Duluth, GA Premises Liability Attorney
Skilled Premises Liability Lawyers Serving Duluth, Georgia
When you go shopping, visit a friend, or otherwise venture out into public, you likely do not think twice about whether or not it is safe. But when property owners or managers fail to take reasonable precautions, they can create dangerous conditions for visitors.
For example, workers at a construction site might leave cables, lumber, or nails on the ground where others can trip over or step on them. Spills at grocery stores and restaurants are slip-and-fall hazards. You can trip because of an uneven floor or carpet that a property owner or manager did not fix. Or maybe you were walking to your car in a poorly-lit apartment parking lot and suffered an assault. All of these examples fall under premises liability law.
Georgia law states that property owners and managers have a legal obligation to prevent harm. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury because of an unreasonable danger on someone else’s property, Duluth premises liability attorney, Charles Scholle and his team of legal professionals at Scholle Law are here to help.
The insurance company that covers the property on which you were injured will likely try to deny liability or otherwise limit the amount of compensation they pay out. We are here to help you get the full compensation you deserve. Call us or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call.
Types Of Visitors, According To Duluth Statutes And Common Law
Duluth premises liability law is a combination of statutory law and case law. Georgia’s premises liability statute O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 to §51-3-2 provides context for some categories of visitors on a property. However, these statutes leave some important questions unanswered. Duluth’s case law, otherwise known as the common law, answers more about to whom the owner or occupier owes the duty.
Duluth case law also answers more about what duty the owner or occupier owes. Putting statutory and case law together, the duty or standard of care the owner or occupier owes in Duluth depends on which of these three groups the injured person belongs:
The owner or occupier of land owes invitees the highest standard of care. An invitee is someone the owner or occupier invites onto the land, typically for a business or similar contractual purpose. Examples include store shoppers; restaurant, bar, and club patrons; hotel guests; and delivery workers. The property owner or occupier owes these persons a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe, meeting standards of care that are established by industry standards, customs of the field, building codes, and other regulations.
Property owners or occupiers owe licensees a lesser duty of care. A licensee is someone the owner or occupier did not invite onto the land, but is expressly or implicitly permitted on the land for that person’s own interests. Friends, neighbors, or other social guests dropping by or using the premises with permission, and door-to-door canvassers or solicitors, are examples. Owners or occupiers owe licensees only the duty to avoid willful or wanton injury, generally meaning knowledge of a high probability of harm./p>
Owners or occupiers owe trespassers the lowest duty of care. Trespassers have neither express nor implied consent to be on the premises, such as a thief, vandal, or someone hunting with no indication of permission. The only duty an owner or occupier generally owes a trespasser, with an important exception for children, is not to intentionally or willfully injure.
Duluth Law On Trespassing Children
Like the laws of many other states, Georgia law treats a child trespasser differently than an adult trespasser. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, special precautions must be taken to protect children who may trespass onto a property because they are attracted to a certain feature on the property, such as a well or abandoned car, and could therefore injure themselves.
According to a 1982 Georgia Supreme Court ruling, the following conditions must be met to bring a lawsuit under the attractive nuisance doctrine:
1. The property owner or manager knows or should have known that children are likely to trespass; AND
2. The property owner or manager knows or should have known (or foreseen) that the feature in question involved an unreasonable risk of death or injury to children; AND
3. The child is too young to understand the risks involved with trespassing or interacting with the feature in question; AND
4. The effort needed to eliminate the danger is outweighed by the risk to children; AND
5. The property owner or manager failed to exercise reasonable care to protect children from the risks of the attractive nuisance.
It is important to note that this ruling typically does not apply to dangers that are normally understood by children. This includes the dangers of fire, water, and falling from heights. For instance, if a child trespasses to swim in a public or private pool, and they are injured doing so, the owner or manager of the property may not be held liable.
These laws and precedents can be confusing, to say the least. That is why it is so important to speak with a Duluth premises liability attorney if you or a loved one is injured or killed on someone else’s property.
Types Of Premises Liability Cases In Duluth
Each premises liability claim is different, and Scholle Law is ready to prove each claim on its own merits. We can help with a variety of premises liability cases, including:
- Slips and falls, whether on slippery floors, wet floors, indoor surfaces, outdoor surfaces, or surfaces covered with snow or ice
- Trips and falls, whether on sidewalks, parking lots, curbs or curb cuts, ramps, walkways, elevated walkways, steps, stairs, or aisleways
- Accidents involving recreational areas or equipment such as swimming pools, trampolines, gym sets, bounce houses, slides, and skateparks
- Criminal attacks, robbery, assault, and battery, or other violence due to inadequate security or defective door locks and entry system
- Sexual assault or abuse due to negligent hiring, negligent entrustment, and negligent supervision
- Dog bites and animal attacks due to failure to leash, fence, or otherwise restrain, protect, and warn
In order to file a successful premises liability claim, you must be able to show that the property’s owner knew or should have known about the danger and had time to fix the problem or warn visitors, but failed to do so. You must also show that you were taking reasonable care to guard your own safety.
Speak To A Duluth Premises Liability Attorney Today
Being injured on someone else’s property presents a host of complex legal issues. For example, most premises liability claims require that you show that the property’s owner or occupier knew or should have known of the unreasonable danger and had time to correct it or warn visitors, but did not do so.
Often, the victim must rely on a theory of constructive notice, meaning the property owner or manager reasonably should have known about the danger. After all, they are unlikely to admit they knew about the hazard.
Another challenge in many premises liability claims is that Duluth law will reduce the victim’s recovery by the amount of the victim’s own fault for their injury (under the comparative negligence doctrine).
The victim must also show that they were taking reasonable care to guard their own safety.
These challenges are exactly the ones that Charles Scholle and the experienced team at Scholle Law are ready to help you overcome. We will fight for every penny you deserve for your losses.
Call us or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Duluth premises liability attorney. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call.