Premise liabilities are cases involving the negligence of property owners when maintaining the environment of their property. If you find yourself in a case where you have sustained a personal injury due to the hazardous conditions on another’s property, then you need to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Be aware of the steps you must take to help reinforce your case of reimbursement. Document everything and keep copies as well. The more thorough you are on details of the incident and of keeping records of it, the likeliness of receiving your settlement becomes higher.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Before you can understand what a personal injury lawyer is, it is important to first understand what is encompassed by the term “personal injury.” A personal injury is an injury to the body, mind, or to one’s emotions. Part of the job of being a personal injury lawyer, a representative who represents you and your best interests concerning injuries you or someone you love has sustained, is as follows:
- Filing legal complaints;
- Offering legal advice;
- Preparing legal documents; and
- Representing their client in court.
There are times where a personal injury lawyer will settle out of court on behalf of their client. However, if an agreement cannot be reached between the plaintiff and the defendant, the case must be settled in court.
In general, those employed in the personal injury field are dedicated to bringing justice to their clients.
What to Do When Injured On Another’s Premises
If you find that you’ve sustained injuries while on someone else’s property, do the following right away:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes, outward injuries could take weeks to appear and you cannot be sure of internal injuries without being examined.
- Take photographs, capturing the moment as soon as possible. You want the pictures to display the dangerous conditions that lead to the injury.
- Gather information on those present and of the property owner, and preserve clothing evidence.
- File an incident or police report.
- Keep records of medical expenses; you may be eligible for reimbursement of medical bills and lost wages.
- Before signing anything, obtain legal advice. Do not sign anything the property owner or the insurance agency brings to you until it has been reviewed by your attorney. Along with this, your representative should use professional, outside sources when examining the place the incident occurs.
When injured on another person’s property, it is important that you prove the duty of care owed by the defendant to you, the plaintiff, the defendant’s breach of duty by a negligent act or omission, and the damage resulting from the breach of duty.
If you are unable to prove that you are owed duty of care, then it is possible for the defendant to have your case thrown out of court. The scope of duty of care is determined based on the status or classification of the person injured at the time of his or her injury. In South Carolina, there are four general classifications that are acknowledged:
- Adult trespassers, which have minimal duty.
- Invitees, who have a highest duty. Invitees are on the property for the benefit of the landowner and the landowner has a duty to warn any invitees of all dangers that can be waiting.
- Licensees, which have a lesser duty.
- Children, who also have a highest duty.
Avoiding Hazardous Conditions on Another’s Property
There are simple ways to refrain from injuring oneself on another person’s property. First and foremost, always remain aware of your surroundings. If something looks unsafe, then avoid it and keep it in mind. Later, you could report the hazard to the property owner and possibly prevent potential injuries. If you believe an area to be unsafe, then do not enter the property until the hazard has been resolved.
Maintain Your Own Property
If you are a business owner or homeowner, you also have a responsibility to safely maintain your property. You are responsible for anyone who enters the premises or visits your property. If there are dangers that may cause anyone injuries, whether they are invitees or not, they must be taken care of or acknowledged, and anyone on the premises must be warned. This is to protect you from a personal injury lawsuit resulting from injuries on your property.
When Is the Right Time to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
It is imperative that you hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. As soon as you are able to contact one following the incident that caused you injury, the more at ease you will feel having realized that the professionals that you’ve hired will take care of the stressful situation in your steed. Do not wait to seek legal counsel. By doing so you decrease your chances of your case holding up in court as well as potentially whittle down your settlement.
Do keep in mind that cases like these have a statute of limitations. Statute of limitation are the time limits placed on the amount of time you have to file your claim. This begins as soon as the accident or incident that causes the injuries occurs, and typically ends in three years. The reason it is so important to file within the statute of limitations is because, as we age, our memories deteriorate and alter. This may present the difficulty of creating a solid case to present to the court – therefore it is in your best interest to seek legal representation immediately.
Premises Liability Representation in South Carolina
At the Elrod Pope Law Firm, we make it our mission to provide you or someone you know with the individualized help you require following a personal injury. Whether it is due to the negligence of a property owner or any other way that you have sustained your injuries, we want to assist you in receiving the settlement you are rightfully owed.
To learn more about personal injuries, and to get in touch with a dedicated Rock Hill personal injury attorney who can help you, contact us online or call us today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.