In Summerville, South Carolina, local law enforcement is actively investigating a shooting incident that occurred this past Saturday at the Villas of Summerville residential complex. Summerville Police arrived at Building 7, located off Boone Hill Road, where they found a woman who had sustained a gunshot wound to her upper left thigh.
Officers reported that the woman was fully conscious and vocally expressing her discomfort and pain. Nearby, investigators discovered an expended 9mm shell casing on a second-floor balcony close to where the woman was found.
After receiving initial medical attention at the location, the injured woman was subsequently transported to Trident Medical Center for further treatment.
Can You Bring a Lawsuit in South Carolina After Getting Shot at an Apartment Complex?
In South Carolina, it is possible to file a lawsuit after getting shot at an apartment complex, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. This type of case falls under premises liability law, which holds property owners accountable for maintaining a safe environment for residents and visitors. Specifically, these types of cases where folks are injured or killed in violent criminal attacks are generally referred to as “Negligent Security” cases.
Essentially, if a property owner's negligence contributed to a person getting shot, generally because of the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security measures, the injured party may have grounds for a lawsuit in South Carolina. The following are the key elements in one of these types of cases:
- Duty of Care: The first thing to establish is whether the property owner or management had a duty of care toward the injured party. This usually involves proving that you were lawfully on the premises when the shooting occurred. In other words, it’s difficult to bring a claim if you were trespassing at the time of the incident.
- Breach of Duty: To successfully bring a negligent security lawsuit, you must prove that the property owner breached the duty of care. This could mean that they failed to implement reasonable security measures like surveillance cameras, secure gates, or adequate lighting in the face of foreseeable criminal activity.
- Causation: You must also prove that the negligence directly resulted in your injury. For instance, if poor lighting conditions made it easier for the assailant to commit the crime, this could be a factor that favors holding the property owner liable for the attack.
- Damages: Finally, you need to quantify the damages you’ve suffered. This could include medical bills, loss of earnings, and emotional distress among other considerations.
Steps to Take After Getting Shot at a South Carolina Apartment Complex
Should you find yourself the victim of a shooting at an apartment complex, consider taking the following steps:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Always prioritize your health. Immediate medical attention not only addresses your physical needs but also serves as crucial evidence for your case.
- Report to Authorities: File an official police report and cooperate fully with law enforcement investigations.
- Document Evidence: Take photographs of the scene, injuries, and any other potential evidence. Collect contact information from any witnesses.
- Consult an Attorney: Engage a lawyer that handles negligent security cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help collect evidence to support your case.
Filing a negligent security lawsuit for a gunshot injury in South Carolina is not straightforward. However, by understanding the legal framework and working closely with your attorney, you may be able to secure compensation for your injuries and suffering.