Have you or your someone you love been injured due to the negligence of a property owner?
Premises liability is the legal term referring to the responsibility of property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe for customers or guests. This responsibility and protection extends to anyone legally on the property, such as an invited guest, employee, tenant or public spaces, such as a park or reserve.
So, what is needed to bring a premises liability claim?
The general requirements are as follows:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care (you were lawfully on the property);
- A dangerous condition existed on the property;
- The property owner knew of or should have known of the dangerous condition;
- The property owner failed to take reasonable action to fix, address, or warn of the dangerous condition;
- You were injured as a result of the property owner’s failure to act; and
- Due to the injury, you suffered damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)
Slip and Fall Cases – Slick Surfaces
The most common premises liability cases are slip and fall injuries, which often occur in a store such as Wal-Mart, pharmacy or grocery store.
If you have suffered a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident on a wet or slick surface, you may believe you have a case for compensation that is open and shut. However, there are a number of legal requirements you must establish to prove that the owner or proprietor of the property is actually responsible for your injuries:
First, you must establish that the owner had or should have had notice of the slippery condition. Next, you must demonstrate the owner failed to use reasonable and ordinary care to remedy the dangerous condition. So, in cases where the owner/proprietor created the slippery condition (for example by buffing the floor), notice is not at issue. However, cases where a third party creates the dangerous condition, can operate differently. Generally, when a third-party creates the dangerous condition, the landowner only has a duty to act if he or she has “actual notice” or “constructive notice” that the dangerous condition exists. That generally depends on the length of time the condition existed and the location of the dangerous condition on the premises.
Warnings and Failure to Warn
When a landowner is aware or should be aware of a condition, the landowner has to either remedy the issue, or properly warn those on his property. In a wet floor scenario, the common yellow signs are generally considered an adequate warning. Again, the jury has to weigh whether they believe the warning was sufficient to put the injured party on notice of the dangerous condition.
Open and Obvious
The owner of the property generally has a defense if the dangerous condition is so open and obvious a reasonable person would be aware of its existence.
Other Types of Premises Liability Cases
Aside from traditional slip and falls, premises liability also includes negligent security injuries, elevator accidents, theme park ride injuries, waterpark injuries, swimming pool injuries, diving board accidents, dangerous chemicals, such as in a pool, bed bugs, defective equipment, deck collapses, standing water, ice (over time), and even umbrella injuries at the beach. While the list of types of premises liability cases is long, being injured on someone’s property is not enough to prove negligence or fault. You must show evidence that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the property and, then, failed to warn or take appropriate actions to alleviate the danger.
Beach Injury Lawyers represent clients in premises liability cases, including those involving:
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
- Elevator accidents
- Exposure to dangerous substances
- Falling objects
- Inadequate security
- Lead poisoning
- Retail store injuries
So, you may be wondering if you need an attorney. Yes, absolutely. First, premises liability cases can be much more complex and difficult to prove than an auto accident case. In an automobile accident, a police officer investigates the accident and renders one party at-fault for the accident. The vast majority of the time, that liability decision holds. However, there is generally no investigation or liability decision involved at the scene. Therefore, conducting a post-injury investigation is critical to obtain facts to prove your theory of the case. It is also important to put the owner on notice to prevent any destruction of evidence on their part.
The attorneys at Beach Injury Lawyers understand the complexities of premises liability law. Our lawyers have handled hundreds of premises liability cases and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured on someone else’s property in Myrtle Beach, Horry County, or anywhere in South Carolina, please contact us for a free consultation.
How Do I Get in Touch with Beach Injury Lawyers?
At Beach Injury Lawyers, we strive to be accessible to our clients and potential clients. We can be reached through our website via chat or consult request, or feel free to call our office directly at 843-357-4111. We often have requests for case analysis over the phone. We will do our best, but generally meeting in person is the best method to discuss your case.