The determination of negligence depends upon a variety of situational factors in addition to subjective factors in the mind of the party being charged. Attorneys with premises liability experience like Maguire Law Firm can help guide you through the process of proving negligence and determining your damages so that you can be made whole for your injuries.
There Are Four Elements That Must Be Proven for Negligence
It is important to know that under the South Carolina Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, there may be multiple defendants at fault. Their percentage of fault, and level of negligence, will impact whether you can collect damages from them. However, before any party can be found at fault, they must have engaged in negligent behavior. Negligence is comprised of duty, breach, damages, and causation. The landowner must have some duty towards you, the duty must have been breached, and you’ve experienced damages, and the breach has to be the cause of your injuries.
Invitees Are Owed the Greatest Duty of Care From a Landowner
When you are on the property of another, and you experience an injury, it is necessary to show duty, breach, damages, and causation. There must be a duty to be breached, and whether you are a trespasser, invitee, or licensee matters. A trespasser is owed no duty of care in most circumstances, while a licensee is owed a general duty of care, like being warned of dangerous conditions. An invitee is someone on a property for business purposes, like a restaurant customer. Under the South Carolina Courts, your status on the property will influence the liability of the landowner, and if you are an invitee, you are afforded the greatest protection.
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Is a business owner liable if I am hurt on the premises?
Yes, the owner of a business that allows access to the public has the highest duty of care, as people on the property during business hours are considered to be invitees.
If I’m using a property incorrectly or after-hours, is the business still liable?
Should you be on a business property after hours and experience an injury, if there were apparent harms that should be reasonably guarded against, the landowner could have some liability.
If I’m hurt while hunting on private land open to the public, is the landowner liable?
The facts of your situation will determine the outcome, but generally, landowners who open their land for recreational use have a low duty. Still, a premises liability attorney can help you determine your case.