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Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises liability is a subset of personal injury law (AKA: tort law). Under premises liability, an injured victim can file a lawsuit if they suffered physically, emotionally, and financially due to a dangerous condition on someone’s property. All property owners owe it to the public to keep their premises safe. An owner’s failure to properly maintain their property can result in a variety of accidents such as slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, drownings, robberies or other violent crimes, and so much more. The good news is that victims can recover compensation for these accidents by filing a lawsuit, and an Atlanta premises liability lawyer can help them do so.
If you or a loved one suffered a major personal injury or wrongful death due to hazards on another’s property, you may have grounds to file a premises liability claim. Atlanta premises liability lawyers at Ashenden & Associates have more than 50 years of combined experience in fighting for justice and compensation for our injured clients. Call 770-394-8909 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability falls under the large umbrella of personal injury law. Premises liability cases are types of personal injury cases in which a person suffers an injury or death on someone else’s property.
All property owners have a duty of care to maintain a reasonably safe premises for visitors. If a property owner fails to exercise reasonable care, then their property will likely have one or more hazardous conditions. If a person sustains injuries and/or death due to the property owner’s negligence, then they (or their family members) can file a premises liability lawsuit in order to recover damages.
Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents
A premises liability accident can be an escalator accident, a slip and fall accident, a dog attack, a swimming pool accident, the list goes on. Below, our Atlanta premises liability lawyers discuss the most common types of premises liability claims that we handle on a regular basis.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are possibly the most common type of premises liability claim out there. This type of accident occurs when there are dangerous conditions – such as wet floors, snowy or icy sidewalks, or debris – that cause someone to slip, trip, fall, and severely injure themselves.
If the property owner is not able to immediately fix the hazardous conditions on their property, they must provide some kind of warning to visitors (e.g. a wet floor sign). An injured person can seek compensation for their damages if the owner knew there was a hazardous condition on their property and failed to fix the condition or warn visitors about the condition.
Swimming Pool Accidents and Drownings
The two main types of accidents that can occur at swimming pools are drownings and slip and fall accidents. The outside edges of pools can be very slippery due to water. So all pools should have signs warning visitors of this danger. Additionally, lifeguards should instruct people to stop running or acting recklessly around the pool in order to prevent injuries.
Drownings are the most obvious hazards at swimming pools. All public pools should have one or more CPR-certified lifeguards to prevent drownings and other injuries. Public pools that don’t have a lifeguard on duty at all times (for example: hotel pools) usually have multiple signs instructing guardians to keep a watchful eye on children.
If a lifeguard is not paying attention at all times while on duty, they can respond to a drowning far too late. Additionally, if a lifeguard is not CPR certified, they can fail to revive a drowning victim. Both of these situations can easily result in major injuries or death. Swimming pool accident victims can sue for all of the aforementioned premises liability violations.
Dog attacks often fall under the legal category of premises liability because these attacks usually occur on private property. In order for an injured party to sue for a dog bite in Georgia, the following elements must be present:
- The dog is considered dangerous (in other words: the dog has attacked/bit someone before),
- The liable party was careless in restraining the dog or warning visitors about the dangerous dog,
- And the injured party did not provoke the dog in any way.
Atlanta premises liability attorneys can help by collecting evidence in order to prove the liable party’s negligence.
Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement park attractions such as waterslides and roller coasters can be incredibly dangerous, especially if they’re not regularly maintained. Visitors can suffer major injuries and deaths from broken lap belts or restraints, falls, mechanical issues, drownings, car ride collisions, and so much more.
Some water slides and roller coaster rides can be dangerous even if they are functioning perfectly. For example, some rides have the potential to worsen pre-existing health conditions like cardiopulmonary issues. That’s why many amusement parks place warning signs on specific rides.
If an accident occurred on a roller coaster or water slide that was caused by the park’s negligence, then the victim can file a premises liability case and seek financial compensation.
Accidents, injuries, and deaths can occur on public property when the owner fails to implement enough security measures. Common examples of negligent security can include:
- Doors that cannot be locked,
- Lack of security cameras,
- Lack of security guards,
- Poorly trained security guards,
- Broken gates or fences,
- Lack of alarm system,
- And poor lighting.
So if someone’s hotel room was robbed while they were out on the town because there was a mechanical failure in the electronic door lock, the robbery victim could sue the hotel for negligent security.
Common Types of Premises Liability Injuries
Listed below are common types of injuries that our legal team often sees in premises liability claims:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull and facial fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vertebral fractures
- Neck injuries such as whiplash (from malfunctioning roller coasters)
- Nerve damage
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Broken bones
- Joint dislocations
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and/or disability
- Bruising, burns, and lacerations
- Infections from dog bites
- Crush injuries
Georgia Premises Liability Depends on the Injured Person’s Status
Premises liability laws differ depending on the state. For example, some states require that property owners owe the same duty of care to all people who might enter their property. Meanwhile, other states limit the property owner’s duties depending on the type of person who enters the property. In these states, there are three main types of people who could enter a piece of property.
- Invitees are members of the public that the owner or occupant specifically invites onto their property. In other words, the owner invites people to enter the property, usually for an economic purpose. Invitees can be customers or people working for a company hired by the owner or occupant. The owner or occupant is supposed to exercise reasonable care in order to keep their premises safe for invitees.
- Licensees are people that have permission to enter the owner’s property, but only for a non-economic purpose. Common examples of a licensee include social guests, family members, friends, and neighbors. The owner doesn’t have to take as much care to keep their premises safe like they would for invitees. Owners should, at the very least, warn licensees of hazardous conditions especially if the owner knows about it already and they believe that the licensee may not be able to spot the hazard on their own.
- Trespassers are people who do not have the owner’s permission to enter their property. Owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. In other words, they don’t have to provide warnings of hazards or even fix specific hazards for the trespasser. One exception to this rule is if the trespasser is a child.
Georgia is one of many states that holds a property owner liable for damages based on whether the injured person is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. So if you are a trespasser who is trying to file a premises liability case against a property owner, you might not recover any damages. Still, it’s a good idea to reach out to an Atlanta premises liability attorney to determine the best course of action.
Premises Liability Damages
An Atlanta premises liability lawyer at Ashenden & Associates can help injured victims recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future physical therapy bills
- Expenses associated with necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, etc.
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident results in a permanent disability which prevents the victim from completing their normal job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses if the premises liability accident results in wrongful death