Premises Liability Claims in Georgia

Premises Liability Claims in Georgia

What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability refers to a land or property owner’s liability for injuries and accidents that occur on their property. As it relates to personal injury cases, a person who has suffered injuries because of negligent or unsafe conditions on someone else’s property can seek to hold the property owner liable for their damages. It is important to note that only persons who were legally on the property can pursue a claim.

Georgia Premises Liability Law

Under Georgia Code § 51-3-1, owners, occupants, and employees of land or property have a duty to invitees (i.e. those on the property “by express or implied invitation”). If negligence contributes to an invitee’s injuries and accident, the owner can be held liable if they have not made a reasonable effort to keep their property or land safe.

Types of Premises Liability Cases

A wide range of accidents falls under premises liability cases. Examples of personal injury cases that are considered premises liability cases include (but are not limited to):

  • Swimming pool accidents. If someone’s pool is not fenced or has unsafe conditions, a child or unaccompanied person may suffer serious injuries in an accident.
  • Slip and fall accidents. When a person trips or slips and falls because of unsafe conditions on someone’s property, they may have a premises liability case. Negligent conditions that can lead to a slip and fall accident include wet or oily floors, loose steps or floorboards, accumulated ice or snow on the property, defective stairs, or unsecured cords or flooring.
  • Insufficient security claims. If you are injured after someone breaks in or commits a violent crime on a property, you may have a premises liability case against the property owner if they did not secure their building. Hotels, gas stations, apartment buildings, homeowners, and other property owners should take steps to secure their buildings. Whether they install cameras, a security system, better locks, lighting in parking lots, or hire security personnel, they should protect their invitees from injury while on their property.
  • Fires. If unsafe or defective conditions on the property caused a fire and you were injured in the fire, you may be able to file a premises liability against the owner.
  • Elevator/escalator accidents. If an elevator or escalator crashes, collapses, plummets and stops suddenly, or malfunctions and you are injured, you can hold the property owner liable for your damages.
  • Dog bites. If you are bitten by someone’s dog while on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them if they did not take steps to warn you about the dog or secure the dog properly.
  • Amusement Park accidents. If you were injured due to dangerous conditions at an amusement park or carnival in Georgia, you can hold the property owners liable if they breached their duty of care towards you as a patron.

Elements of a Premises Liability Cases in Georgia

For your claim to be successful, you will need to establish the following four elements.

  1. You were owed a duty of care. You will need to establish that the owner, manager, or an employee of a property or land owed you a duty of care and should have better managed or handled the unsafe conditions.
  2. That duty of care was breached. You will need to prove that the unsafe or negligent property conditions caused your injuries.
  3. You sustained damages. You need to prove that you have suffered damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, etc. In other words, it is not enough that you had an accident; if you simply slipped and fell but did not actually get hurt, you do not have a case.
  4. Your damages are the result of the breach of care/negligence. The other party’s negligence should be the cause of your injury and accident, and you will need to prove that this element is true.

Damages Available in a Georgia Premises Liability Case

If you are injured because of a property owner’s lack of care, you can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including but not limited to:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income or wages
  • Trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

You should consult with an experienced attorney to get help calculating your damages. While it may be easy to determine what economic damages you are owed as those expenses are tangible, a qualified attorney has experience calculating non-economic damages and can help ensure you have an accurate idea of what you are owed.

Georgia Contributory Negligence Laws

If you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still pursue damages in Georgia. However, if you are deemed to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover damages. If you are 1%-50% at fault, you can recover damages, but they will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were walking in high heels and the weather warned of snow and ice, you may be held 20% at fault for a slip and fall accident. Your $150,000 settlement award would then be reduced by 20%, and you would only be awarded $120,000.

Get Help with Your Premises Liability Claim

Under Georgia law, you must bring a premises liability claim forward within two years of the date of injury (see O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). After suffering injuries in a premises liability accident, you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible. The more quickly you contact our firm, the quicker we can work on maximizing your compensation and minimizing your liability.

At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, our attorneys are dedicated to helping those injured fight for their right to fair compensation. With over 40 years of experience, we are equipped to help you or a loved one with a variety of premises liability claims and can help you:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the accident
  • Gather evidence
  • Establish liability
  • Develop a strong case strategy
  • Negotiate or litigate a settlement
  • Have more peace of mind

To schedule a free case consultation, call (866) 580-3089 or complete our online contact form today. We can help you understand your legal rights and develop a solid case strategy.