Georgia Premises Liability Cases
Any time when you are in a hotel, a restaurant, a grocery store, a retail store, an apartment complex, or any other public property, you likely assume that the owner has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the property is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Each and every day, people are injured from a slip and fall or from a falling object, or even the victim of a violent crime while on public property. When the owner of a public place fails to take the necessary precautions to protect guests and tenants, he or she must be held accountable for any negligence. Negligence can come in the form of:
- Inadequate lighting
- Broken steps
- Broken door locks or windows
- Poorly trained security
- Slippery floor surfaces
- Stairs or railings that are not built to code
- Unsafe balconies
- Unsafe sidewalks
- Unsafe ramps
- Cords or wires on the ground
- Blocked store aisles
The key to establishing negligence is showing that the owner of the premises (or the employees) knew, or should have known about, the existing hazard, yet did nothing to correct it. Property owners in Georgia have an obligation to keep premises safe and secure, and are required by law to address any hazards on the property – or, at the very least, to ensure that those who come onto the property have adequate warning of any existing hazards.
Most Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
Slip and fall accidents are likely the most common type of premises liability claim; people fall in shopping malls, grocery stores, on escalators and stairs, in parking lots, in restaurants and bars, in airports terminals, and on sidewalks. The elderly are more prone to slip and falls, although people of all ages can take a serious tumble when negligence is present. Slip and falls most commonly occur when an object is left out to trip over, or when a spill occurs that is not cleaned up.
Injuries from slip and falls can range from broken bones to brain trauma and spinal cord injury and, in some cases, death. Dog bites are also a common reason for premises liability lawsuits. All dog owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their dog does not cause injury or harm. Swimming pool accidents occur fairly often, especially to young children who wander into a pool which is not fenced – tragically, many children drown each year from pool accidents.
Negligent security at a public hotel, restaurant, parking lot, or other public place can lead to assault. Because property owners have a specific level of care owed to guests in public places, a premises liability claim may be brought against the owner of the property. There are, however different levels of care owed, depending on what type of visitor is injured.
Customers in grocery stores, malls, restaurants, or other public places are considered invitees, and property owners owe invitees the highest level of care. Friends, family members, and other social guests who come to your home are known as licensees; these people come to your home because they are invited, and are there for non-business purposes. Property owners are nonetheless liable for any known dangers that lead to an accident. Property owners have much less obligation to trespassers on their property, however, property owners are not allowed to deliberately set up dangers on their property to stop trespassers.
How Evans Litigation and Trial Law Can Help with Your Premises Liability Claim
Your Georgia premises liability attorney wants to help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your accident. Your attorney will work hard to collect the necessary evidence to fully document the fact that your injuries were the direct result of the negligence of another. Police records may be reviewed in order to determine whether others were injured in the same manner, and photographs of the scene of the accident will be taken. If video surveillance is available, it will be requested and reviewed.
If there were witnesses to your injury, they will be interviewed before important details are forgotten or witnesses move away. With access to highly experienced medical professionals in the area who can evaluate the extent of your injuries and make a determination of the length of time that you need to recover, all medical issues related to your accident will be thoroughly documented.
For over 13 years, Alfred Evans defended trucking cases, automobile cases, and premises cases. Having worked for insurance companies, he has great insight into the mindset of the insurance industry. Whether you need a highly skilled negotiator or an aggressive litigator, Evans Litigation and Trial Law can help. Call us at 1-404-334-8009 or fill out our confidential contact form.