Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners responsible for injuries or accidents that occur on their premises. In the state of Georgia, this area of law is crucial in determining who is liable when someone is injured on another person’s property. However, when it comes to assault, the relationship between premises liability and violence can be complex and requires careful examination.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that property owners have to maintain safe conditions on their premises. This includes residential, commercial, and public properties. When individuals enter a property, the owner has a duty to ensure that they are reasonably safe from any foreseeable hazards. If a property owner fails to meet this duty and someone is injured as a result, the victim could file a lawsuit for the damages that he or she suffered.
Does Premises Liability Cover Acts of Assault and Violence?
While premises liability generally covers accidents and injuries caused by negligent or unsafe conditions, it does not automatically extend to acts of assault and violence. However, if the assault could have been prevented by better security measures, then the victim would have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner.
Negligent security can take many forms, including:
Lack of surveillance
Broken security cameras
Poorly trained staff
Faulty alarm systems
Lack of security patrols
Inadequate emergency response plans
For example, say that an apartment building is located in an area with a high rate of criminal activity. The property owner, recognizing the risks, takes initial steps to enhance security by installing a security gate to restrict unauthorized access to the building. However, despite being aware of a broken gate, the owner neglects to repair it for several months.
One night, a criminal walks through the gate and assaults a resident. This situation could have been prevented if the property owner had promptly taken the necessary measures to maintain the security of the premises.
Who Is Eligible for a Lawsuit under Georgia Premises Liability Law?
Under Georgia law, eligibility for a premises liability lawsuit will depend on the victim’s relationship with the property owner. There are three main roles:
Invitees: People who are invited to enter the property, such as customers, patients, or tenants. The owner has a duty to keep the premises safe for invitees.
Licensees: People who enter the property for their own purposes without the owner’s invitation, like salespeople. The duty of care to licensees is lower than that for invitees.
Trespassers: People who illegally enter someone’s property. Generally, owners are not liable for injuries to trespassers unless there is a willful or wanton injury.
Seeking Legal Action for Assault on Someone’s Premises
If you have been assaulted on someone’s premises in Georgia, you need an attorney on your side. An Augusta premises liability lawyer can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and determine if you have a valid claim against the property owner. If you are eligible, your attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and build a compelling case on your behalf.
After the assault, call 911 and seek emergency medical care as soon as possible. Then, schedule a free case consultation to discuss your case with an Augusta personal injury attorney and take your first steps toward justice.