Premises Liability Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may wonder if you have legal recourse. The good news is that, if you can prove negligence on the part of the property owner, you will be able to bring a premises liability claim against them. For help filing a premises liability claim in Georgia, call The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC in Atlanta. Attorney Walter Gabriel is dedicated to assisting clients with their claims so that they can bring negligent property owners to justice and receive a fair payout.
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Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is a term that refers to the area of the law that covers injuries that occur on a property owner’s premises due to the owner’s negligence. Any negligent property owner can be held liable, including a homeowner, business owner, or even a government entity in charge of maintaining roads and public spaces.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
Many premises liability claims are slip-and-fall cases. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip-and-fall accidents send more than one million people to the emergency room per year. Causes of slip-and-fall accidents can include accumulation of snow and ice on a sidewalk, an improperly maintained road, liquid on a store floor, or an inadequately-maintained part of a building (such as a staircase that is not up to code).
Inadequately-marked swimming pools and building sites on people’s property have also been known to cause accidents, as well as animals in yards. In addition, some owners of properties such as apartment blocks might provide inadequate security, leading to robberies and injuries.
Property Owner Duty of Care
In order to make a premises liability claim, you must prove that the property owner was negligent. You must prove that they owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and that that breach led to your being injured on the property.
In Georgia, different types of people entering a property are owed differing levels of care. An invitee (or someone being invited to enter a business, such as a customer at a shop or restaurant) and a licensee (or someone invited to enter a place such as a private home, such as a houseguest) are owed the most duty of care, while trespassers are owed the least. You cannot knowingly do anything to your property that would cause a potential trespasser injury, however.
In order to prove that the property owner was negligent, you must show that the property owner knew about a dangerous condition on their property, that the accident was foreseeable by a reasonable person, and that the property owner did not fix the condition within a reasonable period of time and/or did not warn you about that condition. Your attorney can help you to collate evidence (such as photographs, witness statements, and your medical records following the accident) and present this evidence to the court.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Georgia is one of several states with an “attractive nuisance doctrine” on the books. In Georgia, the attractive nuisance doctrine protects children (not adults) who are injured after being lured by something on someone else’s property that a reasonable person might assume would cause children to trespass (such as a swimming pool or trampoline). If your child was injured in such an incident, you must prove that the property owner knew that there was a risk that a child might trespass on their property, that they knew of a dangerous condition that may cause injury to any children who might trespass, and that they did not take steps to fix the condition or make it inaccessible to children.
Comparative Fault in Georgia
Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. This means that you can collect damages even if you were partially at fault for any accident, unless you were 50 percent or more at fault. Your amount of damages will be reduced depending on your percentage of fault; for example, if you were found to be 40 percent at fault for the accident and your damages come to $10,000, the total amount of damages you could be awarded would be $6,000.
Your case may be complicated if the property owner can prove that you were in any way negligent and that your negligence contributed to your accident. For example, let’s say that you slipped on a puddle of liquid on a store floor that should have been cleaned up within due time but wasn’t. You could be found partially negligent if you ignored a sign warning of the wet floor, or if you tripped on a puddle while in an area of the store that was off-limits.
Premises Liability Attorney Serving Atlanta, Georgia
If you or your child has been injured on someone else’s premises, call Attorney Walter Gabriel at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, serving Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the surrounding area, including Dunwoody and Alexandria. Walter Gabriel will work personally with you to ensure that your voice is heard, and will assist you with every step of the premises liability claim process. Call today for a consultation.