Under the law, all Georgia property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for guests. Unfortunately, many people are injured when visiting someone else’s property. There are several dangerous conditions that can prove harmful when encountered, including slippery surfaces, broken staircases, inadequate security, or defective escalators. Fortunately, if you’ve been hurt due to such circumstances, you may be entitled to recover damages by filing a personal injury claim. To be successful, though, it helps to understand the basics of premises liability law, as outlined below.
What to Know Before Pursuing a Premises Liability Case
Elements Needed for a Valid Claim
In premises liability cases, it’s the victim’s responsibility to show that the property owner acted negligently. To prove you have a valid claim, there are a few standard elements your personal injury lawyer must be able to establish. This includes demonstrating that the property owner had a duty of care to ensure your safety, that duty was breached because a hazardous condition existed on the premises, the condition was the direct cause of your injury, and you suffered damages as a result of your injury.
How to Prove Negligence
For a property owner to be held financially responsible for a personal injury that takes place on their premises, you must prove they had knowledge of the dangerous condition or were reasonably expected to know about it. Furthermore, you’ll need to show they failed to repair the hazard, remove it from the property, or provide guests with sufficient warning of its existence.
What Is Duty of Care?
Under Georgia law, there are three different types of property owner-visitor relationships: invitee, licensee, and trespasser. The duty of care that is owed in a premises liability case will depend on which of these the victim is.
Invitees are those who have permission to be on a property, such as restaurant patrons or friends and family members. A licensee is someone who is allowed access to a property for their own purposes, such as a repairman. Trespassers have not been given permission to be on the premises. Property owners owe a duty of care to maintain safe premises for both invitees and licensees but not trespassers unless the latter is a child.
If you sustained a personal injury as the result of property owner negligence, let the attorneys at Smith & Tabor Attorneys at Law help you hold them accountable. Based in Toccoa, GA, they know the ins and outs of local premises liability laws and what it takes to achieve a favorable outcome. They have more than 30 years of experience fighting to get clients maximum compensation and are proud to provide residents throughout Stephens, Habersham, Franklin, Rabun, and Hall counties with the personalized service they deserve. Call (706) 886-5141 to retain effective legal representation or visit them online for more information about the firm.