Sumter Premises Liability Lawyer

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Sumter, SC Premises Liability Attorney

The legal concept of premises liability is a branch of personal injury law that deals with the responsibility a property owner has for any injuries that occur on their premises. This can range from slips and falls at a grocery store to uneven surfaces in front of a personal home. The degree of liability often hinges on the extent of the damages and how preventable the incident could have been. If you have been injured, a Sumter premises liability lawyer can help.

At Charles T. Brooks, our premises liability lawyers understand how frightening it can be to put in these types of legal scenarios. You might feel conflicted to press charges against a property owner who may have unknowingly caused your accident, yet you need a compensation package to cover your medical costs, lost wages, and any other expenses related to the accident.

Fortunately, our attorneys have a history of experience earning compensation for our clients while also finding resolutions that help both parties move forward.

What Are the Most Common Scenarios in Premises Liability Claims?

Negligence and failure to maintain a safe environment for visitors are the two most common elements found in a diverse array of premises liability claims. Here are some of the typical instances you might encounter in Sumter.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

If an individual slips and falls due to a hazard that could have been proactively taken care of, this can make the property owner vulnerable to a premises lawsuit. Common hazards that cause slips and falls include wet floors without signage, loose carpets, uneven surfaces, and icy walkways.

Property owners have a duty to make sure that hazards such as these are taken care of before any visitors can walk on their surfaces. Having warning signs, such as a caution sign about wet floors, can help to protect property owners while the hazard can be remedied.

Inadequate Maintenance

If there is any evidence to suggest that a property owner’s inability to keep up with regular maintenance for their property caused harm to someone else, it could be used as evidence to hold them accountable for the injuries. Some examples of items that could be proactively addressed through maintenance include broken handrails, loose tiles, or even faulty electrical wiring.

This is why all property owners should keep a strict schedule that encourages frequent inspections of the property’s condition. If an attorney can demonstrate that a property owner knew about a repair need but neglected to fix it as soon as possible, then they might be required to compensate the victim for their injuries and other costs.

Defective Conditions

Sometimes, certain elements of a property become defective and result in an injury to an unexpected visitor. This could be a weak structure that collapses or a piece of equipment that malfunctions. These cases are more complicated, as liability could be placed on either the manufacturer or the property owner.

For example, if there is evidence to show that a property owner knew of the defect but neglected to take care of it, this puts them at risk of a lawsuit. However, if there was no reasonable way for the property owner to know that the defect existed, more blame could be placed on the manufacturer of the defective product.

What Evidence Can Help Secure Compensation for Premises Damages?

It’s not possible to be awarded compensation for any sustained damages without strong evidence. There needs to be a clear and undeniable link between the property owner’s negligence and your injuries.

Here is some of the most compelling evidence an attorney might use to build a strong case.

Photographs and Videos

Any type of visual evidence that can demonstrate a hazardous condition existed at the point of injury is critical. This helps to put everyone at the scene of the incident. Any photos or videos of wet floors, icy walkways, or poor lighting can support a plaintiff’s claim that they were the victim of these hazards.

Because there may not be surveillance cameras around to capture the moment, taking your own photos or videos can help refute a property owner’s claim that the hazard was made up.

Accident Reports

Accident reports contain a lot of useful information, such as the date and time of the incident, circumstances that led up to the alleged injuries, and if there were any immediate actions taken by a property owner.

If a property owner sprang into action to assist the injured victim and showed immediate remorse for their neglect, this will be a consideration when the court determines fault. The reports could also list if there were any eyewitnesses, which both attorneys would be interested in speaking to and seeing if their observations could be used to support their clients’ positions.

Medical Records

A medical record will help bring awareness to how severe the victim’s condition is. This is vital information, as it will help the court determine how much money an alleged victim should be awarded if they were to win the premises liability case. Some common information a medical report could include for consideration are any diagnoses, treatment plans, and emergency care data, as well as if there is any need for the patient to receive ongoing rehabilitative attention.

How Much Does a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer Cost?

Hiring an attorney to represent your slip-and-fall case will vary in price depending on a few different factors in your case. The more complicated the case and experienced your attorney is, the more likely you are to pay for their services.

Contingency Fees

Many personal injury and premises lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not charge any fees upfront, but rather agree to work on your case to earn a specific percentage of the final settlement award. This can be an extremely advantageous plan for those who would struggle to come up with attorney fees beforehand.

The fee can range anywhere from 25% to 40% of the final award. Some attorneys will suggest they take a lower percentage if the case is settled outside of court, but the percentage will likely be higher if your case goes to trial.

Hourly Rates

Another payment option for attorney services is being charged an hourly rate. These hourly rates will depend on where the attorney is based and how many years of experience they already have working in the field. The range of rates varies greatly, often anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour.

Retainer Fees

Sometimes a lawyer will request their clients pay an upfront retainer fee before they begin working on a case. This serves two purposes. It both proves the client can afford the work that the attorney is about to put in the case, and it gives the attorney a pool of money to take from as needed when devising a legal strategy for their client.

If the attorney does not use all of the money in the retainer to finish the case, the remaining balance will be returned to the client. If the pool of money has been used up and the case still is not finished, the attorney will ask the client to replenish the funds.

Because it is so important to ensure that you can afford your attorney’s services, be sure to ask about costs during an initial consultation. Some attorneys can be flexible and offer several different ways to pay, so be sure to ask about this possibility and ensure it is something you can afford before officially hiring them.

Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?

Premises liability and negligence are closely related, but they are not the same thing. Understanding this distinction is critical for anyone practicing personal injury law or looking to file a claim.

Negligence is a broader legal concept that is used to detail a failure to behave with the level of care that is expected under specific situations. Many legal cases often discuss a “breach of duty” to imply that someone did not uphold a level of responsibility that was necessary for them to avoid harm or damage to someone else. In addition to negligence impacting property cases, it could also be seen in car accidents, medical malpractice, and even defamation.

On the other hand, premises liability is a very specific type of negligence that relates directly to someone’s ownership and maintenance of their property. It’s the legal requirement for a property owner to be held liable when visitors are injured on their property due to something that could have been proactively addressed.

Property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for the piece of property that they own. They could be held liable if anyone can prove a direct link between hazards on their property and injuries someone sustained from being on that property.

Get in Touch With Charles T. Brooks for Premises Liability Lawyers You Can Trust

If you believe you have fallen victim to a premises liability incident, connect with our attorneys today. We have spent years investigating the root causes of our clients’ injuries and holding the correct parties accountable for their neglect. We would be honored to extend the same service to your current situation.

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