Dangerous conditions left unattended at businesses, offices, parks, and other public places or private homes in Summerville, S.C., can lead to accidents and injuries that require costly medical treatment. When slip and fall accidents, elevator accidents, dog bites, and other incidents leave innocent people hurt, the negligent property owners may be compelled to compensate the injured for their losses.
If you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own on someone else’s property in Summerville, you may be eligible to file a premises liability claim against the property owner’s insurance. A claim may seek reimbursement for all present and future medical expenses related to your injury as well as compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of income.
The premises liability attorneys at Joye Law Firm help people in Summerville and throughout South Carolina who have suffered injuries caused by property owners’ neglect or disregard for safety. Pursuing an injury claim may bring attention to a hazardous condition and prevent others from sustaining similar injuries. Contact Joye Law Firm today. We can meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation about a potential premises liability claim.
How Can A Summerville Premises Liability Attorney Help?
Premises liability law holds that property owners have a duty to make sure that their properties are reasonably safe for those who visit legally or to ensure that visitors have adequate warning if a hazard exists. When an unsafe condition develops, such as a spill that causes a slippery floor in a grocery store or a carpet tear in an office building lobby, the property owners are allowed a reasonable amount of time to correct it.
If a property owner neglects their duty to warn of an unsafe condition and someone is hurt because of a hazard the property owner should have known about, the property owner may be held liable for the injuries and losses the injured individual has suffered.
As premises liability attorneys in Summerville, our attorneys at Joye Law Firm can investigate an accident in the greater Dorchester County area to determine who should be held liable. If you have a valid premises liability claim, we can present your demands for compensation to the property owner and their insurance company. Based on the evidence we have gathered to support your claim, we can negotiate a settlement or file a formal lawsuit and take your claim to court.
It can be very difficult for someone who has been injured to determine on their own who should be held responsible for their injuries. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, including the type of property where the injury occurred, determining whether the property owner should bear responsibility can become extremely complex.
It may be unclear whether a hazard actually existed on the premises or whether, as lawyers for property owners tend to argue, the plaintiff was hurt because they were not paying attention to their surroundings. If you have been seriously injured, you need an attorney who knows the rules that the courts apply to determine who is responsible for a premises liability accident.
Our Summerville personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm have more than 50 years of experience helping South Carolinians recover compensation for serious injuries caused by others’ negligence. With nearly 250 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have shown repeatedly that they have the ability to get results.
Pursuing Maximum Compensation After An injury On Dangerous Property
Victims of property owners’ negligence in South Carolina are entitled to demand compensation for the full extent of their losses. The goal of injury compensation is to put the victim back into the financial position they were in before the accident took place. Because it is not possible to reverse the pain and suffering that a severe injury causes, victims are entitled to seek financial compensation for those losses, as well.
How much you may recover after an accident will always depend on the specific facts of your case. As your attorneys, Joye Law Firm would gather evidence and calculate the full extent of your losses and demand the full compensation allowed by South Carolina law.
You may be entitled to seek compensation to pay for:
- All of your medical expenses
- Any rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Long-term disability needs
Premises Liability Settlements In Summerville, SC
Most payments in premises liability claims come from the property owner’s insurance, whether it is business liability insurance or homeowners’ insurance.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average homeowners’ insurance liability payment from 2015-2019 was $29,752 for bodily injury and property damage and $5,802 for medical payments. In addition, the average payment for a dog bite claim, which is typically covered by homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies, was $50,245 in 2020.
According to the Insurance Information Institute and Thomson Reuters’ Current Award Trends in Personal Injury, 60th edition, the average jury award for a premises liability personal injury lawsuit in 2019 was $1.3 million. The median award was $169,902.
Joye Law Firm is proud of the results our South Carolina accident attorneys have achieved, but prior results should not and cannot be relied on to create any expectation about what can be recovered for a client in a subsequent case. Let us review the details of your injury at no charge and discuss your legal options.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt On Someone Else’s Property
If you have been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you may take certain steps to protect your ability to file a claim. You should:
- Report your accident. Make sure the owner, operator, or manager of the location where you were injured knows the accident happened. Ask to file a report with the property manager of a commercial property. If there is no established reporting procedure or form, tell the person(s) in charge what happened to you (get their names and titles) and get an email or postal address to follow up with a written account of your accident. If it is necessary to call an ambulance, find out how to get a copy of their report.
