Owners and occupiers of properties such as airports, shopping malls, hotels, and even homes are required to keep visitors safe. When a property owner fails to keep their premises safe, they might be liable for a visitor’s injury. Trying to file a premises liability claim while you’re still experiencing pain and stress from your injury can make an already complicated process even more difficult. The Atlanta premises liability lawyer at MG Law is here to help you hold the property owner who caused your injury responsible. Let our team handle your claim so that you can focus on your recovery.
Types of Premises Liability
Under Georgia law, business owners, homeowners, and possessors of land have a duty to keep their property safe for visitors. The kinds of harm an owner is obligated to prevent will depend on whether a visitor is a customer, social guest, or trespasser. Although a wide variety of accidents can injure you when you are on someone else’s property, a few types of accidents are more common than others.
Slip and falls occur when someone suffers an injury after slipping or tripping and falling. Some of the most common causes of slip and falls include the following:
- A broken or cracked floor,
- An uneven sidewalk,
- A spill that is not appropriately cleaned,
- Trash that is not picked up, or
- Steps that are not correctly marked.
If you have sustained injuries from a slip and fall on another person’s property, an Atlanta premises liability lawyer can help you file a compensation claim.
If there is no appropriate security at a hotel, hospital, store, or other location, a visitor is at risk of being assaulted, robbed, or suffering other types of harm, including death. Property owners are required to put reasonable security measures in place to keep visitors safe, such as safety lights or having a security guard present. If an owner fails to implement appropriate safety measures, they might be liable for injuries a victim sustained on their property.
Retail Store or Mall Liability
Parties that own or occupy malls and retail locations can also be liable for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on their premises. Some of the more common causes of injuries at stores and malls include the following:
- Spills that are not cleaned,
- Poorly maintained parking lots,
- Items that fall from shelves, and
- Falls due to wet or icy weather conditions.
The experienced Atlanta premises liability lawyer at MG Law can investigate the cause of your accident to determine who might be liable for your damages.
Swimming Pool Injuries
Swimming pool injuries can range from bumps and bruises to drowning. These injuries can result from poorly maintained grounds or equipment or inadequate signage. Injuries can also occur because there are not enough barriers to keep children from entering the pool.
Restaurant or Grocery Store Liability
Unfortunately, not all restaurants and grocery stores satisfy their legal duty to create a safe environment for customers. Visitors can suffer severe and even permanent injuries as a result of the following:
- Slipping and falling because of spilled drinks or food,
- Falling on a staircase,
- Tripping over cracked flooring or improperly secured carpet, and
- Falling on broken concrete or asphalt.
These are only a few common examples of the types of injuries customers might suffer at a restaurant or grocery store. If you were injured at a restaurant or store, MG Law can help you understand your legal options.
A failure to properly maintain property can result in the owner or occupier being liable for a visitor’s injury. Some examples of negligent maintenance include failing to fix the following issues:
- Broken light fixtures,
- Cracks and seams in the floor, and
- Loose handrails on stairs.
If you were injured because someone failed to properly maintain their property, the MG Law team can help you pursue compensation.
Compensation Available for Premises Liability
If you suffered harm because of a negligent property owner, you can pursue two different types of compensation: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for monetary losses caused by your injury. Economic damages can include the following:
- Lost wages and income,
- Past and future medical expenses, and
- Property damage.
You should keep copies of your medical bills, invoices, and pay stubs to help your attorney calculate and prove your economic damages.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for psychological and emotional harm caused by your injury. Noneconomic damages you might be able to recover in a premises liability claim include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of ability to enjoy life, and
- Emotional distress.
Because noneconomic damages compensate you for subjective losses rather than money you’ve spent, they can be difficult to calculate and prove without the help of an attorney. The experienced premises liability lawyers at MG Law know how to calculate all of your damages so that you can be sure you’re pursuing all of the compensation you’re eligible to receive.
How to Know If You Have a Case for Premises Liability
In a premises liability claim, you will need to prove the property owner or occupier was negligent. There are four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. An Atlanta premises liability lawyer at MG Law can gather evidence that will help prove these four elements so that your compensation claim is as strong as it can be.
Duty of Care
The first element you will need to prove is that the owner or occupier owed you a duty of care. Keep in mind that, under Georgia law, the duty of care you were owed will depend on whether you were a business guest, a social guest, or a trespasser. In Georgia, a business owner must use ordinary care to make sure the property is safe for customers. However, when it comes to social guests, Georgia law requires owners to prevent willful or wanton injury. Georgia law only requires that property owners refrain from causing willful or wanton injuries to trespassers.
Breach of Duty
A breach of the duty of care is the second element of negligence. You will need to prove the owner did not satisfy the applicable standard of care. For example, if a business owner failed to fix broken stairs within a reasonable amount of time, they might have breached the duty of care owed to a customer.
You will also need to show that the breach of duty caused your injuries. Typically, this is shown by applying the but-for test. That means you need to show that, but for the owner breaching their duty of care, you would not have suffered your injury. For example, imagine a visitor to a store fell on a broken stair and injured their leg. That person can likely prove causation if they can show they wouldn’t have suffered the injury if the owner had fixed the stair or put up an appropriate warning sign.
If you do not have any injuries or other compensable losses, you will be unable to recover compensation. Physical injuries such as a broken leg are considered damages, but so are other injuries like lost wages and pain and suffering.
How We Can Help You
When a property owner or occupier has been negligent, MG Law is here to help you hold them accountable. Our team has years of experience helping our injured clients get the compensation they need to get their lives back on track.
MG Law is dedicated to helping our clients get the justice they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.