If you suffered an injury as a guest on someone else’s property, you might assume that they are liable to compensate you for the harm done. However, as with many legal issues, the outcome may not be that simple. Why you were at the location and what you were doing there will be significant factors in determining whether the property owner or manager is responsible for your accident.
It is recommended that you consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on the viability of your case. At Smith Hulsey, a Winder premises liability lawyer could help you understand how the law applies to your case, negotiate a proper settlement, and represent you in court if necessary.
Injuries can happen anywhere, but the most common locations are retail shops, construction sites, manufacturing plants, sidewalks, parking lots, swimming pools, amusement parks, and hotels. Faulty maintenance, inadequate lighting, and mismanagement are some of the more common reasons for these types of accidents. Depending on the circumstances, an accident caused by dangerous property conditions could result in various injuries, such as:
If a person suffers an injury due to hazardous premises, anyone in control of the property at the time of the incident may be to blame. The fault can lie with several parties, including the:
By working with an attorney experienced in premises liability cases, an injured Winder resident could identify multiple responsible parties, which may increase their chances of receiving a fair amount of compensation.
Beyond determining who was in control of the property at the time of the accident, another important step in recovering damages is establishing what duty of care that person owed the injured victim. Georgia law divides visitors into three categories and assigns each category a distinct level of care.
An invitee is a person who enters the premises at the request and for the benefit of the operator. For instance, the customers of those conducting business, such as selling cars or providing haircuts, may be considered invitees. This category could also include people who engage in a paid activity, such as ice skating or swimming.
The Official Code of Georgia § 51-3-1 requires property owners and managers to take reasonable steps to maintain the premises and ensure the safety of invitees. This responsibility includes making repairs, inspecting for hazards, and warning of dangers if timely repairs are not possible (e.g., posting a “slippery surface” sign).
Licensees also have permission to be on the premises, but unlike invitees, no contractual relationship exists between licensees and property owners. This category describes people who enter the premises for their own enjoyment or benefit. Examples of licensees include friends, neighbors, and religious missionaries.
Licensees do not enjoy as many protections as invitees. Under Georgia Code § 51-3-2, landowners must act reasonably to maintain their property and avoid wanton or willful acts toward licensees. However, they do not have to inspect the premises for potential hazards.
Trespassers enter a location for their own purposes without the permission or knowledge of those controlling the land. Generally, the only requirement imposed on owners and operators is to avoid causing malicious or purposeful injuries to trespassers, as stated in Georgia Code § 51-3-3.
An injured Winder resident should consult a well-practiced attorney about their proper classification, as these categories could greatly impact their premises liability case.
After experiencing an injury on another person’s property, it may be difficult to get the responsible party to compensate you for the damage done. Insurance companies who represent property owners, management companies, and renters are likely to launch a vigorous defense against your claims.
Having an experienced Winder premise liability lawyer on your side could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Dedicated legal support is often necessary in pursuing compensation that addresses your needs today and in the future. Call our firm today to discuss how we could help in your particular situation.
Smith Hulsey Law