Premises Liability Lawyers
When an innocent victim becomes seriously injured by a violent crime on another person’s property, they may have a right to compensation. A premises liability lawyer can help you fight for the conversation and justice you deserve if you have been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. The legal team at Rice McGowan has a proven track record of success in obtaining compensation for premises liability victims across the state of Georgia. Contact our firm today to learn more about how he can fight for your right to compensation.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal obligations property owners have to keep their premises reasonably safe from crime. When a property owner fails to use reasonable care to keep his or her property safe, and someone becomes injured, the owner can be held liable for the victim’s damages. In other words, negligent security is a legal theory that allows victims who become injured on another person’s property to recover compensation. The injured individual can try to hold the owner or manager of the property financially responsible for his or her physical injuries and the pain and suffering caused by the injuries.
The Basics of Premises Liability in Georgia
Under Georgia law, landowners have specific legal responsibilities to keep their properties reasonably safe for guests and visitors. Landowners and managers must use reasonable safety measures to protect their guests, such as:
- Adequate lighting
- Electronic surveillance
- Doors and windows that safely lock
- Security cameras
- Security personnel
Victims who have been injured in negligent security cases must prove several legal elements to obtain compensation in a lawsuit. First, they must prove that the landowner owed them a duty of care. Under Georgia law, property owners owe guests, customers, and residents a duty to keep their property reasonably safe. Next, the victim must prove that the property owner breached the duty of care he or she owed the victim. Finally, the victim must prove that the landowner’s breach of care caused his or her physical injuries.
Examples of Premises Liability: When to File a Suit
Unfortunately, there are many different ways residents, gas, and customers can become injured on someone else’s property. One of the most common causes of premises liability injuries involves slipping and falling on dangerous flooring. When a property owner fails to warn a customer that the floors are slick, the customer may fall and become injured. When the customer can prove that the owner failed to warn them or use reasonable care by cleaning up the slippery surface, they can recover compensation. Other common types of premises liability actions include the following:
- Dog bites
- Accidents in hotels
- Accidents on construction sites
- Accidents in parking lots
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents involving dangerous or icy sidewalks and steps
- Staircase accidents
How Can a Premises Liability Attorney Help You?
Attorney James Rice has extensive experience representing clients in premises liability claims. If you have been seriously injured in an accident on someone else’s property, it is worth discussing the case with an attorney. You only have a limited amount of time to bring a claim for compensation. He will carefully evaluate your claim and help you understand whether you have a right to pursue compensation. He will also discuss what evidence and witness testimony will be required to build your case.
Working with an attorney can help you gain an understanding of how much your case is worth. Many people undervalue their claim because they do not consider all of the future expenses they will incur from their injuries. We work with experts to create a comprehensive list of all of your expenses now and in the future. Once we have established a value for your claim, we will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company and defend it. If they are unwilling to offer a fair settlement amount that covers all of your expenses, we will take your case to court.
Should I Settle With the Insurance Company?
Becoming injured in a promise just liability accident can be financially devastating. You probably have mounting medical bills waiting to be paid, and you may not return to work because of your injuries. It can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer the insurance company makes you, but it is important to remember that insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind.
The insurance company’s goal is to resolve the issue as cheaply and quickly as they can. Attorney James Rice has extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and will fight hard to obtain the compensation you deserve. He will advise you on whether it is advantageous to accept the insurance company’s settlement agreement. We do not recommend signing a settlement offer without discussing it with an attorney first.
Injuries Caused by Premises Liability Accidents
The injuries caused by premises liability accidents range from minor to catastrophic. If you have received a minor or moderate injury, you may think it is not worth pursuing compensation. However, minor injuries can cause expensive medical bills. For example, if you break your leg and have to go to the emergency room, get a cast, and schedule follow-up appointments, you could end up paying thousands of dollars, even with health insurance. If you experience a soft tissue injury in your neck, you may undergo months of physical therapy to recover full mobility.
Regardless of what type of injury you suffered, it is essential to reach out to a premises liability attorney who can help you understand the value of your claim. Even minor slip and fall accidents can have serious and expensive consequences. Some of the most common injuries from premises liability cases include the following:
- Animal bites that cause scars and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Animal bites
- Cuts and bruises
- Torn ligaments
Wrongful Death Claims
Some premises liability accidents result in a person’s death. If your loved one has died because a property owner or manager has negligence, you may pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Nothing can bring your love home back, but recovering compensation can help you and your family pay for funeral expenses, the loss of your loved one’s earning potential, loss of consortium, pain, suffering, and more.
Premises Liability Cases Involving Children
Unfortunately, children are at a higher risk of becoming injured in premises liability cases than adults. There is also a different legal standard that applies to child trespassers. Property owners can be held liable for injuries that children sustain when the following five conditions are present:
- The property owner knew or should have known that children trespass on the property
- The owner knew or should have known that there was a hazardous condition likely to cause serious injury or death to kids
- The trespassing child was not aware of the dangerous condition due or did not understand the extent of the danger
- The property owner’s burden of fixing the dangerous condition was minor compared to the child’s risk of injury
- The property owner did not use reasonable care in removing the condition
Suppose a property owner fails to put a fence around a pool, knowing that neighborhood kids might sneak onto his property and jump in the swimming pool. If a child drowns in the swimming pool, the child’s parents could hold the property owner liable through the legal doctrine of attractive nuisance. This rule only applies to trespassers who are children. If the child was a welcomed guest on the property and drowned due to a lack of fencing, the parents may still have a legal claim against the owner.
Proving Liability in a Premises Liability Case
Working with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can help you build a stronger case against the property owner. In premises liability cases, evidence can disappear quickly. For example, suppose you slipped and fell in a puddle on the floor of a grocery store. Immediately after the accident, a store employee could mop up the liquid. The store could delete CCTV footage of the accident. An attorney can help you ensure that evidence is preserved.
First, your attorney can help you gather evidence showing that the person responsible owned, leased, or lived on the property. You also need to prove that the property had a dangerous condition. Interviewing witnesses is crucial in establishing that the dangerous condition existed, especially if there are no photos or video footage of the incident.
An attorney can help you gather evidence that the property owner did not fix the hazardous condition or warn you and that a dangerous condition caused your injury. It is important that you save all of your medical documentation after undergoing a comprehensive investigation. Doing so will help you prove that the accident caused your injuries.
Call our Experienced Premises Liability and Negligent Security Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured due to the negligence of a property owner, you may be entitled to compensation. Attorney James R. Rice will carefully review the facts in your case and provide you with legal advice. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about your potential right to compensation. Attorney Rice has represented many clients throughout Atlanta, Georgia, and is ready to represent you.
Mr. Rice, treated me and my case as if he was dealing with a “colleague” from the moment we met until the end of my case. I’m not a lawyer, nor in anyway, connected professionally to the law field. By “Colleague” I mean “Man, Husband, and Father” with all the responsibilities which correspond to the profession. He told me exactly what to expect with my case. His strategy and timeline to meet those expectations and what he would require of me to bring it all together in my best interest. Straight shooter, who got me back to the profession I love most in this world! Great lawyer who I’m proud to recommend to anyone needing his services.
R. C., Naval Submarine Veteran