Serving Injury Victims in Macon, Hawkinsville, and Dublin, GA
When you walk into a store or through an amusement park, you expect to encounter a safe and relatively clean environment. All property owners, including homeowners, have a responsibility to maintain their premises within reason.
Premises liability is the reason store owners put up wet floor signs and use nets or barriers to prevent stock from falling on customers below. For instance, if you were walking through a big box hardware store and a box of wrenches falls from the top shelf, you could suffer from a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, or any number of other injuries. Warehouse-type stores are responsible for handling and storing stock in a safe manner. If the box was not placed properly on the shelf using the appropriate restraints and you suffered a serious injury, you can pursue a premises liability claim.
There are four components of a premises liability/unsafe premises claim:
- The premises contained a foreseeable hazard;
- The property owner, tenant, or other responsible party knew about or reasonably should have known about the condition;
- The responsible party did not warn or address the hazard prior to allowing guests inside; and
- The hazard caused the injured victim’s accident, which resulted in a serious injury.
Common Unsafe Premises Accident Causes
An unsafe premises could be a mall, bar, doctor’s office, shop, or a friend’s house. Some of the most common causes of negligence-based accidents include:
- Elevator and escalator malfunctioning
- Inadequate structural maintenance
- Carelessly leaving obstructions or chemical hazards where someone might trip or suffer from exposure
- Violent acts, such as assault, that arise from improper security
- Product defects such as a malfunctioning lock
- Improperly fenced swimming pools
- Failure to remedy hazards such as lead paint
The Responsibility of Georgia Property Owners
A property owner does not owe every person on premises the same level of care. There are three types of guests that a property owner should consider. An invitee is someone who is invited directly, such as an employee, a customer, or an organization member. Property owners must protect invitees through the use of ordinary care.
A licensee may be a social guest, a sales representative, or another non-contracted professional who comes onto a property with or without invitation. Owners are liable for licensee injuries only if their negligence was willful.
The third type of visitor is a trespasser. A property owner owes the least amount of responsibility to a trespasser, but must not attempt to injure him or her except in self-defense. The only time a property owner must use ordinary care is if he or she should reasonably expect trespassing.
The Complexities of Unsafe Premises Cases
Premises liability claims are some of the most complex personal injury cases. An injury attorney must identify the status of the claimant, the responsibility of the property owner, and present evidence that meets all of the proof requirements. At Nelson & Smith, we know what Middle Georgia courts require to move a case forward, and our injury lawyers in Macon understand how devastating an unsafe premises accident can be for our clients.
We prepare every case as if we are going to trial. In doing so, we can often reduce the amount of time it takes to secure a fair settlement. Our firm has access to a network of experts who specialize in safety regulations, accident recreation, and injuries so that we can piece together the evidence that supports your claim.
Our personal injury lawyers will work hard to uncover every detail of your case and hold the responsible party accountable for negligent maintenance. Whether you broke a hip because of a slippery floor or your child fell into an unfenced swimming pool, we hope you remember the name Nelson & Smith Attorneys at Law. We’re here to act as your compassionate advisors and aggressive legal counsel. For a free case evaluation, contact our Macon office today.