Although a simple slip and fall on another’s property may not sound like a serious problem, it can lead to severe injuries. This is certainly not always the case, but there are times when an injury on another party’s property requires medical treatment and causes the injured person to sustain significant compensable losses. Property owners are responsible for the reasonable safety of anyone who comes onto their property, whether that is private property, commercial property, or public property.
If you or a loved one suffered injury on the property of another party, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. Premises liability cases can be complicated and difficult to pursue, however. Property owners often push back hard against injury claims that they view as frivolous, and you will need to put together a rock-solid case that can overcome the common objections defendants will make.
Ross Moore Law is dedicated to fighting for just compensation on behalf of slip and fall injury victims, and those who have suffered all other types of injuries in the Atlanta area. Personal injury law is all we do, and we have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
We aren’t afraid to go to trial. Contact Ross Moore LAW to schedule a free initial consultation with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer!
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS
Premises liability claims can be heavily influenced by a wide variety of factors. If the property owner showed negligence or carelessness in the care of their property (within reason), anyone injured on that property may be eligible to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Factors that influence premises liability claims may include the following:
Whether the premises was public, commercial, or private
Purpose of the visit to the property
Type of hazard that caused the injury
Age of the injury victim
Environmental factors such as poor lighting
What maintenance procedures were in place, if any
How long the hazard was present
Any efforts made to warn visitors of hazard
Whether the hazard was natural or man-made
SLIP-AND-FALL LAWYER IN ATLANTA
Often, premises liability claims are caused by slip-and-fall injuries. These are some of the most common types of personal injury claims, yet also some of the most widely misunderstood. Although visitors are not guaranteed safety on any property, owners have a duty to keep their property reasonably safe for anyone who may visit it. Our Atlanta premises liability attorney can help explain the laws that govern this.
WHAT WAS YOUR VISITOR STATUS WHEN YOU WERE HURT ON THE PROPERTY?
One of the major factors that will determine whether or not you have a viable premises liability claim is what type of visitor you were when you got injured on the defendant’s property. There are three general categories of property visitors that you may fall into:
An invitee is someone with explicit or implied permission to enter a property, usually for the benefit of the property owner or caretaker. For example, an invitee may be a customer in a shop or restaurant, a commercial or residential tenant, or a guest at a hotel or resort. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees, and it is the responsibility of those in charge of the property to take reasonable steps to ensure that these visitors are safe from all known hazards.
A licensee is someone who also has explicit or implied permission to be on a property, but they generally enter for their own purposes or as a social guest. Examples of licensees may include unsolicited salespeople, neighbors, and dinner party guests. A property owner or caretaker would generally owe a slightly lower duty of care to a licensee. They are still obligated to warn licensees of any known hazards that create an unreasonable risk of harm, but they are not necessarily required to take steps beyond that, like regularly inspecting the property to uncover previously unknown hazardous conditions.
A trespasser is someone who enters a property without the permission of the owner or caretaker. And because trespassers are not legally authorized to be on the property, they are owed very little duty of care. The only obligation an owner has is to refrain from willful or malicious conduct or entrapment that would cause a trespasser harm. One possible exception to this rule is with children. Landowners do owe a duty of care to avoid any foreseeable risks to children who might trespass on the property.
PURSUING A PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM IN GEORGIA
When someone gets injured in a slip and fall accident or suffers another type of premises liability injury, they are entitled to damages. Compensatory damages can be recovered not only for direct monetary losses such as medical costs and lost earnings, but also for noneconomic losses such as physical and emotional pain-and-suffering and diminished quality of life.
Georgia uses a modified form of comparative negligence in personal injury cases. Under state law, an injured party can recover damages as long as they are less than 50% at fault for the underlying accident. If you are found to be partially at fault, however, your damage award will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you share in the accident. For example, if your compensable losses totaled $50,000 and you are found to be 20% at fault, your damage award will be reduced by $10,000 down to $40,000.
As we touched on earlier, defendants often fight hard against premises liability lawsuits, believing they are frivolous and without merit. With this in mind, the defendant in your case is likely to claim that you were at least partially to blame for the accident so they can mitigate their losses.
Some possible defenses that might be used in a premises liability claim include:
The defendant was not aware or could not have reasonably known about the dangerous condition.
The danger or hazard which caused the injury was open and obvious to a reasonable person.
Your slip and fall injury occurred because you were not watching where you were going (e.g., you were too busy looking down at your cell phone).
You were in an area of the property that is restricted or where visitors do not typically go.
In order to successfully counter the arguments of the defendant, it is important to have as much documentation and evidence as possible. Create a detailed report (either in writing or audibly using a voice recorder) of what happened while everything is fresh in your mind. Also be sure to take multiple photographs to show the hazard that caused the accident and the injuries you suffered.
If there were any individuals who witnessed the event, obtain statements and contact information from them. Finally, be sure to get an experienced attorney involved as soon as possible, so they can get started on your case and put you in the best possible position to obtain a favorable outcome.
CONTACT ROSS MOORE LAW FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION!
At Ross Moore Law, you can expect personal legal guidance that is coupled with aggressive advocacy. Our skilled Atlanta premises liability lawyer is dedicated to providing you with representation that gives you solid footing to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Learn more about your legal options by calling (404) 905-3146 today!
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