Customers visiting stores and restaurants expect to be safe, both inside, as well as the parking lots and sidewalks. Businesses owe a duty of care to prevent their employees from creating or ignoring hazardous environments where customers can get hurt.
If a business’s negligence caused you to be injured in an accident, attorney Angela Frazier can help you file an injury claim. Our skilled and aggressive Greenville premises liability lawyer will fight for your right to recover damages for the harm caused. Please contact us today to speak to our team about your potential premises liability claim.
Who is a Legal Visitor to a Property?
To hold a business or property owner accountable for your injuries, the court may ask about the reason for your visit.
If you enter commercial premises such as a retail store to make or decide on a purchase, the law classifies you as an “invitee.” The store owner should reasonably anticipate customers coming to the property and has a duty of care to prevent or fix dangerous conditions. The store’s management and staff should also regularly inspect the premises and look for hazards such as broken lights or slippery floors. When a business’s employees find hazards, the business has a duty to fix them.
When you visit a business for social reasons or to eat a meal, South Carolina’s law classifies you as a “licensee.” The owner’s duty of care may be below the standard duty requirements for invitees. As a licensee, you may sue the owner for your injuries, but the court may require you to prove that a “known” hazard caused the accident. You may need to show the court that an owner or an employee knew about a hazardous condition and failed to warn customers or fix it.
An experienced premises liability lawyer knows the differences between the rights of invitees and licensees.
In rare cases, even trespassers may file lawsuits against property owners for unsafe conditions willfully created to cause them bodily harm.
Our knowledgeable Greenville premises liability attorney can determine an injured individual’s correct legal status and outline how to best file a claim.
The Standard Duties of Care Owners and Employees Must Both Uphold
When a property presents a danger that an owner or employee becomes aware of, South Carolina law requires the owner to correct it to avoid accidents. If circumstances prevent an immediate fix or repair, someone must put up a visible display as a warning to customers to keep away.
Noticeable signs need to effectively communicate to anyone on the premises that a hazard exists. Employees may, for example, need to place yellow tape around broken shelves to caution customers to avoid them. A ceiling leak may require employees to monitor the area and mop the floor whenever it becomes wet.
Attorney Angela Frazier will work to determine whether employees knew or should have known about the possibility of someone experiencing a trip, slip or fall. If your accident occurred before the store displayed a warning sign, you could assert that a known hazard existed and that it caused your injuries. The court may, however, ask for evidence such as footage from a store’s surveillance camera or images captured on a mobile phone.
How Do You Win a Premises Liability Case?
To succeed with a premises liability claim, your attorney will help you gather the facts and establish that a duty of care existed. You may also submit information to illustrate how the property owner breached that duty. A business owner’s duty extends to their employees, so if a worker’s carelessness led you to your accident, you could sue the owner for damages.
If you did not notice a warning sign, our legal team could establish whether an employee neglected to provide one as required by law. If you did not file an incident report with the business’s manager, a lawyer can file one for you. If a business has a history of injury reports, it may show that the store management already knew of a hazard-prone area.
Previous lawsuits against a property owner could reveal a pattern of hazardous conditions that the owner should have taken the appropriate steps to fix. Your injuries may reflect past events that led up to an otherwise preventable mishap. Documentation noting severe head or neck injuries could, for example, help identify a reoccurring accident pattern, such as tripping and falling on broken stairs.
What Could a Premises Liability Lawyer Win for You?
The extent of your injuries primarily determines the amount of your monetary award. You may request compensation for your medical expenses, including surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy. If you could not work because of the accident, you may seek economic damages such as the income you lost while recovering.
Permanent or long-term disabilities from a fall require the skills of an aggressive premises liability lawyer who can evaluate your future needs. Based on the income you could have earned during your lifetime before the accident occurred, the court could decide the amount you’re entitled to in order to maintain your standard of living.
Speak to a Premises Liability Attorney in Greenville Today
Don’t let an otherwise preventable injury upend your life without seeking the damage recovery you deserve. Trust Elliott Frazier Family, Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys, LLC for a team that knows how to fight for successful outcomes. Contact attorney Angela Frazier online or by phone at 864-635-6323 to begin your case.