What Is Premises Liability?

 

Premises liability is part of Georgia’s tort law that holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their property. Specifically, premises liability outlines a property owner’s responsibilities when guests are on their premises.

Georgia’s Premises Liability Statute

Georgia’s premises liability statute allows claimants to hold property owners liable if they suffer injuries on their property.

The statute states: “Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”

If you or a loved one suffered an injury on someone else’s property, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our firm has dedicated itself to representing the citizens of Atlanta in personal injury cases. We offer free consultations in which we examine the details of your case and provide honest advice. Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.

Duty of Care in Premises Liability Claims

Duty of care is a crucial component of Georgia’s premises liability laws. A duty of care outlines the legal basis for negligence in premises liability cases. The duty of care requires property owners to maintain safe conditions on their property to the best of their ability. And it also requires them to notify guests of any potential hazards on the premises.

Like most personal injury cases, premises liability claims require the claimant to prove negligence. If you bring your case to S. Burke Law, we will work to prove the following to establish the property owner’s negligence:

  • The property owner knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
  • The property owner’s negligence is the reason your accident occurred.
  • The property owner did not notify guests of the present danger or hazard.
  • There is a direct connection between the hazardous condition present and your injury.

While establishing the above points aids in ultimately winning your premises liability claim, it is not the only consideration. An essential factor in premises liability claims is why the injured party was on the property. This matters because while duty of care requires property owners to maintain safe conditions, this duty does not apply to everyone that steps foot on a piece of property.

Types of Visitors on a Property

Visitors use a property for a variety of reasons. And the reason you are on another party’s property factors heavily into premises liability and the duty a property owner has to you. Georgia recognizes three types of visitors to a piece of property:

  • Invitees
  • Licensees
  • Trespassers

Invitees in Premises Liability Cases

Like the name suggests, invitees are guests the property owner invited onto the property. Invitees might include:

  • Shoppers at a store
  • A contractor or repairman on the property

Licensees in Premises Liability Cases

Licensees are also welcome on the property, but they differ from invitees in how and why they are there.

Licensees use the property but do not provide any financial benefits to the property owner. An example of this would if you were at a mall “window shopping” rather than buying a product. Though licensees are welcome on the property, the property owner did not extend an explicit invitation onto the property. So, the standard duty of care is lower for licensees than invitees. Georgia requires property owners to be wantonly negligent to be liable for a licensee’s accident.

Trespassers in Premises Liability Cases

Trespassers are people the owner did not invite onto the property. Because they are not welcome on the property, property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers.

However, property owners cannot willfully injure a trespasser (e.g., a homeowner cannot set a trap for someone he knows trespasses on his property).

Attractive Nuisances

The only case in which property owners do hold liability for trespassers is if there is an attractive nuisance on the property. Attractive nuisances are objects like swimming pools and abandoned appliances that might attract children who do not understand the dangers of trespassing on someone else’s property.

Call an Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer

No one expects to suffer an injury while going through their usual day-to-day routine. But unfortunately, it happens more often than we think. That is why our firm takes on the task of representing Atlanta’s personal injury victims. If you or a loved one suffered an injury on someone else’s property, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our free consultations give you an opportunity to gather the information you need before filing a claim.

Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation to learn more about how a premises liability lawyer can help you.