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Anatomy of Premises Liability Accident

Premises liability lawsuits happen when someone has been injured or killed while they were on or near property owned or controlled by another person or business. Whether the individual who owned the property was a landlord, homeowner, retailer, business franchise, government entity, or property manager, a person may sue based on the negligence of someone who was responsible for managing the safety of the area.

Dangerous conditions can happen in any area that isn’t properly maintained. For example, if the floor is weak in particular areas of a person’s house, they are putting themselves at risk if, one day, their foot falls through the floorboards and into the space beneath. As a homeowner, it’s their decision whether or not they want to risk an injury. However, if they invite someone over, and that person ends up breaking an ankle because of the weak floor, the person could sue.

As an owner or occupier or property, you are responsible for making sure everyone there is safe or appropriately warned of potential hazards. In a grocery store, the owner would be responsible for ensuring his or her staff promptly cleans up spills when they happen. If cleaning the spill is impossible at that moment, someone should at least post a sign warning other customers of the potential slip-and-fall hazard.

According to Georgia law, those who are considered to exercise reasonable care to keep their property safe for any “invitee” while they are approaching, exiting, or present on the premises, have a duty to keep the property safe for guests. Georgia statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 states if someone leads others onto his or her property for any lawful purpose, he or she is “liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” This law doesn’t apply to those there illegally. For example, a burglar who slips and falls in a person’s home cannot sue the homeowner for any injuries sustained during the burglary because the burglar is not an invitee.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, you are an invitee, and the owner had a duty to keep you safe from any harm, you might be able to pursue a liability case. Pursuing a case involves filing a claim with the owner’s insurance company or suing them in civil court to compensate you for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages.

If the injury you sustained was egregious, and the responsible party was criminally negligent, the court might also award you punitive damages, or additional penalties against the responsible party designed to prevent them from repeating the same mistake.

Some injuries that people can sustain in an average premises liability accident include some of the following:

If you think you have a good case, or you would like to discuss your situation with an experienced Atlanta premises liability attorney, give us a call. Pratt Clay, LLC is known for its skilled advocates and excellent service. Our goal is to do what is best for our clients, and we are dedicated to helping the victims of negligence seek compensation for their injuries. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (404) 998-5258 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review with us today. We look forward to speaking with you.