An accident can happen anywhere, and when it occurs due to hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure about your rights. Seeking the help of experienced Charleston premises liability attorneys is crucial after being injured on someone else’s property as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.
Premises Liability in Charleston, South Carolina
Premises liability encompasses a wide range of accidents on private and public property due to negligence or dangerous conditions. Some common types of premises liability accidents include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Being struck by falling merchandise or debris
- Injuries caused by faulty elevators and escalators
- Incidents involving negligent security
- Accidents caused by poor lighting
- Playground or amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Animal attacks
These incidents can result in serious injuries, mounting medical expenses, and emotional trauma.
Where Do Premises Liability Accidents Happen?
A premises liability accident can occur in various locations, including:
- Private residences
- Commercial properties
- Rental apartments or homes
- Public spaces
The responsibility for maintaining a safe environment falls on the owner or occupier of the property. Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may be held liable for a victim’s injuries.
Who is Liable for a Premises Liability Accident in Charleston
Determining liability in a premises liability case can be complex. In South Carolina, the law recognizes that both property owners and occupiers have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe for visitors. The owner is typically the person who has legal title to the property, while the occupier is someone who has control or possession of the property, such as a tenant or lessee.
The Laws Governing Premises Liability Accidents in South Carolina
Property Owners: Under South Carolina law, property owners must ensure their premises are safe and free from hazards. This means they must take reasonable steps to prevent dangerous conditions, fix them promptly, or adequately warn visitors of the danger. If the owner knew or should have known about a hazard and failed to address it, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.
Visitors: Visitors also have a responsibility when it comes to premises liability. They must use the property in a reasonable and foreseeable manner. If a visitor engages in reckless behavior or ignores obvious dangers, their own negligence may affect their ability to recover compensation for their injuries.
Premises Liability Can Vary Based on the Type of Property
The rules for premises liability can vary depending on the type of property involved. Let’s take a closer look at two common scenarios:
Commercial Property: Business owners are legally required to maintain a safe environment for their customers. This requirement includes regularly inspecting the premises, promptly addressing hazards, and providing adequate warning signs if necessary. If a customer is injured due to a hazard the business owner knew or should have known about, the business owner may be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Rented Apartment or Home: In rental properties, landlords and tenants have responsibilities regarding premises liability. Landlords are generally responsible for maintaining the common areas and ensuring the property is safe at the time of the lease. Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for keeping their leased space reasonably safe and reporting any hazards to the landlord. If a tenant or visitor is injured due to a hazard that should have been addressed by either the landlord or tenant, a premises liability claim may be pursued.
Proving a Charleston Premises Liability Claim
To succeed in a premises liability claim in South Carolina, you must prove negligence on the part of the property owner or occupier by establishing the following elements:
- The property owner or occupier owed you a duty of care
- The property owner or occupier breached the duty of care owed to you
- The breach of duty caused your injuries
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries
Proving these elements can be challenging, especially when going up against large insurance companies and property owners. But, by working with a team of knowledgeable premises liability attorneys, Charleston accident victims can build a strong case and maximize their chances of receiving fair compensation.
Importance of Finding an Experienced Charleston Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability cases are uniquely challenging. In fact, many personal injury law firms avoid handling them altogether, due to their complexity. That’s not the case at Joye Law Firm. Since 1968, we’ve successfully resolved hundreds, if not thousands, of Charleston premises liability cases. You can read about some of our settlements and verdicts, including:
- A $2.95 million dollar premises liability settlement for a tourist injured in a stairwell collapse in downtown Charleston
- A $2.15 million third-party premises liability settlement for a worker whose three-story fall at a Seabrook Island construction site was caused by defective scaffolding
- A $1.8 million premises liability settlement for a woman who fell down an open elevator shaft on Folly Beach
- A $1.8 million settlement for a woman injured in a trip-and-fall accident outside of a Summerville theatre
- A confidential premises liability settlement for a young Ladson boy injured at a big box store
Consult a Charleston Premises Liability Attorney at Joye Law Firm
If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced premises liability attorneys in Charleston. At Joye Law Firm, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these accidents can take, and we are here to guide you through the legal process.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for the compensation you need. We are dedicated to helping protect the future of injured Charlestonians by recovering the compensation they deserve.