Can You Sue a Landlord for a Slip and Fall Injury in South Carolina?

South Carolina Workers' Compensation lawyer

Slipping or tripping because of hazards on someone’s property can lead to serious injuries. Broken bones, sprains, dental damage, and even serious head and back injuries can result from slip and falls, and the parties responsible for keeping the property safe can often be held liable, including landlords.

In South Carolina, you can often sue a landlord for injuries on their property if they were responsible for maintaining the area where the accident happened. Landlords might own the whole property, but their tenants might be responsible for upkeep in certain areas. Whether you are a guest or a tenant, landlords can often be held liable when their negligence causes a slip and fall accident.

For help with a slip and fall accident, call to speak with the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers. For a free case review, call us at (803) 451-4000.

When You Can Sue a Landlord for Slip and Fall Injuries in South Carolina

Any property owner can be sued for dangerous conditions on their property, given the right circumstances. For a property owner to be accountable for an injury, they must have breached a legal duty to clean up or warn of the danger. This typically means that warning signs like the classic yellow “Caution: Wet Floor” sign can help property owners avoid liability. But if you were injured because the property owner failed to uphold their duty to you, then you could be entitled to sue them.

When it comes to landlords specifically, the rules might be modified a bit depending on the specific terms of lease agreements with the tenants and what areas are under the landlord’s direct control.

Slip and Falls in Rental Units

If you are injured inside a tenant’s rental unit, any slip and fall or trip and fall injuries are likely the tenant’s fault instead of the landlord’s. Tenants are typically responsible for the upkeep of their rooms, apartments, offices, shops, and other units. This responsibility is usually laid out in their rental agreement and prevents the landlord from being held responsible for accidents inside the unit.

There are some premises liability issues that our Columbia personal injury lawyers might still be able to help you hold landlords responsible for, such as electrocution from dangerous wiring or structural collapses. However, we can help you file slip and fall injury claims against the tenant instead if you were injured in a rented commercial or residential space.

Slip and Falls in Common Areas

In common areas in an apartment building, office building, or other rented property, landlords are typically responsible for upkeep instead of any individual renter/tenant. This means that wet lobbies, slippery staircases, chipped or broken floorboards in hallways, and other dangers could be the landlord’s fault. Landlords are also often responsible for areas like parking lots, elevators, stairwells, laundry rooms, on-site gyms, and even footpaths or small parks on the premises. Even something as simple as minimal snowfall or ice could be the landlord’s responsibility to take care of.

Our South Carolina slip and fall lawyers can help you sue landlords for these kinds of issues, whether you were a tenant or a visitor to the premises. Your specific relationship with the defendant landlord might alter the legal issues slightly (e.g., a trespasser might not be owed the same duties as a tenant), but many slipping and tripping hazards can place a landlord at fault for any accidents that result from the hazard.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Landlord in South Carolina

Landlords typically owe a legal duty to anyone who enters their property. If they are there as business invitees, this duty might be higher, but the standard duty to clear, repair, or warn of hidden dangers typically applies to most guests. The laws are different for trespassers, who might not be able to file a lawsuit against a landlord in certain cases. However, it might be impossible to “trespass” in certain areas open to the public. These rules can generally allow slip and fall victims to file a lawsuit against a landlord, but you might want additional help from our Columbia slip and fall attorneys in some special situations.

Filing a Lawsuit as a Tenant

Tenants can typically sue their landlord for slip and fall injuries, but your lease agreement might have some specific rules about how that lawsuit happens. Most restrictions in lease agreements have special rules for contract disputes but not injury lawsuits. However, it is always a good idea to bring a copy of your lease agreement to your initial consultation with a South Carolina slip and fall lawyer to make sure there are no restrictions or special notice requirements that you need to follow.

Filing a Lawsuit for On-the-Job Injuries

There might also be special rules if you were injured as part of your job. If you work for the landlord, you might not be able to sue them directly because of Workers’ Compensation rules. Many people are injured in slip and fall accidents while working as delivery drivers, vendors, maintenance personnel, contractors, and other roles. Workers’ Compensation rules would not block you from suing the landlord at the property where the accident happened in most of these cases, but your employer might have Workers’ Compensation insurance that can cover you without the need to prove fault. You may also need to file mandatory reports with your employer for an injury that happened off-site. Make sure to review your case with a Sumter personal injury lawyer to understand your options.

Where to File

Otherwise, lawsuits can be filed in the court covering the geographic region where the accident happened. This typically means filing your case in the courthouse for the county where the building is located.

When to File

Injury cases in South Carolina must typically be filed within 3 years of the date of the accident. The deadline is typically shorter for lawsuits filed against the government. Talk to a South Carolina slip and fall lawyer for additional details and reporting requirements that might come sooner.

Call Our South Carolina Slip and Fall Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall and you think a landlord might be liable, call our Lexington personal injury lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today for a free case review. Our number is (803) 451-4000.


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