What Is Premises Liability Negligence in Georgia?

    Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

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    Property owners in Georgia have a legal obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors or to warn of any known hazards that may cause injury. When an owner neglects this responsibility, and someone suffers harm as a result, the legal concept of premises liability negligence comes into play. Victims of these preventable accidents often face mounting medical bills, lost income, and immense pain and suffering.

    The Basics of Premises Liability in Georgia

    Premises liability law holds property owners and occupiers accountable for injuries due to unsafe conditions on their property. This area of law encompasses a wide range of accidents, such as:

    • Slip-and-fall incidents on wet floors, icy sidewalks, or uneven surfaces
    • Trip-and-fall accidents due to loose floorboards, torn carpeting, or cluttered walkways
    • Falling merchandise or debris from shelves or displays
    • Swimming pool accidents due to lack of adequate fencing, covers, or supervision
    • Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
    • Amusement park ride malfunctions or operator error
    • Assaults or robberies resulting from inadequate security measures
    • Animal attacks or dog bites

    To prevail in a premises liability claim, the injured party must typically show that the property owner acted negligently in maintaining the premises or warning of potential dangers.

    Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case

    Establishing a valid premises liability negligence claim in Georgia requires demonstrating four essential elements:

    • Duty – The property owner had a legal duty to keep the premises safe for visitors or to warn of known hazards, depending on the visitor’s status (invitee, licensee, or trespasser).
    • Breach – The property owner breached this duty by failing to maintain reasonably safe conditions, repair known hazards, or provide adequate warnings of potential dangers.
    • Causation – The property owner’s breach of duty directly caused or substantially contributed to the victim’s injuries.
    • Damages – The victim suffered actual harm and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other compensable losses.

    Gathering compelling evidence is necessary to prove these elements and build a strong premises liability case. An experienced attorney can help collect and present evidence such as incident reports, witness statements, expert analysis, and medical records to demonstrate the property owner’s negligence and the extent of your injuries and losses.

    Property Owner’s Duty Based on Visitor Status

    Georgia law categorizes visitors into three main groups, each owed a different level of care by the property owner:

    • Invitees – Invitees are individuals who enter a property for the owner’s financial benefit, such as customers, patrons, or clients. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, which requires them to regularly inspect the premises, promptly address any hazards, and warn of potential dangers.
    • Licensees – Licensees enter a property for their purposes with the owner’s express or implied permission. Examples include social guests and door-to-door salespeople. Property owners must ensure reasonably safe conditions for licensees and warn them of any known hazards that may not be readily apparent.
    • Trespassers – Trespassers enter a property without the owner’s permission or knowledge. Property owners generally do not owe a duty of care to trespassers except to refrain from willfully or wantonly causing injury. However, property owners may be liable for child trespassers’ injuries if an attractive nuisance, such as an unsecured swimming pool, is involved.

    Accurately determining a visitor’s status and the corresponding duty of care owed by the property owner is key in premises liability cases. A knowledgeable attorney can assess your case’s unique circumstances and construct a persuasive argument for holding the property owner liable.

    Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Rule

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    In some premises liability cases, the property owner may argue that the injured victim bears some responsibility for the accident. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence rule, an injured party who is 50 percent or more at fault for their injuries cannot recover compensation from the property owner.

    Insurance companies frequently attempt to shift blame onto injured victims to minimize financial liability. A skilled premises liability lawyer can counter these tactics and fight to maximize your compensation.

    Contact a Premises Liability Attorney to Seek Fair Compensation

    At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our compassionate attorneys achieve success in premises liability cases. We provide personalized service and aggressively advocate to help our clients recover and move forward after life-altering injuries.

    If you or a family member has sustained injuries on someone else’s property in Georgia, do not wait to seek legal guidance. Contact the dedicated premises liability lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today by calling (770) 205-8827 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to listen to your story, explain your rights, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

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