Each year, thousands of people are injured while on someone else’s property in Myrtle Beach and across South Carolina. This can result from someone slipping and falling due to something on the floor or tripping down the stairs due to loose carpet or another hazard in the way. Accidents can occur at private residences or on public property, like a restaurant, grocery store, or mall. If the incident occurred due to the homeowner or property owner’s negligence, the owner may be liable for your injuries.
Business owners and homeowners have a duty to keep their property safe and ensure there are no issues that could cause injury to people visiting their property. An example is a store owner who had knowledge that the floor was slippery and failed to warn people. If there is a defective staircase railing, and the owner knows it could fall apart causing someone to fall, he or she has a duty to warn people until it is repaired.
What is Premises Liability Law?
Premises liability law refers to the right for someone to file a lawsuit against a property owner if he or she sustained injuries while on the property. The injured party must prove negligence before the other side will consider making a settlement offer. To establish negligence, you must show:
- The property owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The property owner breached the duty by failing to do something, or because of negligence; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a proximate cause of the duty.
How to determine the course and scope of an owner’s duty will vary based on the classification of the person who was injured. Under South Carolina law, there are four classifications of people on a property:
- Adult Trespassers
Property owners owe the least duty of care to adult trespassers who are there without permission. The only thing required is that the property owner does not inflict wanton or willful injury. The duty owed to children will vary based on their mental capacity.
There is a heightened duty of care owed to invitees, and a property owner is expected to maintain safe premises. A licensee is someone who has the option to enter the property without specific consent from the landowner. This might be someone attending a social event or gathering. Property owners are expected to warn licensees of a danger that they know about and that the licensee would not be expected to discover without being injured.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Premises Liability Attorney
It is important to contact a Myrtle Beach premises liability attorney right after the accident. In South Carolina, you only have three years to file a lawsuit after the incident. While that might seem like a long time, proving liability can be complex. Premises liability claims can be hard to prove, so it is important that your attorney has time to work on your case right away. Preserving evidence is key to a successful South Carolina premises liability claim.
If you were injured due to negligence by a property owner or a dangerous condition in the Myrtle Beach area, contact The Derrick Law Firm today at 800-704-5412 to schedule a free consultation. Let our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys explain what your legal rights are and help you get the compensation you need.