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Charleston Construction Defects Lawyer / Blog / Premises Liability / Can You Be Partly Liable for an Accident on Another Person’s Property?

Can You Be Partly Liable for an Accident on Another Person’s Property?


All property owners in South Carolina are responsible for maintaining their premises and keeping their property in a sanitary condition to keep people safe. When they fail to do this and somebody becomes hurt as a result, property owners can be held liable. As in all personal injury cases, though, there are times when an accident victim is partially to blame for their own injuries. Property owners also often try to shift blame to accident victims to shield themselves from paying full damages. Below, our Daniel Island premises liability lawyer provides the information you need to protect your rights.

Property Owners are Not Always to Blame 

Property owners are held to a  high standard to ensure their premises are safe. Businesses, particularly, owe customers the highest duty of care to act in a reasonable and safe manner. People who invite social guests to their home also owe a duty of care to their visitors, but it is not as high as the duty of businesses. Trespassers are not owed any duty of care, but property owners cannot intentionally cause them harm.

While property owners do owe visitors a certain duty of care, this does not mean they are always to blame for accidents on their property. There are times when visitors can act negligently as well, and be found partly liable for the injuries they sustained. When this is the case, accident victims may still be able to claim damages, but the total amount received may be reduced.

Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability Claims 

Any time two or more parties contribute to an accident, the comparative negligence law in South Carolina will apply. Under this law, accident victims can still claim damages for their injuries, so long as their percentage of fault is 50 percent. Any damages they ultimately claim are then reduced by their same percentage of fault.

For example, if a business invited customers into their location knowing there was a hazard, such as a hole where work was being performed, they may take certain steps to mitigate the danger. They might install temporary railings and warning signs to keep customers out of the area. These are reasonable steps to take to keep people safe.

Customers, though, also have a duty to keep themselves safe. If these warnings were present and a customer knowingly walked into the area anyway, they may not be eligible for any compensation. On the other hand, the situation would change if the business owner had not taken any of the above steps. In that case, the property owner may be held entirely liable.

The customer may share some of the blame if the hazard was open and obvious, meaning another reasonable person would not have entered the area. If the property owner had done nothing to protect customers, they would also likely share part of the blame. In this case, the percentage of fault would be decided to determine the amount of damages, if any, the customer deserves.

Our Premises Liability Lawyer in Daniel Island Can Help 

Clearly, premises liability law is one that is very nuanced and there are many factors to consider. At Fuller Law Firm, our Daniel Island premises liability lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine who is to blame and hold the property owner liable for paying the full damages you are entitled to. Call us today at 843-277-0013 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.



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