Whenever you visit a business or residence, you expect the owner or manager to keep the place safe from hazards. Sometimes this is not the case, and accidents happen. You could be hurt slipping on spilled milk in the grocery store or tripping over buckled carpeting in your neighbor’s home.
As a credible personal injury attorney could tell you, business and property owners must ensure the safety of their visitors. If they ignore hazards or fail to give appropriate warning of dangerous conditions, they can be liable for the harm caused to others. If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligent act, contact a Marion premises liability lawyer to discuss your accident and learn whether you might be entitled to financial compensation.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents in Marion
Plaintiffs must prove negligence on the part of the property owner or manager, who is expected to keep the property safe. If they fail in that duty and someone is injured because of it, the person who is hurt may be eligible for compensation. Some common premises accidents include:
- Slip and falls caused by spills, buckled carpeting, uneven floors, or rickety stairs
- A lack of maintenance on certain appliances and other architectural elements, including elevators
- Accidents that occur at a theme or amusement park
- Dog or other animal bites
- Poor security in dimly lit parking lots, especially in high-crime areas
- Attractive nuisances to children, such as swimming pools and trampolines
Personal injuries on someone’s property can be expensive when medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost work, and damaged property are calculated. The injured party may also suffer emotional trauma. A knowledgeable Marion premises liability attorney could analyze the specifics of an accident to determine what kind of compensation they might be eligible to receive.
The Difference Between Invitees and Licensees
When someone is a property guest, the owner assumes a certain amount of responsibility for that individual. In premises liability cases in Marion, a lawyer could explain that there are two types of guests – licensees and invitees. A licensee is a property owner’s social guest or someone who is there for reasons other than conducting business. This could be a friend visiting from out of town, a person arriving for a party, or someone entering an establishment to use the restroom.
Invitees are generally on a property to conduct business, such as shoppers at a retail store, customers in a restaurant, delivery people, or construction workers. Owners must reasonably alert licensees and invitees about potential hazards. Warnings can be simple, such as telling a guest to step over an uneven floor or, more proactively, closing the bathroom until the leak is fixed.
Is There a Duty to Protect Trespassers?
South Carolina distinguishes between child and adult trespassers. Generally, the only duty owed to adult trespassers is not to harm them intentionally. However, under the state’s attractive nuisance doctrine, child trespassers are different. If there is a hazardous condition the owner is aware of, and the owner reasonably believes it would attract children and pose a danger of injury, the owner could be liable for any resulting harm. This law recognizes that children often act impulsively and may not see the threat until their brains are more developed.
Besides swimming pools and trampolines, other attractive nuisances include partially finished buildings, abandoned motor vehicles, and junk littering a yard. Owners should fence and lock dangerous areas and post warning signs when danger is known.
Seek Compensation with a Marion Premises Liability Attorney
You should be able to enjoy a nice meal or shopping day without injury. Call a Marion premises liability lawyer today if you have been in an accident on someone else’s property and believe it to have been caused by negligence. The team at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda can offer you guidance on what your next steps might be and could potentially seek compensation for your physical and emotional damages.