Every landowner must take appropriate steps to protect visitors in their home, business, or other property. However, the extent of this obligation varies based on an individual’s permission to be on the land and their reasons for visiting. This makes pursuing compensation for your losses if you were injured on someone else’s premises much more complex. Having the guidance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney could increase the chance of receiving the best possible legal outcome in your circumstances.
A Kingstree premises liability lawyer could work to establish your rights as a visitor under the law, demonstrate how a landowner violated those rights, and measure your losses to demand proper compensation. Call Whetstone Perkins & Fulda today to schedule a consultation.
What is a Premises Liability Claim?
A premises liability claim centers around an incident that occurs on another person’s property that results in injuries. As a general rule, owners must provide protection to all people who enter. This includes protection against temporary hazards like standing water, structural risks such as broken stairs, or even the criminal activities of third parties. A premises liability claim is a personal injury case that demands compensation for all losses that result from a failure to provide adequate protection.
Claims must evaluate the incident’s total impact on the injured party’s life. This includes physical damage, which can be as minor as a sprained ankle or as severe as spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury. Psychological well-being, such as the effect on one’s enjoyment of life is also considered, as well as lost income due to missing time at work. A competent Kingstree premises liability attorney could help individuals pursue the compensation necessary to cover their medical costs, lost wages, and emotional trauma.
The Categories of Visitors and Their Levels of Owed Care
One point of analysis when determining liability is the visitor’s status under the law. State law recognizes three main categories of visitors.
Trespassers are individuals who enter land without permission. Landowners must only refrain from causing intentional or wanton harm to these people.
These are people who visit for a social purpose or their benefit, such as partygoers or someone stopping by a friend’s house. This also includes individuals who go into a store or restaurant solely to use the establishment’s facilities. The property owner must exercise reasonable care to warn licensees of known dangers.
Invitees enter the premises for the owner’s benefit and are owed the highest duty of care. This includes customers at a store, hotel guests, apartment residents, and people attending a movie or event. In addition to warning visitors of any known hazards, they must also inspect their land and keep it safe from dangerous conditions that could arise in the future.
Pursuant to South Carolina Code §15-38-10, courts must examine the actions of plaintiffs and at-fault individuals to determine who bears responsibility for an injury. If a court believes a plaintiff shares a portion of the blame, that court will reduce the award at trial. If this portion rises above 50 percent, the court will dismiss the claim. A meticulous Kingstree attorney with a well-developed understanding of premises liability law could argue against allegations of shared fault.
Let a Kingstree Premises Liability Attorney Take the Lead in Establishing Fault
Every person entering another party’s premises has rights under the law. However, the extent of these rights changes based on their permission and motivations for being there. As a result, many injured people may find it difficult to pursue a claim for premises liability on their own.
Thankfully, an experienced Kingstree premises liability lawyer could help relieve this burden. They could take the necessary steps to establish your rights, discover evidence of a landowner’s failure to keep you safe and measure your losses to demand appropriate compensation. Contact Whetstone Perkins & Fulda today to let their qualified team of attorneys examine the details of your incident.