If you are injured when on another person’s property because of their negligence to ensure safety for everyone, then you can file a premises liability case against the property owner. The case will be categorized under a personal injury claim. The law in Georgia expects property owners to maintain a safe environment for those that are on their private property.
It is a requirement that entails routine inspection for potentially harmful or hazardous elements, warning people about such things, and taking the necessary measures to fix such dangers. If the conditions led to the injury of a person, then the property owner will be held accountable whether they were aware of the perils or not.
The case, like most other negligence-based lawsuits, tends to be complicated. It requires an in-depth knowledge of the various legal rules and exceptions, which can be confusing at times. If you are tripped by something or you slip and fall while on someone’s property, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. A Macon premises liability lawyer with Calvin Smith Law can help find justice for your pain and suffering. They are among the best injury lawyers in Georgia with experience in matters touching on premises liability law.
We view every case we handle as unique, and that is how we have gained a reputation over the past decades for the delivery of exceptional legal services. Call our law offices today at XXX-XXX-XXXX to know more and discuss your options.
What are Some of the Common Types of Premises Liability Injuries?
A property, private or public, can have hazardous elements that can harm you in different ways. You might sustain a minor or major injury; in some cases, the injuries can lead to potentially life-changing conditions or death. Some of the typical kind of injuries we have handled in premise liability cases include:
Trip/Slip And Fall
The injuries occur when you fall because you were tripped or slipped on something. It might be a wet, broken, uneven, or cracked surface. It can also be the stairs or sidewalk. Such perils can be caused by unrepaired leaks, unsafe debris that is not removed, loose or wrinkled carpeting, and failure to place warning signs that will alert you of such hazards.
It happens when an elevator comes to a sudden stop after an abrupt, uncontrolled plummet or collapse. It can also occur when the door opens, but there is no elevator resulting in the user entering and falling down the shaft. At times, the lift might not be balanced, thus leading to a tripping hazard causing it not to stop. In some instances, the doors might be malfunctioning, thus striking or entrapping passengers when they are trying to enter or exit the elevator, respectively.
The injuries can happen because of incorrect installation of the escalator, negligent inspection coupled with poor maintenance that causes the escalator to malfunction. It might have dangerous metal parts that are protruding, move at high speed, have unsafe gaps between the steps, decelerate or accelerate suddenly, and clothes or shoes getting caught in between the moving parts.
Vicious Dog/Animal Bite
It is an injury that happens when a dog or another animal chases, attacks, bites or mauls you, and its owner failed to control the animal or warn you of its propensity to attack strangers.
Inadequate Fire Safety
It is injuries or death associated with fires. The causes can range from overcrowding, lack of fire or smoke detectors, or poorly maintained and malfunctioning detectors and alarms, failure to abide by the building safety code, lack of accessible fire emergency exits, defective sprinkler systems, inadequate fire safety, and protection gear, and the failure to address fire hazards. All these are issues that place a buildings’ occupants are at risk in case of a fire.
Hot Beverage Safety
We have handled cases of burn victims who sustained injuries after hot water or beverage was pilled on them because of the reckless actions of another person. Often, the hot liquid was not packaged correctly.
Negligent Supervision of Children
It is injuries that are mostly connected to infants and minors who sustain bodily harm via assault, molestation, abduction, or neglect by a teacher, minister, coach, chaperone, or the designated caregiver. It party at fault can also be an organization or business entity such as a daycare center, YMCA, school, library, or summer camp that fails to supervise and protect the children placed under their care.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Such incidents involve actual drownings, near-drownings, and submersion injuries. They mostly occur because there no adequate safety measures put in place, which include having trained lifeguards on watch, installed barriers to keep out children and prevent unauthorized entry, pool drain entrapment, inadequate safety warnings, and observing every other safety protocol that can help prevent drownings.
Recreational Water Illness
It involves lawsuits filed by an individual who suffers an illness or infection after using a private or public recreational water facility, be it a swimming pool, hot tub, or the water amusement park. The cause is mostly attributed to contaminated pool water, which has a parasite, viruses, bacteria or other pathogenic elements, which can include Shigella, norovirus, E-coli, salmonella, giardia, and cryptosporidium. The proprietors of aquatic recreation facilities are thus held responsible due to their negligent conduction in disinfecting the water and observing sanitation practices that will ensure the safety of all patron that frequent the venue.
It involves cases where there is an invasion of privacy in places such as fitness centers, retail stores, and hotels where peepholes and hidden cameras are used to peek and spy on patrons as they use these rooms or facilities. It can be in the locker room, restroom, hotel room, or any other area where a person expects to have some privacy.
We have handled claims that involve malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, injuries, and wrongful death attributed to aggressive, untrained, and bias conduct or security personnel like bouncer and security guards. These employees use excessive force and might have falsely accused a person of shoplifting, pickpocketing, or any other crime they assume the individual committed.
