Determining who is at fault after an accident on another person’s property is never easy. When an injury is sustained in a business, it is even more difficult. In these instances, either the business owner can be held liable as the occupier or tenant of the property, or the property owner may be at fault for an accident. To determine who is at fault for a slip and fall, or any other type of accident that happens on the property of a business, it is important to identify which party was in control of the property at the time.
When Is A Business Owner Liable For An Accident?
In most cases, the business owner is liable for paying damages when injuries occur on the property, regardless of who actually owns the premises. Business owners are responsible for ensuring their premises are safe for visitors to enter. Under premises liability law in Georgia, business owners are held to the highest standard to ensure visitors are kept safe.
Business owners are expected to inspect their property regularly, and perform maintenance when necessary. They are also expected to fix dangerous conditions as soon as they know about it. For example, if a server spilled a drink in a restaurant, they are expected to clean it up right away. If they did not and someone slipped and became hurt, the business owner would be liable because they had control over the property.
Likewise, if a light went out in the parking lot and the business owner did not replace it, resulting in someone getting attacked, the business owner may also be liable. If there is a contract that states the business owner is liable for maintaining the parking lot, the business owner would be liable for not fixing the dangerous condition because they had control over that area of the property.
When Is A Property Owner Liable For An Accident?
Of course, if a property is not occupied by a tenant such as a business, the property owner is liable for any accident that occurs on the premises. Still, there are times when a property is rented or leased and the property owner is liable for an accident. Again, it depends on whether they had control over the property.
Property owners are usually responsible for maintaining the common areas of a building and ensuring they are safe. For example, if someone owned an office building and they rented out certain units, they are still usually responsible for maintaining the common areas. If someone slips and falls on a broken stair in the lobby, which is a common area, the property owner would likely be liable.
Additionally, property owners can be held liable if they lease or rent out a property in dangerous condition without warning the tenant. For example, the electrical system within a business may be faulty. If the property owner rents out the property without informing the tenant of the condition, that is an act of negligence that would mean they are liable for paying damages. However, if the landlord did inform the business owner of the dangerous condition, and told the tenant they had to fix it as a condition of the lease, liability would then shift back to the business owner if someone became hurt by the hazard.
When An Agreement Is In Place
In most situations when there is a landlord/tenant relationship in place, even when the tenant is a business, there is a lease agreement in place. These contracts outline many aspects of the lease agreement, including the term, the rental amount, and other details. Lease agreements also typically outline the responsibilities of each party when maintaining the property. Any time there is a lease agreement in place, the language of the contract will likely determine which party is liable. There are times when contracts are deemed invalid and therefore, not enforceable, but those instances are limited.
Call Our Premises Liability Lawyer In Atlanta After An Accident
Determining liability in a personal injury case is never easy, and it becomes even more challenging when multiple parties are potentially involved. If you have been injured on the property of a business, our Atlanta premises liability lawyer at MG Law can help. After reviewing the facts of your case, we will determine who was liable and collect evidence to prove your claim. Call us today at 404-982-4219 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.