Everyone has their own standards for how they maintain their property. Unfortunately, that means many premises—including homes, business and land—contain unsafe conditions or outright hazards. In Columbus, property owners are liable for any injuries these hazards cause. If you’ve been injured in a case like this, you likely have a legal right to recover a substantial amount of money. Talk to a Columbus unsafe premises/property negligence lawyer.
John Foy & Associates is one of the leading property negligence firms in the state of Georgia. For 20 years, we have built a top legal team dedicated to just one thing: helping those who were injured. Let us give you a FREE consultation to help you decide if you have a claim. We never charge anything unless we get you money. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How strong is my unsafe premises claim?
It’s often stronger than you think. In premises liability cases in Columbus, any type of injury can be a strong claim depending on how it happened. The bottom line is that owners or managers of a property must exercise care to keep the property safe. If there’s reason to believe they didn’t, you may have a claim.
For your claim to succeed, the person who was injured usually has to be able to prove four specific facts:
- There was some kind of dangerous condition or hazard on the property,
- The person who owns, occupies or operates the building knew about the condition—or they should have known if they were taking proper care of the property,
- They didn’t fix or remove the dangerous condition, and they didn’t properly warn you of its presence, and
- That dangerous condition is what caused your injury.
That may sound complicated, but it really just depends on gathering the right evidence for your case. Property owners will often try to get rid of evidence or remove a hazard after someone has been injured. Our law firm can not only send out an investigator to gather clues at the scene, we can also file documents with the local courts to make sure evidence is preserved.
Who is liable for property negligence and unsafe premises?
Basically, whoever is in control of the property is usually liable. That can be:
- The property owner
- A property management company
- A business
- A tenant that is leasing the space—whether it’s a business or an individual person
- A third party contracted to operate the space (common in event venues)
- Contractors working in the space
- A local or state government office
While the liable party varies from case to case, the way the claim is paid does not. Most property negligence claims are paid by an insurance policy. As a result, it’s often the insurer—not the liable party themselves—that we bargain with to settle your case.
What if I was in an area I wasn’t supposed to go into?
This is a complicated issue in any premises injury case. Sometimes, people wander out of areas that are open to the public and into areas they weren’t invited into—especially at theme parks and other large venues. When injuries happen in these spaces, the insurance company often tries to claim that it’s the victim’s own fault. But that’s not necessarily true.
Even if you were not supposed to be in an area, the property owner may still be liable under certain circumstances:
- If the area was not closed off. If any guest could just wander in by accident, that itself is a potential hazard.
- The area wasn’t signed. “Staff only beyond this point,” and similar signs are used to let visitors know where they can and cannot go. If these signs are absent, the property owner may still be liable.
- The person who was injured was a child. Children don’t understand the dangers of going over a fence or off the beaten path. Venues should use adequate safety measures to prevent children from wandering in, such as tall railings and fences or locked doors.
- There was an unmarked safety hazard. Presumably, at least staff or contractors may still need to access non-public areas. If those areas contain very dangerous conditions without safety warnings, such as dangerous equipment, you may still have a claim.
If your claim involves any allegation of trespassing, talk to a lawyer immediately. You may still have a case.
My child was hurt on someone’s property. What do I do?
Many premises injuries happy to children, because they don’t understand the dangers that adults recognize instantly. If your child was hurt, it usually means the property owner did not properly secure their premises, and you likely have a claim. But it depends on whether your child was invited as a guest or was trespassing.
If your child was invited as a guest, it’s much easier to prove your claim. The rules are the same as they are for any other injury claim.
If your child was trespassing or wandered in without permission, Georgia’s rule of “attractive nuisance” comes into play. This is the legal idea that children have a tendency to be attracted to certain things and property owners should secure their property against them. Under attractive nuisance, we can often make a successful claim for you even if your child did not have permission to enter the property.
Talk to a Columbus Premises Liability Lawyer for Free
Your unsafe premises claim can help you pay for your medical bills and any work you’ve missed. It can also give you much-needed money for pain and suffering—just when that money makes the biggest difference. Let the attorneys of John Foy & Associates put 20 years of experience to work for you.
At John Foy & Associates, we never charge a client a penny unless we win them money. Let us give you a free consultation to help you determine whether you have a claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.