Were you injured while on someone else’s property? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact Hasner Law today for a free consultation. Our Atlanta premises liability lawyers have experience handling personal injury claims and will fight to get you the results you deserve.
How Can an Atlanta Premises Liability Attorney Help Me After an Injury?
Our firm has extensive experience investigating these types of claims. We will determine which parties may be liable, and what evidence and witnesses will be required to build your case. We will compute the value of your claim, contact the necessary experts, and negotiate with insurance companies.
Keep in mind that an insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. Their priority is to resolve the matter as quickly and cheaply as possible. Our firm has extensive experience with these companies and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We will also advise you when it would be advantageous to settle. If necessary, we are prepared to file a premises liability lawsuit and take your case to trial.
Interested in learning more? Call our Atlanta personal injury lawyers to schedule a time to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for legal assistance today.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
The term “premises liability” often comes up in reference to lawsuits involving a business owner or landowner. At its core, this is a form of legal responsibility that requires someone to take certain steps to maintain their property so that it is safe for visitors. If the owner fails to do so, and you are injured as a result, you might have a legal claim.
At Hasner Law, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers represent clients who have been injured in premises liability cases involving:
- A slip and fall
- Tripping on an uneven surface
- Being hit by falling objects
- Defective stairs and railings
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals or toxic materials – like mold or lead paint
- Inadequate security
- Accidental drowning in public pools, or
- Falling or misplaced merchandise that causes injury.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property in Atlanta, our premises liability lawyers can help you file a claim and demand compensation. Give our law offices a call to schedule a free initial case assessment today.
We Handle All Premises Liability Injury Cases in Atlanta
Keep in mind that injuries even from minor falls can have serious consequences. The most common types of injuries we see are:
- Broken bones
- Animal bites
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head and neck injuries
- Animal bites
- Torn ligaments, and
- Cuts and bruises.
If an accident is fatal, we can also help family members pursue damages through a wrongful death claim.
Property Owner Responsibilities in Atlanta
An important thing to note is that the requirements for a successful premises liability claim depend largely on why you were on the property in the first place. The most common type of lawsuit we see involves a customer suing the owner of business open to the public. Note that customers are referred to as “invitees” under Georgia law.
Responsibilities of Business Owners to Customers
Now, an owner is required to provide the highest standard of care to all invitees. Specifically, he or she must take reasonable steps to keep the premises, parking lots, and entrances to the property safe. This requires certain measures to be undertaken such as regularly inspecting the premises, remedying existing hazards, and warning customers about any hazards that can’t be fixed.
Standard of Care for Social Guests
By contrast, there is a lower standard of care that applies if you are visiting someone’s house as a social guest. In this instance, you are considered a “licensee,” and an owner is not required to fix any potentially dangerous conditions. Instead, he or she will only be held liable for injuries that are the result of willful or wanton behavior. But, note that an owner or occupier must warn a licensee about hidden dangers on the premises.
For example, if you were visiting a friend and you weren’t warned about a nonobvious ditch on the property, you may have a case if you fell into the hole and were injured. However, if there is a broken window and you can clearly see glass everywhere, you would not be able to sue the owner for injuries even if he or she could have made repairs or swept the area.
Bear in mind that the reason a person is on the property is not always clear. For example, someone may be your friend visiting for lunch, but also interested in buying antiques from you. These types of cases can be complicated, so it can be helpful to reach out to an attorney for help answering any questions you may have.
Responsibilities to Trespassers
Finally, there is a much lower duty of care owed to those that are on the premises without the owner’s permission. These individuals are referred to as trespassers and the owner is not required to warn about hidden dangers on the property.
However, an owner will be held liable for injuries that are the result of any willful or reckless action. For example, if you set up traps on the property that cause injury to people walking across your land, you would be liable for any harm that these cause.
Premises Liability Cases Involving Children
It’s important to note that there is a different standard that applies to trespassers that are children. In these situations, an owner may be held liable for injuries the youth sustained if the following five conditions are present:
- The owner knew or should have known that children trespass on the property
- The owner knew or should have known that there was a hazardous condition likely to cause serious injury or death to kids
- The trespassing child was not aware of the dangerous condition because of his or her youth; or the child didn’t understand the extent of the danger
- The burden of fixing the condition was minor compared to risk of injury, or
- The owner did not exercise reasonable care in removing the condition.
A common example that meets these conditions would be an owner that fails to put up a fence around a pool. If a neighbor kid that has been known to sneak onto the property does so and then jumps into the swimming pool and drowns, the owner could be held liable. This is known as an attractive nuisance.
Note that these rules only apply to children that are considered trespassers. In other words, if the kids are guests of the owner, the rules regarding licensees would apply instead.
How to Prove a Premises Liability Case
With that in mind, in order for you to bring a successful premises liability claim, you must have evidence that all of the following occurred:
- The person responsible owned, leased, or lived on the property – this sometimes requires an investigation into who owned the business and the building
- The property had a dangerous condition
- The property owner was negligent in maintaining the property – meaning he or she did not fix the hazardous condition or warn you when required to do so
- You were owed a duty of care based on being either a customer, guest, or trespasser
- The dangerous condition caused you injury injury, and
- You suffered harm entitling you to damages – this requires documentation such as medical bills and expert witnesses.
The Atlanta premises liability lawyers at Hasner Law have more than 80 years of experience handling these types of injury cases. If you’ve been injured, we’ll put our experience to work for you. We’ll investigate your accident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, consult with experts, and do anything else that’s necessary to build a strong case on your behalf.
Compensation Available for Premises Liability Cases
Now, if you can show that someone was responsible for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. In these cases, there are often monetary damages that account for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. Your award would likely take these amounts into account, and they are fairly straightforward to calculate.
However, there are also non-monetary damages that can also be awarded. These are meant to cover things such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. They are difficult to place a dollar figure on, so these damages are typically negotiated in settlement talks or decided by a jury after a trial.
In situations where the injury resulted in death, relatives of a deceased person may be able to pursue what is known as a wrongful death claim. A family member would be entitled to the same compensation mentioned above, plus additional amounts to cover funeral and burial expenses, lost income the person would have earned in his or her lifetime, and loss of care and companionship.
Further, sometimes the actions of a landowner are so egregious that the injured person can pursue what are known as punitive damages. These are amounts above and beyond ordinary damages and are meant to punish the wrongdoer for willful misconduct or malice.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into determining the appropriate amount of compensation for a victim in premises liability cases. Arriving at these figures often requires the use of experts, which means an in-depth review of the facts and the law. For that reason, don’t feel pressured to settle your case with an insurance company until you speak with an attorney.
Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Lawsuits in Georgia
This is known as the statute of limitations and it can prevent you from bringing your claim. However, even if you believe that your case has missed the deadline, feel free to contact us anyway. There may be an exception that applies.
Even if you are not in danger of missing the deadline, there are benefits to pursuing your claim as soon as possible. This is because as time passes evidence becomes more difficult to track down and the memory of witnesses begins to fade.
Contact Our Atlanta Premises Liability Attorneys Today
Did you get hurt on someone else’s property in Fulton County? Call Hasner Law to learn about your legal rights. If you’re entitled to compensation, our skilled Atlanta premises liability lawyers will fight to maximize your recovery. Your first consultation is free, so call to get started today.