- Get medical care. If you do not receive emergency care from a first responder, see a doctor within 24 hours of your accident. Several potentially serious injuries, particularly head injuries, may not present visible symptoms right away. See a doctor to get a thorough exam and proper care and to create a record of your injuries. A trained medical professional may be able to diagnose injuries that are not yet obvious to you.
- Take photos. Get pictures of the hazard that led to your accident. Get wider shots to show the absence of warning signs or barriers. Get photos of your injuries, damaged clothing, or possessions.
- Get witness names and contact information.
- Write down what happened. Within 24 hours, after things have settled down, write down in your own words what happened. Note what you were doing just before your accident, where you were going, and who you were with. Record what happened while your memory is fresh.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. An initial consultation with Joye Law Firm in Summerville, SC, is free and without further obligation. You can receive is free guidance from experienced local attorneys about a potential personal injury claim.
Types Of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability claims may be based on:
- Slip and Fall Accidents. Falls lead to many premises liability claims. Falls happen because of numerous factors, ranging from loose stair treads to torn carpets to slippery floors. Older people are particularly at risk of serious injury in a fall, including head injuries and broken hips.
- Falling Merchandise or Debris. Retail store shelves that are overstocked or poorly stacked pose a hazard. A box or other item may topple off the shelf onto a customer and cause a serious injury.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents. Elevators and escalators that are misaligned to floors they serve can cause falls and other accidents. If a property owner does not routinely inspect and maintain elevators or escalators on their premises and someone is hurt as a result, the victim could have a right to seek compensation for their injuries.
- Dog Bites. An unprovoked dog bite or mauling may be the basis of a premises liability claim. A Summerville dog owner may be held responsible for your medical bills, damage to clothing or other personal property, and other losses related to a dog attack.
- Swimming Pool Accidents. Local ordinances require fencing and other security for commercial and residential swimming pools. In addition to the potential for drownings, injuries at swimming pools are caused by defective drains, caustic chemicals, allowing horseplay, and other negligence.
- Playground or amusement park accidents. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that rides and equipment are designed, installed, maintained, and operated safely.
- Poor Lighting. When light bulbs are burned out or do not provide adequate lighting, it may be hard to see and avoid a hazardous condition. Poor lighting may invite criminal activity, such as assault and battery.
- Negligent Security. Owners of properties frequented by the public, such as hotels and shopping centers have a duty to provide security to prevent criminal activity, such as the assault of patrons. After an assault, carjacking, or robbery at a commercial property, it is prudent to investigate what the property owner could have done to prevent it. Sponsors of large events may be liable for accidents caused by too few security officers to control crowds.
Many accidents are caused by inadequate maintenance that is allowed to create dangerous conditions. A retail property owner may put off expensive or difficult repairs or fail to put up a warning sign about dangerous conditions. Pursuing a personal injury claim after an accident in these types of cases can focus attention on a safety issue and prevent others from suffering injuries.
How the Status of the Injured Party May Affect a Premises Liability Case
Property owners have a legal duty to people who lawfully visit their buildings and grounds. They are expected to ensure that the premises are safe or to post warnings of any hazards.
The law recognizes that visitors to property have different statuses, which affects the property owner’s duty to provide for their safety. In general, people on another person’s property are seen as:
- Invitees. A property owner owes the highest duty to someone he or she has expressly invited onto their property.
- Licensees. The property owner owes a lesser duty of care to individuals who have a standing license to enter the property, such as those who are there for business reasons.
- Trespassers. The property owner has a minimal duty of care to individuals who are on the premises illegally.
The courts are generally open to a defense claim that a hazard was “open and obvious.” In other words, a property owner may not be liable for injuries caused by a hazard that a reasonable person would recognize and avoid. An example is someone who entered an obviously dangerous area, such as an open construction pit.
However, these defenses may not apply to injuries involving young children or others of limited mental capacity and lack the judgment to recognize the danger. This is true of accidents that involve “attractive nuisances,” such as trampolines and swimming pools.
Time Limit on Premises Liability Claims in Summerville
Typically, South Carolina requires plaintiffs to file premises liability claims within three years of the date of the accident. If you wait longer than three years, your case may not be allowed by the court.
Talk to a Summerville Premises Liability Attorney Now
Have you been seriously injured in an accident on someone else’s property in Summerville, S.C.? If so, our team of premises liability lawyers wants to discuss what happened and help you seek full compensation.
Call Joye Law Firm now at 888-324-3100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Let us fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.