Have you suffered an injury on someone else's property?
These types of injuries are often a result of the property owner's negligence in maintaining the property or removing hazards and obstacles that could cause visitors to hurt themselves. This is why victims should meet with a qualified Savannah premises liability lawyer to determine if they are owed compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
The reputable attorneys at Roden Law are well-versed in all aspects of Georgia premises liability law. We know how to thoroughly investigate your accident, gather relevant evidence and build a strong case as we aggressively pursue the compensation you are entitled.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with one of our skilled attorneys right now. You will not be charged for any of our services unless you receive compensation.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
The Savannah premises liability lawyers at our firm are prepared to pursue cases involving many types of injuries that occur in a variety of situations. This includes cases involving:
- Slips, trips or falls – These accidents can result in many severe injuries, from cuts and bruises to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. These types of accidents are caused by many hazards and obstacles, including cracks in the sidewalk, uneven stairways, poor or nonexistent lighting, slippery or wet floors, or loose carpet. If you were injured in a slip, trip or fall accident, our Savannah slip and fall attorneys might be able to help you.
- Inadequate security – People are often victims of crime on someone else's property because the property owner failed to provide enough security to deter or stop dangerous individuals from entering the property or harming visitors. Adequate security could include security guards, cameras and proper lighting. Poor security can cause injuries at many locations, such as shopping malls, ATM machines, parking lots, hotels, concerts or apartment complexes.
- Aggressive security – If you were injured because of an aggressive or untrained bouncer, security guard or employee, you may have a premises liability claim. For example, maybe you were escorted out of a nightclub in an aggressive manner that was excessive or unreasonable and you suffered an injury.
- Lack of fire safety – Our Savannah premises liability lawyers may be able to pursue compensation if you suffered burn injuries due to poor or non-existent fire safety on someone else's property. Examples of inadequate fire safety include malfunctioning smoke detectors, broken fire alarms, fire sprinkler systems that do not work, or dangerous or inaccessible fire escapes. Failing to address these deficiencies can allow fires to spread and put visitors in unnecessary danger.
- Swimming pool accidents – These often involve slip and fall injuries near the water. They can also involve drownings or near drownings. These incidents could be caused by not having lifeguards on duty or having poorly trained or inattentive lifeguards. There are also cases where the pool lacked adequate signage warning pool users of the risks of swimming.
- Poisoning from recreational water – Poor sanitation protocols can expose people to harmful bacteria and viruses when they enter commercial or residential swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains or other recreational water venues. Some of the bacteria that can spread because of poor sanitation include E. coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and Norovirus.
- Malfunctioning elevators – Elevators can cause many injuries if they are malfunctioning or have fallen into disrepair. For example, if the elevator is not level with the opening it could create a tripping hazard. If an elevator door opens but there is no elevator, someone could fall down the elevator shaft and the property owner could be held liable. If an elevator plummets and stops abruptly, the occupants could suffer severe injuries. In some cases, property owners can be held liable for failing to put up a sign warning that an elevator does not work.
- Malfunctioning escalators – People often suffer injuries when shoes or clothes get stuck in between moving parts of the escalator. There are also accidents caused by the escalator moving too fast, protruding parts that cause cuts and bruises, or slip and fall accidents. Property owners could be held liable for failing to properly maintain the escalator, make repairs or put up signs when it is not working.
- Dog attacks – If you were bitten or attacked by a dog on someone else's property, the owner could be held liable for your injuries.
- Amusement park accidents – Poor supervision or malfunctioning rides could cause serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. In some cases, people are thrown off rides and collide with fixed objects while on the ride, causing broken bones, crush injuries and head injuries.
If you were injured on another's property, contact our Savannah premises liability attorneys today for a free legal consultation.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to discuss your legal options.
Why Do I Need a Premises Liability Lawyer?
