Owners and operators of commercial, private, and public property have a legal duty to visitors to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. If a negligent property owner allows a hazard to remain on their premises, guests could suffer serious injuries. Fortunately, Georgia law allows injured visitors to take legal action against negligent property owners in many instances.
If you or a loved one was injured while on another person’s property, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. An Atlanta premises liability lawyer could help you understand your legal options.
Common Types of Property Hazards in Atlanta
There are many types of hazards that could lead to accidents on another’s property. Some of the most common issues include:
- Trip hazards such as unmarked curbs;
- Steps that fail to comply with applicable building and safety codes
- Inadequately or broken railings on decks and other raised surfaces
- Loose brick, tiles, or stairs
- Inadequate lighting
- Non-functioning smoke or carbon monoxide detectors
- Gas leaks or other fire hazards
Any unsafe situation that results in injury to a lawful visitor could result in a personal injury claim. A knowledgeable lawyer could help injured parties determine whether they have a valid premises liability case.
Property Owners’ Duty to Visitors
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-3-1 states that property owners and occupiers are responsible for keeping invitees on their premises safe. An invitee is an individual whom the property owner invites explicitly onto the property or is otherwise welcome. Invitees include customers during business hours, employees, guests, contractors, and any other person an owner or manager expressly or implicitly invites onto the property. If an invitee suffers an injury due to a hazard on the property, the owner or occupier may face liability.
However, it is important to note that not all visitors on a property are owed the same level of care. Property owners owe a slightly lower duty of care to licensees than invitees. Trespassers, who are on a property without permission, are owed the least amount of care. A property accident lawyer in Atlanta could help injured parties determine their visitor classification.
Gathering Evidence in Premises Liability Cases
The laws surrounding premises liability cases are complex, and many property owners and insurance companies attempt to blame the injured party for the accident. Consequently, it is crucial to work with a seasoned lawyer to gather evidence before negotiating with insurance company adjusters or filing a lawsuit.
Valuable pieces of evidence in a premises liability case may include:
- Surveillance video
- Photos of the hazard in question
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- Medical bills
A dedicated attorney could help an injured party gather and analyze all relevant evidence in a premises liability case. Additionally, a lawyer could use that information to build a comprehensive claim against the other party.
A Premises Liability Attorney in Atlanta Could Help Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Any injury you suffer due to the carelessness or negligence of a property owner could cause significant life changes. Severe injuries may lead to high medical bills, and you may become unable to work. If your injuries are permanent, you may even require in-home care or assistance to manage daily tasks.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries because a property owner or manager failed to maintain their property, please contact us today. An Atlanta premises liability lawyer could help you pursue a legal claim and obtain compensation.