Can Injured Students Sue Their University For Premises Liability?
One day in April 2019, Pauline Harrison of Chesterfield was walking on a sidewalk on the campus of Coastal Carolina University in Conway. She tripped over a piece of raised concrete on the sidewalk and fell, suffering serious injuries. News reports about her premises liability lawsuit did not give details about the nature of her injuries except to say that some of them were permanent, some caused temporary disability, some required hospitalization, and some required treatment by an ophthalmologist. First, Harrison filed a claim with the university’s insurance company, but the company denied her claim. In May 2022, Harrison filed a premises liability lawsuit against Coastal Carolina University. She alleges that the university had a responsibility to ensure to keep the university campus safe so that visitors could walk on the sidewalk without risk of injury; she claims that the university should have trained its employees to detect and repair unsafe areas on the sidewalk. To find out more about the legal remedies available to you after suffering an accidental injury on a university campus, contact a Columbia premises liability lawyer.
Who Is Eligible to Seek Damages Under Premises Liability Law?
According to South Carolina premises liability laws, business invitees can seek damages from a company if the business invitee gets injured in a preventable accident on property owned or controlled by the company. In the case of most businesses, such as retail stores, business invitees are customers. As for accidents that take place on university campuses, students count as business invitees under premises liability law, and so do people who visit the campus in order to attend events such as sporting events and music performances. Faculty and staff are employees, not business invitees, so if they get injured, they should seek remedies pursuant to workers’ compensation laws, not premises liability laws.
What Must You Prove in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
In order to be awarded compensation in a premises liability lawsuit, you must prove the following claims:
- You were a business invitee at premises controlled by the defendant
- You suffered an accidental injury at the place of business
- The defendant did not take reasonable measures to prevent the accident
- Your injuries are a direct result of the accident
- The financial losses for which you are requesting compensation are a direct result of your injuries
As in any civil lawsuit, the defendant will try to argue the opposite. When defendants are able to prevail in premises liability lawsuits, it is usually because the plaintiff’s negligence was the main cause of the accident or because the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s pre-existing medical conditions contributed to the injury as much as, or more than, the accident.
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you seek compensation for your financial losses related to an accidental injury that occurred on a university campus. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.