When you suffer an injury on someone's property, you may have to undergo surgery or other medical treatments and you'll likely face a stack of medical bills. Recovering from your injuries can be time-consuming and may take you away from work leading to lost wages. You may be wondering whether you or the property owner will be responsible for all the expenses.
Turn to one of the Alpharetta premises liability lawyers at the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group to help you or a loved one who has been injured in an accident on someone else's property. A compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney understands the uphill battle you face.
We are trained to evaluate Alpharetta premises liability cases, and we can help you hold the property owner responsible and recover compensation according to the law. Whether you bring an insurance claim or file a personal injury case for damages, one of our seasoned liability attorneys could assist you in seeking the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases in Alpharetta
An Alpharetta premises liability case usually focuses on a legal theory known as negligence. A property owner or manager can be liable for negligence when they fail to maintain their premises or warn visitors about hazards on their property that lead to injuries. Common types of premises liability cases include injuries stemming from:
- Faulty escalators or elevators
- Balcony, deck, or stairwell hazards
- Flooring issues
- Improperly or poorly lit passages
- Wet or slick floors
- Construction hazards
- Industrial site dangers
- Inadequate ventilation or fire prevention
State Law Governing Premises Liability - When Can a Property Owner be Held Responsible?
State law establishes three classes of visitors and the legal duty owed by landowners to each. The initial legal issue for premises liability lawyers is whether the injured person is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on the property at the time they sustained injuries.
Georgia Code §51-3-1 provides that an owner must protect invitees (people on their property by express or implicit invitation for lawful purposes) from harm. An injured person, also known as a plaintiff or claimant, will prevail in a civil lawsuit for damages if they can prove negligence on the part of the landowner.
For example, if property owners fail to exercise ordinary care by allowing a dangerous condition to persist on their premises, and the invitee does not know about the hazardous condition or was not warned, the owners can be found negligent and responsible for the victim's financial losses.
Legal questions, such as whether the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition, can doom a plaintiff’s case. Experienced Alpharetta premises liability lawyers can help by using relevant evidence to present a strategic case that avoids such pitfalls.
The second class of visitors is licensees. Under Ga. Code §51-3-2, this person is not a customer, client, or trespasser, they have no contractual relationship with the landowner, but they are allowed on the property for their own interests or benefit.
A landowner must ensure against wanton or willful injury to licensees. For example, if a licensee, perhaps a sub-contractor, enters a construction site and is injured by a construction hazard that violates the building code, the landowner is presumed to have notice of the danger and may be held liable for the resultant injuries.
The third category of visitors is trespassers. Trespassers are people who enter land unlawfully or without the owner's permission. Generally, the only duty a landowner owes to trespassers is to avoid willful or reckless injury.
What Kind of Injuries Can Occur When Someone Else's Property is Unsafe?
Injuries vary greatly depending on the reason for them; however, they can include broken bones, head trauma, back trauma, and torn muscles. Slip and fall injuries on slippery, wet, or icy surfaces can cause these injuries, as can assorted falling objects like gutters or other roofing debris. Burn injuries and electrocutions can occur from unsafe electrical features, such as hanging live wires.
If the unsafe premises are due to dangerous canines, injuries can include scratches, puncture wounds, and even organ damage. Wounds can also become infected and might require amputation without immediate medical attention.
Following an accident, it is best to speak to an Alpharetta premises liability attorney to determine whether you can bring a claim against the property owner's insurance company or if a premises liability lawsuit is an option.
If an Injury Occurs on Someone Else's Property, But There Was Visible Signage, is the Owner Still Liable?
Property owners who do not fix or correct dangerous premises but erect signage are generally not liable for invitee or licensee injuries. By placing warning signs that detail the unsafe area, property owners absolve themselves from liability if the plaintiff ignores the warning.
If a plaintiff had reason to believe the premises were unsafe because of the warning sign but risked injuries anyway, they subsequently could not request damages unless they could prove the sign did not exist at the time of the accident. Photos of the scene may provide solid evidence in this scenario. Plaintiffs can also ask for damages if they can prove the sign was unclear or not visible from various angles.
What Losses Can a Liability Lawyer Request After Premises Liability Accidents?
If you can prove who was at fault for your accident and related injuries, you can request compensation for two main types of losses:
- Economic damages include out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, related medical expenses such as physical therapy, lost wages, future medical costs, future lost wages, and other damages you can document and link to your accident.
- Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are more difficult to prove because you cannot produce a receipt or document to show the compensation you deserve. These losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of family relationships, and more.
You may also be eligible for punitive damages depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your injury and the legal action you take. A premises liability lawyer can explain whether you can request punitive damages in your premises liability case.
Schedule a Consultation with an Alpharetta Premises Liability Attorney at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group Today
Your injuries may keep you from enjoying a normal life, going to work, and being a contributing member of your family. During a free consultation, you will learn how you can get your life back on track and recover the compensation you deserve.
Though nothing can turn back the hands of time, legal counsel could help you seek recovery of your medical expenditures, lost income, and compensation for your pain and suffering. Reach out online or call (470) 465-7825 for a free case review with a dedicated Alpharetta premises liability lawyer at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group to get started on your financial recovery today.