When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, this is commonly referred to as premises liability. These cases are typically more complex and difficult to resolve than a motor vehicle collision. The reason for this is just because you fall on someone else’s property does not mean they are responsible for the injuries you incur. The law is very specific in South Carolina and determining the factors surrounding your slip, trip, twist, spin, wrench, slide, unintended dance move, and/or fall is paramount to determining if you have a case.
I hate to do this but I will let you all in on a little secret…come closer:
Regardless of the circumstances of your fall, more than 80% (Eighty percent) of the time, a corporate landowner will deny, or disclaim, liability for your fall on their property! —Trey Mills
Why is this, you think? It’s very simple and what I call the Cost Benefits Analysis. If a corporate entity through their insurance company denies liability on 80 people out of 100, the 80 percent they scare away saves them millions of dollars in comparison to the 20 people that stood up and fought.
I like to fight for the 20% but would rather that percentage of people increase to not be run off by negligent property owners that knowingly attract people to their property to spend money but don’t want to take the time to make safe the premises or warn their patrons of any dangerous conditions on the property.
The Cliff Notes version of the law is this:
To have a viable premises liability claim from a slip, trip, and/or fall on someone else’s property, the property owner must have created a dangerous condition, have actual notice (knew) of a dangerous condition, and/or constructive notice (should have known) of the dangerous condition and failed to warn patrons or make safe the area or hazard.
Cases I have turned down recently consist of the following:
- Roofer power washing a tin roof for a customer slips and falls from the roof breaking his foot; (Nobody else’s fault but his own-accidents happen.)
- Lady slipped in convenience store on water. (No one knew how the water got there including my client. Landowner had no actual or constructive notice of the water. Roof did not appear to have a leak and no nearby coolers.)
- Gentleman tripped over "something" walking into a store. (He didn’t know what he tripped over, there were no issues with the threshold, and video of the incident indicated he simply tripped. Thus not landowners fault he tripped.)
Cases I have taken recently consist of the following:
- Roots from a nearby tree growing up throughout a parking lot at a restaurant causing injury to my client. (Landowner knew or should have known the roots were causing a dangerous condition as they do not just grow up through the pavement in one night.);
- Spilled milk in a grocery store causing my client to fall. (Grocery store did not follow protocol and knew the spill was there but failed to make safe the area or warn their patrons.);
- A one inch "lip" formed between the sidewalk and a recently repaved parking lot at a shopping mall that appears flush, or even, to patrons walking towards it. (Created a dangerous condition.)
- Before that same mall repaved their parking lot, client injured as a result of potholes. (Knew or should have known of the dangerous condition as potholes don’t form over night. )
Every case is different and presents a separate set of facts leading to the injury. We are always available to review your slip, trip, twist, spin, wrench, slide, unintended dance move, and/or fall. Your consultation is free and we do not receive any payment unless we successfully resolve your case through settlement or verdict. Please give us a call at 864-231-7171, check us out on Facebook, or email us.
I have covered this issue with more detailed links to the law and language as indicated below.