Many people who are injured on someone else’s property just want to go home as quickly as possible. They struggle through surgeries and multiple hospital visits, and are forced to take leave from work while they recover from the accident. It often takes months for victims to get their lives back in order—and some will never be able to live their lives the same way again.
Although all South Carolina property owners have a duty to make their buildings and homes reasonably safe, countless visitors are injured on others’ land every day. If you are suffering serious physical or mental effects after an attack, fall, or other injury on private or commercial property, we can help you recover for your medical bills, lost wages, future care, pain and suffering, and more. Fill out the quick contact form at the top of this page to arrange your free consultation with an attorney.
How Duty of Care Affects Your Charleston Premises Liability Case
If you are considering filing a premises liability case, there are a few things you should know about these actions. First, the property owner must be found negligent in causing your injury. Second, your injury must be a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. Finally, the amount you can receive depends on the level of duty of care you were owed by the property owner.
Under South Carolina law, people are owed different standards of care depending upon the capacity in which they are visiting another person’s property. There are four classifications of victims in premises liability case, and the owner has a certain level of duty to each:
- Invitees. An invitee is a person who enters onto a property for reasons that benefit the property owner. Customers in restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, and other commercial properties are all considered invitees. These visitors are owed the highest duty of care from owners, since they have an obligation to keep their premises safe for customers in order to make money. Duty of care for invitees includes correcting known hazardous conditions, but also actively seeking out dangerous conditions and fixing them before they cause harm. This includes a wide range of defects both in and around the property (such as sidewalks and parking lots).
- Licensees. Social visitors on private property are called licensees. These range from party guests at a private residence (another person’s house or apartment) to neighbors and parents of your children’s friends who have been given permission to visit a property. While property-owning hosts are not required to inspect their properties before inviting people over, they do have a duty to warn visitors about any known dangers on the property (such as broken front steps or a missing stair rail).
- Adult trespassers. Trespassers are any visitors who have entered the property without permission from the property owner. Under South Carolina law, property owners are not liable for any duty of care to adult trespassers.
- Children. Since children cannot be expected to follow the same property laws as adults, an owner owes a special duty to child trespassers. This includes protecting children from “dangerous instrumentalities” (such as guns or power tools) as well as “attractive nuisances” (unguarded swimming pools or ladders) on the property.
A Charleston Premises Liability Attorney Can Help You Take Action
It is often difficult for victims to build their cases while recovering from an injury. One of the biggest benefits of working with an attorney is that the victim can rely on the attorney to gather pertinent evidence, such as pictures of the unsafe conditions and copies of incident reports filled out by retail employees. An attorney can also examine each piece of evidence and track down witnesses to give you a realistic vision of what to expect in your case.
At the Law Office of Jared C. Williams, LLC, we make every effort to take the strain of filing suit off of our clients’ shoulders. We can come to you to discuss your case, offer a free consultation, and we do not collect any fees unless we win your case. Fill out our quick contact form or call the number on this page to ask us a question about your accident.