State law requires property owners to protect the safety of visitors, employees, and residents on their properties. The South Carolina Bar outlines several safety standards they must put in place on their premises. These include proper lighting, regular maintenance, and sufficient security measures. Failure to adhere to these standards leaves property owners liable for injuries that occur on their premises.
Sometimes, hazards arise without warning. While property owners cannot prevent every injury from occurring, they can ensure that a property is reasonably safe. When a property isn’t maintained, causing dangerous conditions to build up, this increases the risk of bodily injury and property damage. If you’ve been injured due to negligence by a property owner, you can hire a premises liability lawyer to help you seek financial recovery through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
What Hazards Do Unmaintained Properties Pose?
Many different types of accidents can occur on public and private property, resulting in injuries that warrant a damage claim. For example, you could seek compensation for injuries related to:
- Malfunctioning elevators
- Poorly maintained electrical service
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
- Dangerous areas without warning signs
- Trip or slip hazards
- Lack of security personnel or security cameras
- Leaks in plumbing
- Unlit stairwells or alleys
If the hazard that caused your or your loved one’s injury is not listed here, you could still qualify for financial recovery. Our team can review the case’s circumstances and build a claim or lawsuit based on the available evidence.
What Safety Standards Should Property Owners Have in Place?
Based on South Carolina law, the safety responsibilities of a property owner include maintaining:
- Safe and well-kept living quarters and common areas: Properties need to be free from dangerous substances like lead and asbestos, which are harmful to the human body.
- Proper lighting, water, and heat: Electrical systems in buildings should be inspected regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. High-traffic areas should be well-lit, with no exposed wiring that could cause electrocution. Concerning water, building owners must fix all leaks to prevent slip and fall accidents.
- Fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers: All buildings need working fire alarm systems, which must be maintained yearly by a licensed inspector. In addition, fire extinguishers must be readily available, with monthly inspections to ensure everything works fine.
- Emergency exits with lights: Emergency exits have to be well lit, even in a power outage.
- Proper safety fencing around a pool: Pools need to be properly fenced in, especially with children around, as one can easily fall in and drown.
- Properly maintained hallways and stairwells: Dimly lit stairwells and unstable handrails on stairs may result in severe falls. These areas must also be clear of debris.
If your landlord hasn’t adhered to one or more of these requirements and this neglect has led to injury, you can hold them accountable. This case is classified as a premises liability claim and affords you the right to legal recourse for medical bills, lost wages, and other related damages.
Do Commercial Business Owners Also Have to Meet Safety Standards?
Similar to property owners, commercial business owners in South Carolina also have to follow building code requirements and safety regulations for the areas they occupy. For example, fire doors need to be installed in commercial buildings to prevent the spread of smoke and fire throughout a building.
Commercial business owners also have to ensure that parking lots are well-lit and free of hazards. In some cases, security measures are necessary, such as hiring a security guard, installing alarm systems, and providing safety training to employees.
How Do You Ensure Success for a Premises Liability Claim?
A premises liability claim holds a property owner or occupier legally responsible for damages when another party suffers an injury on the premises. You’ll need to prove that the property owner or another responsible party was aware of the dangerous condition and failed to provide reasonable warning or correct the condition. Additionally, you’ll need to prove that the dangerous condition played a significant role in causing your injury.
To help strengthen your claim, you can:
- Take photographs of the location, accident cause, and injuries. The factors present during the accident may get cleaned up or fixed before you can file a claim, so these photos can be valuable evidence.
- Record the names of any witnesses who could corroborate your story. You must get their contact information, as you may need witnesses if you go to court.
- Retain the services of a lawyer to review the accident, help you collect evidence, and file your claim. To ensure success, your lawyer will need to prove that a defective or dangerous condition caused the injury and another party was responsible.
Contact George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers About Your Case
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence in South Carolina, our legal team at George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers is ready to help you file for damages.
Our attorneys will help you build a compelling case, negotiate with the party’s insurance company, and represent you in court if need be. Call today for a free case review.