Columbia Premises Liability Attorneys
If you have been seriously injured due to dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, you are likely facing medical bills, missed paychecks, and other expenses that are weighing heavy on your mind. You should know that whether you were injured at a business, on public property, or at someone’s home, you have a right to pursue compensation to help you heal.
At Mickle & Bass, our knowledgeable Columbia premises liability attorneys have extensive experience successfully recovering maximum compensation for South Carolinians who were injured in these types of accidents. Our team is sensitive to the circumstances of your case ─ from fighting aggressively against large companies that failed to maintain safe properties, to negotiating with homeowners’ insurance companies when clients suffer injuries at the homes of friends or family members.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your claim and learn about your legal options. Our law firm does not charge for services unless and until we secure money for you.
How Can Our Premises Liability Lawyers Help You?
Our skilled Columbia premises liability lawyers at Mickle & Bass fight for the rights of people who have been injured in falls, dog attacks, swimming pool accidents, and other types of accidents caused by negligent property owners.
Under South Carolina law, property owners have a legal duty, often executed by managers and staff at businesses, to:
- Ensure their premises are safe for visitors
- Inspect the premises with reasonable frequency for hazards
- Correct potential hazards on their premises in a timely manner
- Warn visitors in a manner that would sufficiently alert a reasonable person to any danger they cannot correct or mitigate (lessen) in a timely manner
When a property owner breaches that duty to keep you safe, and you are injured as a result, our legal team can help you pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Other loss related to the accident and your injuries
Regardless of the circumstances of your injury, you should speak with one of our South Carolina premises liability attorneys now to discuss your rights. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.
Most Common Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability law outlines the legal duty that individuals, businesses, and other legal entities have to those who visit the buildings and grounds (premises) they own. In short, property owners and managers are expected to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors or to adequately warn visitors of hazards.
Some of the common types of premises liability cases our firm handles include:
Many premises liability cases involve someone slipping and falling. The National Safety Council reports that falls of all types are the third-leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Falls can lead to many serious types of injuries, including head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), back and spinal cord injuries (SCI), and fractures to limbs (arms and legs) and hips.
Some of the primary causes of slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Wet and slippery floors due to spilled liquids, tracked in rain or snow, recent mopping, buffing or waxing, etc.
- Potholes in a parking lot or lawn
- Cluttered store aisles, corridors, or other walkways blocked by merchandise, supplies, equipment, trash, or debris
- Damaged or loose flooring, carpet, rugs, mats, tile, paving stones, stair treads, handrails, etc.
- Faulty elevators and escalators that start or stop abruptly and/or fail to stop properly aligned with the floor
- Poor lighting in corridors, stairwells, doorways, parking garages, etc., where it may be difficult to see hazardous conditions
Inadequate security on a premises invites criminal activity, such as assault and battery (including sexual assault) and theft. Negligent security problems found in apartment complexes, offices, motels, hotels, and similar facilities include:
- Inadequate lighting to ensure safety
- Doors and windows to public or private areas that do not lock
- Lack of security guards and/or functioning security cameras
- Failure of staff to conduct regular security checks
- Lack of front desk personnel and/or adequate check-in or registration procedures to limit visitor access
- Too few security officers at large events to control crowds
- Failure to perform background checks, drug and alcohol testing, or other due diligence when hiring personnel who subsequently commit or aid and abet crime
- Allowing loitering in areas known for such criminal activity as violence, vandalism, etc.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pool owners are subject to local ordinances and a variety of rules and regulations for the safety of those who visit their facilities. Homeowners, country clubs, resorts, hotels, motels, or local governments can be held liable if their negligence leads to swimming pool accidents, such as:
- Drowning and near-drowning
- Diving accidents, e.g., because water is too shallow for diving
- Illness from contact with bacteria or other infectious material in the water
- Chemical burns from contact with chemicals used to treat pool water
- Entrapment by defective or improperly installed drains
Amusement Park Accidents
Like swimming pool owners, those who operate amusement parks, playgrounds, waterparks, and similar attractions can be held liable for accidents caused by their negligence. Some issues that can arise at parks include:
- Equipment at parks and attractions may be improperly installed, maintained, or operated.
- Ride operators may not be trained or may not enforce regulations for passenger height, weight, allowable activities, etc.
- In organized group outings for children, supervising adults may neglect their duties, leading to an accident that could have been prevented.
- In some cases, an equipment manufacturer or ride vendor may be held liable if faulty design or errors in manufacturing contribute to an accident and subsequent injuries.
Serious dog bites that lead to personal injury claims are not nips that a child may experience as a life lesson. Typically, claims grow out of dog attacks or maulings that require emergency medical attention. Dogs that attack usually bite multiple times and leave serious lacerations that tear through the skin and into muscle and other soft tissue, or worse.
In general, a South Carolina dog owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the 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 at the time of the attack.
- The injured person did not provoke the dog. (This may not apply to young children.)
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.
What Defenses Might Be Used in Premises Liability Cases?
Apart from having posted adequate warning about dangers on the premises, property owners have two strong defenses in a premises liability claim:
- Trespassing: A person injured in an accident on someone else’s property must have been there legally. Property owners do not have legal responsibility for trespassers. Commercial establishments are presumed to have invited customers during posted hours of operation. If you were trespassing when hurt, it would be unusual for your claim to succeed.
- “Open and Obvious”: This defense suggests that a reasonable person would have recognized the hazard that caused their injury and would have known to stay away. In South Carolina and other jurisdictions, this rule has been softened. It may be possible to argue that the property owner should have expected a visitor to be distracted, such as by a performance going on at the time or an elaborate merchandise display, and not see an obvious danger.
Contact Our Premises Liability Attorneys in Columbia Today
If you have suffered serious injury in an accident on someone else’s property, you should speak with our Columbia premises liability attorneys as soon as possible. At Mickle & Bass, our team will work hard to protect your financial future and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injury.
Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today. We provide all legal work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you will not be charged a fee if we cannot recover money for you.