Premises Liability vs. Slip and Fall in Georgia

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A man slips next to a caution wet floor sign.In Georgia, property owners are legally required to ensure that their property remains in a safe condition and are liable for the safety of invited guests and visitors injured due to dangerous conditions on their property. However, just because an individual was injured on someone’s property in Georgia does not guarantee them a successful claim for their injuries. To obtain compensation due to an injury on someone else’s property, you must prove that the owner of the property knew or should have known about the dangerous condition which led to your injury and that there is no way you would have known about the danger by exercising reasonable care. It is the duty of each person to be careful and watch where they are going. Slip and fall injuries are the most common type of premises liability claim. However, not all premise liability claims are slips and falls. Premise liability claims may arise from any dangerous condition that causes injury to a guest or visitor.

Have you or a loved one been injured due to the negligence of another? Contact Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ and his team of experienced personal injury attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm by calling  (833) 254-2923 or contacting us online to receive your free and confidential case evaluation. Attorney Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ established the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm and quickly turned it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. If we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we win.

Dangerous Conditions

Below find some examples of injuries to visitors that may raise a successful claim for premises liability:

  •   Injuries to children due to dangerous conditions on a property
  •   Dangerous conditions, such as unstable stairs, decks, elevators
  •   Lack of security at a place of business, apartment complex, or hotel
  •   Dog bites by dogs known to be dangerous or have a propensity towards biting.
  •   Slip and fall on a natural or foreign substance

What Does a Property Owner Need to Do To Protect Its Guests?

An owner is legally required to:

  •  Regularly inspect their property and perform regular maintenance.
  •  Remove known dangers. If a property knows or should have reasonably known about a danger and did not remove the danger, the property owner can be held liable for injuries that occur on the premises.

Proving that a property owner or business owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition can be complex. Investigating the events surrounding the injury can be costly. Typically, evidence such as eyewitnesses, camera footage, business records, or employee testimony may be required to prove whether or not a property owner is liable for an injury that occurred on their premises, such as a slip and fall. It is important to note that when considering filing a slip and fall or premises liability claim, the investigation required to receive compensation is often costly. Therefore, it is advisable that, as a general rule, individuals seeking to bring a slip and fall or premises liability claim against a property owner in Georgia, should have sustained a fairly substantial injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the unique circumstances surrounding your case and advise you on the best steps to take following your injury.

What Happens in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?

When a party is injured on the property of another due to the negligence of the property owner (or the entity occupying or controlling the property), the injured party may bring a claim against the property owner. The claimant must prove that the owner was negligent and that this carelessness caused the injury. The claimant will file a complaint, and the legal process will begin. The parties to the lawsuit will engage in discovery, which may include depositions, exchange of documentation, and questioning of parties to the lawsuit and witnesses. The defendant owner will typically file a motion for summary judgment through counsel after discovery. This motion filed on behalf of the defendant declares that after considering the case evidence, the law cannot support a valid claim on behalf of the injured party against the owner. The presiding judge will rule whether the case should be dismissed or proceed to trial. If the judge finds a genuine issue of material fact regarding the owner’s liability, they will deny the defendant’s motion, and the case will move to trial.

What Factors Will Be Considered at Trial?

When a premises liability claim is brought to trial, the court will consider the following:

Status of Claimant

The claimant’s status will determine the degree of care a property owner owes to a claimant. Claimants may be:

  •   Invitees: Invites are explicitly or implicitly invited to enter the premises. Examples include a store customer, a party invitee, an employee, or a member of an organization invited to a meeting. Owners must exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe for invitees. When an invitee wanders outside the boundaries of his invitation, he may be considered a licensee.
  •   Licensees: Licensees are not customers, trespassers, employees, or contractors. Licensees are often referred to as social guests, such as uninvited friends, door-to-door salespeople, neighbors, or firefighters. An owner owes a licensee a duty to refrain from recklessly or wantonly exposing him to hidden perils. However, if a licensee’s presence on the property is made known to the owner, the owner must exercise the same care toward the licensee as the invitee.
  •   Trespasser: A trespasser is someone who mistakenly or purposefully enters another’s property without permission. An owner has a duty not to injure a trespasser willfully or wantonly.

The Premises

The owner is responsible for their own premises and its approaches. Where did the injury occur? A property owner is not liable for areas not within the premises or its approaches.

Slip and Fall on Foreign Substance

The most frequently filed premises liability claim is a slip and fall claim on a foreign substance. Foreign substances are anything on the ground that is not ordinarily present, such as a liquid, food, or other items. To state a cause of action, a slip and fall claimant must show that the owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the foreign subject and that the claimant was without knowledge of the substance. Additionally, a claimant cannot recover compensation if they do not know precisely what caused the fall or if they knew of the dangerous condition before the accident.

Slip and Fall from Naturally Occurring Conditions

Due to recent rulings made in the Georgia Court of Appeals (Dumas v Tripps of North Carolina, Inc.), a slip and fall on naturally occurring conditions such as ice or rain are now treated no differently than a slip and fall on a foreign substance. However, a claimant must know what caused them to fall (ice, water) and cannot make a claim if falling after jumping over a puddle. However, a court still maintains that a property owner has no duty to inspect their premises for wet leaves or remove them unless they know the leaves present a hazard.

Defectively Waxed or Polished Floor

If a claimant falls on a slippery or improperly waxed floor in a store, the injured party must prove that the owner was negligent in the application of the materials used or in the materials used. If it is established that the floor was slippery, the owner may be held liable.

Static Conditions

Structures or features on premises that do not change, such as a hole, curb, stairs, or ramp, may cause injuries to an individual. However, that individual will not be able to bring a claim against the property owner unless someone has been previously injured or complained of this condition. When a property owner has no reason to believe the condition presented a hazard, they cannot be held liable. However, it is the property owner’s duty to regularly inspect the premises for obvious dangers such as a large pothole, a building that is not up to code, or an improperly constructed ramp. A claimant must have also not known about the dangerous condition before becoming injured unless the dangerous condition had been altered to have a successful claim.

Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The attractive nuisance doctrine provides a method of recovery for children injured due to attractive curiosity, despite their status as a trespasser. A property owner may be held liable if a property owner should have anticipated that a child may come onto the property due to the interesting machinery or construction and should take precautions such as building a fence to keep the children from harm.

Georgia Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability lawsuits are often complex cases that are best left in the hands of an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of Georgia law. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, you will benefit from having an experienced attorney fight for your right to just compensation. Call Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ and his experienced team of personal injury accident attorneys today to receive a free, no-obligation consultation. We can assist you with exploring your legal options and avenues to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm by calling (833) 254-2923 or contacting us online. If we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we win.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.