South Carolina personal injury lawyers representing victims in premises liability cases across the state including Columbia, Lexington, Richland County, and neighboring areas.
If you have been harmed due to the negligence of the property owner or manager on whose premises the injury occurred, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a successful premises liability lawsuit here in South Carolina. We all know that “accidents” sometimes happen, but if your injuries can be linked to inadequate security or careless maintenance, the negligent party may be legally responsible for the medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress and/or permanent physical disability you have endured.
Serving South Carolina residents for years, the skilled personal injury attorneys at The Michael Jeffcoat Firm can help you recoup losses that you may have suffered through no fault of your own.
Premises liability law in South Carolina
Visitors or tenants on another party’s property can experience accidents through no fault of their own if the owner or manager fails to execute the “duty of care” that he or she owes to those visiting or residing there. Such accidents can occur when responsible parties do not provide adequate security or maintain the property in such a way that injury can occur through slips or falls, criminal activity, or other means.
In order to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit in South Carolina, an injured person must prove that the property owner:
- Owed a duty of care to the injured person;
- The property owner was negligent or reckless by doing something, or failing to do something; (usually, this means that the property owner: (a) failed to maintain the property; or (b) created an unsafe condition on the property; or (c) knew about the hazard, but failed to alert the injured person; or (d) was careless about an unsafe condition which might attract young children; or (e) caused or allowed conditions to cause damage to a neighboring property);
- The property owner’s action or inaction helped to cause the injury; and;
- The guest or patron was hurt as a result.
Factors involved in determining liability
Determining liability in such cases can be complicated. For example, an owner of a store, theatre, or nightclub is not automatically responsible for a shooting that takes place on his or her property. In Bass v. Gopal, Inc., however, the South Carolina Supreme Court did rule that if there is a foreseeable risk of such a crime taking place and the owners of a property did nothing to address that risk, they may be held liable in court.
South Carolina also recognizes various levels of care owed to different kinds of parties. The duty of care owed to a minor child on a property differs from that owed to a trespasser, an invitee, or a licensee. Such distinctions can make a significant difference in court; for a plaintiff in a premises liability case, they call for representation that is cognizant of the legal minutiae involved.
The outcome of cases, or whether they even make it to trial, can also depend on whether a plaintiff is understood to have assumed the risk of injury by engaging in certain activities. For instance, a slip and fall case involving an unmarked slick floor in a place of business will be handled differently from a similar injury that ocurred at a pool, where slippery and wet surfaces are a risk that the visitor should assume.
If you live in Lexington, Columbia, or anywhere in Richland County and were injured on someone else’s property, you are encouraged to consult an attorney from The Michael Jeffcoat Firm to help you determine whether you have a viable case for compensation.
Negligent security or maintenance lapses that lead to accidents
The following are some examples in which the duty of care is breached by property owners, making accidents much more likely to occur:
- Slippery or uneven surfaces or other factors that are not adequately marked can result in slip and fall accidents for which an owner may be responsible.
- Exposure to toxic or hazardous substances such as lead or mold in an apartment or
- Failure to run a background check on an employee working in a hotel with a criminal record who later assaults a guest.
- Inadequate security at entrances of residences or in public places that facilitate criminal activity.
- Failure to secure an animal known to be vicious which then bites or otherwise harms another party.
- Inadequate lighting or visibility that leads to an assault or accident.
Typical properties include apartment buildings, motels, malls, shopping centers, parking garages, parking lots, hospitals, schools, convenience stores, ATMs, banks, bus companies, cruise lines, retail stores, and other commercial establishments.
Trusted South Carolina premises liability attorneys
Your choice of lawyer is very important in a premises liability or negligent security case in SC. Based out of Lexington, The Michael Jeffcoat Firm advocates for victims throughout Richland County, including Columbia and the greater upstate region.
We can help you recover losses including those related to medical expenses, lost wages or earning potential, plus pain and suffering. As always, the amount of compensation will vary depending on the nature of the injury and the circumstances surrounding an incident, but we will make sure that you recover maximum damages under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us to set up a free consultation and we will respond right away.
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