Property owners are required to maintain reasonably safe premises and warn other people of any hazardous conditions that may exist. The law requires all property owners to keep their building and their property safe for authorized visitors. Premises liability cases usually come into play when an injury occurs on someone else’s property as a result of dangerous conditions.
However, just because you were injured on another person’s property, it doesn’t mean that the property owner is automatically responsible. Under premises liability law, you have to prove that the owner should have known about the dangerous conditions but failed to do something about it.
If you or a loved one was injured on someone’s property, speak to a Gainesville premises liability lawyer today. Here at H Groves Law, we have a team of experienced lawyers and the resources necessary to help you, no matter what happened. Our priority is to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Do I Have a Premises Liability Claim?
A property owner cannot be held liable for everything that happens on their property. If a guest, tenant, or customer engages in reckless behavior and ends up suffering a serious injury or losing their life, it’s hard to reasonably consider the owner of the property where the accident occurred as liable.
On the other hand, if the accident should have been prevented through reasonable precaution on the part of the owner, the victim may have grounds to sue for compensation. You can do this under the legal principle of premises liability.
You can file a premises liability claim if the owner was aware, or would have reasonably been aware, of the dangerous conditions that caused the accident but failed to take precautions to prevent it from happening.
A good example is a slip and fall accident where the victim slipped and fell due to an uncleaned spill on the floor. It can be proven that the owner should have known of such a hazard but didn’t warn people about it.
Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle
There are a wide variety of potential situations covered by premises liability law in Georgia. The following are some of the accidents our Gainesville premises liability lawyers handle.
Slip and Falls
Falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, according to data from the National Floor Safety institute. Slips and falls also account for 12% of all emergency room visits.
In case there’s a hazard on a property that could result in a slip and fall, the manager or owner should take reasonable steps to resolve the issue and warn people of the hazard. Failure to do so constitutes negligence.
There are many accidents where victims slip and fall on wet surfaces.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Many shopping centers and large buildings feature escalators and elevators. If they don’t undergo regular inspection and maintenance, they could cause serious injuries or even death. Escalators and elevators have to meet the requirements of local and state building codes, along with local laws and regulations.
In case an injury occurs due to a faulty elevator or escalator that was not maintained properly, or because of an infraction, the victim might have grounds for a premises liability claim.
Inadequate Maintenance and Structural Defects
Property owners must reasonably maintain their premises in such a way that visitors don’t suffer injuries. If property owners don’t maintain their premises appropriately, they might be liable for injuries.
Some common examples of hazards due to structural defects and inadequate maintenance include uneven flooring, faulty stairs, and broken safety railings.
Snow and Ice Accidents
While ice and snow accidents are more common in colder regions, a cold snap in Georgia could easily cause hazardous conditions. If a building owner is unable to take reasonable steps to warn customers of ice, then he/she might be held liable for any injuries that occur on the property.
Building owners have to take reasonable precautions to prevent fires. In case a fire occurs on the property, the premises owner should have appropriate measures in place to help the visitors. Otherwise, the victims may have grounds for a premises liability claim against the proprietor.
Other common accidents we handle include:
- Tripping on uneven floors or unmarked steps
- Structural faults that lead to an injury
- Children that are injured while playing in an unsafe area
- Being hit by a falling object.
Just as with personal injury cases, winning a premises liability case usually entails proving that your injuries were a direct result of negligence on the part of the property owner. No matter what your specific circumstances are, we have the resources and attorneys to help you.
At H Groves Law in Gainesville, GA, we know that an accident on someone else’s property can be a serious event. In case you were injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence, consider getting in touch with us today. Call us at (770) 329-9981 to schedule a free consultation.
Who Is Responsible for an Injury in a Premises Liability Case?
In Georgia, property owners are legally required to exercise ordinary care in keeping their premises safe. In case someone they invite comes onto their property and is injured due to the failure of the property owner to keep the property safe, they might be held liable for damages, based on Georgia Code 51-3-1.
If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property as a result of their negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. You can file a claim with the property owner’s insurance company.
