Through premises liability, property owners are held responsible for injuries that occur due to their own negligence on their property (Georgia Code § 51-3-1). When a property owner is negligent, they are liable for the damages resulting from the injury. An accident may happen at any time if certain dangerous conditions are present.
If you were hurt on someone else’s property, the nature of the condition that caused your injuries may give you grounds to bring a premises liability case against the owner. Below, we’ll cover some examples of dangerous conditions that would qualify under a premises liability claim.
Slip and Fall Accident Dangerous Conditions
Slip and fall accidents can occur on any type of property if the owner is not careful. Plus, slip and fall accidents are really common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three million older people go to the emergency room for fall injuries each year, and one in five of falls lead to a serious injury.
Dangerous conditions that lead to slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors
- Uneven or cracked flooring or sidewalks
- Broken staircases
- Spilled food items, drinks, or other substances
- Merchandise left out in store aisles
- Curled up rugs or flooring
It’s very important after a slip and fall accident to document the scene if you can. Taking pictures will show the dangerous condition that led to your injuries. Many slip and fall hazards, such as spills, can be cleaned up quickly by the business to try and reduce their liability.
If you’re unsure how to prove that the property owner was at fault for the dangerous condition that led to your slip and fall accident, contact an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate and compile evidence to show what happened.
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When a property is not maintained in good condition, it can present many different dangerous conditions for those who visit. Examples of poor maintenance that can be hazardous include:
- Broken doors or windows
- Uneven or cracked sidewalks or flooring
- Fallen merchandise from being poorly stored
- Fixtures in disrepair
- Broken locks
- Loose or missing handrails
- Broken or unmarked steps
- Vegetation that has grown too high or becomes too unruly
- Broken lights near an entrance or exit
- Faulty elevators or escalators
A lot of poor maintenance conditions increase the risk of slip and fall accidents and may impede the property’s security measures. Property owners must be diligent to regularly inspect, find, and remedy any dangerous conditions they come across.
Some owners will wait until an injury actually occurs before they take steps to fix the condition or prevent future accidents—which is negligent behavior.
Restaurant Liability Hazards
Just like other property owners, restaurant owners must keep their premises safe for everyone who comes to eat and drink at their business. If an owner does not uphold that duty, they can be found liable for the costs.
Some of the most common dangerous conditions that lead to injuries restaurants include:
- Spilled food or drink that is not cleaned up quickly enough
- Poorly lit parking lots
- Uneven flooring or pavement in the parking lot
- Poor security
Restaurant owners must make sure employees are regularly cleaning up food and drink spills. If a hazard like that is present for too long, it’s likely the restaurant will be found negligent in court.
Unfortunately, physical assault can happen in restaurant or bar settings due to negligent security or employees failing to handle a situation before it escalates. If someone is assaulted on a property in Georgia, the owner may be liable for injuries that occur.
Retail Store Liability Dangerous Conditions
Injuries at retail stores are common. If the owner or employees are not careful, slip and fall accidents (and other types of accidents) can easily happen. To seek damages, the injured victim will need to show that the dangerous condition was present long enough for the store to know about it and fix it.
Examples of hazardous conditions in retail stores include:
- Spilled food and beverage items (often from a nearby food court)
- Fallen clothes or other merchandise in the aisles
- Items falling from shelves onto customers
- Uneven flooring or rugs
- Poor lighting in walkways
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Part of a property owner’s duty to those they invite or lead onto their property is providing adequate security. If security is not tight enough, criminal activity can occur and lead to serious injuries. Inadequate security can lead to assault, battery, robbery, and even rape on the premises.
Properties like retail businesses and restaurants must maintain adequate security to prevent injuries. The same often goes to properties where tenants live, such as apartment buildings or college dorms. Although tenants are in control of what happens inside of their apartment or dorm, the property owner is typically responsible for security outside and around the complex.
There are some dangerous conditions you can’t easily see—but they are very serious. Property owners must be aware of environmental hazards like:
- Carbon monoxide
- Lead-based paint
Environmental hazards may lead to illness if property owners are not careful to watch for these elements and prevent them from causing harm.
Swimming Pool Dangerous Conditions
If a swimming pool visitor is hurt, the pool owner may be held liable. The exact laws surrounding swimming pool liability can vary per state. In many cases, the owner must ensure the pool is kept safe and contains necessary safety equipment to prevent harm.
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
Property owners must also maintain control of animals on their properties. That includes dog bites as well as some wild animals. If you were injured by an animal on someone’s property, it’s best to speak with a premises liability lawyer who can determine your options.
Proving the Owner Was Responsible for the Dangerous Condition
To bring a premises liability case, you will need to consider:
- Whether or not the property owner should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition and had time to clean it up
- How long the hazard that been in the location where you were injured
- If there was a good reason for the condition to be as it was
- Whether or not there were any warnings signs about the hazard that you missed
Since visitors do have a degree of personal responsibility for avoiding dangerous conditions on properties, the owner or their insurance company might try to blame you for what happened. It’s best to contact an experienced premises liability lawyer who can make sure your rights are protected.
Talk to a Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been helping injury victims win the compensation they need for over 20 years. We can help you with your premises liability case, too—starting with a FREE consultation. To get started with your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.