When you get hurt on someone else’s property, the owner may be responsible for your injuries. Whether they are liable depends on two things: how you were injured, and why you were there. If you had permission to be on the property and the injury occurred due to the owner’s negligence, a local personal injury attorney could help you hold them responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Reach out to connect with a Doraville premises liability lawyer. Our compassionate team is ready to examine the facts of your unique case and advise you about your next steps.
Elements of a Premises Liability Case
It is not enough to just be hurt on someone else’s property. An injured person must demonstrate that the accident stemmed from someone else’s negligent actions or inactions. They must also show that they had a right to be there and were not trespassing.
To establish negligence, an injured person must prove:
- A duty of care existed
- The property owner breached that duty
- This failure caused an otherwise unavoidable accident
- The accident resulted in injuries and losses
Some of the most common examples of negligence that often results in injury claims include slippery floors, inadequate security, animal bites, and poorly maintained property conditions. A Doraville premises liability attorney could review the details of an incident to determine its cause and gather evidence to show who is at fault.
Property Owners and Duty of Care
Generally, property owners and caretakers have a duty to ensure the safety of anyone who comes onto their property. This duty varies from state to state; some states even extend the duty to trespassers. However, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-3-1 clarifies that Georgia property owners only have a reasonable duty to keep their property safe for invitees.
The term can be misleading, as it makes people think of invitations. While owners clearly invite social guests, the legal definition is broader: invitees are people who are lawfully on a property with the owner’s permission. That permission can be expressed or implied. For example, houseguests have express permission, while people who must enter the property to do their jobs—such as delivery people or repair technicians—have implied permission.
If a person is an invitee, the property owner or caretaker has a duty to ensure the property is safe for them. An attorney in Doraville could help explain the relationship between premises liability and invitees in more detail to help an injured person determine whether they have a viable claim.
Property Conditions and Premises Liability
Another issue to consider is whether the property conditions were truly unsafe. While this may seem straightforward, not every hazardous condition will qualify. Instead, the court must consider whether the person responsible for the property acted like any “reasonable” person would have in the same circumstances.
For example, if a person who has a hole in the floor of their home covers the hole with a rug and invites guests over for a party, that is careless and unreasonable. The property owner would be negligent if a guest fell in the hole and got injured. However, if the same property owner invited a repairman over to fix the hole, showed them the location, and warned everyone about it, they might not be legally responsible.
A Doraville lawyer needs to closely examine all circumstances when looking at a premises liability case. It is not enough to show that the unsafe condition caused the injury; the injured person must show that the property owner was negligent towards them.
Contact a Doraville Premises Liability Attorney
Since property owners and caretakers have differing obligations to various types of visitors, Georgia premises liability claims can be very complex. To determine whether you have a potential claim, schedule a consultation with a Doraville premises liability lawyer from our firm. Our extensive trial experience and compassionate client care set us apart from the crowd.