Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their property is hazard-free. The law calls this duty of care “premise liability.” Property owners or managers might be responsible for paying costs related to injuries that occur on their land.
A fall or trip from a property hazard can cause physical harm and a financial burden. The cost for an ambulance, initial care, and ongoing treatment can be high, especially if the injury hinders your ability to earn an income.
You might be able to pursue compensation for your losses and damages if your injury was the result of someone’s negligence. If you want the help of a premises liability injury lawyer in Decatur, Georgia, call S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838.
What Premise Liability Means
Georgia law requires owners and property managers to keep their grounds free from unsafe conditions. They must take reasonable action to decrease the risk of harm by removing hazards and warning visitors of potential dangers. Premise incidents can include:
- Animal bites and attacks
- Slip and falls
- Faulty stairs and handrails
- Assault and battery
- Fallen objects
- Structural defects
They have a duty of care to those who are on their property. However, the level of responsibility depends on the person and why they are on the property.
Invitees are people that owners or occupiers invited onto their property. In law, the owner could express an invitation directly, such as a verbal or written invitation, or implied, like an hours-of-operation sign on a business’ door. Invitees can be friends, customers, hotel guests, and ticket holders for amusement parks, concerts, and other entertainment venues. Owners are liable for injuries if they did not exercise the standard care and safety of their premises.
Licensees are people owners did not invite but have their permission to be on the property for the licensees’ benefit only. They are not an invitee, but they are not trespassing. Licensees can include a utility worker or a delivery person. Georgia law states that owners are only responsible for willful or wanton injuries of licensees. Willful and wanton injuries are deliberate, such as if the owner intentionally hurt a licensee through violence. Owners must also inform licensees of hazards, such as through warning signs.
Trespassers do not have the legal right or owner’s permission to be on the property. While owners do not have to inspect for property hazards or warn trespassers of dangers, they still have a legal obligation to refrain from causing injury. For example, owners cannot set up traps for burglars.
Responsibility for Injuries
Owners, managers, and occupants might deny their liability. Even if the law states they have a responsibility, your legal team must prove that it was their actions or inactions that caused the injury. For instance, a store manager might claim your accident was:
- Not due to a hazard
- Not due to their neglect
- Exclusively your fault
- Done on purpose
Evidence like pictures, videos, and eyewitness statements of the accident can strengthen your claim. Medical records, police and accident reports, and other documentation can also be beneficial.
A premises liability injury lawyer in Decatur, Georgia from S. Burke Law can review your claim if you are unsure of your legal rights. We can investigate your case to identify the liable party. We can collect the evidence needed to prove responsibility and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838.
Compensation from Premises Liability Suits
In Georgia, you have two years from the day of the injury to file for compensation. The amount you request should include all of your losses related to the incident. Damages and losses can include the following:
- Medical bills – Even with health insurance, medical bills for sudden injuries can put a financial strain on a household. An injury can also require ongoing treatments, medication, and medical devices on the road to recovery. Copies of your healthcare expenses show an accountable loss you suffered from the injury.
- Lost wages – A broken bone or torn ligament can take weeks to months to heal. If your injury keeps you from earning an income, you can demand reimbursement for missed paychecks.
- Future lost or reduced income – A serious injury can affect your ability to return to your profession or earn wages. You can request compensation if your mobility, cognitive abilities, or other impairment will hinder your prospective earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – You can pursue financial payment for the physical pain, emotional anguish, and mental trauma you and your family experienced as a result of the incident. Pain and suffering is a legal concept that recognizes financial compensation for non-economic damages.
Property owners, particularly business and homeowners, have insurance to cover their financial liability. While the owner might be legally responsible for your damages, their insurance provider is likely the party that pays your award.
Insurance companies have representatives whose jobs are to reduce or deny claims. They do not have your best interests in mind. They might try to reject the compensation request or offer an amount lower than you deserve. We can negotiate a fair amount of compensation for you.
How We Can Help
We can negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf. We will fight for the highest compensation amount possible. Our team can investigate your case and collect evidence that strengthens your claim. We are with you from beginning to end, from filing an insurance claim to negotiations to a lawsuit in court.
If the insurance company does not agree with your settlement amount, we can pursue the claim in court. We put our resources to work for you, so you can recover from your accident.
If you want to seek compensation for injuries suffered because of someone’s neglect, our team can help you get started and fight on your side. Call S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838 to see if a premises liability injury lawyer in Decatur, Georgia can help you with your case.