Premises liability claims can be some of the most challenging cases to prove. When dealing with accidents such as slip-and-falls, near drownings, and assaults, determining who is at fault can be difficult. When an accident is caused by a property owner’s negligence, any injuries sustained may be covered by the individual’s homeowner’s insurance or the building owner’s general liability insurance. However, it is not always practical to pursue premises liability cases. As premises liability ligation can be time-consuming and expensive, minor injuries such as sprained ankles will often cost more to claim than the amount of the recovery.
Premises Liability Law
Like many other types of personal injury cases, claims relating to premises liability are often based on negligence. To be entitled to compensation, a premises liability case must prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining a reasonably safe environment which led to a serious injury. Premises liability cases are often unique in nature. Therefore, the injury victim must prove that the defendant knew or should have known about the hazard and was negligent in maintaining the property or warning others of the risks. The victim must also prove that the defendant’s negligence directly contributed to his or her injury.
To help determine who is at fault for a premises liability accident, the court will often look at what type of visitor the victim was. Most visitors will fall into three main categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. An invitee is a person who is invited to a property. Examples include customers to a store or plumbers who are invited to fix a leak. Invitees expect reasonable care to be taken to ensure their safety. If an injury occurs, the property owner may be held responsible for injuries due to hazards that they should have known about.
A licensee is a person who is permitted to enter a property, but has not technically been invited. This may include people like utility workers or delivery people. Licensees may be aware of certain hazards on the property and therefore cannot expect a high level of care given to their safety. A trespasser is a person who has not been invited to the property or is not permitted on the property. This includes people like vandals or burglars. Trespassers have a minimal assumption of safety.
Claims Against Property Owners
Premises liability covers a range of case types. Before progressing with your claim, it is important to find a qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury. At Lamar Law Office, our Atlanta personal injury lawyer has extensive experience dealing with all types of cases, such as:
- Slip-And-Fall and Trip-And-Fall Accidents. A slip-and-fall accident may occur due to hazardous surfaces or when an injury victim is not alerted to certain hazards. These hazards may include wet floors, icy terrain, spills, slippery surfaces, missing rails, uneven pavement, or tears in carpets or rugs.
- Dog Bites. If a person is bitten or injured by an animal and the attack was unprovoked, the pet owner may be liable for any damaged incurred. Dog bite injuries can be severe and may result in open wounds that need stitches, nerve damage, and scarring. In severe cases, reconstructive surgery may be needed.
- Retail Accidents. In addition to slip-and-fall accidents, retail shops pose a variety of other risks. Falling products from unstable shelving or shelving that collapses onto a customer can lead to a premises liability claim.
- Pool Accidents. If a pool is not properly secured with a fence or other barrier, any injuries sustained such as near drowning are the responsibility of the property owner.
- Elevator/Escalator Accidents. Properties that have working elevators or escalators can cause injuries due to malfunction and similar problems. When this occurs, the injury victim has the right to file a premises liability suit against the owner of the property.
- Rape and Assault. Certain types of facilities are more prone to crime, such as bars, hotels, apartment complexes, and parking garages. It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep the area safe. Despite the likelihood of crime, many of these property owners fail to hire competent security guards or put other measures in place to protect citizens of Georgia. Property owners may become liable if a patron is assaulted in their building or parking lot.
Common Injuries That Occur
Just like car accidents and other incidents, premises liability injuries can range from minor to very severe. While some people may walk away with just a few scrapes or bruises from a slip-and-fall or some slight swelling from a dog bite, not everyone is so lucky. Some of the most common injuries that occur with premises liability suits include:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Electric shocks
- Broken bones
Compensation in Premises Liability Cases
Even minor accidents can result in significant injuries that require long-term care and time off of work for recovery. When injuries occur due to someone else’s negligence, you should not be responsible for any financial consequences the accident has. With the help of our experienced personal injury lawyer at Lamar Law Office, you can rest easy knowing that we are fighting for your rights.
Damages in premises liability cases may result in compensation for lost wages due to an inability to work, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and in some instances property damage. In the accident resulted in a death, family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral costs and other damages.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer
Premises liability is considered a form of negligence and often occurs when a property owner is inattentive or reckless. As premises liability claims can take on many forms, it can be increasingly difficult to navigate these legal cases. Fortunately, Lamar Law Office is here to help. If you or a loved one has sustained injury due to an unsafe or hazardous property caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Lamar Law Office is ready to take your call and provide you with the legal care you need. Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.