Under Georgia law, property owners must maintain a safe environment for visitors. They should conduct routine inspections, fix anything that can be a hazard, and erect warning signs to alert people of potential danger. If they don’t do this, property owners can be held accountable for injuries people sustain.
If you’ve suffered from injuries because of a property owner’s negligence, you may now be struggling with expensive medical bills, pain, and lost income from missing work. Our experienced Scottdale premises liability lawyers are here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
At the SHElaw firm, we will ensure you get the best legal counsel and representation, fighting aggressively for your rights and interests to help you get full compensation. Call our Scottdale personal injury lawyers at 470-378-1162 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial case review today.
Do I Have a Premises Liability Claim?
Georgia premises liability law stipulates that all property owners should ensure that their premise is safe enough for guests, customers, or visitors of the property.
Under Georgia code 51-3-1, the following conditions must be met for premises liability laws to apply:
- The defendant is the actual owner or occupier of the property.
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. This means that you have to been invited to the property or were on the property lawfully.
- The accident occurred due to the negligence of the defendant or their failure to properly take care of their property.
- You suffered harm that entitles you to damages. Here, you need to present documentation like medical records and bills, and expert witnesses.
If all of these conditions have been met, then and only then will you have a valid claim.
Property owners owe a much lower duty of care to people who are on the property illegally or otherwise known as trespassers. The owner isn’t required to notify the trespasser about any dangerous conditions on the property.
However, the property owner can still be held liable for injuries caused to a trespasser due to the owner’s reckless or willful acts, for example, setting up traps that are meant to cause harm to people walking across your property.
If you suffered injuries or some form of harm while someone else’s property as a trespasser, we will be able to help you determine whether you have a valid case. Again, this is only possible if the defendant acted in a willful or reckless manner.
What Are Common Premises Liability Cases in Georgia?
Premises liability law covers a wide range of accidents that can occur when a property owner fails to ensure that their property is safe. Some of the common types of accidents our premises liability lawyers see include:
- Wet Surfaces – If a floor is recently mopped and there is no caution sign put down for others to see, individuals can slip and fall.
- Uneven Surfaces – Uneven surfaces can cause someone to trip and fall unexpectedly. The uneven surfaces may be inside the property or outside the premises.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents – Cases of elevators and escalators malfunctioning are not unheard of, and they are mostly linked to poor maintenance or incorrect installation.
- Faulty Stairs or Railings – Faulty stairs or railings can cause serious falls, leading to brain injuries, broken bones, spinal injuries, or even death.
- Falling Objects – Supermarkets, and other retail stores where products are stacked together can see some customers sustain injuries after being hit by a falling object.
- Children Injured in Unsafe Areas – Property owners have a responsibility to put fences around pools, cover pits, and secure other hazards that could harm trespassing children.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured on Someone’s Property?
You should call 911 right away if there is a chance you may have sustained a severe or life-threatening injury. You should still make sure to visit a doctor or urgent care if you are hurt but don’t need immediate treatment.
Taking the following steps can help strengthen your case.
- Notify the property owner or manager right away.
- If you can, take photos showing what caused your injury and the lack of warning signs.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Note the location of any security cameras.
- Contact a Scottdale premises liability lawyer.
Who Is Responsible for an Injury in a Premises Liability Case?
The defendant in a premises liability case could be a property manager for an apartment or business, a property owner, or a homeowner. In order to win your case, you must prove the defendant was negligent.
To prove negligence in a premises liability case, the following facts must be established:
- There was an unsafe or dangerous condition on the property.
- The defendant knew about the unsafe or dangerous condition or should have reasonably been aware of it if they were taking proper care of their property.
- The defendant had time to fix or remove the hazard but didn’t.
- The defendant didn’t properly warn you about the dangerous condition.
- You suffered harm as a result of the dangerous condition.
Just like with other personal injury cases, to win a premises liability case you must be able to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the negligence of the property owner. Some of the ways you can prove this include your testimony, the testimony of witnesses, medical records, as well as photos of the safety hazard that caused your injuries.
What if My Child Is Injured?
With a few rare exceptions, property owners generally aren’t responsible if adult trespassers are injured. However, property owners have a legal responsibility to take measures to protect trespassing children.
While something may seem clearly dangerous to an adult, a child may find it exciting and enticing without actually realizing how dangerous it might be. These conditions that are both dangerous and appealing are known as “attractive nuisances.”
The bottom line is that in the event that your child is harmed due to an unsafe condition, the property owner may be held liable. To prevent this, property owners should ensure that any potential hazard is properly secured so that no child can access it and injure or harm themselves. For instance:
- Fencing and locking up unused areas such as empty swimming pools. The property owner also needs to ensure that the fence is tall enough to prevent children from climbing over it.
- Having construction sites fenced to prevent children from entering
- Covering an open pit or well with a lid that children can’t open
What if I Was Injured at My Workplace?
Normally, injuries suffered at the workplace are covered under workers’ compensation. However, under certain circumstances, you might be able to raise a third-party claim against the property owner.
This can include instances such as where your employer has rented the office space where you work and you suffer an injury due to a structural defect or error. You may be eligible for a workers’ compensation and premises liability claim.
A qualified attorney will be able to help you determine whether you can file a premises liability claim in your specific case. Keep in mind that worker’s compensation prohibits you from filing a lawsuit against your employer.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Premises Liability Claim?
In the state of Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property’s owner. If you don’t file a claim before this deadline, you lose the right to recover compensation. There are shorter deadlines to meet if you want to file a claim against a government entity.
Don’t wait it out and allow the statute of limitations to run out. We advise you to call our office as soon as possible to discuss your options. When you consult with us, we’ll go over all the fine details of your case and provide you with the legal advice you need to make well-informed decisions.
Call an Experienced Scottdale Premises Liability Lawyer!
The last thing you expect when visiting a neighbor, friend’s home, the local mall, school, and the like is leaving with serious injuries. It is the legal duty of any property owner in Georgia to take necessary measures to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for anyone visiting or using the property.
If you have been injured while on someone else’s property in Scottdale, GA, we can help. Our team at the SHElaw firm has years of experience handling premises liability cases. We will help you get the justice and financial compensation that you deserve. Get in touch with us today at 470-378-1162 to schedule a free consultation.
Keep in mind that we operate on a contingency basis which means that you don’t have to pay us anything until we secure a favorable settlement or outcome for your case – no win no fee! We only deduct a previously agreed-upon percentage from your compensation amount. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting our experienced team.