You might think you can handle a premises liability claim on your own. However, the legal process is time-consuming and extremely complicated, and there are many benefits to working with an attorney on your case. For example, an experienced attorney:
Has Detailed Knowledge of Premises Liability Laws
In order to build a strong case, you need to have extensive knowledge and understanding of Georgia laws governing premises liability claims. These laws explain the obligations of property owners for keeping visitors safe and warning about potential dangers. If you cannot prove your injuries were caused by a violation of these laws, you will not be able to obtain compensation.
However, if you have a knowledgeable premises liability attorney in Savannah at your side, he or she will already have an understanding of these laws and will know how to research them if necessary. This not only saves times, but helps ensure you have a strong case.
Knows How to Investigate the Situation
One of the keys to any successful premises liability case is doing a thorough investigation. This will allow you to collect evidence to help prove what happened and how your injuries were caused by some form of negligence on the part of the property owner.
Our Savannah personal injury attorneys have many years of combined experience investigating personal injury cases. We know what to look for and how to gather the evidence we need. For example, if there is video footage of the accident, we know how to obtain it. We can work with you to collect documentation of your injuries and all of the expenses you have incurred.
Our attorneys can also look for past complaints or lawsuits against the property owner over premises liability injuries.
Knows How to Accurately Value Your Claim
Our Savannah premises liability lawyers are committed to pursuing all of the compensation you deserve. We know compensation cannot change what happened, but it is a valuable part of recovering from an injury. In many cases, compensation can prevent your injury from turning into a financial catastrophe for you and your family.
One of the biggest advantages to working with an attorney is that he or she knows how to accurately value damages that do not have a defined economic value, such as pain and suffering. We will talk with you and your family to get an accurate picture of all of the physical and emotional pain you are experiencing.
Schedule a free legal consultation today to learn how we can help with your case. You will not be charged for our services unless you receive compensation.
Call Roden Law today to speak to a premises liability lawyer in Savannah. 1-844-RESULTS
Georgia Law on Invitees
Property owners have legal obligations, or duties, to visitors on their property. These duties are determined by the visitor's legal status when he or she enters the property.
There are three main types of visitors: invitees, licensees and trespassers. Of those three, property owners owe the highest degree of care to invitees.
According to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 51-3-1, an invitee is anyone who is encouraged through an expressed or implied invitation to enter property for a lawful purpose.
Common examples of invitees in Georgia include:
- General contractors hired to repair property
- Customers in retail stores, gas stations, banks or restaurants
- Clients visiting a business
- Ticket holders at a concert
- Students at a school or university
- Tenants of an apartment building
What is Ordinary Care?
Under Georgia law, property owners can be liable for injuries to invitees if those injuries were caused by a failure to use ordinary care to keep the property and entry ways to the property safe.
Ordinary care means the property owner must take reasonable steps to clean and maintain the property to help prevent injuries to invitees. For example, the owner needs to keep stairs, driveways, sidewalks, curbs and parking lots in reasonably safe condition. This means cleaning up slip and fall obstacles, repairing cracks or damage to sidewalks, providing adequate security and fire safety, and repairing malfunctioning or defective equipment or machinery.
Reasonable steps can also include conducting regular inspections of the property to discover dangers and fix them or warning people to avoid them. For example, if a property owner discovers lights are out in a section of the property, he needs to fix them or warn invitees to stay away from the area to avoid injury.
Actual and Constructive Knowledge
The duty to exercise ordinary care does not apply to every single hazard that exists on the property. This duty only applies to hazards the property owner has actual or constructive knowledge about.
Actual knowledge simply means the property owner was able to see, hear, touch or smell the obstacle or hazard. Actual knowledge could also apply to situations where a property owner was told about a hazard.
It is usually easier to prove a property owner had actual knowledge compared to proving constructive knowledge. Constructive knowledge means that property owner should have known about the hazard in question.
One way to establish constructive knowledge is with evidence that employees were in the immediate vicinity and could have easily noticed the obstacle. Another way to establish constructive knowledge is with evidence the obstacle had been there for a long enough time that it would have been discovered and addressed if the owner used reasonable care.
The premises liability attorneys in Savannah at our firm may also be able to prove constructive knowledge by showing the property owner violated a local ordinance related to the upkeep of his or her property.
