When we visit a store, home, or other property in Georgia, we expect that the premises are safe and secure. We expect that the owner is taking basic steps to protect anyone who may visit the premises. Unfortunately, not all owners uphold these responsibilities, leading to serious accidents.
Under Georgia’s premises liability laws, property owners are financially liable if they fail to maintain safe conditions, and someone is injured as a result. If you were injured due to a property owner’s negligence, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit and recover financial damages.
What Is the Goal of a Premises Liability Claim?
The purpose of a premises liability claim is to compensate a victim for any damages that he or she suffered due to a property owner’s negligence. Owners have a duty to ensure that their properties are safe and to respond to any hazards that arise. These legal duties include a responsibility to maintain, inspect, and repair the property as necessary. If someone is injured, they may be liable for any injuries.
For example, say that you ask your landlord repeatedly to repair a set of stairs in your building. One day, the stairs break, causing you to fall and break your leg. In this situation, the landlord failed to uphold his or her responsibility to maintain safe premises and would be liable for the damages you suffered.
Examples of Premises Liability Claims in Georgia
Many hazards can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. Most of these cases involve slip-and-fall hazards, while others involve an owner’s failure to maintain adequate security or provide enough lighting. Below are some of the common causes of premises liability accidents:
Loose carpets and floorboards
Building code violations
Swimming pool accidents
Dog bites and attacks
Defective elevators and escalators
Accidents involving stairs and porches
Failure to provide adequate security
Failure to clean up spilled liquids
How Do You Prove a Premises Liability Lawsuit in Georgia?
Premises liability claims rely on the presence of negligence, or a property owner’s failure to uphold certain responsibilities. To recover compensation in a premises liability claim, you will need to prove four critical elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care: The property owner owed you a duty to maintain safe premises, respond to potential hazards, and warn visitors of dangerous conditions.
Breach of Duty: The property owner breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act.
Causation: The property owner’s breach of duty caused your accident and the injuries that you suffered.
Damages: You suffered damages in the accident that you can recover in your lawsuit, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Multiple pieces of evidence may be leveraged to prove a premises liability lawsuit. For example, correspondence with a landlord can help show that he or she knew or should have reasonably known about the hazard. Witness testimony can help prove the sequence of events leading up to the accident. Medical records, photographs, and videos can establish the nature and extent of any injuries.
An Augusta premises liability attorney can conduct a complete investigation into the incident and gather critical information, crafting a compelling case for your right to recovery. As soon as possible following your accident, contact a lawyer to discuss your case and plan your next steps.