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If you have been injured on someone else’s property, act quickly to ensure that you get the necessary evidence to quickly secure compensation for your damages. You may be suffering from ongoing pain, missing work, and worrying about paying medical bills. If someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you can file a premises liability claim to obtain compensation for your losses. Do not carry the expense or burden of your injuries on your own. A Duluth premises liability attorney in Duluth Georgia can help.
If the idea of filing a personal injury claim for your accident seems overwhelming, know that you are not alone. David Brauns is dedicated to ensuring that Duluth Georgia residents get the compensation they deserve for injuries they suffered on someone else’s property.
Avoid the urge to compare your situation to similar stories from friends. Just because your neighbor got a huge settlement for slipping and falling in a grocery store does not mean you will get the same settlement for tripping on equipment at the local pool.
At Brauns Law, PC, we see the following types of accidents quite often.
Trip, Slip and Fall Accidents
These accidents stem from unsafe flooring, walking surfaces, or even broken staircases. If a hazard causes you to slip or trip and fall and injure yourself, you may be able to hold the property owner liable. Some examples of property owner negligence include:
- A condominium owner who ignores a report of loose bricks on a walking path near the community courtyard.
- A store owner who does not clear and de-ice walkways he is responsible for maintaining.
- A city government building with broken handrails in a stairwell that have been unrepaired for months.
Each of these scenarios can result in serious injuries. It is important to note that in the last example you would be holding the city government liable for your injuries. Filing a claim against a government entity is extremely difficult to do, especially when you are recovering from serious injuries. Call Brauns Law, PC for help.
Governments are not only responsible for accidents that occur in government buildings. They can also be liable for hazards in their parks. For example, if a government entity ignores damaged branches hanging over a jogging path and those branches fall and cause someone injury, the injured victim can hold the entity liable.
In addition to keeping you safe from hazards on their property, property owners owe you a duty of care to keep you safe from other individuals on their property. While no property owner can predict the actions of others, they can take some measures to reduce the risk of assaults on their grounds. Some safety features venues should have include:
- Adequate lighting
- Corner mirrors
- Security cameras
- Security guards/patrol
- Police presence
You may hold a venue liable if it did not adequately light all areas of its premises. Lighting prevents attackers from hiding where victims cannot see them. Corner mirrors help patrons see around blind corners, and security cameras help deter crime by providing video evidence.
If an establishment is known to be the scene of rowdy behavior such as a nightclub, bar, or concert venue, the owner should have a security staff on hand at all times. Additionally, if property owners receive reports of suspicious or dangerous people on their property, it is their duty and their right to contact local police to address the risk and keep their patrons safe.
While no one can prevent every crime from occurring, property owners can and should do everything they can to prevent them from happening on their property.
Pool owners have a responsibility to keep their pools secure and monitored when in use. Security and supervision rules go for both your neighbor’s pool as well as public pools. When a pool is in use, an adult or trained lifeguard should be present at all times to supervise safe use. When a pool is not in use and unsupervised, gates must be present and locked to prevent unauthorized access.
If your accident occurs at a public pool you may be able to hold the management liable for:
- Failure to secure the pool after-hours (e.g., if a child who was able to enter the pool after hours suffers injury, a property owner can be liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine)
- Failure to hire adequate lifeguard supervision (e.g., property owners can be liable for drownings or near-drownings if they did not hire lifeguards for the pool)
- Failure to keep walking areas free of foreseeable hazards (e.g., if a swimmer slips and falls in a spill by the concession stand, the property owner can be liable for any injuries)
In most cases, the property owner would be liable for any injuries suffered but in some cases, the pool construction company could be liable if the injuries stemmed from flaws in the design or construction of the pool.
The victim herself can also be liable for her injuries. For example, if the victim was running around the pool, ignoring the “No Running” signs, and slipped and fell, she may be partially or even fully liable for her injuries.
Proving liability can be complicated and seeking the help of a reputable premises liability attorney is important. The Brauns Law, PC team will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do as well as what documentation is necessary to establish a case against the liable party.
In order to prove fault, you must be able to apply one or more of the following scenarios to your accident.
- Negligence of the liable party actually caused your accident. For example, if you tripped on a broken step that was obviously in disrepair for some time, you can claim that the property owner’s failure to correct the situation is the cause of your injury.
- The owner had – or should have had – knowledge of the danger prior to your injury. For instance, if you slipped on a spilled drink in a restaurant, you must prove there was enough time for an employee to notice and clean it up or warn of it before you were hurt.
