Injuries caused by unsafe conditions on another person’s property often allows for financial recovery through legal action. However, your right to file suit or demand damages may vary based on why you were on the property to begin with and what specific circumstances led to you getting hurt.
Making sense of state law and legal precedents that affect cases of this nature could be much easier with guidance from an experienced Walterboro premises liability lawyer. With the help of our capable personal injury attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, you could stand a better chance not only of establishing someone else’s fault for your injuries and recovering fair compensation, but also contesting allegations of contributory or comparative negligence that could reduce the value of your claim.
How State Law Governs Property Owner Liability
Just like most personal injury claims, every case pursued under premises liability law centers around an injured plaintiff’s assertion that an at-fault landowner breached their duty of care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. However, the specific duty owed to property visitors by owners and managers changes depending on why a visitor is on their land.
Customers and business guests of the property owner are considered “invitees,” and property owners must use “ordinary care” to inspect their property for hazards and notify invitees of any potential dangers they discover. Conversely, while property and homeowners must warn “licensees”—people visiting for their own purposes, such as party guests—of known hazards, they may not be liable for harm caused by overtly obvious dangers or hazards they were reasonably unaware.
Finally, property owners generally have no duty to protect adult trespassers who are on their land unlawfully from harm, although they cannot take any action to intentionally inflict harm on trespassers. As a Walterboro property liability attorney could explain, there are some exceptions to this rule when it comes to landowner liability for injuries sustained by trespassers who are minors, depending on the age and mental capacity of the child in question as well as the presence of any attractive nuisances on the property.
Recovering Compensation While Avoiding Comparative Fault
Property owners found liable for injuries that occur on their land may be held accountable for all economic and non-economic consequences, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost work income
- Physical pain
- Various psychological and emotional effects of long-term disability or disfigurement
However, even plaintiffs with valid claims against negligent landowners still may need to establish that they themselves were not partially responsible for causing or worsening their own damages.
South Carolina legal precedent allows civil courts to reduce a person’s recoverable compensation based on their percentage of fault for their own injuries. If a plaintiff is found more than 50 percent liable for their own damages, he or she may not be entitled to any recovery. Assistance from a seasoned premises liability lawyer in Walterboro could be crucial to fighting back against accusations of comparative fault made by at-fault parties attempting to avoid liability.
Get in Touch with a Walterboro Premises Liability Attorney Today
Filing suit against a property owner for negligence resulting in an injury can be complicated. Regardless of how strong a claim you have on the surface, you may have trouble obtaining the financial awards you deserve if you are unfamiliar with the nuances of state law.
Support from a knowledgeable Walterboro premises liability lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could be the difference in achieving a positive case resolution. Learn more by calling today.