If you are seriously injured due to the negligence of a landowner in Georgia, you deserve to work with an experienced premises liability attorney who will give you the extra attention that you deserve. Your attorney should take the time to listen to your story, explain your options and answer your questions at every stage in your case. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, our Norcross personal injury lawyers are committed to giving you – and your case – that type of one-on-one attention while, at the same time, pursuing the maximum amount for you.
Our attorneys have nearly 40 years of combined legal experience with handling landowner negligence cases. Over the years, we have secured more than $150 million in compensation for clients in Norcross and throughout the greater Atlanta area. Contact us today to learn more about our highly individualized and caring approach to client service in relation to premise liability claims. We will provide a free consultation.
Why Were You on the Property (and Why Does It Matter)?
The first step in determining whether compensation will be available in a landowner negligence case is to assess the duty of care which the landowner owed to you as a visitor. The duty will depend on your reason for being on the property. Georgia places home visitors in three categories:
- Invitees – These are visitors whom the property owner (or party managing the property) has intentionally invited onto the property for their mutual benefit. The most common example is a shopper in a store. The store has advertised its goods and services and invited people to visit the property to shop. So, the store owes its invitees a duty to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises reasonably safe. This is the highest level of duty. It imposes a responsibility to take actions such as sweeping floors, mopping wet areas and fixing broken items like stairs and railings.
- Licensees – These are visitors who are permitted to be on the property, but not for a mutual or commercial benefit. Friends or social guests are examples. Property owners owe their licensees a duty to avoid reckless exposure to harm. They must warn licensees of hidden, non-obvious dangers. So, consider someone who is visiting a friend and trips on a stump in the yard. If the stump is open and obvious, the landowner likely will face no liability. However, if the same guest falls due to a broken step that was not plainly visible – for instance, it may have been covered by a tarp or leaves – the question will be whether the property owner knew of the hazard. If so, the owner may face liability.
- Trespassers – These are visitors who enter the owner’s property without permission or any other legal right to be there. Landowners owe trespassers a duty of care, but it is a minimal one. They cannot intentionally harm the trespasser. However, an exception applies when young children wander onto property. A landowner has a duty to prevent their access to an “attractive nuisance.” For instance, if a landowner has a pool on the property, the landowner typically should put a fence around it and a gate that locks. (In fact, most Georgia municipalities have laws that require fences and gates.)
Who Can You Sue for Residential Negligence?
In Georgia, homeowners may be held responsible for the injuries that occur on their property. So, if you are seriously hurt because a residential property owner failed to warn of a hidden danger such as a covered hole or some other condition, then you may need to file a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. If they won’t pay, you would need to take the homeowner to court.
In general, homeowners are not responsible for injuries caused by their tenants. If the property where you were injured is controlled by a renter, that individual – not the homeowner – might be ultimately to blame. Here are a few examples of how residential landowners might be liable:
- Concealing electrical lines and failing to warn guests about them
- Having guests on a porch with broken rails or steps and failing to warn them
- Holding a yard sale and covering up trip hazards in a way that creates a hazard
- Failing to light sidewalks or other walking areas, which prevents guests from seeing hazards such as holes or cracks in the pavement
- Leaving exposed wiring, sharp objects, or other items in disrepair.
What are Common Examples of Business Landowner Negligence?
Businesses frequently are defendants in premises liability lawsuits. Common examples of business landowner negligence include:
- Wet floors
- Broken stairs
- Broken railings
- Trip hazards
- Incorrect floor mat placement
- Slippery surfaces
- Poor building design creating hazards.
Negligent businesses typically include hotels, shopping centers, and convenience stores. However, injuries can happen in places like nursing homes, hospitals, truck stops and even in government buildings. Regardless of where the injury happened, if a dangerous or defective condition was present, and you were on the property for a lawful purpose, then you may be able to file suit against the business owner in order to recover full and fair compensation.
How Can Our Norcross Premises Liability Attorneys Help You?
If you suffered an injury on the property of another, you should contact Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, as soon as you are ready to take legal action. During your initial consultation, you will meet with an experienced attorney who will evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and help you to assess your options. If we move forward together, you can count on your lawyer to:
- Perform an aggressive investigation into the facts
- Obtain medical records, accident reports, incident files and anything else that can help to establish what occurred
- Calculate the amount of damages owed to you
- Negotiate with the landowner (and its insurance company) on your behalf
- Take your case to trial (if necessary)
- Help you to resolve all health care and insurance liens.
Ultimately, when it comes to getting paid for your injuries in Georgia, nothing compares to working with a skilled and compassionate premises liability attorney. Contact Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, today. You can also visit our office located at 4295 International Blvd. Suite D Norcross, GA 30093. Our consultations are always free.
Alan is a Gwinnett County native who proudly serves his community and provides skilled representation to injury victims and their families as a founding partner of the personal injury law firm of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. Alan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to graduate, summa cum laude, from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. He is also a graduate of Gerry Spence’s renowned Trial Lawyers College (TLC) in Wyoming. In his free time, Alan frequently speaks at continuing legal education seminars. He also volunteers as a youth baseball coach and assists his local high school's moot court competition team.