Property Owner’s Duty of Care in Atlanta

Dressie Law Firm is your trusted legal ally in Georgia premises liability claims

Explore the legal intricacies of property owner’s duty of care in Atlanta with Dressie Law Firm. Learn about your rights and how we can assist in premises liability cases.

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Reasonable Precautions for Premises Owners

Under Georgia law, property owners owe a duty of care to their visitors. This means they must exercise ordinary care to safeguard their visitors from potential hazards. Breaching this duty of care and leading to an invitee getting injured could result in a premises liability case. It’s worth noting that the term “property owner” cuts across the board and includes home and business owners.

Damages from a negligent property owner could easily put you in financial turmoil. Fortunately, the experienced lawyers at the Dressie Law Firm can increase your chances of winning a premises liability case.

    Understanding Duty of Care

    As mentioned, duty of care refers to the property owner’s responsibility to provide visitors with a safe and hazard-free environment. This duty of care is subjective, and negligence is established on a case-by-case basis. Either way, the property owner must take adequate measures to keep their premises safe and prevent accidents and injuries on their property.

    In Georgia, standards and terms of premises liability are established under OCGA § 51-3-1. According to this statute, property owners and occupiers of land are “liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by their failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” This means they will pay for any damages caused by failing to keep their property safe.

    Types of Property Visitors and Duties Owed

    As per Georgia premises liability laws, the degree of duty of care owed depends on the property owner’s relationship with the visitor. So property owner’s negligence and duty of care in premises liability cases vary by case. In that regard, there are three types of visitors in any Georgia premises liability case, and they are:

    Invitees

    According to premises liability law, Georgia property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. Invitees are visitors who enter the premises via express or implied invitation. They include house guests, business clients, and retail customers. Diners in a restaurant are also considered invitees as per Georgia premises liability law. The duty of care owed includes:

    • Maintaining the premises’ safety standards

    • Conducting regular inspections

    • Addressing safety hazards promptly

    Licensees

    Licensees are a step below invitees in terms of duty of care owed. They enter the premises without permission from the owner but for their benefit. They include door-to-door salespeople and evangelists. The duty of care owed involves taking reasonable care to address safety hazards.

    Trespassers

    Trespassers don’t qualify as legitimate visitors. These are individuals who enter the premises without express permission from the property owner. Nonetheless, property owners must still maintain certain responsibilities. The duty of care owed involves avoiding intentional harm to the trespassers. Property owners may also be held liable for highly dangerous conditions on the property.

    Property Owner Responsibilities

    The law holds every property owner responsible for maintaining a safe environment. Owners must exercise ordinary care to ensure their visitors remain safe. Some of their key responsibilities, according to premises liability laws, include:

    • Keeping the premises in a safe condition

    • Conducting regular inspections to identify hazards and perform necessary repairs

    • Installing warning signs indicating immediate hazards

    • Implementing reasonable security measures to protect visitors from violent crime

    • Complying with necessary building codes and regulations

    • Landlords must ensure the rented space is safe for all their tenants

    • Cordoning off attractive nuisances to children like swimming pools, powerlines, and trampolines

    Property Owners Liability in Case of Negligence

    Injured parties must prove negligence in personal liability cases to receive compensation. Negligence is the failure of the property owner to exercise reasonable care in protecting the visitor from harm.

    The concept of negligence typically varies from one case to the next. To determine negligence, the injured party must:-

    • First, demonstrate that the property owner owed them a duty of care. This applies to invitees and licensees.

    • Next, they must show that the property owner breached this duty of care by failing to address a dangerous condition or place warnings.

    • You must show that the injuries resulted from the premises owner causing unsafe conditions.

    • Finally, the injured party must show that they suffered actual damage from the injuries. These damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

    Filing a Premises Liability Claim

    If you were recently injured on someone’s property, you have the legal right to compensation under premises liability laws. Premises liability claims allow injured parties to seek compensation for their injuries. Here’s how you can file your claim.

    Seek medical treatment– Rush to the nearest medical facility to receive treatment for your injuries.

    Collect and preserve the evidence– Next, gather every piece of evidence you can. Evidence can include photos and videos of the hazard, defective structure, or injury. You can also keep obtain security camera footage and medical records, prescriptions, and other documentation that may support your case.

    Report the incident– With enough evidence at hand, you’ll want to report the incident to the property owner next. This could be the homeowner, landlord, property manager, or business owner. Be sure to document the crucial details and request a copy of the incident report. Crucial factors to include in the incident report are:

      • The time and date of the incident
      • The location
      • The name and details of the property owner
      • The names and contacts of any witnesses
      • The type of injuries sustained

      Consult an attorney– After checking everything off the list, contact a reputable attorney to guide you through the rest of the process. The attorney will assist you with understanding your rights, options, and potential outcomes of a premises liability case. They’ll also give you a leg up in:

      • Investigating and validating your claim
      • Crafting and sending a demand letter to the property owner’s insurance company
      • Negotiating with the premises owner’s insurance company
      • Filing premises liability lawsuits if necessary

      Note that Georgia has a two-year statute of limitation on such claims. So if a lawsuit is necessary or inevitable, seek legal representation as soon as possible.

      You can also file a premises liability claim against your city. It’s not common for Atlanta residents to pursue claims for slip-and-fall accidents from uneven sidewalks. The same goes for accidents caused by loose cables, unmarked hazards, and the like. Filing a claim against the city of Atlanta is no easy feat. That’s why you’ll need an experienced and skilled legal representation to see your claim through.

      Let Us Help With Your Premises Liability Case

      Georgia premises liability law can be complex and confusing, but the lawyers at Dressie Law Firm are always eager to help. So, don’t let unscrupulous landlords and land occupiers infringe on your legal rights. Contact Dressie Law Firm for suitable legal representation. Schedule a free consultation with our Atlanta premises liability attorney today.

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        If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

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