- Another responsible person would have acted differently to remedy the dangerous situation.
The team at Brauns Law, PC will help you navigate the Georgia legal system. We are knowledgeable about all state laws that may affect your personal injury claim. Our history of success winning fair settlements for injury victims is a direct result of our methodical approach and compassionate brand of client service. We go beyond just helping you with your case; we will help you with all aspects of your claim.
We will work with you to establish liability by establishing the following elements.
- The property manager, owner, landlord, etc owed you a duty of care, e.g., needed to maintain safe premises.
- The property manager breached that duty of care (was negligent), e.g., knew or should have known of a broken handrail and did not fix it.
- Your injuries are a result of the negligence, e.g., the handrail broke and you fell down the stairs.
- The accident caused damages, e.g, you fell down the stairs and broke your arm, preventing you from returning to work and costing you thousands in medical bills.
Individuals who own and operate premises are responsible for taking measures to ensure that their properties stay in a safe and hazard-free condition. When premises owners do not inspect their properties regularly and allow hazards and other defects to creep up, accidents can happen on their properties in which other people suffer serious injuries. Although slip and fall occurrences are one common type of accident that may occur on someone else’s property, it is by no means the only type of accident. Other types of accidents can result from negligent or inadequate security on the premises and defective conditions on the property.
If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property, depending on the circumstances, you may file a claim or lawsuit against the property owner for compensation and damages arising from your injury. The insurance company for the property owner may then step in to supply the necessary coverage.
The experienced Duluth premises liability lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can investigate the circumstances of your accident and find out how it occurred. We may then help you pursue compensation against the at-fault person or entity for the injuries that you suffered in your premises accident. If it becomes necessary, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to litigate your Duluth premises liability case in court and take it to trial, if necessary.
How long do I have to file a Duluth premises liability lawsuit?
If you sustained injuries on premises belonging to another party, you have two years from the date of the accident and your injuries to file a Duluth premises liability lawsuit in the court system for compensation and damages. If you do not file your lawsuit within this limited time frame, you can’t file a claim for damages later on down the line. Therefore, seek out the services of our Duluth premises liability lawyers early on.
Upon retention, your lawyer will begin to investigate your case immediately, and if the statute of limitations deadline is approaching, will immediately file a lawsuit on your behalf. Just because your lawyer files a lawsuit in these circumstances does not necessarily mean that your premises liability case will go all the way to trial. The purpose of filing a lawsuit in this instance is primarily to protect the statute of limitations deadline.
What types of Duluth accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability?
Premises liability cases in Duluth, Georgia, are not just limited to slip and fall accidents that occur on someone else’s property. Many different types of accidents may fall under the umbrella of premises liability.
Premises liability cases encompass:
- Slip and fall accidents – In many instances, slip and fall accidents that occur on someone else’s property happen because a property owner does not fulfill his or her legal duty to correct or warn about known dangerous hazards that exist on the premises. Slip and falls can occur outdoors, in driveways, parking garages, and parking lots, as well as indoors—especially on slippery floors in restaurants, restrooms, grocery stores, and other places that are open to the general public. In cases where a business establishment is aware of the hazard, yet takes no action to remedy the defect or warn the public about it, the business can be liable for injuries resulting from any slip and fall accident that occurs on the premises.
- Premises accidents that result from negligent security – Individuals and businesses that own parking garages, parking lots, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and hotels are responsible not only for maintaining the premises and keeping them clean but also for making sure that the premises are safe for all patrons. This duty may include equipping the area with security personnel and security cameras to monitor the activity there. If a fight breaks out on the premises—or if someone assaults a patron—and the evidence shows that the business might have done something to prevent the incident, then the victim may file a negligent security claim against the business.
- Accidents and injuries that take place on watercraft – Premises liability also encompasses accidents that take place on watercraft, including yachts, boats, and cruise ships. When a boat owner fails to maintain the premises, including the deck areas, and a person suffers a fall or other injury while onboard, then the injured party may be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit against the person or entity who is responsible.
- Swimming pool accidents – Swimming pool owners and operators owe a duty to ensure that their properties are in a safe condition at all times and that the area (including the pool deck) is kept free from hazards. Pools are also responsible for making sure that the number of lifeguards on duty at a specific time is proportionate to the number of pool patrons. The pool must have rescue equipment and other safety devices on hand at all times. If any of these is lacking, and a serious accident—including a drowning accident—occurs, then the pool owner or operator may be deemed responsible.