Such cases often involve poor maintenance, defective construction, negligent overloading, disrepair, and lack of adequate safety and cod inspections that lower the integrity of the deck or balcony, and it crumbles injuring or kill those that were on the deck or balcony. At times, the issue might be the railing was weak, and someone fell over from the deck or balcony. Such accidents can occur in a private residence, auditorium, apartment, theatre, convention center, lodge, or any other building.
The products often fall and cause head injuries on customers while they are shopping in places such as the home depot, Costco, Wal-Mart, or any other retail store that tend to stack merchandise on high shelves.
Many of the claims we have handled involving insufficient security are linked to cases of abduction, rape, assault, and murder. Such incidents are attributed to the lack of enough protection and safety protocols put in place in concert arenas, hotels, hospitals, apartments, shopping malls, among other facilities.
What Are Common Injuries In Premises Liability Cases?
Property owners in Macon, Georgia, are required to ensure their premises are free from hazards that can harm guests and visitors. Things such as broken tiles, holes in the concrete, and exposed electrical wires, unattended swimming pools, broken lifts or stairs, as well as failing structures pose significant threats that can lead to life-changing injuries or fatalities.
Some of the highly common injuries that we have come across when handling premises liability cases include:
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Muscle Strains and Torn Ligaments
- Dislocated and Broken Bones
- Brain and Head Injuries
- Foodborne Illnesses
- Animal Wounds or Dog Bites
If you or a loved one were injured while on someone’s property, you might be eligible to file a claim. Get in touch with our offices if you have any questions or are seeking advice on the way forward about your case. We at Calvin Smith Law have experienced premises liability lawyers in and near Macon that will help you know whether you have a valid reason to file a lawsuit and how to proceed. Call us today at XXX-XXX-XXXX to find out more.
How Will An Experienced Macon Premises Liability Attorney Help My Claim?
Many civilians face significant challenges when handling or trying to navigate the legal aspects of their personal injury cases. Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to premises liability claims. If you are seeking such compensation, then you are required to give proof that shows the defendant was responsible for your injuries because they failed to keep their property safe for others that visit. You also are expected to show evidence of negligence on the party at fault. Furthermore, you are required to show enough proof that you suffered damages due to their negligent conduct.
Given the complexities surrounding such cases, it is wise to consider hiring a premises liability attorney in Macon. The lawyer will significantly improve your odds, giving you a better chance of winning the maximum settlement possible. The attorney will help you in the following ways:
In our experience in matters related to the law, evaluating a case is a vital step in the decision process. Our lawyers will review the facts to help determine whether your case is worth going to trial or a settlement. Every case is unique, and one might benefit most from a trial while another is better solved through a settlement, depending on the facts. That is why you need an experienced attorney to help you tackle this process.
Identifying The Responsible Parties
One or more parties might be held liable in a personal injury or premises liability case. The lawyer will investigate your case to determine who is at fault. The attorney will then give you an honest assessment of who is to blame and their level of negligence as well as your degree of liability. Keep in mind that participatory neglect and potentially compromise your chances of getting the maximum compensation you deserve.
Witness Identification And Interviewing
A witness can help strengthen you claim that the property owner failed to exercise due care hence the reasons for your injuries. They witness, or witnesses might narrate the events that occurred leading up to your injuries. But the bigger issue here is identifying and reaching out to these individuals who will be crucial to your case. Having a dedicated premises liability lawyer will be essential in helping you identify the relevant witnesses. Our attorneys have the resources needed for this, and they will reach out and invite the witnesses to take part in your case.
Determining The Value Of Your Claim
By doing proper valuation of the premises liability claim, the lawyer assigned to your case will have an estimate upon which to base the negotiated settlement. The amount for the claim is based on the approximation of your monetary and non-monetary losses. You, therefore, are guaranteed that your claim will not be overvalued or undervalued.
Seeking Out The Right Experts
If need be, our team might need to include the services of accident reconstruction experts that will help illustrate the negligence. The Macon premises liability lawyer handling your case will work closely with these reconstruction experts who can be construction and engineering professionals who will help show any structural issues that the property owner negligent to correct.
Representing You During Negotiations
Not all personal injury or premises liability cases go to trial. The parties involved can agree to negotiate out of court and reach a settlement. The settlement option can be a quick way of resolving the matter, but can also be stressful. The defendant’s lawyers and insurance providers will try to find ways of minimizing the settlement. That is why you need an experienced Macon premises liability attorney representing you to help value your claim accurately and oversee the negotiations.
Filing A Lawsuit & Observing Deadlines
Your attorney will be a trusted ally, the professional support you need in the litigation. The lawyer will help you file your claim before the set deadline so that you avoid technical lapses. That way, you will not have to worry much about the deadlines; thus, you can concentrate more on recovery from the injuries.
