If you were injured at work on the property of someone who was not your employer, you might be able to sue that property owner. Most of the time, the law requires you to prove the landowner was negligent. If the property owner engaged in what the law calls inherently dangerous activities, they can be responsible for the harm you suffered regardless of how careful the owner was.
When Georgia Law Holds a Landowner Liable for Injuries to Others
As long as you were on the property legally, the landowner has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe to prevent injuries. A landowner fails to meet the legal duties if all four of these elements are present:
- There was a dangerous condition on the premises.
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The owner failed to take reasonable measures to correct the problem or warn people to prevent injury.
- Because of the first three factors, someone suffered harm.
Let’s say that you are a plumber. You work for a local plumbing company. Your boss sends you to someone’s house to fix a leak in the pipes. You have to go into the crawl space under the house to find and fix the pipes.
The homeowner knows that there are rattlesnakes under the house but does not inform you. You go into the crawl space, get bitten by a rattlesnake, and suffer permanent nerve damage that limits your ability to work and perform everyday tasks.
Let’s walk through the four elements to see if you can sue the homeowner:
- There was a dangerous condition on the premises. No one would dispute that snakes can be dangerous.
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. We know that the property owner was aware of the presence of dangerous snakes.
- The owner failed to take reasonable measures to correct the problem or warn people to prevent injury. The homeowner could have called an exterminator to remove the snakes, or at the very least, warned you before you went into the crawl space. The owner did nothing, choosing to stand by and let you go into a rattlesnake pit without warning.
- Because of the first three factors, someone suffered harm. Because of the homeowner’s negligence in failing to take reasonable measures to prevent injury, you were bitten by a rattlesnake.
This fact pattern satisfies all four facets of landowner liability. The homeowner’s negligence caused you to suffer harm. The owner will be liable for your losses.
When the Law Does Not Require Negligence for Liability
When a property owner engages in activities that the law views as inherently dangerous, the law can hold the owner liable for harm even if there was no carelessness. Construction sites, demolitions, and mining operations can fit into this category in some situations.
Let’s say that your job is to deliver pizza. You deliver pizzas to a bridge construction site when there is an explosion. The explosive for demolishing the bridge detonated earlier than scheduled, and no one knows why it happened. You suffered severe injuries from the explosion.
The workplace accident investigators cannot find any carelessness from the construction crew. If the judge decides that the bridge project was undertaking an inherently dangerous activity, the construction company could be responsible for your injuries, even though they did not make any mistakes.
Damages for a Premises Liability Injury
We can go after the liable party seeking damages for your losses if you got hurt on someone’s property while working offsite from your employer’s location. The compensation we have won for our personal injury clients includes:
- Medical expenses. Under Georgia law, you can recoup what it cost to treat your injuries, beginning with the ambulance and going through all the way to the point at which your doctor releases you from treatment. Doctors, surgery, hospitals, prescription drugs, and physical therapy are a few examples damages in this category for which you can be compensated.
- Lost income. You can get damages to replace the wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed when you were recuperating from your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. The law allows you to get compensation for the discomfort and distress you experienced.
- Diminished earning potential. If your injuries cause you to earn less money than before, you can go after the difference.
- Intangible losses. Many people suffer harm that does not come with a price tag or simple valuation, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Getting Legal Help with Your Premises Liability Claim
At S. Burke Law our passion is to help people who have suffered injuries. Let us take care of your legal matter so that you can devote your attention to getting well. We are proud to provide personal, caring service to our clients.
Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get started. We can provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.