If you have been injured while on someone else’s property, you may need to talk with a Georgetown premises liability lawyer to determine whether you could be entitled to compensation. A personal injury attorney could analyze the circumstances of your injury to assess whether a property owner’s negligence was the reason for your losses. Individuals who suffer personal harm due to someone’s failure to observe their legal duty of care could be owed monetary damages for their pain, suffering, medical expenses, wage loss, and more.
Overview of Premises Liability Law in Georgetown
The vast majority of premises liability claims in Georgetown are based on the negligence theory. The negligence theory has four components — duty, a violation of that duty, causation, and damages.
In short, the defendant must have had a legal obligation to the injured party and failed to fulfill that obligation, which consequently caused the victim to become injured and suffer damages.
However, the legal duty owed by property owners to persons on their property depends on whether the visitor is a licensee, invitee, trespasser, or child. A Georgetown attorney with extensive knowledge of premises liability law could evaluate the injured party’s case to help determine whether the property owner violated a legal duty owed to the victim and may be legally responsible for their damages.
Licensees are individuals that are legally authorized to be on the premises but are there to gain some type of personal advantage. A private guest would be considered a licensee. A property owner owes a licensee a duty to make them aware of hazards that they are conscious of and that would not otherwise be known to the licensee without them enduring harm.
Invitees, as their name suggests, are individuals are invited onto the premises by the property owner. Property owners owe a higher obligation to invitees than they do to licensees, which is to make them aware of hazards which are known to or reasonably should be known to the property owner.
Trespassers are on the premises without the consent of the property owner. A property owner does not owe a legal obligation to a trespasser, other than to refrain from intentionally causing them injury.
The legal duty owed by property owners to children depends on the category of visitor the child falls into as well as the age of the child.
The Way Compensation Works When the Victim is Partially Negligent
While liability may be unambiguous in some cases, sometimes, the court may rule that both the victim and the negligent property owner are liable for what happened. Under South Carolina Code § 15-38-15, the injured party may be found partially responsible for their damages and still recover compensation, as long as their percentage of negligence does not exceed the defendant’s.
This means that if the victim is 50 percent or less at fault, they could still collect damages, but an assignment of 51 percent or more of the legal fault would eliminate their financial recovery entirely. It should also be noted that if the victim is assigned partial fault for their injuries, their money damages would be diminished according to their percentage of negligence.
Starting a Claim
S.C. Code §15-3-530 gives injured victims a three-year window following their accident in which to start a claim. If a person is injured in an animal attack or slips and falls on someone’s property due to the owner’s negligence, they must file a lawsuit within three years or else risk being time-barred from legal recovery. A premises liability lawyer in Georgetown could discuss the statute of limitations with an injured plaintiff and point out any potential exceptions to the deadline that could be relevant to their case.
Speak with a Georgetown Premises Liability Attorney Today
A Georgetown premises liability lawyer could explain your rights and advise whether legal representation may be warranted. An attorney could assess the merits of your claim and discuss what types of compensation may be recoverable in a successful settlement or jury award.
Call today to set up your confidential case consultation and learn more about starting a claim.