What About Premises Accidents That Involve Children?
Children are drawn to dangerous things; this is something that even the Georgia law recognizes. However, the law also expects the responsible parties to ensure that such perils are kept away from the reach of children. That means premises (private or public) must make sure that they are free from potential hazards that might attract and injure trespassing children.
The law as a doctrine that deems some hazards as an attractive nuisance, and a property owner can be held liable in children are drawn in and injured by such thing. Such liability will be leveled against the property owner if the following factors are found:
- The owner was aware of the potential of children trespassing on the property.
- The property owner failed to exercises due care in addressing the hazards.
- The owner was reasonably aware of existing hazards that can cause serious injuries or death to trespassing kids.
- The trespassing children were not aware of the dangers the hazardous condition presented due to their gullible nature and spirit of fun and adventure.
The burden of fixing the hazardous elements is minor compared to the risk they present
The attractive nuisance doctrine, however, is not applicable if the children were guests on the property. It only applies to trespassing kids. In most cases, proving liability is relatively straightforward in the injured child was an invited guest on the property that had the dangerous elements.
What Types Of Damages Can Be Available To My Claim?
Once our lawyers help you to prove that another party was responsible for your injuries, the Georgia law allows you to be awarded for different types of damages based on the facts of the premises liability claim. Some of the damages that might be availed to you include:
They are awarded for damages that have a determined monetary value. The damages considered include lost wages and medical expenses (current and future). The claimant is required to prove that a certain amount of money was lost when meeting specific needs attributed to the injuries. The awarded claim might also consider the future costs of injuries that resulted in permanent disability.
They are awarded for damages that do not have a determined monetary value. The compensation amount is determined based on factors such as:
- The severity of the injuries
- Anguish suffered due to the injuries.
- Fear or shock associated with the injuries
- Degree of the impact the injuries had on prospects of employment
- How the injuries change the victim’s quality of life
Quantifying things such as pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and grief can be challenging. That is why general damages tend to differ depending on the facts surrounding the accident and how the incident impacts the life of the victim.
Take the example of an accident that resulted in a broken limb, and another led to permanent paralysis. Both incidents cause a degree of pain and suffering, impacted the quality of life of the victim, and brought out fear, shock, and anguish. The judge or jury will, however, consider the long-term consequences of the accident and the degree of distress associated with paralysis as a greater issue than having broken limbs that will heal. That is why the general damages are likely to be higher in the case where the victim was paralyzed.
It will cover the costs incurred due to the injuries caused by the willful, malicious, or wanton misconduct of an individual or organization. The damage is issued as a form of punishment to the responsible party, to deter them from doing such a thing in the future.
The state of Georgia, punitive damages are awarded once there is a satisfactory proof that the defendant’s actions amounted to fraud, malic, oppression, lack of exercising due care, or willful misconduct that leads to the presumption of conscious indifference to the outcomes of their conduct.
Are There Caps Placed On The Damages For Premises Liability Claims?
The law in Georgia typically has no set caps or limits on the special or general damages that are awarded to an injured person. However, there are some exceptions worth noting.
If the premises liability lawsuit is filed against the government, then the Georgia law can cap the damages. For instance, the maximums a claimant can recover when suing the state of Georgia is $1 million, and this is enshrined in the Georgia Tort Claims Act.
Also, note that the law in Georgia has a set cap on punitive damages. The much an individual can be awarded in a premises liability claim is $250,000. However, if the defendant is found to have “specific intent to cause harm” or was impaired due to drug or alcohol abuse, then there will be no cap placed on the awarded punitive damages. Moreover, punitive damages are also generally not awarded in lawsuits filed against the local or state government.
What Are The Statutes Of Limitation Premises Liability Lawsuit In Georgia?
The law in Georgia sets a specific period within which to file a lawsuit. That means your claim will be invalid if you file the personal injury or premises liability lawsuit after the stipulated statute of limitations expires. It, thus, is essential that you know the dates within which you should file our claim. In most cases, injured persons have two years from the time of the incident to file their claim in Georgia. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations might be longer depending on individual facts surrounding the case.
For instance, if the injured person is underage (below 18 years), then the deadline can be extended until they reach the age of 18 years. However, the parents of the injured are expected to pursue a claim within two years from the date their child was hurt, seeking compensation for the medical expenses. And if the injured is legally incompetent due to intellectual disability or has a mental illness, then the statute of limitations can be extended until they have resolved the disability.
Whatever the circumstance surrounding your case, the legal aspects involved in how you should proceed with the lawsuit can be challenging. That is why we advise you to consider the help and guidance of an experienced Macon premises liability lawyer. At Calvin Smith Law, we have a team of dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys that will investigate your case to collect enough evidence needed to put together a strong case. Get in touch with our offices at XXX-XXX-XXXX today to know more about your options and how we can help.