Under South Carolina law, property owners are legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for those that visit their property. Property owners that breach this obligation put visitors at risk for injuries.
South Carolina recognizes four types of visitors: invitees, licensees, trespassers, and children. Those who have been invited on a property for business related purposes or as social guests have rights under the law. Similarly, the law obligates property owners to a higher duty of care where children are concerned. In contrast, trespassers who are injured on someone’s property may not hold the property owner liable.
If you or your child sustained an injury due to a property owner’s negligence or wrongful actions in the Summerville area, you might be eligible to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that are directly related to your injury. The State of South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, so the sooner you contact an experienced premises liability attorney the better. Call the legal team at Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation.
Hughey Law Firm’s Results in Premises Liability Cases
The Hughey Law Firm has extensive experience negotiating settlements and litigating personal injury cases, including those that involve premises liability.
Recent cases include a woman who received $200,000 after a resident pushed her when she visited her sister at a nursing home; a $250,000 verdict and a $350,000 settlement for clients who suffered falls on slippery stairways; $350,000 for a minor who was caught in a house fire; and more than $650,000 for a client who suffered an amputation after an injury on someone’s property. We secured settlements in excess of $1.5 million for a client who was injured in a club and another who was injured when a dock at a vacation rental home crushed her leg.
These examples do not guarantee results in any particular case, but the attorneys at Hughey Law Firm will work to get the best possible outcome for every client’s individual circumstances.
The Accidents You May Encounter on the Property of a Negligent Owner
A wide array of situations on another person’s property might give rise to a premises liability case. Here are some of the most common scenarios that can lead to injuries such as fractures, head traumas, back and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and more:
- Slip and falls;
- Elevator/escalator accidents;
- Substandard building maintenance;
- Lack of building security;
- Swimming pool accidents;
- Theme park ride accidents; and
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
In premises liability cases, you might recover compensatory and punitive damages. Like many other states, South Carolina courts only award punitive damages in rare cases that involve gross negligence or intentional harm. Compensatory damages, by comparison, are far more common, and cover the costs directly related to your injury. Here are some of the most common compensatory damages in premises liability cases:
- Medical costs including ambulance services, hospital stays, doctor visits, radiology, specialists, and prescription medications
- Future medical costs in the case of a long-term disability or chronic condition
- Lost wages for missing work due to an injury
- Lost future wages for those who might not be able to return to work or need to change professions due to their injury
- Rehabilitation and recovery expenses including costs for physical therapy and assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and prosthetic limbs
- Modification expenses to make one’s home more accessible by adding things such as ramps and handrails or other special equipment
- Cost of replacement services such as domestic help for cooking, cleaning, running errands, mowing the lawn, and anything else that the injured cannot do after an accident.
- Pain and suffering related to the injury
- Loss of consortium
Level the Playing Field—Hire a Lawyer to Represent You
Property owners who are named in a premises liability lawsuit often go the extra mile to try and avoid paying damages. The State of South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence rule.” This means that once a court or jury finds that the property owner acted in a negligent manner, they must assign a percentage of fault to each party and adjust the award based on this percentage. For example, a visitor who gets injured and sues for $200,000, but who was 25 percent responsible for his or her injury, will have his or her damages reduced by 25 percent to $150,000.
If the injured party is 50 percent or more at fault, however, the law in South Carolina prevents the victim from recovering damages at all. This legal quirk gives the defense a strong incentive to shift the blame to the victim. Defense strategies include claiming the hazard that caused the injury was marked, claiming the victim was distracted or intoxicated, and a variety of other attempts to shift blame. A skilled premises liability attorney will anticipate defense tactics and fight to make sure that those who are liable pay their fair share.
Contact a Skilled Premises Liability Attorney
Most law firms offer a free consultation for you to discuss the viability of your case with a qualified attorney. When a lawyer agrees to take your case, oftentimes, law firms will agree to handle personal injury cases, including those that involve premises liability injuries, on a contingent fee basis. In those arrangements, the lawyer only recovers attorney fees if there is a settlement or judgment recovered on your behalf.
If you live in the Summerville area and have sustained an injury because of a property owner’s negligence or wrongful actions, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Email a skilled premises liability attorney at Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation with our team. One of our experienced lawyers will meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case, and help you to decide if we might be able to help.