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Premises Liability in South Carolina

August 9, 2016

Those who own or lease property are required to ensure that it remains safe for those who enter onto it. Poorly maintained or repaired premises can cause injuries to people due to falls or other accidents. Accidents may occur in public places, office buildings, parks, homes, stores, restaurants, and other places that may be either public or private. If a dangerous condition exists it must be repaired or a warning must be given to those who could be hurt. The failure to do so could mean that the responsible party is negligent.

Premises Liability Cases

In order for someone to be responsible for a premises injury case they must be both liable and negligent. Liability means that they are the party responsible for providing a safe and secure area for people. Negligence means that the party knew or should have known that there was a problem and that the situation could cause harm and did not take corrective measures. There are many reasons that accident with injuries occur. Some of the most common types of premises liability cases are for the following accidents.

Falls

Falls are the most common type of accident that may occur due to negligence. People may slip and fall on wet floors or a crack in the flooring material. When the floor is wet the owner has a responsibility to clean the liquid to prevent falls. In some instances, the water cannot be easily removed and in these cases the owner needs to provide signs and other warnings to let people know of possible danger.

Slip and fall accidents often occur in these areas:

  • Sidewalks
  • Parks
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • Shopping Malls
  • Construction Sites
  • Lobbies of Businesses
  • Steps and Stairs
  • Parking Lots

Blocked Paths

Dangerous walkways are caused by placing items in areas where people walk. A blocked path can happen, for example, when a store employee is putting out stock and places boxes in the aisles. Blocked paths can be dangerous because the items do not belong on the path and therefore people are not looking for them before they trip into them.

Falling Products or Shelving

Poorly stacked products can fall from shelving units and hit people who are shopping in stores. The items must be properly stacked and shelving must be adequate to accommodate the items that are stored on them. Store owners must protect their customers and employees from harm if they need to reach a product on a high shelf.

Broken Elevators

Elevators and escalators that are not functioning properly can cause injuries to those who use them. Elevators must be inspected according to the current local ordinances. If an elevator malfunctions there must be emergency procedures in place to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. For example, an elevator may have an emergency button that allows direct communication with the lobby attendant.

Improper Security

Security is important for many facilities and includes both indoor and outdoor concerns. Many more property owners are installing security cameras to protect their premises and to reduce the risk of incidences. Security may also entail the use of officers for crowd control. If a club owner, for example, knows that a large crowd is expected but fails to hire enough security, their negligence could be the cause of an injury.

Inadequate Lighting

Proper lighting is necessary, especially in areas where people walk at night. Inadequate lighting could be responsible for someone stumbling, walking off the path, or falling because they could not see the walkway. Lighting must also be adequately provided in parking lots and other areas where people and cars are expected to travel when it is dark.

Playground Accidents

Thousands of children are hurt each year due to accidents on playgrounds. Some of the injuries may be serious. The playground owner or manager is responsible for proper installation, inspection, maintenance, and repair of playground equipment and surrounding areas.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Accidents that occur in swimming pools range from equipment malfunctions to near-drownings or worse. Public swimming pool owners and operators are required to provide proper supervision while the pool is open for swimming. They must also take the proper steps to ensure that the pool is functioning correctly and is properly maintained. As an example, the overuse of chemicals could cause swimmers injuries to their skin and eyes. Water-related accidents should be prevented.

Dog Bites

When a dog bite occurs it is often due to negligence on the part of the owner. Dog bites are quite common with more than 900,000 people requiring emergency room treatment each year. Dog owners are required to keep their pets under control at all times. The failure to do so is negligent, especially if the dog has a history of hurting others.

Premises Liability Claims

Those who have been injured as the result of an accident on someone’s property may have a premises liability claim. If you were seriously hurt on another’s premises you could file a lawsuit. In order to file a claim you must be able to prove several things. The owner or other party must be responsible for the premises. They must have known that there was a problem or that there could have been a problem which may result in injuries to another. They must not have taken any precautions to resolve the problem or to warn people about potential danger.

Seek Legal Assistance

If you or a family member were hurt on someone else’s property you may have a legal claim for damages. In order to proceed, the injury generally must not have been due to your own negligence and you may not be a trespasser on the property. Damages for the injury will vary, depending on the severity of the accident. Damages should cover medical expenses, lost wages, money for pain and suffering, and costs of additional treatments or care. If you or a loved one were injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact the determined personal injury lawyers in Columbia, SC at Connell Law Firm to schedule a consultation.