The short answer is yes. Premises liability does cover assault in South Carolina. There is a caveat, though. The coverage only applies under certain circumstances where you can show that the owner or occupier of the premises failed to provide a clean and safe environment—including failure to remove an aggressive assailant.
Negligence in a Premises Liability Case With Assault
You can claim negligence anytime someone behaves in a way that is not consistent with the expected norm. The owner or occupier of a property can be found partially responsible for your assault if their actions (or inactions) contributed to an environment that made the assault possible.
To prove negligence in a premises liability case that involves assault, you will need to establish:
Duty of Care
Duty of care is a legal term to describe behavior we expect from people in both public and private interactions. Drivers have a duty of care not to drive recklessly. Doctors have a duty of care to act in the best interests of their patients.
Property owners have a duty of care to maintain safe properties by providing:
- Sufficient lighting
- Secured openings, such as closed windows and locked doors
- An appropriate number of guards
- Well placed and maintained cameras
- Trained security
- Full background checks on new hires
- Established portals or gates for guests or invitees to enter and leave
- Discouraging any loitering at the property
Property owners have a duty of care to take measures that prevent harm from befalling visitors and guests.
Breach of Duty
If the owner or occupier failed to provide appropriate safety measures, this is known as the breach of duty of care. Any violation that could result in harm to another person constitutes violating their duty of care.
From here, you must show a direct link between the liable party’s negligence to your assault. For example, let’s say that because the liable party failed to provide ample lighting in a parking lot, you did not see your assailant and were subsequently injured.
You could argue that because the liable party failed to provide adequate lighting, you were placed at a heightened risk of danger.
Finally, the damages you suffered are linked to the failures of the owner and/or occupier. This must come in the form of quantifiable damages, like medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages.
Understanding Variables in a Premises Liability Case
It is important to note that there are a lot of variables when dealing with premises liability. For one thing, negligence does not necessarily mean malicious or intentional. It means that the defendant could have done something differently to promote the wellbeing of others.
In addition, there are criteria for establishing the extent of responsibility for the owner and/or occupier. There are also criteria to meet that establishes whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, adult trespasser, or child trespasser.
Premises liability does cover assault in South Carolina. Yet, because of the factors associated with bringing a civil action, you may want to consider discussing your case with a premises liability lawyer near you.
Possible Injuries Sustained in an Assault
There are a wide range of physical and emotional injuries you may have as a result of your assault. Injuries could include:
- Broken bones
- Blunt force trauma
- Cuts, burns, bruises, and lacerations
- Knee and joint injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck, back, or spinal cord trauma
- Internal injuries, such as bleeding and organ damage
You may be suffering from ailments that we have not included here.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
Once you have seen a doctor for your injuries, you will need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. You will also want to contact the insurance company of the property where the assault occurred.
It may prove difficult to work with your own insurance company, let alone the insurance company for the property while recovering from your injuries. But a premises liability lawyer can handle many legal responsibilities as they relate to your claim. They can:
- Gather any documents regarding your assault, such as medical reports, camera and video evidence, and police reports
- Investigate the site where the assault occurred and check for deficiencies in safety and security
- Interview any eyewitnesses to the assault
- Consult with any subject area experts that may relate to the property, assault, or medical care
- Identify all liable parties and their insurance companies
- Calculate your total possible losses, both current and in the future
- File the claim with the liable parties’ insurance companies
- Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance companies
- Represent you in court, if necessary
You can trust your lawyer to serve as your legal advocate as you recover from the assault.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today
Premises liability does cover assault in South Carolina but only under certain circumstances. A premises liability attorney with George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We can investigate your case and determine to what extent you qualify for compensation.
We ask that you give us a call or fill out our online form. We provide a free consultation, and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we collect a negotiated settlement or court award. Just focus on getting better and leave the rest to us.