As residents and visitors go about daily life in Carrollton, no one anticipates being injured while patronizing local businesses, staying at a hotel, or swimming in a neighborhood pool, but accidents do happen. Property owners have an obligation to maintain their property to ensure that it’s safe and free from obvious hazards that could harm those who come onto their premises. If you do incur an injury while on someone’s property, you have legal rights, and a Carrollton premises liability attorney can make sure those rights are upheld.
When you work with Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., you can be confident that your case is in the best possible hands. Our experienced legal team will work tirelessly and effectively to secure the full compensation you deserve for your injuries caused by the property owner’s negligence. We have represented injured people for over 30 years in the Carrollton community and all over Georgia, and we can help you too. Call us today at (770) 205-8827 to learn about your rights during a free initial case evaluation.
What a Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Premises Liability Lawyer Can Do for You
Premises liability cases often have unique issues that require a legal professional with a thorough understanding of the law. With one of our Carrollton premises liability lawyers by your side, you are in a much better position to receive the full compensation you deserve.
Once we review the facts of your accident and determine that you have a feasible claim, we will manage all aspects of the process, including:
- Interviewing witnesses to the accident.
- Collecting all necessary evidence from the scene of the accident.
- Reviewing any police reports.
- Determining who the liable parties for the accident are.
- Reviewing medical records and consulting with medical experts to grasp the extent of your injury.
- Working with accident reconstruction specialists.
- Calculating the amount of damages you are entitled to.
- Negotiating assertively with the insurance company.
- Taking your case to court, if necessary, to fight for your compensation.
Georgia Premises Liability Law
Premises liability is a category of personal injury law that pertains to unsafe conditions or obstacles on personal or public property, and in Georgia, it’s covered under Georgia Code § 51-3-1. Property owners who invite individuals onto their premises must exercise ordinary care to ensure the premises are safe. This includes conducting regular inspections for unsafe conditions, providing warnings for the dangerous conditions, and resolving the dangerous conditions. If they fail to do this, they are liable for damages to injured parties.
Proof of Negligence
If you obtain an injury while on someone else’s property, it doesn’t always mean you can file an insurance claim for damages. You must be able to demonstrate that the accident was caused by the negligence of the entity responsible for the property. This involves proving that:
- The property owner had a duty of care, which means to “take all reasonable measures necessary to prevent activities that could result in harm to other individuals and/or their property.”
- This duty of care was not upheld.
- The breach of duty is the reason for your injuries and the damages you incurred.
- The property owner had actual knowledge of or reasonably should have known about the potentially hazardous condition.
Establishing proof of negligence can be very complicated, but the Carrollton premises liability lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. have vast experience dealing with these situations and know how to look for the right evidence to prove your case.
Status of Claimant
Premises liability law requires that a status be determined for a visitor to a property. The role of the injured person must be defined as one of the following:
- Invitee – An invitee is allowed on the property by an expressed or implied invitation, and their presence offers some sort of benefit to the entity that owns the property. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to ensure the safety of their invitees. Examples of invitees include:
- Customers of stores, restaurants, banks, or other types of businesses;
- Patients at medical or care facilities;
- Tenants of rental buildings;
- Students of a school;
- Relatives, friends, or neighbors of a property owner;
- Ticket holders at concerts, athletic competitions, or other such events.
- Licensee – A licensee has consent from the owner to be on the property, but they enter for their own purposes and are not specifically invited, such as a salesperson. Property owners do not owe the same duty of care to licensees as they do to invitees. They are required to provide warning of potential dangers but are liable only for willful or wanton injury to a licensee.
- Trespasser – A trespasser does not have the right to enter a property, and there is generally no duty of care owed to them. However, sometimes a trespasser may be able to recover damages if they can prove that the property owner knew that trespassing was probable.
Establishing a Hazardous Condition
For Georgia premises liability cases, anything that proposes a risk to the invitees can be considered a hazardous condition. Here are some common examples of these risks:
- Slippery floors
- Falling merchandise or objects
- Broken or uneven flooring or stairs
- Damaged or missing handrails
- Insufficient lighting
To make a premises liability case, you must show that the property owner failed to keep their premises safe by not exercising ordinary care. These considerations can determine if the proper duty of care was taken:
- Whether or not the property owner has an established system for preventing, identifying, and remedying hazards.
- Whether a valid reason existed for the presence of the hazard.
- Whether the hazard was there for enough time that the property owner should have been aware of it.
- Whether the hazard required a warning.
- Whether other negligent conditions contributed to the hazard.
Personal Responsibility and Comparative Negligence
The law provides that victims in premises liability cases have some personal responsibility in avoiding potential hazards, but you can be careful and still get hurt. A Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. lawyer will examine the facts to be sure you don’t accept the full blame for the accident.
If you do hold some accountability for your accident, and it is determined to be less than 50% your fault, you can still seek damages, but your compensation would be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
Premises Liability Cases We Handle
We have experience handling all types of premises liability cases, and we would be happy to discuss any injury you sustained while on someone else’s property. The following list includes some of the most common cases we handle:
- Slip/trip and fall accidents resulting from uneven flooring, unnoticeable steps, defective flooring, slippery surfaces, defective railings, etc.
- Dog bites and other dangerous animal incidents
- Injuries from falling objects
- Illness or injury from unsafe swimming pools
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or materials
- Collapsed balconies, terraces, or decks
Available Options for Compensation
The purpose of your premises liability claim is to pursue compensation for the harm you suffered. Our Carrollton premises liability attorneys will calculate a value for your damages to determine how much compensation we can seek through a settlement. These are the main damages that apply to a premises liability claim:
- All related medical expenses
- Lost wages for missing work
- Personal property damage for any possessions damaged from the accident
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability Claims
If you are dealing with an injury that happened on a Carrollton property, you must have many questions, and Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. wants to answer them for you. Here are brief answers to a few of the questions you may have, but please contact our office for a more personalized assessment of your situation during a free initial consultation.
What should I do if I’ve been injured on another person’s property?
The first and most important step is to seek medical attention as quickly as possible to properly assess the extent of your injuries. Ideally, you should also get contact information for any witnesses to the accident and photos of the accident site. Then you need to report the accident and contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to speak to a Carrollton premises liability lawyer to understand all of your legal rights.
Do I have to sue someone to get compensation for my injury?
Not necessarily. Premises liability injury cases typically start by filing a claim with the insurance company of the property owner. Most of the time, negotiation with the insurance company produces a fair settlement. In situations where the insurer does not offer a reasonable settlement, you may want to discuss with your lawyer the option of filing a lawsuit. These types of lawsuits are likely to settle before going to court is necessary, but there is always the possibility of a trial.
I didn’t file a claim right after my accident, is there still time?
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a premises liability injury claim. Since legal procedures can be lengthy, it is important to contact our office as soon as possible, so we can have the time we need to investigate and prepare your claim.
Let Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Start Helping You Today
If you or a loved one have incurred an injury that a business or property owner may be responsible for, we are here to serve you. At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we handle Carrollton premises liability cases on a daily basis and have the experience required to build a strong case on your behalf and seek the compensation you deserve. Call us at (770) 205-8827, and let’s get started today.