When it comes to proving your claim, you must establish four main facts.
- There was a hazardous condition on the property
- The property owner was aware of the condition or should have reasonably been aware of it if they were taking care of the property.
- The owner or occupier failed to remove or fix the hazardous condition, or they did not properly warn you about it.
- You got injured as a result of the hazardous condition.
How the injury occurred, the warnings that could have been in place, the obviousness of the hazard, the awareness of the property owner or occupier of the hazard, the level of negligence on the part of the injured person, the acts of third parties not in the control of the property owner, and a variety of other factors will have a role in determining the extent to which the property owner/occupier may be liable.
For these reasons, premises liability cases tend to get litigated more often compared to other personal injury cases, which are often settled out of court. There are often some unique, novel, or new issues that are particular to each case and might not have been sufficiently addressed in previous court cases.
What if My Child Is Injured?
Personal property owners don’t have a legal duty to any persons who trespass on their property. This means that if you trespass on another person’s property and get injured, you will not be able to sue the property owner for failure to fix any hazardous conditions that might have caused your injury.
But cases involving children tend to carry additional difficulties. Children are naturally curious, but they often cannot read signs, not to say appreciate potentially dangerous situations. For this reason, the law has an exception to this rule if the case involves children.
If the property has a hazardous feature that’s also an attraction to children (an attractive nuisance), the property owner can be held liable for any child that’s injured on the property, even if the child was trespassing.
Some of the property features that can be considered an attractive nuisance include:
- Deep pits
- Unattended swimming pools or ponds
- Old machinery
- Raised or tall structures
- Ladders or other objects that are easy to climb
You could be thinking that almost anything can be considered attractive to children. Well, this is not always the case. Our personal injury attorneys can hold property owners or occupiers liable for any resulting damages if the case meets the following conditions.
- The owner was aware or had reason to reasonably expect children to trespass on their property.
- The burden of removing the danger was lower than the risk it presented to children.
- The owner didn’t exercise reasonable care to address the hazardous condition or to prevent the risk of child trespassers.
Establishing whether the property owner can be held liable can be quite difficult and will mostly depend on the specific facts of the case. If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, you should contact a premises liability attorney in Gainesville, GA as soon as possible before the at-fault entity blames you or your child for the accident.
What if I Was Injured at My Workplace?
Workers’ compensation law and premises liability law might seem like different areas of law, and they are. However, both often intersect in several situations. For instance, an office worker may trip and fall on an ice patch when making a delivery to a retail shop. A courier could be bitten by a dog while delivering a package to a home.
In these cases, the workers might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and file a premises liability claim separately in a civil court against the owner of the property where they were injured.
Workers’ compensation is meant to provide benefits to cover medical expenses, lost income, and disability. In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover up to two-thirds of the wages. If a workplace accident results in death, the family might be able to recover compensation for burial and funeral costs.
Along with the compensation for medical bills and lost wages, you can pursue non-economic damages like pain and suffering in a premises liability claim. These damages are not offered through workers’ compensation.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Premises Liability Claim?
Georgia has a strict deadline for filing a premises liability case. The deadline is known as the “statute of limitations.”Failure to meet these deadlines usually means that you are forfeiting your rights to bring the claim in the future for your injury.
The exact deadline will depend on the specific circumstances of your cases. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the injury to bring a claim. In some cases, the deadline is much shorter. This is why it’s essential to speak to a Gainesville premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
Talk to a Gainesville Premises Liability Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has been hurt on someone else’s property, you should contact H Groves Law today to schedule a free and confidential case review with an experienced premises liability lawyer. We help residents of Gainesville and the greater Atlanta area get justice and compensation.
We have a long and successful track record representing clients and have the resources and experience to handle complicated cases. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us once we win compensation for you. If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
We can help you understand your rights and the compensation that you may be eligible for. Get in touch today to learn more about whether you have a valid claim, what your legal options are, and how best to move forward with your case.
Call us today at (770) 329-9981 or submit the contact form to schedule a free consultation.