Property owners have some degree of responsibility under the law to keep their property safe for people they expect to be on their grounds. This is especially true of people invited onto the property to conduct business, including customers and clients of commercial establishments.
When a person is injured because a property owner failed to maintain grounds free of hazards, that person may have a claim against the property owner to recover for his or her damages. This legal concept is called “premises liability.”
Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer
ReShea Balams is an Atlanta premises liability lawyer who assists people who have suffered slip and falls, trips, violent crime, theft, electrocution, burns or any other injury because of the negligence of a property owner. She is a skilled advocate, dedicated to seeking just compensation for his clients. Whether you were injured at a store, a home, an office building, a public area or anywhere else, call The Balams Firm today at (404) 445-2005 to schedule a free consultation.
ReShea Balams represents clients throughout the Atlanta area, including Roswell, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Smyrna, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Johns Point, Decatur and Milton, or anywhere in Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett or DeKalb Counties.
Overview of Georgia Premises Liability Law
- Basics of Negligence
- Responsibilities of Business to Customers and Clients on Their Grounds
- Other Common Accident Sites
- General Liability Insurance for Accidents
Most personal injury lawsuits work under a legal concept called “negligence.” Negligence, put simply, means that the defendant, or person being sued, had a responsibility to act a certain way or not act a certain way, or “duty,” that they failed at this responsibility, called “breach,” and that this breach caused the plaintiff, or person suing, to suffer damages.
Property owners have some kind of duty to the people who walk onto their property. Even trespassers, or people who come onto the property without permission for their own benefit, are owed a duty not to be willfully or wantonly harmed.
Most people, though, whether social guests at a home or customers in a store, are owed a higher duty of care. In most cases, the property owner is responsible for at least warning people on the property of dangers they already know about.
A person’s damages are everything they suffered as a result of the negligence: hospital bills, lost wages from missing work, lost ability to work, pain and suffering and more. The purpose of the lawsuit is to make the person whole for what they’ve lost.
A business owes the highest level of care to its customers and clients. People have a right to expect safety when they go shopping or when they go to conduct business. When they suffer from injuries while on commercial property, they often have a right to recover for those injuries.
A person who enters onto a commercial property, or a property for the purpose of doing business, is an ” invitee.” Commercial properties can include:
- Retail Stores
- Shopping Malls
- Office Buildings
- Medical Offices
- A person’s home, if the purpose of the visit was to conduct business
If a person is a business invitee, the property owner has a responsibility to keep their property, and the ways people access their property, safe, and to at least warn people on the property of dangers that exist. Employees should be routinely checking for possible hazards.
Hazards may include:
- Spilled liquids, loose objects or recently mopped floors with no “Caution” sign, which can cause a slip-and-fall;
- Cracks in the floor, sidewalk or parking lot due to insufficient maintenance;
- Inadequate security, which may cause for you to become a crime victim; and
- Improperly stacked shelves, which could lead to injuries from falling merchandise.
Many businesses and stores rent space in a shopping center or office building. When an accident occurs, one might be liable for damages or both may be. A diligent attorney can sort out the details and determine the responsible party or parties.
Supermarkets and other commercial establishments are the frequent site of accidents, they are far from the only ones. There are many public places in the Atlanta area where a person might be injured. These could include:
- Government buildings, whether federal, state, county or city;
- Georgia Dome;
- Turner Field;
- Hartsfield-Jackson Airport; and
- MARTA station, or the train itself.
Some buildings are owned by the government. Government liability can be tricky, since the government possesses sovereign immunity in many cases, which makes it immune from lawsuits. However, sovereign immunity does not exist in all circumstances. Additionally, there are times when a management company or other private company, like a sports team, may be liable.
Additionally, injuries can occur due to negligence by a homeowner for a visitor. If you are a social guest at a person’s home, the homeowner may be liable if you are injured due to some sort of danger on their property.
Apartment complexes and landlords also have a responsibility to their tenants. If you are injured due to a condition at either, your landlord may be liable for damages.
Most businesses and many homeowners carry what is called a “general liability” insurance policy. Such a policy is to cover the insured in the event that he, she or it is found liable in a lawsuit.
If you were injured due to the negligence of a property owner, you will often be up against an insurance company. Your attorney can negotiate for a settlement that truly covers the cost of your damages.
Finding the Best Attorney for Your Atlanta-Area Premises Liability Case
ReShea Balams can represent you if you suffer an injury due to the failure of a property owner to keep his or her grounds sufficiently safe under the law. An Atlanta premises liability lawyer can make a significant difference in what you are able to recover. Call (404) 445-2005 today to schedule a free consultation.