Inviting friends and family over for a pool party or a shopping trip to the mall with a friend are fun ways to enjoy good company in Columbia, South Carolina. Unfortunately, a failure by property owners to take the proper safety precautions can quickly turn an enjoyable outing into a serious crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates, with most of these drowning occurring in home swimming pools. With American consumers logging 1.5 billion visits to shopping centers each month, the risks for premises liability at retail stores increases every day.
Premises liability protects people who experience injury—or loved ones in the event of death—by allowing injured parties to recover compensation. Strong premises liability representation in Columbia, South Carolina, requires a lawyer with experience with this aspect of the law, like the Hughey Law Firm. Our attorneys take premises liability cases seriously, and we fight aggressively against insurance companies and businesses in order to achieve compensation for our clients.
Understanding Premises Liability
All states require that owners of a property maintain a safe environment for visitors. Premises liability law holds a property owner responsible for any damages or injuries to a person visiting the property. Examples of premises liability lawsuits include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Negligent or inadequate security;
- Dog or other animal bites;
- Swimming pool injuries;
- Inadequate maintenance;
- Children on property;
- Retail store liability; and
- Restaurant liability.
There are a variety of exceptions, however, when it comes to leased property. Most often, landlords are not responsible for injuries to a tenant’s guest, because the tenant is assumed to have control of the property’s condition. A landlord may, however, have responsibility for injuries caused by undisclosed conditions prior to the tenant moving in. The laws vary from state-to-state—for a better understanding as it relates to South Carolina law, contact the Hughey Law Firm.
Defining Visitor Status: Is Your Visitor an Invitee, a Licensee, or a Trespasser?
The law defines an invitee as someone invited to a property for a commercial purpose. An example of this is a shop at the mall. A licensee is someone who receives permission or an invitation to be at a property. In both cases, the invitation is an implied promise that the property is safe. A duty of care applies to both, although depending upon state law, the requirements may vary among the two.
Most premises laws do not allow compensation to trespassers who are injured while trespassing. A property owner must refrain, however, from intentionally setting a trap that injures a trespasser, or willfully providing dangerous conditions with the intent to harm a trespasser.
Child trespassers, however, are owed a greater duty of care. Something deemed an “attractive nuisance” to a child, like an animal or a swimming pool, requires more careful consideration. To be held liable, the property owner must have created and maintained a dangerous condition. The child’s parents or legal guardians must prove the owner’s knowledge of the hazard, and knowledge that the child may trespass. Furthermore, plaintiffs must show that the child was unable to understand the risks, and that the property owner failed to post warnings or practice reasonable care in eliminating possible dangers.
A Law Firm with Proven Results:
$500K for Vacationer with Head Trauma
A North Carolina woman who suffered brain damage when knocked down by a golf court won a $500,000 settlement in a premises liability claim. Lawyers from the Hughey Law Firm represented the woman, who experienced two skull fractures, brain bleeding, and a permanent brain injury upon striking the pavement. The incident occurred when a 3-year-old climbed into the idling golf cart, engaging it in reverse, and striking the woman in a driveway. The victim was an invitee, vacationing at a South Carolina cabin. Hughey attorneys successfully argued negligence on the part of the property owner.
Other Premises Lawsuit Successes:
- $671,125 – Client suffered amputation due to dangerous conditions on another’s property.
- $435,000 – Client suffered a fall at a restaurant as a result of the defendant leaving a mat rolled up in the walkway.
- $415,000 – Client suffered a fall down the stairs at a church.
- $415,000 – Client suffered injuries on a staircase that was not equipped with a handrail.
- $375,000 – Client suffered a violent fall to the ground after encountering a hazardous section of sidewalk.
- $230,000 – Client suffered electrocution.
- $200,000 – Client was visiting her sister in an assisted living facility when she was pushed by a resident. She fell to the ground and fractured her wrist as a result.
While it’s not possible to guarantee the outcome of a particular case, our proven record of success illustrates the passion, dedication, and knowledge regarding premises liability enjoyed by clients of the Hughey Law Firm.
Columbia, South Carolina, Premises Liability Lawyers
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for social guests, invitees, and licensees. Falling and sustaining injuries while at a Columbia, South Carolina, hotel, shopping mall, job site, or restaurant can damage your quality of life and financial stability. Our team frequently obtains compensation for our clients’ medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
The Hughey Law Firm has experienced premises liability lawyers ready to assist you. If you or a loved one has experienced injury in Columbia due to negligence by a property owner or business, call (843) 881-8644 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation today.