Columbia Premises Liability Attorneys
Property owners in the United States are expected to ensure that the upkeep of their premises is maintained to a reasonable standard. This expectation is intended to help safeguard the health and safety of those who live on or visit the property. Unfortunately, as we at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, know, far too many property owners in Columbia neglect their responsibility to maintain their premises, instead allowing dangerous conditions that can have serious consequences for victims to develop.
Unsafe properties can cause a victim to sustain a wide range of injuries, from head and brain injuries to broken bones to paralysis and more. In order to ensure that victims of unsafe properties do not have to face all the costs of their accident and injuries on their own, negligent property owners and managers are held accountable for the harm their unsafe property causes through premises liability laws. These laws allow victims to file premises liability lawsuits, which may provide much-needed financial compensation.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in Columbia, Goings Law Firm, LLC can help you get the money you deserve. Call us today at (803) 350-9230 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Do I Need a Premises Liability Lawyer?
Whether a property is residential or commercial, you are right to expect that the premises you are on are safe, or that you will be warned about dangers if they are not. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When an unmaintained or dangerous property puts you in harm’s way, you could easily be hurt. Injuries, no matter the severity, are commonly accompanied by pain, medical expenses, and potentially lengthy healing periods. When an injury is serious enough, it could force you to miss work, lose crucial income, and permanently compromise your ability to make a living. If someone’s negligence has harmed you, you have the right to take action.
While you have the option to file an injury claim independently, representation by an experienced injury lawyer is your best chance to recover the full compensation you deserve. By taking legal action, you may significantly increase your ability to access crucial medical care and other financial resources. In addition to recovering much-needed compensation, legal action can force a negligent property owner to be more mindful about maintenance in the future, so that no one else gets hurt. Lawyers give accident victims a much better chance of recovering the compensation they are entitled to, because lawyers know the law, understand how to gather evidence, and have experience negotiating for settlements with insurance agents or attorneys.
Why Hire Goings Law Firm, LLC to Handle My Case?
The Columbia legal team at Goings Law Firm, LLC understands that our clients are often going through an extremely difficult time in their lives, and we do not take the trust placed in our firm for granted. Quality representation makes a crucial difference in recovering injury-related financial losses, which is why we approach each case with tenacity and unparalleled attention to detail. Over the years, we’ve come to understand that a serious injury to one person often impacts an entire family. With this in mind, we aim to give our clients the best chance at recovery possible, both physically and financially. Our team has recovered over two million dollars in settlements and trial verdicts for premises liability cases alone.
We bring many years of experience and an unrelenting commitment to justice to the table. Injuries and the complications that come along with them can be overwhelming, but if you don’t have to struggle through them alone. Our attorneys strive to ensure that the physical and financial consequences of your injuries do not have the power to ruin your future plans. To fight for the compensation you and your family deserve, entrust your case to an experienced lawyer at Goings Law Firm, LLC.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
Both a person’s age and ability can influence how vulnerable they are to becoming injured on an unsafe property. The injuries that victims can sustain range from minor burns and lacerations to serious head injuries and even paralysis. There are many ways in which a property can be unsafe and cause an accident. However, some of the most common accidents and injuries that lead to premises liability claims are:
- Slip and Fall
- Elevator and Escalator Injuries
- Porch Collapse
- Stair Collapse
- Dog Bites
- Lead Paint Poisoning
- Mercury Poisoning
- Swimming Pool Injuries
Even oversights like insufficient lighting can cause serious tripping hazards. Regular maintenance and a commitment to responsiveness help property owners and managers keep their premises safe for all people. Whether you have suffered these or any other premises liability issues, you may be owed compensation and justice for the undue harm you have suffered.
What To Do After a Premises Liability Accident
The steps you take following a premises liability accident can seriously impact the outcome of your injury claim. While each case is different, the following will help protect your rights so that you have the greatest chance of holding the at-fault parties accountable:
- Document the scene – If you are not in urgent need of medical care, document the scene of the accident. Photographing the hazard from different angles, and keeping any clothing you wore at the time of the accident, will help your lawyer’s investigation.
- File report – If you’ve fallen at a commercial property, report your injuries to the facility manager. Many businesses have an accident report form you will be able to fill out. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, it may also be wise to contact police or other emergency services.
- Go to the doctor – Seek the medical treatment that you need. Even if the incident did not leave you with obvious injuries, like a broken bone, having a doctor examine you can help mitigate any potential medical or legal issues that may arise later. For example, some head injuries do not show symptoms until days later, putting victims at serious risk if they do not seek early treatment.
- Reach out to a lawyer – Contact a skilled injury lawyer near you. If you are serious about filing an injury claim, it is imperative that you do not speak to any insurers before consulting with an attorney. This can hurt your chances of recovering compensation related to your injury. An attorney can evaluate your situation and give you a comprehensive understanding of your legal options moving forward.
S.C. Code section 15-3-530 gives victims in South Carolina three years to file a claim if they’ve been hurt by the carelessness of another person. Nonetheless, taking action as soon as possible is your best chance of promptly recovering the compensation that you need. Hospital bills and lost wages are often a significant financial hit to South Carolina families, so the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve, the better.
Protect Yourself Against the Opposition
Understand that many property owners will not welcome the prospect of legal consequences. Property owners and their insurance companies may attempt to offset the blame for an accident or dismiss a victim’s claim in the following ways:
- Assumption of Risk – Despite dangerous conditions on a premises, the property owner may argue that these conditions were evident and that, even knowing of the dangers, you chose to proceed.
- Being Unaware of Danger – Property owners may argue that they were not aware that there was a hazard to address on their premises. Whether this is a valid defense will depend on your status as a visitor. If you were an invitee, meaning you were on the property for the owner’s economic benefit (i.e. shopping at a store) then the owner has a duty to inspect their property for any dangers, and this defense may not apply. If you were a licensee, meaning you were on the property for your own benefit (i.e. as a house guest) or a trespasser, the owner does not have a duty to inspect their property for danger, but you may still be able to argue that the owner knew about the danger.
- Comparative Negligence – A property owner may attempt to shift some of the blame to the victim by saying that they helped cause their own injury. They may suggest, for example, that you did not pay sufficient attention or acted in a reckless manner at the time of your injury. In South Carolina, even if you are found partially at fault, you can still recover compensation as long as you were 50% or less at fault, but your award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
- Trespassing – Under premises liability law, property owners or managers do not owe any legal protections to trespassers. The exception to this is for children trespassers who may not understand the dangers of certain attractive nuisances like swimming pools.
A skilled lawyer can help protect you against these defenses so that the blame for injuries is placed where it belongs.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer in Columbia
No one should have to pay for the consequences of a property owner’s negligence on their own. As such, if you have suffered injuries on someone else’s property, call (803) 350-9230 today to discuss filing a premises liability lawsuit and holding that property owner responsible. Our legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, has the experience and resources needed to make sure that negligent property owners do not escape the consequences of their actions.