Premises liability is the responsibility property owners, managers, and occupants have for guests, customers, and other people who step foot on their property. The law requires them to ensure that their premises are free of hazards and warn others if it is not. For example, if they place a wet floor sign after mopping, that is considered a warning. 

The owner might be legally and financially responsible for the consequences of failing to carry out their obligation to reduce the risk of harm. If you had an accident because of a safety issue on someone’s property, they might be liable for covering your medical bills and other losses you suffered. 

If you want the help of a premises liability injury lawyer in Riverdale, Georgia, because of an injury, contact S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838 for a free consultation. 

Premises Liability Claims

Owners, managers, and occupants—like renters—must keep their property reasonably safe. They must take reasonable care to prevent their guests and others from harm. If the property has dangerous conditions, the owner must fix the problem and warn people of the risks. 

Successful premises liability lawsuits need to prove the following four factors:

  • The property had a dangerous or hazardous condition.
  • The owner, manager, or occupants knew of the problem or should have been aware.
  • The party did not remove or fix the hazard, or they did not protect or warn you.
  • The property hazard caused injuries or death.

The property might be private—such as a home, apartment, or other residences—or public, like businesses, municipal spaces, and commercial retailers. Below are a few examples:

  • Private property: A friend invites you over for a party. While at their home, their dog bites your leg. Your friend might be responsible for paying your medical bills if you did not provoke the animal.
  • Public property: You and your family are visiting your local park for the afternoon. You try to sit on a bench, but it breaks as you take your seat, causing you to injure your tailbone. The local government might be liable to compensate you for your accident. 
  • Commercial property: While shopping at your local retailer for some goods, you touch a metal shelf and get an electrical shock. Some exposed electrical wiring touching the shelf conducted the shock. The manager or business owner might be the party who covers your losses. 

No matter where your injury occurred or how it happened, S. Burke Law can help you get started. Our legal team can review your claim and investigate your situation to determine the liable party. Contact us at S. Burke Law at (404) 842-7838 for a free consultation.

Responsibility of Care

While owners have a duty to keep their property free of hazards, they are not fiscally responsible for all injuries that occur. Georgia law considers the relationship between the owner, property, and injured party. 

According to O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1, property managers, owners, and occupants are responsible for losses that occurred because they failed to protect their invitees. The state considers you an invitee if the owner directly invited you to the premises or implied an invitation. An invitation could be verbal or written, such as a “Come on in” greeting or an “Open” sign on a business.

Owners are only liable for willful or wanton injuries if you are a licensee or trespasser. A trespasser does not have the owner’s permission or the legal right to be on the premises. Trespassers are on the property for their benefit or interest, not for the owner’s benefit. 

A licensee is between an invitee and a trespasser. Licensees do not have an invitation but permission to be on the premises. They are on the property for their self-interests, not for the owner’s advantage. Utility workers, unexpected friends, and delivery persons are examples of licensees.

Owners cannot purposely harm a licensee or trespasser, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-3-3. For example, an owner would not be liable for your medical bills if you hurt yourself while breaking into their home. However, the occupant might be responsible if they set a dangerous trap for anyone who walked onto the premises. 

What to Expect from a Premises Liability Claim

After you receive treatment for your injury, you might wonder about the steps for collection compensation. You should first consider contacting a premises liability injury lawyer in Riverdale, Georgia, who can be with you from the start to the end of your case. Just because you have the legal right to a financial reward does not mean the liable party is eager to pay what they owe.

Georgia generally gives you two years to start the legal process of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. To file for your financial reimbursement, the team at S. Burke Law can:

  • Identify the responsible party.
  • Collect proof of the owner’s action or inaction to protect you from harm.
  • Illustrate the extent of your injuries and the losses you suffered because of the incident.
  • Help you determine a figure that covers your related losses. 

In most cases, we deal with the owners’ insurance company. Insurance companies use adjusters to evaluate, deny, or reduce claims. Insurance companies are like any other business. They are for-profit organizations that have their eye on profit margins, not your best interests. 

Before establishing her law firm, Sheryl L. Burke, an active premises liability injury lawyer in Riverdale, Georgia, was an insurance adjuster. She is familiar with the tactics that representatives use to avoid paying all or some of the claim’s award. The team at S. Burke Law will fight for the highest compensation possible for your case. If we cannot reach an agreed-upon settlement, we can take the liable party to court on your behalf. 

Premises liability claims can be difficult when insurance representatives use every word you say against you. Get an insider to fight on your side from beginning to end. Contact us to start your pursuit for compensation for your injury by calling (404) 842-7838.