Were you or a loved one injured in a private or public place that should have been safe?
Under Georgia’s premises liability laws, you may be able to hold the property owner responsible. Let Scholle Law show you how.
When you go shopping, visit a friend or otherwise venture out into public, most people don’t think twice about whether or not it’s safe. But if property owners or managers fail to take reasonable precautions, they can leave their properties in an unacceptably dangerous condition.
For example, at a construction site, workers might leave cables or pieces of wood where visitors can trip over them, or leave nails and screws in a position to poke through your shoe. Or perhaps you slipped and fell at a grocery store or restaurant because there was a spill on the floor that wasn’t quickly removed, or there was an unsafe condition like an uneven floor or carpet that wasn’t properly maintained. Or maybe you were walking to your car in an apartment parking lot and were assaulted.
In Georgia, the name for this area of personal injury law is “premises liability,” and it allows victims of negligence to sue a careless property owner—whether it be an individual or company.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury at a place where there was every reason to believe it would be safe, you should consult Charles Scholle and his team of experienced Atlanta premises liability attorneys at Scholle Law. Based in Gwinnett County, we represent clients across Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia who suffered serious personal injuries because of someone else’s carelessness.
Georgia premises liability laws hold property owners and operators responsible for dangerous conditions on their premises liable for the injuries that are caused by those conditions. In other words, accident victims can hold the property owner financially and legally liable for failing to repair, warn or correct unsafe conditions that lead to personal injury or wrongful death.
How our Georgia premises liability lawyers can help you
Charles Scholle is an award-winning Atlanta premises liability attorney with more than 20 years of experience in representing clients who have been seriously injured due to the negligence or willful acts of property owners or managers.
He founded Scholle Law and has built a team of skilled lawyers, paralegals and other professionals who serve our clients with the utmost care, concern and compassion.
For example, a former client of ours was sleeping in his rental home one night when he woke up to his house engulfed in flames. In order to escape with his life, he had to run through the flames and suffered severe burns that required months of skin grafting procedures.
Upon further investigation, we discovered that the fire was electrical in nature. After exhausting all pre-litigation investigation tactics, we filed a lawsuit and secured documentation from the landowner and rental management company proving that there had been previous electrical incidents in the house—and even a previous electrical fire.
In light of these and other facts uncovered during our extensive investigation, we used this leverage to negotiate with the insurance company for the full policy limits of $100,000 under the landowner’s home insurance policy to help pay for our client’s burn injuries. Without our involvement and infestation, our client would likely have received far less compensation.
Georgia premises liability laws
Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.
It’s important to note that this specific statute only applies to an “invitee” on the premises. Which duty or standard of care you’re owed by the property owner or manager will depend on what group you fall into:
- Invitees. Invitees are owed the highest standards of care because they are invited onto the property. Property owners or managers have a duty to keep their premises safe and reasonably maintain a danger-free environment for invited guests. Examples of invitees include store shoppers, restaurant or bar patrons, delivery workers and mailmen, anyone on public property, houseworkers, social guests, etc.
- Licensees. A lesser duty of care is owed to licensees, which include individuals who were not explicitly invited onto the property but who are allowed to be on the premises. For licensees, property owners must avoid “recklessly or wantonly” causing injury to the visitor. Examples of licensees include friends, family and neighbors dropping by, unsolicited door salesmen, etc.
- Trespassers. Trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care because they neither have explicit nor implied consent to be on the property. The owner generally does still have a responsibility not to intentionally or willfully injure a trespasser. There are some important exceptions. For instance, if a child trespasses on a property, they are typically considered a licensee even though they didn’t have express permission to be on the premises.
Common types of premises liability claims in Atlanta, GA
There are a number of common situations that might give rise to a premises liability claim. These include:
- Rape, sexual assault and abuse
- Slip and fall
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 didn’t. You must also show that you were taking reasonable care to guard your own safety.
Common causes of premises liability injuries
Premises liability law doesn’t only apply to slip and falls in stores or restaurants—it also applies to accidents at other businesses, in private homes and on government properties such as parks and libraries. It can apply to a variety of situations, in public or private places, as long as you weren’t trespassing. In a premises liability case, you’re suing the owner or operator of the place where you got hurt for failing to remove or warn you about a clear safety hazard.
Those safety hazards might include:
- Construction debris or equipment in the walkway
- Falling objects
- Poor lighting
- Failure to adequately remove snow and ice from walkways
- Inadequate cleaning after a spill
- Bunched carpet or other uneven flooring
- A lack of handrails or guardrails on stairs and landings
- Attacks by dogs or other domestic animals
- Toxic exposure
- Unsecured or unprotected swimming pools
- Inadequate security in places where crime is reasonably foreseeable
Top premises liability injuries
Slipping and tripping might not seem serious at first, resulting in a stubbed toe or bruised pride. But in reality, a fall onto a hard surface and other premises liability accidents can cause serious injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Bullet wounds
These injuries can permanently change victims’ lives. They may have short-term or long-term disabilities, plus chronic pain that keeps them from doing the things that are most important to them such as working or taking care of their family. Depending on the injury, they may need help with daily activities for some time—perhaps for the rest of their lives.
The financial costs associated with these kinds of serious injuries can add up very quickly. Victims may face a pile of medical bills, need help around the house, suffer pain and suffering and miss time at work—to name a few.
Injured on someone else’s property? Get help now and protect your rights
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury because of a property owner’s carelessness, you should consult with Scholle Law. We have more than 20 years of experience recovering fair compensation for seriously injured Georgia residents, and we have a strong record of results to show for it.
Best of all, we offer free, no-obligation consultations, during which you can tell us your story and learn more about how Georgia’s premises liability laws might apply to your case. We’ve helped clients across the state secure compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online