Thousands of people each year in South Carolina are injured on the property of others. If a person slips and falls on a floor, a flight of stairs or a rough patch of ground due to the negligence of the property owner, the owner may be liable for the injury. Homeowners and business owners have a duty to keep their property safe and correct issues that may cause injury to people on their property. For example, if a storeowner has knowledge that the floor is slippery, he or she has a duty to warn customers. Similarly, a storeowner must take proper steps to ensure that merchandise displays are not dangerous to the customers. Also, a property owner may be liable for injuries resulting from a damaged stair design, defective safety railing or unsafe sidewalk conditions.
Premises Liability Law
Basically, premises liability in South Carolina provides visitors to a property the chance to file a civil claim against the property owner if the visitor sustained injuries. To succeed in such a case, an injured person must show that the landowner was negligent, and such negligence led to the injuries. To establish negligence in a premises liability action, the injured party must prove (i) a duty of care was owed by the defendant to plaintiff (the injured person); (ii) the defendant breached that duty by a negligent act or omission; and (iii) damages proximately resulted from the breach of duty.
What ultimately determines the nature and scope of duty owed is the status, or classification, of the injured person. South Carolina recognizes four classifications of persons present on the property of another: (i) adult trespassers; (ii) invitees; (iii) licensees; and (iv) children. Adult trespassers are those on the owner’s property without permission. A business owner owes no duty of care to them except the duty to not inflict willful or wanton injury. Children are owed different degrees of duty depending on their mental capacity.
Invitees are those who enter a property by an invitation for the landowner’s advantage. Invitees are owed a heightened duty of care, the duty to maintain safe premises. A licensee is a person who has the privilege to enter the premises with the landowner’s consent. Here, the primary benefit is for the licensee and not the landowner. For example, this may include a guest who comes to a home for a social gathering. The duty owed to licensees is to warn of dangers that the landowner actually knows about, that the licensee would not be expected to discover without injury.
If you were injured on the Property of Another
Take action now. If you’re injured on the property of another and want to bring your case to court, South Carolina requires you to file your case within three years from the date of your accident. If you do not file within three years, you will not be able to bring your case to court at all.
Fortunately, the attorneys of the Solomon Law Group are here to help. The Solomon Law Group has personal injury attorneys who truly understand premises liability. We will work to help you recover compensation to cover damages you have suffered, which may include medical and surgical costs, lost wages, anxiety, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, mileage, many out of pocket costs and many other expenses you may face. Reach out to us today for help.