Individuals who become injured on another person’s property may be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit in South Carolina. Landowners have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for guests and customers. When victims become injured due to unsafe conditions, the injured victims can bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner.
At Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, our Florence and Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyers understand how devastating premises liability accidents can be for our clients. Many premises liability accident victims cannot return to work and are concerned about how they will pay their mounting medical bills. If you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident, our law firm will advocate for your right to seek the compensation you deserve. We use our knowledge of South Carolina premises liability laws and our litigation experience to help our clients maximize their financial recovery.
Common Premises Liability Cases in South Carolina
Premises liability accidents can happen anywhere from a parking lot to a staircase. While slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability accident, there are many other types of premises liability cases. Anytime an injury occurs because of dangerous conditions on a person’s property, the victim may have a right to hold the property owner financially responsible for his or her injuries. A wide range of accidents can happen on another person’s property, including the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Negligent security accidents
- Building code violation accidents
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Grocery store accidents
- Poor lighting accidents
- Dog bite accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents involving faulty electrical wiring
Understanding Premises Liability Law in South Carolina
Victims of dangerous or hazardous conditions on another person’s property have a right to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. The victim, known as the plaintiff of the lawsuit, will need to prove that the property owner’s negligence causes his or her injury.
When property owners fail to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for guests and visitors, they breach their legal duty. Their negligence renders them liable for the victim’s injuries. Victims can seek compensation for all of the economic and non-economic damages they sustained due to their injuries. Under South Carolina law, victims of premises liability accident will need to prove the following evidence to secure compensation:
- The defendant owed the injured victim a specific duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care through their negligence action or inaction
- The breach caused the victim’s accident
- The victim suffered damages because of the accident
The Categories of Guests in South Carolina
Property owners always owe a duty to individuals who are physically present on their property. However, the landowner’s specific legal duty depends on the visitor’s legal status when the accident occurred. In South Carolina, visitors are classified as invitees, licensees, trespassers, or children.
Visitors and invitees are people who’ve been invited to another person’s property for the property owner’s benefit. For example, customers at retail establishments, restaurants, and business settings are considered invitees because they are there for the benefit of the business owner. Under South Carolina law, property owners show invitees the highest duty of care.
Property owners must use reasonable and ordinary care to ensure that the promises are safe for invitees. Additionally, property owners have a duty to protect invitees from any injury caused by an unreasonable hazard or risk that the guests couldn’t discover on his or her own. Property Owners must regularly inspect their property to discover dangerous conditions and fix them or warn customers about them. Most premises liability lawsuits involve invitees who were welcomed onto the property owner’s premises when the accident occurred.
Licensees are those who are visiting another’s property socially or for their benefit, not the property owner’s benefit. Licensees typically include friends, family, and other social guests. Property owners must use reasonable care to ensure their property is safe and worn license to use of any hazardous conditions of which the owner is aware.
Property owners do not have a duty to inspect the property to discover dangerous conditions for licensees. Finally, landowners typically do no trespassers a duty of care or to warrant harmful conditions. However, they can’t inflict any willful or wanton injury on the trespassers.
Damages Available in a South Carolina Premises Liability Lawsuit
The total amount of damages a premises liability victim can see depends on the facts of his or her case. Courts consider the severity of the victim’s injuries and whether the victim contributed to the accident that caused their injuries. When the victim can prove that the property owner was at fault for their injuries, victims can see compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Victims can recover compensation from past and future medical expenses, including:
- Hospital stays
- Past and future medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Rehabilitation services
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- At home medical care services
Many of our clients who’ve been catastrophically injured in a premises liability accident can no longer work. A plaintiff can seek compensation for all of their lost income, both past and in the future. If you’ve been injured, be sure to write down all of the days you missed work and any lost benefits, commissions, bonuses, or promotions. You can include these losses in the calculation of your damages.
Plaintiffs can see compensation for non-economic damage, including the pain and suffering they’ve endured due to their injuries. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for their physical pain, the sensation of pain caused by the injury, and the injury’s emotional impact. Courts consider several factors when awarding damages for pain and suffering in premises liability accidents, such as the victims’ age and the extent of the injuries. In egregious cases, courts will award additional punitive damages as a form of punishment to the defendant.
Contact a South Carolina Premises Liability Lawyer for Help
If you or your loved one have been injured in a premises liability accident, do not hesitate to reach out to Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have a proven track record of success in premises liability cases. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and case evaluation.