Duty of Care & Proving Premises Liability
While many personal injury victims are certain that others are responsible for their pain and suffering, many of them become frustrated and disappointed in their lack of ability to prove it in court. Nowhere is this more common than in premises liability cases, where victims are hurt due to dangerous conditions on someone’s property. In order to curtail fraudulent claims, South Carolina law requires very specific circumstances be proven in court before proceeds can be awarded to an injured visitor of a property—and even for legitimate claims, these circumstances can be sometimes difficult to prove.
In understanding the requirements of your premises liability suit, it first critical to know which classification of visitor South Carolina law defines you as. The law breaks all visitors into four categories: children, trespassers, licensees, and invitees. For these purposes, licensees are defined as visitors who are allowed to be on the premises, like social guests, and invitees are generally considered customers.
Each of these kinds of visitors are then assigned a certain “duty of care” by the law. Duty of care, in simple terms, is the level of responsibility the property owner owes to the visitor’s safety. As you might imagine, much of proving fault in a premises liability case hinges on the presence of duty of care.
To successfully prove a premises liability, the plaintiff must demonstrate:
- That the property owner owed the visitor (plaintiff) duty of care
- That the property owner breached that duty through negligence
- That the injury was a direct result of that negligence
Generally speaking, trespassers are owed no duty of care. Duty of care owned to children varies and depends on the circumstances of the visit. Duty of care is most easily proven—and at its highest degrees—for licensee and invitee victims.
Assisting You Prove Negligence
It is not always easy to prove that a property owner breached duty of care, especially if they are taking measures to conceal the conditions that harmed you after your injury. That is why it is imperative for slip or trip and fall victims– and any personal injury victims who have been hurt due to dangerous property conditions– to contact legal counsel immediately.
At Traywick & Traywick, LLC, we know that few injury victims are in a condition to launch an investigation of the property just after being hurt. That is why we come to straight our clients’ aid when an accident happens. We can assist you to collect evidence, interrogate witnesses, and find any other information relevant to proving that negligence was responsible for your injury.
If you have been hurt, then swift and decisive action is necessary. Call us today to speak with a dedicated Charleston personal injury attorney at our firm now.