Property owners have a duty of care to keep their properties safe for visitors. If they fail to do so, and an accident happens on their property as a result, they may be liable for damages. The victim can sue them for compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, emotional pain and suffering, and more.
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney has extensive experience with personal injury cases, including those involving premises liability in Charleston. We will fight for you when you have an accident on the premises of another’s property. Call 843-701-8029 to request a review of your case.
What Is a Premises Liability Accident?
Property owners have a responsibility to care for their premises to ensure no hazards are present. If they fail to do so, and a visitor gets injured as a result, they may be liable for damages. You must establish the following to prove your premises liability claim in Charleston:
- A duty of care existed: You must establish that the premises owner had a duty of care to the visitor. In this case, the duty of care would be proper maintenance of the property.
- A breach of duty of care occurred: You must also show that the duty of care has been breached. If there was a hazard on the premises that the owner knew about or reasonably should have known about, and they failed to take care of it, that would be a breach in their duty of care.
- The owner’s negligence caused the accident: You must establish that the owner’s failure to take care of the issue was the direct cause of injuries.
- The injuries led to a loss: You must prove that the injuries led to economic and non-economic losses.
What Are Common Causes of Injuries on the Premises?
Common causes of premises liability injuries include:
- Improper lighting
- Loose floorboards
- Loose handrails in hallways and on staircases
- Unsafe exteriors including broken sidewalks and parking lots, and unshoveled ice and snow
- Lack of security
- Automatic door failure
- Unsafe wiring
- Toxic substances on the property
- Fire hazards
- Loose objects that might fall on someone
- Unsafe structures
- Escalator or elevator failures
- Animal bites
Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim in Charleston?
Not everyone can file a personal injury claim if they are injured on someone’s property. Here is a breakdown of who is eligible and who is not:
- Invitees: The property owner owes the highest duty of care to anyone they invite on their property. Invitees will have every right to sue if they are injured on a property.
- Licensees: Licensees are people that visit a property for their own benefit. They include family or friends visiting a home. In these instances, the property owner has a duty of care to warn the licensee of obvious damages such as loose floorboards. But they are not obligated to seek out hidden damages that may not be as obvious. That is a duty of care reserved for invitees only.
- Adult trespassers: The premises owner has no duty of care to adult trespassers on their property other than to not willfully hurt them.
- Children: Children are not as responsible as adults. Therefore, property owners will owe an extra duty of care when children are on their property. The child will be treated as an invitee if they are visiting. If they are trespassing and get injured, the property owner may be held liable if there is a hazard on their property that may have attracted children, such as an unsafe playground.
Who is Responsible for Premises Liability Injuries in Charleston?
The person responsible for a premises injury is not always the property owner. It is whoever is responsible for maintaining the building. So, the party that is liable may be any of the following:
- The property manager
- The homeowner
- The maintenance company
- The business owner
- A parent company
- Tenants in a rental property
Figuring out who is responsible for a premises accident can be confusing. Your Charleston premises liability lawyer will help you determine who is at-fault for your injury. They will identify the defendant and see to it that they are pursued for fair compensation.
What Kind of Damages Can I Collect in a Premises Injury Accident?
The damages you can collect will vary depending on your personal and professional situation and the extent of your injuries. They may include the following:
- Medical expenses: Including those incurred in the accident and those required for future care such as rehab and prescription costs.
- Lost wages: If you need to take time off work to recover from your injuries, the defendant may be responsible for compensating you for lost wages.
- Loss of future earning potential: If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to continue at your current job or you are not able to work at all, your damages may make up for your lost earning potential.
- Emotional pain and suffering: Victims of accidents often deal with trauma or PTSD after the incident occurs. It is difficult to put a monetary value on these emotional losses, but your lawyer will find an amount that is fair. Compensation may also include mental health expenses.
- Wrongful death: If the victim dies of their accident on the premises, the claim will be considered wrongful death. The family of the deceased may sue for the loss of financial contributions and other forms of support the victim provided to the family as well as emotional pain and suffering and funeral and burial expenses.
Your premises injury lawyer will be able to tell you what damages you are eligible for and how much you’re likely to collect.
Contact Our Charleston Premises Liability Lawyer to Begin Your Case
A premises injury accident can be a complex matter. It might be difficult alone to determine who is responsible for the injury and to prove fault. You need the presence of Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney to handle your case.
We know the ins-and-outs of South Carolina premises liability law and the reputation to fight relentlessly for our clients.
If you’ve been injured on a property in Charleston, don’t delay, call Trey today.