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What counts as an unsafe premise or property negligence in Augusta?
If a property owner doesn’t keep their property safe, and someone gets hurt, that property owner is liable.
The best way to understand how this works is with a few examples.
- Example 1: Unsafe Stairs
A man owns a two-story home, but there’s a loose railing on the staircase. This doesn’t bother the man and he rarely uses the railing, so he doesn’t fix it. Later, the man has company over and someone needs to use the bathroom. The man tells his guest there’s an extra bathroom upstairs but doesn’t warn him about the railing. The guest leans on the railing and ends up falling down the stairs, breaking a shoulder. The man who owns the home is liable for the injury.
- Example 2: Black Mold
A landlord rents out two units in an old duplex. One day the landlord goes to do minor repairs and discovers black mold developing in the walls. The landlord finds out that mold removal is expensive and decides to put it off. One of the tenants develops a respiratory problem because of the mold and ends up hospitalized. The landlord is liable.
- Example 3: No Warning Signs
A company owns some land in the countryside outside Augusta. The land contains several old wells which are now just open shafts. The company has not fenced the land, did not cover the wells, and put no warning signs on them. Children come to play on the land and throw rocks down the well, but one of the children falls in. The company is liable.
You can see the common thread between all these cases. The property owner had an unsafe condition and they neither fixed it nor alerted the people who might be put at risk by it. Georgia law says that property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for those who may enter it. When they don’t, they’re responsible for any injuries.
What if the injury happened in a public place?
You still have a claim. Even public places are owned and managed by someone, whether it’s a business or local government, These property owners have the same duties toward guests as anyone else. In many ways they need to be even more vigilant, because of the large number of people who use these spaces.
Here are common examples of “public” premises and who is generally liable:
- Stores & Restaurants: The business is usually liable, or the property owner in some cases if the business is leasing the space.
- Offices & Commercial Property: If you work at the business, you may have a worker’s compensation claim, which our attorneys can help you with. Otherwise it’s a normal premises liability claim. The business or property owner is again liable.
- Parks: Local and state government both operate different types of parks in the Augusta area. You have the right to recover money from these government entities, although the process is slightly different than it is against a private business.
- Streets and Sidewalks: If the injury was caused by a vehicle it’s a car accident claim against the driver. But if it was caused by an unsafe condition (like an open manhole), local government is liable. On sidewalks, in some cases the owner of the nearest home is liable.
- Stadiums & Event Venues: These are sometimes complicated, with one entity owning the venue, another operating it, and possibly a third handling the event or performance. But you have an advantage in these cases because they usually have a liability insurance policy specifically for claims like yours.
What if it happened in a private home?
Your rights are the same. Many injury victims are hesitant to file a claim against a private homeowner, especially if it’s a friend. But the homeowner should not have to pay your claim out of pocket. Their property insurance will pay for it.
Remember: a true friend wants to see you recover from your injury and get the medical care you need, without facing debt. Never talk yourself out of getting the help you need—especially if you are facing medical bills.
Talk to an Augusta Premises Liability Lawyer for Free
You may have a right to money for medical costs, missed work time, pain and suffering, and the impact the injury has had on your life. The best way to find out is to take a free consultation with an attorney. Don’t miss out on your rights. John Foy & Associates has 20 years of experience winning cases. And we charge you nothing unless we get you money.
Contact us to get a FREE consultation to get started on your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.