Property owners and lessees owe visitors a safe experience. When landowners and business operators fail to maintain safe conditions and a visitor gets hurt, they can be held legally accountable under premises liability laws. If you were hurt on someone else’s unreasonably dangerous property, you might have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
It is crucial to speak with a local injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident on hazardous property. A DeKalb County premises liability lawyer at Robert James Trial Attorneys could help you determine whether you have a viable lawsuit and pursue the compensation you deserve.
A Visitor’s Reason for Being on Property Affects an Owner’s Liability
A property owner—or someone who leases the premises and controls access to it—is liable for injuries that occur on their grounds if they act negligently. However, a landowner’s legal obligation to visitors depends on why the guest was on the property in the first place.
Customers and prospective customers are legally classified as “invitees.” Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. When you are injured as an invitee, you will need to establish that a hazardous condition caused your injury and that the owner did not provide a warning or prevent you from encountering the dangerous condition.
If you were visiting a friend when you were injured, you were a licensee. Property owners must warn licensees of hidden hazards. Property owners have no duty to ensure the safety of trespassers. A DeKalb County premises liability attorney could help you determine what your legal status was at the time of your injury and pursue the compensation you deserve from the at-fault property owner.
Accidents That Could Spur a Premises Liability Claim
When most people think about suing a property owner for an injury, they often think about slip and fall accidents. Experienced attorney Robert James does handle these cases, but many other incidents could form the basis of a premises liability lawsuit.
An owner could be liable if the materials used in constructing or decorating a property are hazardous or emit toxins, resulting in a medical condition. Fires and explosions could lead to premises liability. Structural problems like roof or ceiling collapse, windows that shatter when they break, or inadequate railings that allow a child to fall from a balcony could lead to a premises liability claim if they cause an injury.
An injury inflicted by a pet could support a premises liability claim. Elevator and escalator accidents often lead to premises liability lawsuits. Swimming pool accidents, injuries sustained in an accident at a recreational facility, and injuries resulting from a crime all could form the basis of a premises liability lawsuit.
Seek Advice From an Attorney Soon After the Accident
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 9-3-33 allows a claimant two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages. If the injured person is a child, they have two years from their 18th birthday to file suit. However, in many cases, it is advantageous for a parent to file suit on the child’s behalf rather than wait for the child to reach legal age.
Premises liability sometimes implicates the state or a local government. If your injury happened in a county courthouse, a state office building, or any other publicly owned property, a government could be a defendant in your premises liability lawsuit. If your potential claim is against State or a County Government , you have only one year to file a written notice of claim and preserve your right to take the government to court. If your potential claim is against a City or a Municipal Government you have only 180 days to file a written notice of claim and preserve your right to take the government to court.
A DeKalb County premises liability attorney is familiar with the applicable time limits and the exceptions to them. They could file all paperwork timely and ensure you do not lose your right to sue because of a procedural oversight.
Discuss Your Options with a DeKalb County Premises Liability Attorney
If you were hurt on another party’s property, the owner might be liable for your damages. Consult a DeKalb County premises liability lawyer as quickly as possible after the accident to review your legal options.
Our team at Robert James Trial Attorneys could assert your claim with the property owner. If they are not responsive or do not offer an appropriate sum to settle your case, we are not afraid to take them to court. Schedule your free consultation today to get started.