide protection to all people who enter. This includes protection against temporary hazards like standing water, structural hazards such as broken stairs, or even against the criminal activities of third parties.

A premises liability claim is a personal injury case that demands compensation for all losses that result from a failure to prove adequate protection. At the center of the claim is always a physical injury that requires medical attention. This can be something as minor as a sprained ankle or an injury as severe as spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury.

Claims must evaluate the total impact of the incident on the life of the injured party. This includes making demands for all lost income due to missing time or work or as the result of a permanent injury that reduced a person’s earning capacity. A skilled premises liability lawyer in South Carolina could help people to pursue these claims for the compensation necessary to cover their medical bills, their lost wages, and their emotional trauma.

Understanding a Visitor’s Status

Of course, a claim can only collect compensation if a plaintiff can prove that the defendant failed to provide adequate protection. This involves an analysis of the visitor’s status under the law, the steps taken (or not taken) by the landowner to provide protection, and whether the plaintiff’s own actions contributed to the incident.

The first point of an analysis is the visitor’s status under the law. South Carolina’s law recognizes three main categories of visitors. The first is trespassers who enter land without permission. Landowners must only refrain from causing intentional or wanton harm to these people. The second are licensees who visit land for a social purpose. Here, the property owner must exercise reasonable care to warn the guest of dangers known to the owner. Finally, invitees enter land for the benefit of the owner. These owners must take reasonable care to inspect their land and to keep it safe for visitors.

Once a plaintiff establishes their rights under the law, they can evaluate the actions of the landowner. A landowner may be liable for a premises liability injury if:

  • They fail to place warning signs about a temporary hazard, such as loose carpeting
  • They do not fix a structural defect, such as a pothole in a parking lot
  • They do not provide adequate security, such as proper lighting to discourage attackers

How the Injured Party Could Be Partially At-Fault

Finally, it may be necessary to justify one’s own actions leading up to the injury. Courts in South Carolina use the concept of modified comparative negligence to assign blame for accidents. Under South Carolina Code §15-38-10, courts must examine the actions of plaintiffs as well as defendants to determine who bears responsibility for an injury. If a court believes the plaintiff is partially to blame for their accident, they will reduce the claimant’s compensation award. As long as the injured claimant’s share of responsibility is less than 50 percent, they may still be eligible to recover compensation.

Let a South Carolina Premises Liability Attorney Take the Lead

Every person that enters the land of another party has rights under the law. However, the extent of these rights changes based on their permission to be there and their motivations for entering the land. As a result, many injured people may find that they have a difficult case when pursuing a claim for premises liability.

Fortunately, a South Carolina premises liability lawyer may be able to help. They could take the necessary steps to establish your rights under the law, to discover evidence of a landowner’s failure to keep you safe, and to measure your losses to demand appropriate compensation. Call today to get started on your case.