When you lawfully visit a residential or commercial property, you expect that you will be safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many people suffer serious injuries because property owners create, fail to fix or neglect to warn visitors about dangerous conditions on their property. If this recently happened to you or a loved one in Myrtle Beach, Horry County, or anywhere in the Grand Strand, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries through a premises liability claim.
With nearly 250 years of combined experience, Joye Law Firm can provide the skilled and compassionate legal guidance that you will need. We care about our clients, and it shows. To learn more about your rights and how we can help you, call our Myrtle Beach office or reach us online today. We will review your case in a free consultation.
Since 1968, the attorneys of Joye Law Firm have served personal injury victims and their families from Myrtle Beach, including clients whose cases involved premises liability claims. In other words, their cases involved injuries caused by the negligence of a property owner and/or another party who was in control of the property.
Types of Premises Liability Cases in Myrtle Beach
Examples of premises liability claims are:
- Slip and falls – These accidents commonly arise from dangerous conditions such as unreasonably slick floors, obstructed or cluttered walkways, uneven stairs or sidewalks, concealed holes, broken railings, torn or frayed carpeting and poor lighting. Falls are especially a concern when they involve elderly nursing home residents. Hip, arm and wrist fractures are common in these accidents.
- Falling objects – These incidents include merchandise falling from shelves in stores or warehouses as well as tools and building materials falling from upper levels at construction sites. A person struck by a falling object may suffer serious head and brain injuries. These accidents also frequently cause eye injuries.
- Elevator and escalator accidents – Negligently designed, installed or maintained elevators and escalators present tripping hazards or create the risk of a visitor’s limb getting snared in a moving part. Property owners, or the companies that they hire to install, inspect and maintain their elevators and escalators, may be liable.
- Inadequate security – Attacks often occur at hotels, motels, apartment complexes, shopping centers and other locations in Myrtle Beach due to crime risks that a property owner knew about or reasonably should have foreseen. Prior complaints or police reports can serve as evidence of the foreseeability of a risk.
- Swimming pool accidents – Many people get hurt due to negligently constructed and/or maintained swimming pools or because the owner of the pool failed to provide proper safety equipment and/or supervision. Children face an especially high risk of drowning. In many cases, injuries occur because the owner failed to put up proper fencing and gates that would keep children out of the pool.
These incidents can occur at virtually any private, corporate or government-owned property. A high number of premises liability injuries in the Myrtle Beach area happen at resorts, condos, cottages, golf courses and other vacation properties that an out-of-state corporation owns and a local business or person leases or manages. An experienced premises liability attorney from Joye Law Firm will know how to identify all parties who should be held responsible in your case.
Proving a Myrtle Beach Premises Liability Claim
A premises liability claim is similar to other types of personal injury cases. To recover damages, you must establish that the property owner:
- Owed a duty of care to you
- Breached that duty of care
- Caused you to suffer actual harm as a result of that breach.
The duty of care that a property owner owes to a visitor depends on the visitor’s status. So, your status could be an issue in your case.
Generally, South Carolina law puts visitors in four categories:
- Invitees – Visitors who enter property with the owner’s express or implied invitation. Store customers and hotel guests are examples. The owner generally owes a duty to repair any hazards on the property or to warn about any concealed or non-obvious dangers that the owner knows or should know about.
- Licensees – Visitors who enter property with the owner’s consent. A social guest is an example. The owner has a duty to warn about any hidden dangers on the property that the owner knows or reasonably should know about.
- Adult trespassers – Visitors who enter property without the owner’s permission. The owner generally owes no duty other than to avoid willfully or wantonly causing such visitor to suffer injury.
- Children – Even though a child may be trespasser, the owner owes a duty to keep the child safe from a dangerous artificial condition on the property which the owner knows or should know about, such as a swimming pool.
If you believe that you have a premises liability claim, you should contact Joye Law Firm as early as possible. We can take immediate steps to preserve important evidence such as video surveillance footage or building maintenance records. We may also consult with experts such as engineers or architects as part of our investigation.
Property owners or managers often try to cut down on the amount that they pay in a premises liability claim – or attempt to avoid paying any damages – by saying that an injury victim assumed a risk or suffered harm due to an “open and obvious” hazard. Joye Law Firm works hard to collect evidence and counter any attempts to shift undue blame to our clients.
Compensation in a Myrtle Beach Premises Liability Lawsuit
Joye Law Firm has a long record of achieving outstanding results for our clients in Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina. We work hard to collect evidence and prepare cases for success at trial. That preparation often helps us to reach settlements in premises liability cases, which avoids the need for a trial.
Whether it comes through a settlement or verdict, our goal will be to secure full and fair compensation for you, including damages such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of society
- Punitive damages (if warranted).
The value of any premises liability case will depend on the specific factual and legal circumstances. The recovery also will depend on the amount of available insurance coverage. However, our goal at Joye Law Firm will always be to recover the maximum amount for you. You will pay legal fees only if we secure compensation for you.
Our Myrtle Beach Premises Liability Lawyers Can Help You Today
Generally, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years after the date of your accident, or bring a wrongful death claim within three years from the date of your loved one’s death. This is called the statute of limitations. To ensure that you do not miss the deadline in your case, you should talk with Joye Law Firm as early as possible about your premises liability case.
Contact us today in Myrtle Beach for a free consultation. We will work diligently to pursue all compensation you are due and to restore the quality of your life. We will treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve.