South Carolina Premises Liability Attorney
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Premises Liability in South Carolina
What to do when you’re injured on someone’s property in South Carolina?
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a negligent property owner, we can help. Too often, business and property owners fail to keep their properties, stores, and general grounds safe and their negligence can lead to serious injury of even death. For example, if a business or restaurant has a balcony and they put too much weight on the balcony or the balcony has rotting beams, there is a chance that balcony can collapse. In those instances, the property owner likely acted negligent and the injured victims should be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
This is just one example of how a property owner can be negligence. While there are codes and ordinances businesses and property owners must follow, how are they enforced? The government is understaffed and typically only enforces the codes when there is a known, reported issue or if there are renovations. This rests the duty on the injured party to hire an attorney to enforce those codes and seek compensation for their damages.
What is Premises Liability in South Carolina?
Premises liability is a very specific area of law involving the legal duty of property managers and owners to keep their property safe for visitors. If the property has poor maintenance or design that leads to an injury, the owner or manager of that property failed their legal duty to provide a reasonably safe space to their invited guests. To show a property owner or manager was negligent, injured parties must show the owner/manager failed to keep the premises in a reasonably safe manner and, as a result of their failure, you suffered injuries.
What are examples of property owner negligence?
It is difficult to identify just a few types of ways property owners can be negligent because all properties are unique and pose unique threats and dangers. There are many hazardous conditions that could arise on a property depending on any number of factors. An icicle could pose a dangerous risk and a dock without a railing is a dangerous risk. Some people may chalk their injuries up to “clumsiness” or to “bad luck,” however, it may in fact be the negligence of the property owner. If you’re injured on someone’s property, contact an experienced lawyer to see what your options are. Here are common sign of a property owner negligence:
- Broken/uneven steps
- Loose flooring
- Wet, slippery, or dirty flooring
- Cluttered walkway
- Balconies falling/collapsing
- Railway failures
- Inadequate lighting
- Uneven walkways
- Failure to warn of hazardous conditions
- Failure to provide appropriate security measures
Premises liability can occur anywhere – groceries stores, apartment complexes, retail stores, office spaces, restaurants. Anywhere where you are invited to enter – malls, parking lots, bars, playgrounds – if you are injured on someone’s property due to their negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries.
How much is my premises liability claim worth?
Every case is different and, therefore, it depends. However, if you hire an experienced and creative attorney like Keibler Law Group, they can rely on top resources, experts, and technologies to convince a jury, the court, and opposing counsel to pay more.
No one can determine how much any case is worth without first analyzing the facts. However, there are certain factors you can use to make an approximate estimation of your claim.
First, you must look at the “economic” damages or those you can quantify. Then you can recover additional, “non-economic” damages for pain and suffering and other damages that are more difficult to quantify. Finally, depending on the particular circumstances, you may be able to recover punitive damages – or damages designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter future bad actors.
The main factor that will affect the value of your claim is the damages, or losses you incurred. The more damages involved in the case, the more your claim is worth because you can be compensated for all of them. Some of the most common forms of damages include
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
Next, you must analyze liability or fault. Who is at fault and how much “fault” will a jury attribute to them? If the other party was 100% at fault, then you can recover 100% of your actual damages. However, South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state – in other words, if a jury determines you are 10% at fault, any award a jury gives you will be reduced by 10%. Keep in mind, your fault must be less than 51%. Additionally, if the at-fault party showed gross negligence or blatant disregard for the safety of others, the courts may award you punitive damages. In this instance, your case will be worth more.
Once liability is established, you need to make sure the defendant has money to pay you. Most property owners maintain property insurance that covers injuries on their properties and that insurance money is designed to protect the property owner and pay injured victims from accidents that occurred on that property. The amount of insurance available changes for every case and insurance policy.
If you are able, we recommend keeping a journal or daily log after a serious injury. Journals help you remember what you may have felt at the time of the injury, help you recall details, feelings, your surroundings, and possible struggles you were facing. A journal can be in many forms – it can be handwritten, typed, spoken on your phone, video recorded. Journals can also help with mental health after a catastrophic injury.
What is a Contingency Fee?
How do I pay for the lawyer?
We work on a contingency fee basis meaning the victims we represent pay nothing at all unless we win. Once you receive money from either a settlement or verdict, we receive a certain percentage of that settlement or verdict. If your lawsuit is unsuccessful, you will not owe us any attorney fees. This allows the plaintiff to reap the rewards without risk of having to pay for a loss.
How long do I have to bring a premises liability casein South Carolina?
Three years. Most likely you have three years from the date of the injury. In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of an accident or injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If the negligent party is a government entity such as a school or hospital, the South Carolina Tort Claims Act requires you sue within two years of the accident or injury. Contact an experienced South Carolina premises liability attorney today to see if you have a case.