Do Premises Liability Laws Apply When Someone Gets Injured In An Assisted Living Facility?
South Carolina’s premises liability laws apply when a business invitee gets injured in a preventable accident at a place of business. This means that the laws apply not only at retail establishments like supermarkets, malls, shops, and restaurants, where business invitees visit only for a few hours, or even a few minutes, but also to places where paying guests stay for longer periods of time. Therefore, a guest who gets injured because of unsafe conditions at a hotel or vacation rental property has the right to seek damages in a premises liability lawsuit. Tenants in apartment buildings can also sue the property management companies for premises liability if the direct cause of the accident was unsafe conditions in a common area of the building, such as a lobby or stairwell. In some cases, residents of assisted living facilities can even claim premises liability because of accidental injuries they suffered in their apartment units or in common areas of the facility. A Columbia premises liability lawyer can help you determine the best way to proceed when seeking justice for an elderly family member injured in an accident at an assisted living facility.
What Assisted Living Facilities Are, and What They Are Not
Nursing home negligence is its own branch of personal injury law, but assisted living facilities are not nursing homes. Nursing home residents are very medically vulnerable and require round the clock care; failure to supervise patients closely enough can easily lead to infections, choking, and all kinds of other medical emergencies. By contrast, residents of assisted living facilities only need help with tasks like laundry, meal preparation, and transportation. Therefore, preventable accidents at assisted living facilities are, from a legal standpoint, more like preventable accidents at hotels and apartment buildings. Premises liability laws apply when the cause of the accident is, for example, slippery or uneven flooring in residential units, common walkways, or the communal dining room.
Was It Just an Accident or a Medical Error?
Just like people living independently, residents of assisted living facilities can be harmed by medical errors. For example, if a doctor changes a patient’s medication prescriptions, and the patient becomes malnourished or disoriented because of the side effects, thereby suffering a preventable illness or injury, then it is a case of medical malpractice. The assisted living facility can be liable, however, if a resident suffered a health crisis and the assisted living facility staff did not seek appropriate medical attention even though staff members saw the resident (or did not see the resident when they should have) and did not notice that the resident was having a medical emergency.
Let Us Help You Today
A premises liability lawyer can help you recover damages if you were injured in a preventable accident in an assisted living facility or other communal living situation. Contact The Stanley Law Group for a consultation on your case.