A landowner is responsible for maintaining a safe premises and warning visitors about potential dangers on their property. Failure to satisfy this duty is referred to as premises liability and applies to all types of property, including office buildings, retail stores, entertainment complexes, gyms, hotels and apartment complexes. You have a right to recover damages for injuries you sustained because of hazardous conditions that the property owner knew (or should have known) about.
Property owners have every incentive to repair or remove the dangerous condition to mitigate damages, which is why the Gumprecht Law Firm investigates premises liability claims immediately. To start your investigation right away, Attorney Michael Gumprecht is available 24/7.
Attorney Gumprecht has earned membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum and was named a Legal Elite by the Georgia Trend Magazine. He has a background in technology that is particularly helpful when suing large corporations that might attempt to delete electronic evidence in violation of civil litigation rules. Most importantly, Attorney Gumprecht truly cares about his clients and their cases. He is ready and available to help you now.
The Premises Liability Doctrine
The premises liability doctrine establishes the basis for free movement to conduct business, to shop, to enjoy entertainment and sports, and even to walk around your own home if you live in an apartment building. The level of the landowner’s liability depends upon your relationship as:
- An invitee. You entered the property for business purposes, as a client, customer, vendor or contractor, for example.
- A licensee. You entered the property in response to a social invitation, such as the home of a friend or for a social function.
- A trespasser. You entered or remained on the property without permission, which nonetheless may entitle you to a lesser duty of care.
Understanding the Property Owner’s Duties
Numerous issues may constitute unsafe conditions, such as an electrocution hazard, a swimming pool entrapment hazard, a hidden hole along a walking path, ice on a stairway or a liquid spilled on a slippery surface. The landowner is liable for unsafe conditions he or she knew (or should have known) about. Therefore, lack of knowledge is rarely a valid defense. The landowner has a duty to:
- Maintain the property in good condition
- Inspect the property for unsafe conditions
- Repair the unsafe condition
- Warn visitors about unsafe condition
The manner in which these duties are carried out depends on the property itself. A grocery store, for instance, needs to conduct constant inspections because unsafe conditions develop regularly in the form of slip and fall hazards. In contrast, an office building is less likely to develop a sudden unsafe condition, and so, requires inspections less frequently.
The length of time a hazardous condition existed is instrumental in determining whether the property owner should have known about it. Milk spilt seconds before somebody slips would have afforded inadequate opportunity for the grocery staff to discover the slip hazard. However, a puddle of brown, curdled milk with shoe tracks through it was likely on the ground for an extended period of time, long enough that staff should have discovered it.
Recover for an Injury on Unsafe Property With the Help of an Experienced Georgia Premises Liability Attorney
A Georgia premises liability attorney at the Gumprecht Law Firm can help you recover for injuries you suffered because of a dangerous property condition. Call 678-800-1050 to talk to an attorney who is accessible 24/7. Your first consultation is free and your claim is handled on a contingency fee arrangement, so you are not billed for attorneys’ fees until we recover damages.