If you suffered an injury on someone’s property, the property owner could be responsible. Your options will depend on the details of your injury. If someone else is liable for your damages, that person will owe you compensation.
All property owners are responsible for maintaining safe premises (Georgia Code Section 51-3-1). If an owner fails in that duty, they could be liable. This is premises liability law.
Examples of premises liability accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Elevator accidents
- Grocery store accidents
- Negligent security
- Dog bite accidents
- Building code violations
- Broken or defective stairs
- Poor lighting
- Asbestos exposure
A slip and fall accident lawyer can help you know who is responsible for your injury. Your lawyer will investigate your accident and help you build a case. At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping injury victims for 20-plus years.
To schedule a FREE consultation with an experienced lawyer, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online today.
How Can I Know Who Is Responsible for My Injury?
Injury cases depend on the idea of negligence. Everyone must exercise reasonable care not to harm others. If someone does not do that, they have been negligent.
Property owners have to keep safe premises. If your injury happened on someone’s property, the owner could be responsible. You will need to look at several factors.
Your Status as a Visitor
Each state will treat this section slightly differently. Check with a local lawyer to know your state’s laws. In Georgia, your rights will depend on your status as a property’s visitor:
- An invitee comes onto a property by “express or implied invitation.” For example, an invitee could be a customer in a store. Invitees are on the property legally.
- A licensee is not a customer. They come onto the property for their own interests or purpose (Georgia Code Section 51-3-2). The property owner has allowed licensees to be on the property.
- A trespasser comes onto a property illegally. The property owner has not given a trespasser the right to be on the property.
Most slip and fall accidents happen when the victim is an invitee. If you were an invitee, the property owner must keep the premises safe for you. If they fail to do that, they are liable for any injuries.
Licensees do not have the same legal protection as invitees. The property owner is only responsible if you have “willful or wanton” injuries. These would be intentional injuries.
Property owners owe almost no duty of care to trespassers (Georgia Code Section 51-3-3). However, they still cannot cause “willful or wanton” injury.
The Property Owner’s Duty to You
If you were on the property as an invitee, the property owner could be responsible for your injuries. There are four things you will need to prove:
- The property owner or occupier owed you a duty of care.
- The owner or occupier was negligent.
- You suffered an injury on the property.
- The owner’s or occupier’s negligence directly caused your injury.
An “occupier” can include a business leasing the property. An owner or occupier must maintain reasonable care at all times. For example, stores must be careful to prevent slip and fall hazards for customers.
If your injury happened because a property owner or occupier wasn’t careful enough, they might be responsible. You would be able to file a premises liability claim. Through your claim, you can seek compensation for your damages.
Landlord Responsibility for an Injury
What if your injury happened on the property where you live? Landlords must protect their tenants. That includes making sure the rental property is safe.
A landlord could be responsible for your injury if:
- They failed to provide reasonable protection, such as security, for tenants.
- They did not keep up with repairs and maintenance.
- They did not accommodate a tenant’s disability.
If your injury happened on your landlord’s property, talk to a lawyer. You will need to know your full legal rights after the injury.
To have an experienced lawyer look at your case for FREE, call John Foy & Associates. We will answer your questions and discuss your options. We will not charge you unless we win your case.
Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
Partial Fault for the Injury Accident
As a visitor to a property, you also have a duty of care. Visitors must be reasonably careful to avoid hazards. The property owner could claim your injury occurred because you were not careful enough.
The owner might just be looking to reduce their liability. If you had no way to avoid your injury, the owner is still responsible. However, if you are partially at fault, you still have options.
Georgia has “comparative fault” laws. Here’s how they work:
- You can still recover damages if you were less than 50% at fault.
- Your percentage of fault will reduce your compensation by the same rate.
- For example, say you had $100,000 in injury costs. The courts found you to be 5% at fault (and the property owner was 95% at fault). You would be responsible for 5% ($5,000) of the damages; the property owner is responsible for 95% (or $95,000).
Do not blame yourself for an injury without speaking to a lawyer. Also, be careful not to admit any fault or blame. The property owner or their insurance company could use it against you.
Many slip and fall accident victims are quick to blame themselves. They are surprised to learn that they had no fault in their injury. Talk to an experienced lawyer before making any assumptions.
Your lawyer can also protect your legal rights. They will know how to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you suffered an injury on a property, a lawyer’s perspective could make all the difference. You should not have to pay for any damages you didn’t cause.
Our attorneys at John Foy & Associates can help. We’ll listen to your situation and discuss your options. To get a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.