When you go on a vacation, especially to a location like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina you may decide to rent out a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel. Vacation homes can be a fantastic choice with all the comforts of home, and enough room for the whole family. Yet, the owners may not follow the same safety standards that a hotel corporation might. Since these homes are often privately owned, and the maintenance is up to the discretion of the owner, there is more risk for injury, and the owner may not want to take accountability for the injured party.
What if You Signed a Waiver?
Often times when you decide to rent a vacation home, the paperwork that you fill out will include some form of liability waiver. This type of waiver may have language that suggests that if you are injured on the property during your stay, you are the responsible party. Many people may believe that if they signed a waiver and they were injured that they would not be able to take legal action against the owner/construction company/ management company. This is not the case. Signing these types of waivers do offer some protection for the party who is renting out the property, but it does not mean that they cannot be sued for negligence. These waivers do not protect people who have been intentionally negligent with their property management. For instance, if you were injured as a result of a flaw in the property, and the owner had knowledge that it was not being properly maintained, or that it was dangerous, you can be compensated for your injuries.
Protection Through Premises Liability Law
In South Carolina there is protection for renters through the premises liability law. This law states that it is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that their home or business is safe. It is because of this law that victims of injuries like slips/falls, dog bites, pool injuries, and more can receive compensation for their medical bills, and lost wages. In order to pursue compensation under this law, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner owed them a duty of care (this can be proved with a rental agreement), that the defendant (property owner) failed that duty by acting negligently, and that you the plaintiff were indeed injured as a result of this negligence.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Injured?
It is extremely important that if you are ever injured while staying at a vacation rental home that you document everything so that it can be used as evidence. This means taking photographs of the injury, the area where the injury occurred, and even the surrounding areas of the rental. You should attempt to make a written incident report with the owner or Management Company. You should take down the names and numbers of any witnesses, and you should compile all medical records and bills related to the injury. Even if you are not sure at the moment whether or not you will be seeking compensation, it is always a good idea to follow these steps because if you have more complications from this injury down the road, you may decide to take action at a later date. If you have decided that you would like to take action, your next step should be calling a Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of N. David Durant. Call (843) 650-7800 or visit our consultation page here.