Mason Law Firm represents persons who are injured due to dangerous, defective or hazardous conditions in homes, commercial buildings, and other types of premises. While an owner of property is not the insurer of safety to customers or persons invited upon the property, the owner does owe to those individuals the duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
In order for a person to recover damages from a property owner for injuries caused by a dangerous or defective condition on the premises, the person must show either (1) that the injury was caused by a specific act of the property owner which created the dangerous condition; or (2) that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and failed to remedy it.
One example of this would be a marina failing to inspect and correct the surfaces of its docks when such an inspection would reveal damaged deck boards or other tripping hazards. Another example would be a restaurant or bar owner making changes to the elevations between different sections of the restaurant which do not meet the necessary building codes in effect at the time of the changes. Another example would be a set of stairs that does not meet the building code, or perhaps does not have a required handrail. Essentially, if a property owner either creates a dangerous condition or fails to take proper reasonable steps to discover potential dangers, they may be held liable for injuries suffered by patrons or persons.
Shopping center owners, building owners, landlords, tenants, property managers, developers, general contractors, homeowners, state governments, towns, cities, municipalities and private owners of residential and commercial property all have a legal obligation to make sure that the premises which they own, control, use, develop, improve, occupy or manage are reasonably safe and secure for all those who enter.
A premises can be unsafe because it is an area where criminal activity has occurred in the past, or where inadequate security is provided. Sometimes attacks, robbery, rape and other crimes can give rise to premises liability claims if there is proof of prior incidents and inadequate security.
Examples of the types of situations which give rise to premises liability claims include but are not limited to:
- Slips or trips on hazards in parking lots, sidewalks, stairs, store aisles, escalators, elevators, decks, docks or elsewhere upon any premises;
- Injuries sustained on residential, commercial or municipal property;
- Slips or trips resulting in falls on stairs or ramps or other platforms which are improperly designed or built or which violate building codes;
- Injuries or deaths resulting from unsafe pools and drownings arising from failure to safeguard water hazards;
- Injuries or deaths resulting from fires, explosions or other catastrophic occurrences;
- Injuries or deaths resulting from the structural failure of a building component, such as a stair, deck or handrail;
- Sexual assaults or other physical assaults which take place in a business parking lot, building or other area where there is inadequate lighting or security;
- Injuries to children sustained when they were drawn or attracted to a hazardous condition existing on a property (known as an “attractive nuisance”) which was not properly safeguarded by the owner; and,
- Automobile collisions resulting from an intoxicated driver leaving a bar after having been illegally and improperly served an excessive amount of alcohol.
Mason Law Firm uses engineering, building, safety and medical experts to establish liability and prove damages in premises liability cases. The burden of proving that a premises was dangerous at the time of an injury is placed on the person claiming that is the case.
Quite often expert testimony is required by the courts to carry that burden. For more than thirty years Mason Law Firm has partnered with experts in South Carolina and around the country to gather the proof necessary to win our clients’ premises liability cases.
Mason Law Firm has skill and experience in dealing with property safety requirements and building codes as well as an understanding of foreseeable risks, hazards and safety procedures applicable to business and residential properties.
If you or a loved one has been injured on premises owned by another contact Mason Law Firm for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your premises liability claim.