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Under Georgia law, property owners and occupiers owe a duty to keep their property safe and free from dangers. If you were injured on someone else’s property in Georgia, you may be able to recover damages from the owner or occupier of the property by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability lawsuits can involve slip and falls, uneven surfaces, dog bites, defective escalators, children injured on trampolines, and swimming pool injuries. They can also involve negligent security claims in which a lawful visitor was robbed or assaulted on a commercial property because of the owner’s failure to provide adequate security. The Atlanta premises liability lawyers at Parks, Chesin & Walbert have the ability and experience to evaluate and pursue these cases.Bringing a Premises Liability Claim
In Georgia, if you are injured on another party’s property, you may be able to recover damages if you can prove that the party that controls the property was negligent in not keeping the property safe. It is imperative to consult an experienced attorney right away because evidence may vanish quickly. The property with the dangerous condition is in another party’s control. Surveillance videos are often recorded over by businesses as a matter of course. Witnesses’ memories fade.
In order to establish a premises liability claim as an accident victim, you will need to show that there was a duty to follow a particular standard of conduct, there was a breach of this duty, and the breach caused your injuries. The duty of care depends on the circumstances, but generally property owners and occupiers are supposed to use ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe. If a commercial building owner knows that there is criminal activity on the premises, they should use reasonable care to keep the property secure or safe from third-party criminal activity. A premises liability attorney in Atlanta would need to show that your injury was a result of the property owner or occupier’s actions or omissions.
Crucially, a breach of duty can only be shown if a property owner or occupier had actual or constructive knowledge of a possibly dangerous condition. Actual knowledge is something that is actually heard, seen, or known. For example, if a property owner sees a broken step, he has actual knowledge. Constructive knowledge covers information that the property owner should have known in the exercise of reasonable care. For example, if a step at a hotel was broken for months, a reasonably prudent hotel owner should have known about it, had they been conducting periodic inspections to determine whether there were possible dangers on the property. However, you cannot hold a landlord responsible for injuries arising out of a tenant’s negligence or illegal conduct.
Your own actions will also be considered in a premises liability lawsuit. You can be denied damages if a hazardous condition was open and obvious. If you are found to be at least 50% responsible for your own injuries, you will be barred from recovering damages in Georgia. An Atlanta premises liability attorney can help victims fight back against this defense strategy.Government Liability
Sometimes the government can be held responsible for injuries arising on its property. It is important to retain a skillful attorney who understands how to bring claims against the government. Generally, it is not possible to hold the government responsible for injuries arising out of employee negligence in performing discretionary duties. You can, however, hold the government responsible for a government employee’s negligence in performing ministerial duties under the Georgia Tort Claims Act. For example, maintaining a sidewalk is a ministerial duty, and if you trip and fall on a sidewalk that was not properly maintained by the government, you may be able to hold the city government liable for this negligence.Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney After a Serious Accident
If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. Our premises liability lawyers represent people in Atlanta and throughout Glynn, Forsyth, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties. Call us at 877-986-5529 or complete our online form to take the first step toward understanding your legal options.