Hurt on Someone Else’s Property in Georgia?
Macon Slip and Fall Attorney Explains Premises Liability Law
When you are invited onto another’s property, it is the duty of those who own and manage the property to reasonably ensure your safety. This often includes fixing hazards on floors and stairways, as well as providing adequate lighting. If a potential danger exists, property owners must warn visitors and guests, and take additional precautions for children. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals, businesses and institutions are negligent, leading to serious injuries and even wrongful death.
Kathy McArthur is a slip and fall attorney who has represented many clients in various premises liability lawsuits. One such case resulted in a jury verdict of $2.2 million for the family of a mother killed by a tree due to the premise owner’s poor maintenance of the property. Our personal injury law firm also secured a move than $1 million verdict against a business that failed to follow proper procedures for pouring hot asphalt, which burned our client who was performing maintenance work.
Our spokesperson is Evander Holyfield because we do not stop fighting on behalf of our clients until we reach a fair settlement or take the case to trial.
What is the Duty of Reasonable Care and How Does It Apply to a Premises Liability Case?
According to Georgia premises liability law, all property owners have a “duty of care” to other people who use or visit their land or buildings. This means owners have to warn or actively correct any potential hazards that might harm someone else, within reason. However, this does not mean that all injuries that occur on an area of property are the owner’s fault. Accidents can happen anywhere. In order to file a premises liability lawsuit, you must prove that the owner was negligent.
Additionally, property owners owe a different duty of care to different people, depending on why they are on the premises. The three types of visitors defined by Georgia law are:
- Invitees. These visitors are expressly invited onto the property and are owed the highest standard of care. Customers at any kind of business are invitees, so business owners must take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety. This includes cleaning up spills in a timely manner, fixing trip hazards and eliminating other accident risks, whenever possible.
- Licensees. This type of guest has permission to enter the property but does so for his or her own purposes. The owner has a limited duty of care for licensees. Salesmen are licensees, since they enter your property for their own gain. Social guests are licensees in premises liability cases since they are not part of a business transaction with the owner.
- Trespassers. A trespasser is someone who enters a property without permission. A property owner generally does not owe a trespasser a duty of care, unless the trespasser is a child. Children are not expected to act the same way as a reasonable adult. Therefore, property owners must take precautions, like covering a pool, to protect trespassing children from harm.
What are the Most Common Premises Liability Claims?
Any number of accidents may be grounds for a premises liability claim. However, the most common accidents that happen as a result of property owner negligence are:
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls are much more serious than many people realize. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States.
- Swimming pool accidents. Pools are often a source of hours of fun and relaxation, but they can also pose a serious safety threat. You may file a premises liability lawsuit for your swimming pool injuries if an act of negligence on another’s part, such as lack of supervision, alcohol use or lack of fencing, led to the incident.
- Dog bites. If someone else’s dog bites you, the owner may be liable for your injuries. However, you must prove that the dog is dangerous, that the owner was careless and that you did not provoke the attack. These same laws apply to nearly any other kind of animal attack as well.
- Negligent security cases. If someone attacks you at a business or other establishment, the property owner is often partially responsible for your injuries. If assault or another crime was a reasonably foreseeable risk, businesses must implement security measures to protect visitors. For example, there is a reasonable risk of robbery and assault in dark parking lots, so businesses must have proper lighting.
Hurt as a Visitor or Guest? Call a Georgia Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Whether you or a family member has suffered a swimming pool head injury, dog attack or need a slip and fall attorney in Georgia, our personal injury law firm is here to help. We have fought on behalf of individuals and families throughout Georgia and understand how premises liability law protects your rights. We also have experience combating spoliation of evidence, especially video surveillance. Our Macon slip and fall attorney team offers statewide legal representation to those hurt in Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah as well as nearby Augusta and other cities throughout Georgia and nationwide.
For more information about the McArthur Law Firm or to set up a free consultation with a Macon slip and fall attorney to learn what we may be able to do to help you, give us a call at 1-888-WE-FIGHT or fill out our online contact form. If you live outside of Georgia, call our law firm at (478) 238-6600.