Marietta Premises Liability Lawyers
Owning property, whether it is residential, governmental, or commercial, comes with responsibility. If an owner or operator of a property invites or allows members of the public on the property, they are responsible for taking reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of their guests. In other words, the property’s owner or manager owes those people who are legally on the premises a duty of care to ensure that they cause no condition that could reasonably be expected to result in an injury, or allow no such condition to remain, without promptly taking steps to remedy it or posting warnings or barriers for the protection of the public. If they fail to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, the individual, company, or other entity that owns or manages the property can be held legally and financially accountable for any injuries that occur as a result.
This is what is meant by “premises liability:” The owner, manager, operator, or maintenance or security contractor of premises where people are invited, either implicitly or explicitly, may be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that occur on their premises, resulting from their negligence and causing the victim to suffer significant damages.
Types of Premises Negligence: Where and How Premises Accidents Occur
There are any number of different types of premises negligence that might result in someone being injured or killed. These are a few of the most common types that we see at Clay | Starrett Injury Lawyers, LLC:
Negligent security means that the owner or other person responsible for the conditions on the premises has not taken appropriate steps to keep their premises reasonably free of crime, especially violent crime: assault, battery, rape, abduction, or murder, for example. The perpetrators of those crimes may end up in prison, but that does little to help the victims. But because victims of violent crimes that could and should have been prevented often have legal recourse against whoever was responsible for the safe condition of the premises, victims may be able to recover money in compensation for their damages resulting from the crime with the help of a negligent security attorney.
If you or someone close to you was injured on someone else’s property as a crime victim, you need to hire an experienced premises lawyer to represent you. Having a good lawyer who understands the ins and outs of premises liability law is important. It will be necessary to show that means were available that could have been used successfully to prevent the crime and the injuries that resulted from it, and that because the premises owner failed to provide adequate security measures, you suffered economic damages as well as damages to your quality of life.
What is Adequate Security?
Defining adequate security is not so clear cut. What might be adequate for one property may not be adequate for another. What kind of neighborhood is the property in? What does the crime rate look like on the property and nearby? How many times have the police been called over the past couple of years to the property or others nearby? Hiring a specialized security firm to patrol, installing security cameras, adding locks or gates, improving lighting, or repairing and securing doors and windows might all be appropriate measures, depending on the conditions and crime history in the area.
Slip, Trip, and Fall
Probably the most frequently occurring type of premises accident is the slip, trip, and fall accident. Falls can be deadly, and they can also cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, along with fractures, neck and back injuries, and more. Was there a slippery floor, merchandise fallen from a shelf, spilled food on a restaurant floor, a cracked and uneven sidewalk, a pothole in the parking lot? If any of these or other equally hazardous conditions caused you to trip or slip and fall, you may have a good case to recover money for your damages.
Fires and Gas Explosions
If a gas leak or another flammable substance, worn electrical cords, overloaded circuits, or other fire hazard resulted in an explosion or fire, and you or a family member suffered severe burns, there is a good chance that the party responsible for maintaining the property can be held liable for your injuries. Was there a leak in a gas line or a gas stove or dryer? Were there smoke alarms installed? A sprinkler system? Fire extinguishers? Did they function properly? Were exits blocked preventing you from escaping the fire? These and other questions will need to be answered to determine if the owner of the property was negligent and thus liable for your damages.
Lead and Other Toxic Metal Exposure
Before 1978, most paint contained lead. Older buildings may still contain layers of leaded paint. If the overlying layers begin to chip and peel, the leaded layers may be exposed. Or if renovations are underway, paint dust may be released into the area by sawing and drilling into the older layers. If children or pregnant women in particular inhale or ingest the lead, serious health problems, including developmental delays, may result. Landlords need to have their premises inspected, provide warnings if older layers of paint may contain lead, and take measures to protect workers, tenants, and others in the area from breathing in the lead dust, and must ensure that leaded paint layers are not peeling and chipping in properties where children are present. Owners who fail to comply with Georgia’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rules may be held liable for damages that result from exposure.
Playgrounds and Amusement Accidents
Any place where children play has the potential for an injury to occur. Schools, daycare centers, public parks, churches, theme parks, and other commercial and government-run recreation facilities are all places where care must be taken to safeguard the children who use them. Children do not always use the best judgment, so it is the responsibility of those who select and install play equipment to ensure that it is safe and age-appropriate. Equipment should be clearly marked for the appropriate age group, soft ground covers installed, and equipment carefully selected and properly installed and maintained. Schools, daycare centers, and other places where children are cared for have a responsibility to supervise the children to prevent accidents from misuse of equipment. Any failure in these areas could incur liability on part of the premises owner if an injury or fatality occurred as a result of their negligence.
Liability for Drownings and Near Drownings
Swimming pools and other bodies of water pose a danger, especially to children. Drowning and near-drowning accidents are a leading cause of fatalities and injuries among children between the ages of one and fourteen. Near drownings can cause severe brain damage. Anyone who owns a pool needs to take care to make it inaccessible to unsupervised children by surrounding it with a fence with a locked gate and ensuring that doors leading to the pool area are locked. Preventing slippery deck areas; installing drain covers to prevent hair from causing swimmers to be entrapped by being sucked into drains; repairing broken ladders, steps, and diving boards; and regularly inspecting for any electrical defects are essential to pool ownership. If a drowning or near drowning occurs because the owner has been negligent in maintaining and securing a swimming pool, he may be held liable for resulting injuries and deaths.
Campus Accidents Liability
College and university campuses are busy places where accidents attributable to negligence are fairly common. Motor vehicle accidents on campus; falls; assault, battery, rape, and other crimes; fires; and other preventable accidents and events causing injuries may occur if the administration fails to provide a safe environment for students, visitors, and staff. In some cases, injured victims will be able to recover monetary compensation for their injuries from the institution or its insurer.
Dog Bites Liability
If you are bitten by a dog, the owner of the property where the bite occurred may be held liable in some situations. Claims made against property owners for dog bites made up over a third of all homeowners’ insurance claims in 2015, and insurance companies paid out more than $570 million on claims made by dog bite victims. If a dog attacked you or a family member on someone else’s property, you may be able to hold the owner liable for your injuries. In Georgia, if the attack occurred on the dog owner’s property and the dog was not running loose in violation of an ordinance, you will need to prove through your attorney that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the dog was prone to biting.
Injuries on Worksites
If an employee is injured on the job, benefits are usually paid through a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, however, the injured person may have a third party claim against the owner of the premises where the work was taking place, if the owner caused or allowed a hazardous condition to exist and it resulted in a serious injury.
Finding the Right Legal Representation | Marietta Premises Liability Lawyers
If you have been injured or a family member killed on someone else’s premises, and you believe that it was the result of negligence, you may be able to recover money for your damages in a legal action for premises liability. These cases can be difficult, and property insurance companies employ various tactics to avoid paying injury claims. You need a lawyer familiar with premises liability law, as well as with the manner in which insurance companies work, if you are to receive a fair settlement for your injuries.
In the Marietta, Georgia area, you can get top quality, experience legal representation by contacting Clay | Starrett Injury Lawyers, LLC. Jack is a top rated award-winning personal injury lawyer with a record of achieving successful recoveries for clients injured in preventable premises accidents. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. Learn if you have a case and get straightforward answers to all of your questions from an experienced and effective personal injury lawyer. The consultation is absolutely free, and you never have to pay a thing until the day you receive your recovery award. If you don’t win money, you don’t pay us anything at all. Georgia law places time limits on filing injury claims, so call us and start the process today.