Property owners have a duty to keep their property in safe conditions for visitors. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may not know what your options are. Premises liability laws are complex, and it can be difficult for victims to navigate these laws when they’re recovering from an injury. Thankfully, with the help of a Greenville premises liability lawyer at Hernadez & Cabra, you’ll have access to the guidance and support that you need.
Do I Have a Premises Liability Claim?
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to negligence, it’s possible that you have a valid premises liability claim. With that said, South Carolina has nuanced premises liability laws, which is why you’ll need to have an experienced Greenville premises liability lawyer look at the details of your case.
When you are on another person’s property, South Carolina law places you in one of three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. The category that you’re in will determine whether you have a valid claim.
If you are a customer, you are considered to be an invitee. Since the defendant benefits financially from you being on your property, they must take steps to ensure your safety. The law states that property owners have a duty to provide invitees with a safe environment.
If you have permission to be on someone’s property, but your presence doesn’t benefit them financially, you’re considered to be a licensee. If you’re visiting a friend or a family member, you would fall into this category. While you are still owed a duty of care by the property owner, the property owner is not expected to uphold the same standards as a business owner.
If you trespass on someone else’s property, you will not have a valid claim against the property owner in the majority of cases. With that said, if a property owner intentionally tries to cause harm to potential trespassers, they could be held responsible for the trespasser’s injuries.
It’s best to consult with an experienced attorney that can evaluate the facts of your case. If you do have a valid claim, Hernandez & Cabra can help you recover the compensation that you’re owed under the law. The sooner you contact our firm, the easier it will be to gather evidence that supports your claim.
What Are Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases in Greenville?
Although there are many different types of injuries that can be caused by negligence or wrongful acts, many of the claims we see are related to specific hazards, such as:
- Slipping and falling on wet surfaces
- Tripping over a bumpy surface or a step that hasn’t been marked
- Faulty stairs or railings
- Injuries caused by falling objects
- Structural failings that lead to injury
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Injuries that occur when children play in an unsafe area
- Injuries caused by uncontrolled dogs
Even if the injury you sustained was not related to one of these hazards, it’s possible that you still have a valid premises liability claim. It’s best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney so that you can learn more about your options. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and other expenses.
Who is Responsible for an Injury in a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability laws in South Carolina are designed to hold property owners responsible for any injuries or damage that take place on their property. In fact, there are only four facts that we need to establish in order to prove your claim. These facts are:
There Was an Unsafe Condition on the Property
Property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their property meets reasonable conditions for safety. If a condition such as a slippery surface, faulty stair rail, or open ditch lead to an injury, the property owner could be held legally liable for that injury. As mentioned previously, business owners have a more significant duty to maintain a safe environment than homeowners do.
The Owner Was Aware of the Unsafe Condition
To be held liable for an injury, property owners must demonstrate negligence or engage in a wrongful act. Because of this, it must be established that the property owner was aware of the unsafe condition, or that they would have been aware of the issue if they were properly caring for the property. If a property is in poor condition due to owner neglect, and that neglect leads to an injury, the injured party is owed compensation for that injury.
The Owner Did Not Fix or Remove the Hazardous Condition or Properly Warn You About it
Property owners are expected to fix hazards or remove them in a timely manner. If the property owner has not had the opportunity to address the hazard, they must provide visitors to the property with a sufficient warning. As an example, if the floor of a store is wet and slippery because it was mopped, property owners should put up a sign warning visitors of the wet floor.
You Were Injured Because of the Unsafe Condition
It’s necessary to establish causation and damages in premises liability cases. We’ll work to prove how the property owner’s action or inaction lead to your injuries and that this hazard was the cause of your injuries. We’ll ensure that your case meets the burden of proof requirements so that you can be properly compensated for your injury.
What if My Child is Injured?
In South Carolina, the duty of care that a property owner owes to an adult varies based on the adult’s reasons for visiting the property. However, the laws are different for injuries that involve children. Trespassers cannot make premises liability claims in most cases, but a property owner may be held liable for injuries sustained by child trespassers that occur because of an “attractive nuisance.”
The law defines an attractive nuisance as a potential hazard that may entice children to trespass on a property without being aware of the potential hazard. Because of the child’s age, they are not aware of the risk that the hazard poses to them. Examples of attractive nuisances include pools, fountains, playground equipment, weapons, and construction projects.
If your child was injured on someone else’s property, Hernandez & Cabra can evaluate your claim to determine if the property owners should be held liable. If the property owner failed to take steps that could have prevented your child’s injury, there is an excellent chance that you are entitled to compensation.
What if I Was Injured at My Workplace?
South Carolina requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This provides compensation for an injured worker’s medical expenses and lost wages. In exchange for this coverage, workers give up the right to file a personal injury claim against their employer. With that said, there are circumstances in which you could file a premises liability claim after being injured on the job.
Independent contractors are not legally classified as employees, which means they are not covered under workers’ compensation coverage. Although independent contractors do not have access to the protection that workers’ compensation is designed to provide, they do have the option of filing a lawsuit against a business if they are injured while working.
You may also be able to file a claim if your injury occurred because of the negligence of a third party. While worker’s compensation insurance protects your employer against liability for injuries, it does not provide the same protection to third parties. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against a third party and a workers’ compensation claim.
With that said, it’s best to pursue your options carefully. South Carolina treats workers’ compensation as an exclusive remedy. In order to receive compensation, you must follow the appropriate procedures. If your employer’s insurance company does not give you written permission to pursue a third-party claim, you could lose access to worker’s comp benefits if you accept a settlement.
Our attorneys can review your case and find out what your options are. We’ll work to ensure that you receive the highest compensation possible in a third-party liability claim. In addition, you can trust us to follow all the appropriate procedures so that you won’t lose out on any benefits that you’re entitled to.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Premises Liability Claim?
According to South Carolina’s statute of limitations, injured parties must file premises liability claims within three years of the date that the accident occurred. After this window has passed, victims will lose the right to seek compensation for their injury in most cases, even if they have a valid claim. However, it’s best to begin the claims process long before this deadline expires.
As time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to build a strong case. Filing early on is the best way to preserve evidence that helps to prove your case. It’s best to talk to an attorney right away, even if you’re not certain that you want to file a claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Greenville Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, and that injury was caused by a wrongful act or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Greenville premises liability lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra can help you to prove your case so that you can collect the money you’re entitled to. Call us today at 864-501-4384 so that we can review your case.