An Overview of Georgia Premises Liability Law
Under Georgia premises liability law, all property owners or occupiers of land must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises and approaches safe for invitees and guests. Unfortunately, despite this legal requirement, countless individuals are injured each year while on the property of another due to dangerous conditions, such as defective stairwells, insufficient security, slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, or poor maintenance. The injuries that arise due to defective conditions can be severe or even life threatening.
This blog article will provide a general summary of Georgia law applicable to claims involving premises claims. NOTE: every case needs to be evaluated based on its unique facts and circumstances, in light of the applicable law. You should not act upon this article without seeking the opinion of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney and this information is not to be construed as legal advice.
Establishing a Viable Premises Liability Case
In order for Georgia's premises liability law to apply, the following factors must be met:
- The defendant must be an owner or occupier of the land or premises;
- The plaintiff must be an express or implied invitee there for a lawful purpose; and
- The accident must have occurred due to the defendant's failure to exercise ordinary care for the premises.
Invitees are any individuals allowed on the property in order to conduct business with the owner. These individuals are afforded the highest level of protection by property owners. Shoppers, hotel guests, and restaurant patrons are all examples of invitees. For these guests, a property owner should inspect the premises for clear dangers and correct these hazards or warn guests of their existence. If the property owner knows of a hazard and fails to correct or warn of it, resulting in injury to an invited party, the property owner may be held accountable.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability cases can encompass a wide range of cases, including:
- Negligent security
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dangerous animals
- Stairway falls
- Balcony or terrace falls
- Nursing home accidents
- Amusement park accidents
In order for a property owner to be held accountable for injuries caused on their property, some degree of knowledge as to the dangerous condition will generally need to be established. Knowledge can be demonstrated by showing the property owner created the hazardous condition or knew of it and took no steps to correct it. Further, knowledge can be inferred if the court finds that the dangerous condition existed for such an amount of time that the defendant had to have known of its existence. If you have been injured because of a property owner, you should speak with a premises liability attorney who can examine your accident in order to determine whether the property owner can be held accountable for your injuries. An attorney can also help you take steps in order to obtain compensation for you.
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