Whether it occurs at a retail store, in a private residence, or even at a public park, injuries on property owned or managed by someone else can serve as grounds for civil litigation in many situations. However, there are numerous conditions and regulations applicable to these sorts of civil claims that do not impact other kinds of personal injury cases.
If you want to maximize your chances of a positive case resolution, seeking help from an Atlanta premises liability lawyer may be essential. A seasoned personal injury attorney could help you understand how state law addresses property liability and work tirelessly to pursue compensation for every injury and loss a property owner’s negligence caused you to suffer.
Proving the existence and subsequent violation of a duty of care is one of the central concepts in personal injury law. In premises liability cases, however, the duty of care a property owner or manager owes a visitor on their hand can vary significantly depending on the visitor’s reasons for being present on that property.
Property owners in Atlanta owe the highest duty of care to visitors classified as invitees, which include retail shoppers and other such individuals entering property for the benefit of that property’s owner. According to Official Code of Georgia §51-3-1, property owners must use ordinary care to ensure their premises are safe for invitees.
Conversely, O.C.G.A. §51-3-2 establishes a much looser duty of care for licensees, to whom property owners must only avoid causing willful or wanton injury. As defined by this statute, licensees are property visitors who are legally present on the property in question for their own purposes and have no contractual relationship with the property’s owner.
Under O.C.G.A. §51-3-3, property owners likewise must only refrain from intentionally harming trespassers who are on their property illegally, and otherwise owe them no duty of care. A qualified Atlanta property liability attorney could help the injured person identify how they may be classified as a property visitor and what that classification could mean for their chances of recovery.
If they are eligible to file suit and can successfully prove liability on the part of a property owner, an injured individual could seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages under Georgia property liability law. Recoverable economic damages typically center around past and future medical bills and any loss of income stemming from a severe physical injury, whereas non-economic damages may cover loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain and suffering, and any effects related to a permanent disfigurement or disability.
Like all personal injury cases, though, premises liability claims are subject to a two-year statutory filing deadline under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33. If a potential plaintiff in Atlanta—or the premises liability lawyer representing them—does not file suit within two years of when their injury occurs, they may be ineligible to receive any compensation at all for that particular incident.
Holding a property owner liable for injuries sustained due to a hazard on their property can be a difficult and complex endeavor in the state of Georgia. Until you were on someone else’s property in order to benefit the owner financially, you may have trouble recovering compensation unless you can prove a property knowingly and intentionally created the hazard that injured you.
A conversation with a skilled Atlanta premises liability lawyer could clear up any questions you have about your potential case and get you on the right track towards a beneficial claim resolution. To start discussing your legal options, call today to set up a consultation.