Many South Carolina residents are injured each year on property that is maintained by other parties. Regardless of whether proprietors own the property or have managerial control, those entities have a reasonable duty of care regarding the safety of individuals who occupy their property. These can be private or public property owners or managers who occupy or control the property for a number of reasons. Those who are injured due to the fault of any owner or manager often do not realize that they may have a claim against both parties, but multiple parties may be liable.
Premises liability generally applies to the property owner or ultimate controller, and the material facts of the injury claim will typically determine if the property owner is actually at fault based on upkeep responsibilities. The property owner is always the respondent when there is no other party in charge of the property. There are often factors that can mitigate liability as well, including legally occupying the property by the victim. Public property injury claims are also premises liability legal matters, and claims should be submitted to the pertinent public administration agency that manages the property.
Personal liability usually refers to responsibility by a management entity such as a business operator who rents a location for their operation. Determining whether the business operator is liable can be challenging in some cases when property upkeep responsibilities are unclear. Businesses are usually responsible for maintenance of walkways directly in front of their location and internal upkeep, but they generally are not liable when premises liability injuries happen due to structure inefficiencies or parking lot maintenance failure.
It is important for South Carolina victims of premises liability injuries to understand that these cases are typically strongly defended. Additionally, personal contribution to causation and actual legal right to occupy any property can matter significantly when validating a claim.