Aiken Premises Liability Lawyer

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Picture this: you walk into a restaurant in Charleston, SC. The host says hi and guides you to your table. All of a sudden, you are on the floor, and your back is killing you. One of the waiters had dropped a glass of water that they didn’t clean up, and now you are on your way to the ER with a potential back injury.

It sounds like really bad luck, but this happens more often than you’d think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 800,000 people are hospitalized every year due to fall injuries, with approximately 3 million older people being treated in emergency departments every year.

In the weeks and months following your accident, you may incur hefty medical bills, miss work, and lose income. As this is happening, you may wonder whether the restaurant is liable for your back injury. Shouldn’t they pay for your medical bills? Do you need to get a South Carolina premises liability lawyer involved? The answer is yes.

After a slip-and-fall accident, an attorney can be an invaluable resource. They can assist you in navigating the personal injury legal process and hold liable parties finally accountable for their negligent actions.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a preventable accident, the Aiken premises liability lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs (JJWLS) have the resources, experience, and knowledge to guide you throughout the claims process and hold the responsible party accountable.

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Do I Have a Premises Liability Case?

If you are injured on someone else’s property, such as a school, shopping mall, or hotel, you may have a premises liability case if your injuries and losses were a result of the owner’s or employee’s negligence.

Say, for example, that a building owner is aware of a faulty escalator but fails to repair or shut down the machine. If you are injured by the escalator, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party for damages.

Some common grounds for pursuing Aiken premises liability claims include:

  • Failure to repair damaged sidewalks or parking lots
  • Failure to clean up spills
  • Failure to install, replace, and maintain adequate lighting
  • Failure to replace worn-out flooring
  • Failure to maintain handrails and playground equipment
  • Failure to provide adequate supervision or security

What Are Some of the Common Types of Premises Liability Claims?

The term “premises liability” often comes up in personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits involving landowners or business owners. At its core, premises liability establishes some form of legal responsibility for property owners to take certain steps to maintain their property, guaranteeing the safety of visitors. If the owner fails to do so, they may be liable for damages if visitors are hurt.

Various hazards can be grounds for personal injury claims against property owners in South Carolina. For example, while a property owner may not have the expertise to repair a broken elevator, they could prevent visitors from using it by posting warning signs and blocking the doors.

At JJWLS, our Aiken lawyers handle various types of premises liability cases, including:

  • Slips and falls
  • Fires
  • Stair collapses
  • Animal attacks
  • Building code violations
  • Escalator or elevator accidents
  • Inadequate or negligent security
  • Accidents due to poor lighting
  • Falling objects
  • Ceiling collapses
  • Accidents at swimming pools or amusement parks
  • Department store or supermarket accidents
  • Snow and ice hazards
  • Water leaks and flooding
  • Toxic fumes

The above examples of accidents can result in premises liability claims. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in South Carolina, you may have grounds to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

At JJWLS, our Aiken premises liability lawyers can help you understand if your claim falls under premises liability cases and determine the best avenue to seek compensation for your injury and damages.

Who is Responsible for an Injury in a Premises Liability Case?

Property owners have a responsibility to all visitors and are required by South Carolina law to maintain safe premises. Homeowners, landlords, and business owners have a duty to create and maintain safe environments for residents and visitors. If they fail to do so, property owners of all types can be held financially liable for damages through the SC personal injury claims process.

For example, if you are hurt at a hotel due to a property hazard, you could hold the hotel financially liable for your injuries and sue its owners. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at your local grocery store, you could file an insurance claim against the store owner. In the event your landlord fails to address hazards in your building, they could be liable for resulting injuries.

Ultimately, the person or entity responsible for your injury depends on where you got hurt and the details of your case. At JJWLS, our Aiken premises liability attorneys can look into the circumstances of your case and establish who may be liable for your accident.

How Do You Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Case?

Generally, you and your Aiken premises liability lawyer must establish and prove the following elements to win a premises liability case and receive compensation for damages:

Duty of Care

Depending on the type of visitor, property owners have a duty to keep guests safe from foreseeable and preventable dangers. This responsibility depends on whether the property is residential or commercial, or if it’s just a piece of land. There are also other obligations that landlords in South Carolina have to their tenants. Your Aiken premises liability lawyer must evaluate your case to determine if the property or business owner owed you a duty of care when you were hurt.

Breach of Duty of Care

In a premises liability case, a breach of care occurs when a property owner fails to act responsibly, endangering residents and visitors. This can take different forms, including:

  • The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition but didn’t inspect it.
  • The owner knew about the hazardous condition but disregarded fixing it.
  • The property owner might have actively created the unsafe condition that led to your injury.

Causation

This legal concept requires you to prove that the property owner’s negligence led to your injuries. Had they fixed the issue or warned you regarding the hazard, you wouldn’t have sustained injuries.

Damages

To have a valid case, you must have been injured and suffered damages due to the owner’s negligence. Damages in personal injury cases are the compensation benefits you may seek from the defendant and their insurance company. They may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What if My Child is Injured?

In premises liability cases, different circumstances apply to injured children. Since they don’t have the capacity to comprehend property hazards as much as adults, courts grant them a higher duty of care. For example, a five-year-old child may not really understand that they should stay away from construction equipment or a swimming pool.

According to the law of attractive nuisance, property owners can be held liable for the physical harm that children sustain, regardless of their status as trespassers. Property owners must ensure things such as gravel pits, abandoned cars, and swimming pools don’t injure children. If something is “attractive” to children, owners must take steps to mitigate any potential dangers.

What if I Was Injured at My Workplace?

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at work, make sure you report the accident to your supervisor or employer. Never disregard informing your employer about your accident, since this may jeopardize your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Workplaces have a responsibility to guarantee safety to their employees, customers, and the general public.

It’s also important to see a doctor after a workplace accident. Seeking medical care not only maximizes your chances of securing a fair settlement but also helps you avoid challenges related to seeking compensation benefits in South Carolina.

As you recover, keep track of all your accident-related expenses. Track the hours and days you miss work, and keep all receipts and written communication regarding your accident and injuries.

Is there a Deadline for Filing a Premises Liability Claim in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, victims of premises liability cases have three years from the date of the accident to file claims. However, it is advisable to seek legal help from an experienced Aiken premises liability lawyer to initiate the claims process and file your case as soon as possible.

Remember, if you delay, witnesses may forget details about the accident that may be valuable to receiving the best possible compensation.

Contact Our Aiken Premises Liability Lawyers for Legal Counsel and Representation

Every day, people get injured on other people’s properties. If this is the case, you have the right to seek compensation if the property owner acted negligently, resulting in your injuries. At JJWLS, our Aiken premises liability lawyers are ready to look into your case and answer any questions you may have about your damages.

Let us help you recover damages, including medical bills and lost wages, if a property owner’s negligence led to your injury. Call 803-649-5338 today or contact us online to┬áschedule your free, no-obligation case review.