Plain View Doctrine
This doctrine says injury victims have constructive knowledge of a hazard when it is plainly visible and in a location where it is expected to be.
Under the law, invitees are expected to take reasonable steps to avoid these kinds of obstacles. If they do not take reasonable steps and suffer an injury, the property owner will likely not be held liable. This is because the property owner and invitee both know about it.
A common example of a hazard that is in plain view is merchandise in a store aisle when an employee is stocking shelves. This hazard is in plain view and is something invitees should expect to see.
If you suffered an injury as an invitee on someone else's property, the premises liability lawyers in Savannah at our firm may be able to pursue legal action.
Contact Roden Law today for a free legal consultation.
Licensees and Trespassers
The two other legal classifications for visitors to a property are licensees and trespassers. A licensee is someone who is on the property for his or her benefit, unlike an invitee who enters a property for the mutual benefit of himself or herself and the property owner. Common examples of licensees are visitors to your house or someone who comes to your door to sell something.
A trespasser is someone who enters a property illegally. A common example is someone who enters a house to commit a crime, like robbery.
Under O.C.G.A. 51-3-2 and 51-3-3, the only duty owed to trespassers and licensees is to avoid causing willful or wanton injury to these people. This means property owners cannot knowingly allow a licensee or trespasser to approach a hidden hazard or willfully cause harm to the person.
In the case of a trespasser, property owners cannot set traps intended to harm the trespasser. Property owners also have a duty to warn trespassers about conditions he or she knows about that may be harmful, such as an electrical fence.
In the case of licensees, property owners need to warn about potential hazards, such as a hole in the ground or damaged stairs. However, if the hazard is clearly marked or visible, it is unlikely the owner will be held liable for injuries.
The Savannah premises liability attorneys at Roden Law have detailed knowledge of these legal classifications and how to prove a property owner did not fulfill his or her legal obligations.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Georgia applies the common law doctrine of attractive nuisance to cases where child trespassers were injured on another's property.
An attractive nuisance is something that is inherently dangerous and attractive to children, such as a swimming pool, trampoline or playground equipment. These things are attractive to children because children usually want to play on them.
Property owners can only be held liable for injuries from attractive nuisances if the situation satisfies five conditions:
- The owner knows or has reason to know children are likely to trespass to use the attractive nuisance
- The owner knows or has reason to know the nuisance poses an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children
- The children do not realize the risk of using the attractive nuisance
- The burden of eliminating the danger is small compared to the risk of leaving the danger in place
- The property owner did not use reasonable care to eliminate the danger or protect the children
Our premises liability attorneys in Savannah are prepared to fight for you or your child's rights after an injury on someone else's property.
Contact us to discuss your legal options.
What if I am Partially at Fault for My Injury?
There are some premises liability cases where the victim or the property owner is almost entirely at fault for the injury. However, there are other cases where both parties have some amount of fault.
These types of cases are governed by Georgia's comparative fault law. This law is stated in O.C.G.A. 51-12-33 and says victims are prohibited from obtaining compensation if they are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
The law also says that if you are less than 50 percent at fault, your compensation award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. This means an award of $100,000 would become $60,000 if you were found to be 40 percent at fault.
Attorneys for the property owner will likely try to assign you as much fault as possible to avoid paying any compensation or to reduce your total award. That is why our Savannah premises liability lawyers are prepared to build a strong case to try to make sure you are not assigned more fault than you deserve. We want the property owner to be held accountable for his or her negligence.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Contact a Savannah Premises Liability Lawyer at Roden Law
Premises liability cases are complicated, which is why you need a skilled lawyer representing you.
The Savannah premises liability attorneys at our firm know how to build a strong case for why you are entitled to compensation. We are well-versed in the various aspects of premises liability law, from ordinary care to attractive nuisances and actual and constructive knowledge.
We are prepared to manage every aspect of your case so you can focus on your recovery. We do not charge for representing you unless you receive the fair compensation you deserve.