Property owners who open their land, homes, or businesses to the public have an inherent responsibility for the safety and protection of visitors. Unfortunately, accidents occur, and some property and business owners fail at this responsibility. As a visitor, you may sustain serious injuries that could otherwise have been avoided.
In South Carolina, property and business owners are legally responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for visitors. The simple act of picking up items from the floor, cleaning up spills, and sure that fixtures, doors, and elevators are functioning properly. Premise liability factors include:
Again, accidents happen, but many slips, trips, and fall-accidents can and should have been avoided. Property owners are responsible to act in accordance with local laws to fix safety-related issues they knew to exist – or should have known to exist.
Many slip and fall accidents in South Carolina and Charleston occur in or around businesses. As a result, customers who slip and fall may recover a portion of the cost for their injury or loss – that is, if the business owner or establishment failed in their responsibility.
State law defers in the responsibility of property owners regarding premise liability depending on the classification of the visitor. Basically:
Visitors are distinguished into one of four classifications: invitees, licensees, trespassers, and children. Different standards of care apply depending upon the visitor’s classification.
Property owners owe the highest degree of care to invitees, those who enter a property or business with the express or implied permission of the proper owner. Customers to a store are considered to be an invitee. On the other hand, in some cases, a child who is an invitee can become a trespasser if the child enters a part of the building to which he or she should not enter.
A person classified as a licensee is a person who enters a non-business property with express or implied permission. Acquaintances who enter your home (i.e., social guests) are generally considered a licensee under South Carolina law.
A trespasser is an individual who enters a property without permission from the owner (for curiosity, to hunt, or for other purposes). A property owner’s liability for a trespasser is very limited, normally limited to only intentional injury or injury from willful or wanton negligence or misconduct.
For visitors classified as children, the only responsibility a property owner has is to refrain from willful or wanton negligence or misconduct.
As mentioned earlier, property owners still have certain duty to care for foreseeable dangers even if the injured party is classified as licensee or trespasser. If you are a licensee or trespasser, call one of our lawyers to discuss your case. You may still have a claim for injuries.
Proving that you are a visitor may not be easy. Such is why it is so important to hire a competent Charleston accident lawyer to help you get through the hurdles you may encounter.
Landlords are also responsible to maintain their rental properties to protect renters from unsafe conditions. Unfortunately, many rental property owners place their income above your safety; they leave the renter exposed to dangerous situations, including:
At the Bostic Law Firm, we have the experience and knowledge to navigate premise liability issues. Nevertheless, it is important for injured victims to take immediate action to protect your personal interests. This do this, we will collect and take photos of your injuries and of the area where the slip or fall occurred, talking with witnesses and other shoppers, taking note of video camera, and more. We do all of this and more for you – with no up-front fees!
Remember this rule, if you are hurt any type of slip and fall accident, time is of the essence. The sooner you talk to an attorney the better your chances of receiving the compensation due you.
Our Charleston premises liability attorneys understand the anger and confusion you may feel when you or a loved one has been injured in a premises liability accident. Our experience and knowledge of state and federal personal injury law allows us to offer advice to our clients and secure the compensation you are entitled. Our staff will work closely with you to walk you through the compensation recovery process.