Although the holiday season is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year, no one will be happy if they are hurt and coping with the stress of a premises liability lawsuit.
Unfortunately, several things can cause significant premises liability lawsuits around the holidays. At Murphy Crantford Meehan, Attorneys at Law, we want to help you identify some of the most common causes of South Carolina holiday premises liability accidents and the steps you can take to avoid a lawsuit.
Common Causes of Holiday Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability is an area of the law that allows accident victims injured because of a hazardous condition on another person’s property to seek compensation for their injuries. Property owners must maintain a reasonably safe environment free from hazards for their guests, tenants, and customers.
To file a successful premises liability lawsuit, the accident victim must prove to the court that the property owner owed them a duty of care and that an accident occurred through the property owner’s careless or negligent actions or inaction. The victim must also establish that the accident left them with injuries that resulted in financial losses.
Some of the most common causes of premises liability lawsuits around the holiday season include:
- Snow, ice, or other slippery conditions
- Loose cords or wires on holiday light displays
- Poorly maintained lawn or garden area
- Poor lighting along stairs or walkways
- Uncovered or poorly maintained pools
- Improperly secured holiday decorations
Under premises liability laws, property owners can be held legally responsible for injuries that occur on their property due to safety hazards and dangerous environmental conditions.
Injuries Common in Holiday Premises Liability Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common premises liability cases. Loose cords, spills, ice, and other tripping hazards can cause significant injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists falls among the leading causes of traumatic head injury in the United States. Other injuries that are prevalent in slip-and-fall and other premises liability claims can include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
If you or someone you love is hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, report the incident to the property owner immediately and seek medical attention for your injuries. It is also wise to consult an experienced South Carolina premises liability attorney who can help you navigate the claim process and pursue the compensation you deserve.
How to Protect Yourself This Holiday Season
As a property owner, there are practical steps you can take to protect yourself from holiday premises liability lawsuits. These steps can also help you protect your friends, family, guests, and patrons, keeping them safe from harm.
Prepare for winter weather
South Carolina may not get brutal winters with 12 feet of snow, but inclement weather conditions over the holidays can still create slipping hazards. Be proactive and have tools and chemicals ready to free your sidewalks, driveways, and entryways from slick, wet conditions.
Decorating your home or business for the holidays can motivate you to celebrate. However, you must take reasonable steps to protect your guests and customers from harm. Securely fasten your holiday decorations so there is no chance that they can fall, hit someone, or otherwise cause an accident. If you are stringing lights indoors or out, secure or tuck away loose cords to prevent people from tripping.
Maintain your lawn and property
Did you know that unraked leaves can be a considerable safety hazard? Fallen leaves can become slick with dew or rain and cause devastating slip-and-fall accidents. When leaves pile up on your property, they can also hide potential safety hazards like cracks in the sidewalk, potholes, and other tripping dangers. Take the time to properly maintain your lawn, walkways, and surrounding property to prevent serious accidents. As the light fades earlier in the day, consider adding lighting features to your property so guests can see where they are walking in dim conditions.
Service your pool
It is common to find pools, spas, and hot tubs at South Carolina hotels, motels, and residential properties. Avoid a tragic accident and premises liability lawsuit by adequately maintaining your pool year-round. When not in use, keep your pool or hot tub covered. If you decorate for the holidays, avoid putting colorful decorations near the pool, which could entice small children to the edge of the water.
Contact a South Carolina Premises Liability Attorney for Help
Are you a property owner in need of legal advice after an accident? Are you a victim who has been injured on someone else’s property? At Murphy Crantford Meehan, Attorneys at Law, no matter what your situation, we are here to help.
Contact our office today at (843) 396-3840 for a legal consultation.