Premises Liability When You Are at a Private Residence in Georgia
Premises Liability Lawyers in Georgia Discuss Injury Claims at Private Residences in Georgia
When we think of slip and fall cases, or other forms of premises liability we typically imagine that they are happening at a shop or other business. The classic slip and fall example is likely a wet floor at a grocery store. But what happens if you are at a private residence when you are injured? Is your friend, neighbor or relative liable if they created or failed to remedy a dangerous situation? In some cases, they are.
What type of visitor are you?
When a person suffers an injury on another person's property, the reason the person was on that property will factor into the analysis of whether the owner of the property is responsible for the injury. In the case of a business, where the injured person is a customer or client, the legal term for that individual is an "invitee." Invitees are owed the highest level of care, and create the most liability for a careless property owner.
However, even at a private residence, the owner owes guests a duty. Social guests invited onto your property are considered "licensees." In many places, there is a slightly lesser standard of care owed to a licensee than to an invitee, although there is still a duty owed. In some cases, licensees and invitees are treated the same way, and both are owed a reasonable level of care taken to prevent them from suffering injuries as a result of hazards on the person's property. In Georgia, however, an owner/occupier is generally only liable for injuries resulting from willful or wanton care.
In the case of house guests, who are considered licensees,a house guest who suffers an injury as the result of a hazard on the property owner's land will often have the ability to be compensated by the property owner. It is usually the case that a property owner would have to have known of the dangerous condition and yet failed to fix it, or warn the visitor of the condition. Of course, if a homeowner created the dangerous condition, then liability is more likely. So, if you went to visit a friend in the evening, and he or she had dug a big hole in the front yard with the intent of planting a shrub, and failed to warn you about the hole, while also failing to have any lighting in front of the house, and you suffered an injury as a result of falling in the hole, there the homeowner could be liable for your injuries.
Trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care, although a property owner who creates artificial and highly dangerous conditions might owe a duty even to trespassers. Also, children are treated differently than adults when it comes to trespassing under attractive nuisance doctrine, in which the textbook example is if the owner/occupier has a swimming pool that is not guarded from curious children.
Who pays when the homeowner is liable?
Of course, when these claims arise, there is often an added complication of the impact that filing a claim will have on the injured person's relationship to the homeowner. While homeowners insurance typically covers these claims, it might not always, and regardless, they can still create uncomfortable social situations. It is important to consider all of the factors surrounding the claim in these situations. If the injury is going to cause medical bills and missed work, the only reasonable option might be to file a claim.
If you suffered an injury on another person's property, you should contact an attorney to discuss your claim. Laws vary depending on what state you are located in and the facts of every claim are different. Our attorneys at Montlick & Associates can review the facts and circumstances of what happened to you and advise you on what steps can be taken to protect your legal rights.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 36 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!
Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 36 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Open: 24 hours, 7 Days a Week