Rock Hill Premises Liability Lawyers
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, dog attack, assault or robbery, or another incident caused by unsafe conditions on another person’s property, that property owner may have a legal responsibility to compensate you for your injuries. Unfortunately, without qualified legal help, many South Carolinians who are seriously injured in premises liability incidents never receive proper insurance settlements. Instead, they face mounting medical bills and other debt, as well as uncertain futures, while insurers protect their own profit margins.
At Mickle & Bass, our Rock Hill premises liability lawyers fight aggressively for those who have been harmed through a property owner’s negligence. We have extensive experience successfully representing individuals and families who need full and fair compensation to move forward with their lives after a serious injury. And we won’t let big insurance companies take advantage of our clients.
Schedule a free consultation with our Rock Hill personal injury attorneys today to discuss how we can help you after a serious accident. We know what insurance companies can put you through. We won’t let it happen. Contact us today to get started on your claim.
Do You Have a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability is an area of the law that requires property owners have to keep their properties reasonably safe for visitors or to adequately warn visitors of existing hazards. Slip-and-fall accidents may be the most common type of premises liability cases, such as when someone falls and gets hurt at a store or on public property. However, premises liability law covers many other types of accidents, including dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and injuries due to insufficient/inadequate security.
In general, South Carolina premises liability law requires property owners (often through managers and staff at businesses) to:
- Ensure the premises (building and grounds) are safe for visitors who are there lawfully;
- Inspect the premises with reasonable frequency for hazards;
- Remove or mitigate hazards on the premises in a timely manner; and
- Post warnings that would sufficiently alert a reasonable person to the danger when a hazardous condition cannot be dealt with in a timely manner.
For a premises liability case to proceed, the injured person must establish that he or she had a legal right to be on the property. More simply, trespassers cannot pursue compensation for injuries that occurred somewhere they weren’t allowed to be.
Premises liability claims are also subject to the “open and obvious” rule. This rule holds that a reasonable person should recognize certain hazards, such as an open pit, and stay away. Those who have failed to avoid an open and obvious hazard would have more difficulty pursuing compensation, although what constitutes “open and obvious” can vary.
The “contributory negligence” rule applies to premises liability cases, as well. This means that if a victim contributed in some way to the injury, the amount of compensation awarded may be reduced based on the percentage of blame assigned to the victim. A common example would include tripping over a hazard you did not see because you were looking at your phone.
Regardless of the circumstances of your injury, you should contact our knowledgeable Rock Hill premises liability attorneys to discuss your case in a free consultation. Our job as your attorneys is to investigate your claim and build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Common Types of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall accidents make up the most common type of premises liability claims. Our experienced Rock Hill slip-and-fall attorneys often handle claims involving:
- Slippery floors: These can be caused by spills; tracked-in rain or snow; recently mopped, buffed, or waxed floors in retail stores, lobbies, offices, restaurants, etc.
- Potholes: Potholes in parking lots, lawns, or other outdoor areas can cause pedestrians to trip, fall, and be injured. Often holes are obscured by overgrown grass because routine maintenance has not been carried out.
- Cluttered walkways: Merchandise, supplies, equipment, trash, or debris can cause a tripping hazard if left in store aisles, hallways, or other walkways. Items that fall from overstocked shelves and retail displays also cause potentially dangerous clutter.
- Damaged walkways: Like potholes, damaged flooring of all kinds can cause people to trip or slip and fall. Building and grounds managers must stay abreast of torn carpet or mats; cracked, chipped, or loose paving stones; warn or loose linoleum, carpet, rugs, tile, or floorboards; loose or damaged stair treads and handrails; etc.
- Faulty elevators and escalators: Elevators and escalators that are not properly designed, installed, or maintained can start or stop abruptly and cause people to lose their balance and fall. Escalators with misaligned steps and elevators that don’t stop flush with the floor create a tripping hazard, as well.
Property hazards that could cause falls should be repaired or cleaned up as soon as they are recognized. Adequate warning signs or barriers should be posted for dangers that cannot be promptly remedied.
Negligent Security Claims
Poor lighting in corridors, stairwells, doorways, parking garages, etc., invites criminal activity, such as assault and battery and theft. If you have been injured in a crime that was made possible by a property owner’s failure to maintain lighting, you may have a premises liability claim.
In addition to inadequate lighting, common negligent security problems include:
- Doors that don’t lock or otherwise block unauthorized access or entry, such as by requiring keycards
- Windows that do not lock securely
- Lack of security guards and/or functioning security cameras at large complexes, or failure to conduct regular security checks or patrols
- Lack of adequate check-in or registration procedures and personnel to ensure proper identification of visitors
- Too few security officers to control crowds at large events
- Lack of adequate background checks, drug and alcohol testing, or other due diligence when hiring personnel who subsequently commit or help in the commission of a crime
- Allowing loitering in areas known for violence, vandalism, or other criminal activity
Swimming Pool Accidents
If a homeowner, country club, resort, hotel, motel, or government entity owns a swimming pool but neglects safety rules and regulations, they can be held liable if their negligence leads to injury. Common swimming pool accidents include:
- Drowning and near drowning
- Slip-and-fall accidents from running on the pool deck
- Diving accidents, particularly because water is too shallow for diving
- Illness from contact with bacteria or other infectious materials in pool water
- Chemical burns from contact with chemicals used to treat pool water
- Entrapment by defective or improperly installed drains, which create suction that can trap swimmers and cause bowel and other soft-tissue injury and/or drowning
Residential swimming pools and other water features are sometimes referred to as an “attractive nuisance” because of their appeal to curious children who cannot recognize the danger. Homeowner’s insurance should cover a child’s injury from a pool, regardless of whether the homeowner secured the pool area and instructed children to stay away.
Dog Bites and Mauling
Dogs attract children, but all children should be taught that any dog may bite them, particularly one that does not know them. Children and elderly adults are more vulnerable to dog attacks because they cannot escape or fend off an attacking dog as easily as youths and adults can.
In general, a South Carolina dog owner may be held liable for injuries caused by an animal if:
- Their dog bites or “otherwise attacks” another person;
- The injured person was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place; and
- The injured person did not provoke the dog.
South Carolina’s dog bite law is known as a “strict liability” law. The owner of the dog may be held liable even if he or she did not and could not have known the dog would attack or bite.
Contact Our Rock Hill Premises Liability Attorneys
If you have suffered serious injury while on someone else’s property, protect your financial future with the help of our Rock Hill premises liability lawyers at Mickle & Bass. Our personal injury attorneys have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of people who have been unjustly harmed.
Our team is aggressive in holding insurance companies accountable to the legal obligations they assume when issuing liability coverage. We move quickly to investigate slip-and-fall accidents and other injuries caused by property owner negligence, and we will not back down from a fight.
Schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation today. We provide all legal work on a contingency-fee basis. You will not be charged a fee unless and until we recover money for you.