If you have been injured on the property of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation if you can prove that their wrongful actions were to blame for your injuries.
First, you may need the help of a premises liability attorney to prove that they are legally responsible. Then, your attorney would negotiate to get you the best possible settlement.
Contact the Jordan Law Center for a free consultation to discuss your case with our Greenville premises liability lawyers.
What Are Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability law encompasses quite a few types of cases, because many things can happen to you when you are on the property of another. Practically any type of foreseeable harm (and others that may not be foreseeable but happened due to the negligence of the property owner) can be covered in a premises liability law:
The Legal Concept of Invitees and Licensees
When anyone else invites you onto their property, they take on a duty of care that they owe you.
This happens whether they are the owner, or they are in control of the property.
The most common case of an invitee is when a business opens its doors to the public. Even though they may not have sent you a formal invitation, you are still considered an invitee because you can come onto the property if you wish. A property owner can also take on a duty of care if they invite you to their property as a social guest.
The Duty of Care in a Premises Liability Case
Of course, the property owner is not able to protect you from any and all harm on their property because their role is not to guarantee your safety. However, they must do what is within their own power to keep you safe, with the understanding that accidents sometimes do happen.
According to the South Carolina Supreme Court:
“The owner of property owes to an invitee or business visitor the duty of exercising reasonable or ordinary care for his safety, and is liable for injuries resulting from the breach of such duty.”
The duty of care depends on the circumstances and the situation. Legally, a duty of care is rooted in the principle of what is considered reasonable under the circumstances. For example, the duty of care in a slip and fall case is twofold:
- The property owner must not create any dangerous condition on the property themselves (such as leaving debris in a walking path)
- If someone else created a dangerous condition on the property, the owner must remedy it within a reasonable amount of time after they knew or should have known about it.
Foreseeability is often a prominent element of the duty of care. For example, in a negligent security case, the property owner would have the obligation to take reasonable actions to protect you if they knew or should have known of a risk.
How to Prove a Premises Liability Claim in South Carolina
In any personal injury case, it is what you say happened that will be determinative of the outcome. The only things that matter are what you can prove. You are the one with the burden of proof to demonstrate each and every single element of your premises liability case.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to gather evidence on your own, and you have a very limited amount of time in which to do it. Compounding the problem is the fact that some of this evidence may be in a responsible party’s hands.
Our Greenville premises liability lawyers will work to gather the proof that you need for your case, by doing the following:
- Speaking to witnesses who saw what happened
- Gathering physical evidence that backs your side of the story
- Working with expert witnesses who will give their opinion on what caused your injuries
- Aggressively pursuing evidence through the discovery process if your case goes to court
We will do everything in our power to investigate your accident, determine who was to blame and assemble the case necessary to prove it.
Overcoming Defenses to Premises Liability Claims
Even if you have your own evidence, the property owner may not admit liability because they know what is at stake in your case. There are a number of defenses that you may need to overcome before you can be in a position to be offered a settlement or win your case, including:
- Blaming you for what happened by saying that you did not exercise your own reasonable care
- Claiming that you did not have a right to be on the property when the accident occurred
- In a dog bite case, arguing that your actions provoked the dog
- You assumed the risk yourself, which would absolve the property owner of liability
In a premises liability case, your lawyer’s job is often every bit as much about defending you.
The insurance company will not hesitate to take aim at you if it means that they save money at your expense.
How Much Is My Premises Liability Claim Worth?
Two people can suffer a similar injury, but their claims can be worth different amounts.
Everything depends on how you personally have suffered. Your damages account for impacts to your life in a variety of areas, both financial and non-financial.
Your premises liability settlement can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Emotional distress
If your loved one died on the premises of another, your family may be entitled to wrongful death damages.
Contact a Greenville Premises Liability Lawyer Today
Besides seeing a doctor, the most important thing that you can do after a premises liability injury is to call an experienced attorney. The Jordan Law Center devotes our efforts to delivering for clients like you who need our help in dealing with a stubborn insurance company that is standing in your way. Call us today at 864-808-1810 or send us a message online to begin your premises liability case.