What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a legal concept that allows property owners to be held liable for injuries suffered by visitors to their property. Simply put, property owners have a legal duty to protect visitors from hazards present on their premises. However, the property owner’s duty of care depends on their relationship with the visitor. The duty of care is highest when a visitor is invited onto a property for the owner’s benefit. For example, this would apply to restaurants that invite patrons onto their premises for dining and a homeowner who invites a contractor into their home to provide a paid service.

By contrast, if a visitor is allowed onto the property for their “own interests, convenience, or gratification,” the duty of care is somewhat lower. This would apply, for example, to a guest invited to your home for a dinner party. Finally, though property owners owe lawful visitors to their premises a duty to keep them reasonably safe, they owe a minimal duty to trespassers. Property owners need only refrain from intentionally injuring trespassers.

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    What Are Some Common Injuries in an Atlanta Premises Liability Claim?

    Because the hazards on any one piece of property can vary widely, injuries resulting in premises liability are very diverse.

    Injuries that may lead to premises liability include:

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    Who Can Be Held Responsible for Injuries in an Atlanta Premises Liability Case?

    Property owners can be held liable for injuries due to hazardous conditions on their property. However, depending on the circumstances, liability may also extend to other parties for injuries that occur on the premises. Liable parties other than the property owner may include:

    • Tenants – A tenant of leased commercial or residential property may be liable to injured visitors if the accident occurred within their zone of control under their lease.
    • Property Management – Companies hired to manage or maintain conditions on a property may be liable for accidents resulting from their negligence.
    • Third Parties – Unaffiliated third-party visitors to the property may be held liable for accidents resulting from dangerous conditions they create on the premises.

    Can a Child Be Responsible If They Were Hurt?

    Property owners generally owe the same duty to keep their property safe to children as they do to lawfully visiting adults. However, children who trespass onto the property are given additional protections not afforded to adults. This is known as the “attractive nuisance doctrine.” The exception is meant to protect trespassing children who enter a property because they are enticed by an unsafe hazard — for example, an unguarded pool that may lead to drowning. Property owners owe a special duty of care in these cases because trespassing children may lack the maturity and experience to make responsible decisions. In other words, property owners have a duty to minimize the presence of hazards likely to attract children. Failure to do so can lead to premises liability if a trespassing child is injured.

    What If I Was Injured at My Place of Work?

    In Georgia, any business with three or more workers, including regular and part-time workers, is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance provides workers with medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits when injured on the job. Normally, employees covered by worker’s compensation cannot simultaneously bring a premises liability claim against their employer. Despite this general rule, certain exceptions may still allow you to pursue a premises liability claim for an injury that occurred while on the job. The premises liability lawyers at Butler Kahn can evaluate your case and determine the best path to secure the compensation you deserve.

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    Is There a Time Limit for Filing an Atlanta Premises Liability Claim?

    Yes. This time limit is set by a law known as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases, as well as other personal injury lawsuits, is set at two years from the date of the accident. Subject to very few exceptions, you may no longer file suit against a negligent property owner, manager, or other liable parties once this deadline passes.

    Two years may seem like a long time. However, investigating and strategizing a strong premises liability case can take months. Therefore, it is best to speak with a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Our premises liability attorneys will keep track of important documents and manage deadlines on your behalf. Further, keep in mind that premises liability cases brought against the government require you to provide the relevant government entity with written notice within 12 months after the accident that caused your injuries. Also, keep in mind that filing a lawsuit against a government entity introduces many other unique complexities. Speaking with an Atlanta premises liability attorney sooner than later can greatly improve your chance of success.

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    Contact an Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer Today

    If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, do not hesitate to contact a premises liability lawyer. Butler Kahn’s personal injury attorneys have the experience to handle your case from start to finish. We are ready to evaluate your case, investigate the law, gather evidence, and strategize your path toward maximum compensation. Contact our office for a free consultation with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer today.

    We serve all areas of Atlanta, including Brookhaven, Druid Hills, Buckhead, Chastain Park, Garden Hills, Piedmont Heights, Midtown, Downtown Atlanta, Grove Pak, Inman Park, South Atlanta, East Atlanta Village, West End, and Atlantic Station.

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