In South Carolina, property owners have a responsibility to take the precautions necessary to keep those on their property safe and free from harm. When they fail to uphold this duty, someone on their property can become injured and require help from a Goose Creek premises liability lawyer. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a property owner’s failure to keep their premises reasonably safe, a Goose Creek personal injury attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm can review your accident and determine if you are able to file a claim for monetary compensation.
Premises Liability in Goose Creek
South Carolina law requires property owners to keep their premises safe for entry or use by individuals who are guests, visitors, customers, or clients to their premises. If an owner fails to ensure their property is reasonably safe, they can be considered negligent. If a person is injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, they can seek compensation for the damages they suffered as a result.
Where Goose Creek Premises Liability Accidents Happen
Premises liability accidents can occur in nearly any location. Dangerous conditions can be found in residential, commercial, or public locations. Common sites of premises liability accidents in Goose Creek are as follows:
- Grocery stores
- Department stores
- Shopping malls
- Other retail establishments
- Bars or nightclubs
- Hotels and motels
- Hair and nail salons
- Construction sites
- Apartment complexes
- Private residences
Depending on the visitor’s status, the property owner’s duty of care can vary. However, anyone responsible for a property owner must make reasonable efforts to keep their premises safe for those on-site. Failure to do so can result in a legal claim being filed by a premises liability attorney in Goose Creek.
The Duty of Property Owners in Goose Creek
As mentioned above, a person’s status as a guest can determine the legal duty the property owner has to the visitor. Guests are typically divided into four categories when determining the duty of care they are owed. In South Carolina, visitors are divided into the following groups:
An invitee, or visitor, is a person who has been invited onto another person’s property for the property owner’s benefit. This invitation can be for personal or business reasons. A visitor is owed the highest duty of care by the owner, meaning the owner has a duty to protect the invitee from injuries caused by any unreasonable risk that the visitor could not discover on their own.
The duty a property owner owes to an invitee is to regularly inspect their property to ensure it is safe. If they discover a danger on their property, they have a duty to remove the hazard. If removing the hazard is not possible at that moment, they have a duty to warn the visitor of the existing danger.
A licensee is a person who is on another person’s property for their own benefit, as opposed to the property owner’s. These individuals are not patrons of the property. Rather, they often include family, friends, and other social guests.
Property owners still owe licensees a duty to protect them from harm; however, their duty of care is lesser than of an invitee. The owner must still use reasonable care to ensure their property is safe. If they discover a dangerous condition on their property, they must warn their guests if the hazard is not easily discoverable by the licensee.
A trespasser is an adult who enters another person’s property without the owner’s permission to do so. In other words, they are individuals who enter a person’s property illegally. Generally, property owners do not have a duty of care toward trespassers; however, they must not purposefully cause them harm.
The main exception to this duty concerns child trespassers and those with intellectual disabilities. In such instances, if the property contains an attractive nuisance, the owner could be held liable for injuries suffered by the trespasser. An attractive nuisance is an artificial condition an owner can reasonably predict will attract children or others with intellectual disabilities.
A property owner has a higher standard of care for a child than they do for an adult on their property. This is because children have decreased mental capacities and emotional maturity. As such, property owners need to take extra precautions to keep children on their premises safe.
Again, if an owner’s property contains an attractive nuisance, they can be responsible for the injuries caused to a child on their property. Examples of common attractive nuisances include swimming pools and dogs. It is the duty of the property owner to warn children of any dangerous conditions on their premises.
Goose Creek Premises Liability Examples
If a property owner does not keep their premises safe for guests, injuries can result. There are many accidents that can happen when a property owner breaches their duty to protect or to warn visitors of existing dangers. Common examples of accidents that can occur on a property owner’s premises include those resulting from the following:
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Swimming pools
- Elevator or escalators
- Construction zones
- Poor lighting
- Building code violations
- Negligent security
- Fair rides
If you have been injured in an accident because of an owner’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. A Goose Creek premises liability attorney can review your accident and determine if you can file a legal claim. We can review your options with you at no cost.
Proving Premises Liability in Goose Creek
To prevail in a premises liability claim, you must prove certain elements. If you can demonstrate the following components, you can recover compensation for your damages. The elements you need to prove are:
- That the property owner owed you a duty of care
- That they breached their duty by acting negligently
- That this breach caused your accident
- That you suffered damages as a result of the accident
If you have been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, contact a premises liability lawyer in Goose Creek as soon as possible. In South Carolina, you only have three years to file a legal claim for damages. As such, it is important to reach out to us immediately so you do not miss your chance to make a claim.
Let Shelly Leeke Law Firm Help You
At Shelly Leeke Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys know how to establish a premises liability claim. If your injuries happened because of a property owner’s negligence, contact us for a free consultation today. We can gather the necessary evidence to begin building your premises liability case and get you the compensation you deserve.