- Escalator and elevator accidents – Escalators and elevators are common devices that retail shopping centers and stores use to transport customers to various levels. Landlords and business owners are responsible for inspecting these devices regularly, that they get regular maintenance, and that any defects or deficiencies get proper repairs. If one of these devices malfunctions and a person suffers injuries, the accident victim may assert a premises liability claim against the business owner or operator.
- Accidents that occur in theme parks and amusement parks – Individuals and business entities that own theme parks and amusement parks are responsible for ensuring that rides, walkways, and other areas visited by park patrons are safe at all times. This duty of care includes making sure that rides get routine inspections. If a particular ride malfunctions and one or more people suffer injuries, the accident victim(s) may then file a claim or lawsuit against the individual, corporation, or other responsible business entity.
If you or a person you care about sustained injuries on premises belonging to someone else, then seek out our experienced legal help as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Duluth premises liability attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can collect information, interview witnesses, and take other measures to pursue the compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you suffered in your premises accident.
What types of injuries can a person suffer in a Duluth premises accident?
The types of injuries that an adult or child may suffer in a Duluth premises accident are virtually unlimited and depend on a variety of circumstances. Specifically, the injuries that an accident victim sustains will depend on the trauma the victim suffered (including how the accident victim falls in a slip-and-fall accident) and where the accident occurs.
Generally speaking, injuries that are more severe and traumatic, and that require significant medical treatment, are more compensable from a monetary point of view.
Premises accidents can lead to any of these injuries and more:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Rotator cuff syndrome and related shoulder injuries
- Internal injuries (such as internal organ damage).
If you or a person you love has suffered one or more of these injuries on premises belonging to someone else, the experienced Duluth premises liability attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you determine if you have a viable legal claim. If so, we can pursue a settlement from the at-fault property owner, and if that does not work, we can pursue litigation on your behalf. We can do this by filing a lawsuit in the court system against the person or entity that is at fault for your accident.
Who has the burden of proof in Duluth premises liability cases, and what is that legal burden?
If you suffered injuries on someone else’s premises, then you (as the accident victim) have the legal burden of proof. Specifically, you must demonstrate that the premises owner owed you a specific duty of care, that he or she violated that duty of care, and that as a result, you suffered injuries and damages, like the ones mentioned above.
The duty of care that a premises owner owes a premises visitor depends on the status of that visitor on the property. For example, the highest duty of care goes to business invitees. A business invitee is someone who is on a person or company’s premises to further the purposes of the business owner. A customer at a shopping center or retail store is a prime example of a business invitee. Specifically, the business has a duty to correct or warn about known dangerous hazards on the premises and to inspect the premises for unknown dangerous hazards. When warning about or correcting property hazards, the premises owner must undertake reasonable measures.
A licensee, in most cases, is a social guest at someone’s personal home or residence. The property owner owes a social guest the duty to ensure that his or her property is in a reasonably safe condition at all times. The premises owner also has a duty to warn about or repair known dangerous defects on the premises.
Finally, in many circumstances, a premises owner does not owe a trespasser a legal duty of care, unless the trespasser is a known trespasser. An unknown trespasser may be a child whom the property owner knows frequents the premises regularly. If the trespasser is a known trespasser, then the premises owner may owe him or her some legal duty of care.
In addition to proving that a premises owner acted unreasonably under the circumstances or otherwise failed to abide by the prevailing standard of care, the accident victim must show that he or she suffered at least one injury in the accident. Moreover, the accident victim must demonstrate that it was the accident that caused the injury.
The experienced Duluth premises liability lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you prove the legal elements of your premises liability claim and pursue the compensation that you need.
What types of damages can an accident victim recover in a Duluth premises liability case?
There are several types of compensation and damages that a premises accident victim may pursue and recover. However, as a prerequisite to recovering compensation and damages, the accident victim must successfully prove all of the other legal elements of the premises liability case. If the accident victim successfully proves these elements, then he or she may recover monetary damages.
First, the premises accident victim may recover all of his or her out-of-pocket expenses, including reimbursement for medical and physical therapy bills and medical procedures. If the accident victim needs future medical treatment, such as a future surgery or injection, the anticipated costs of those medical treatments may also be recoverable. Moreover, if the accident victim missed time from work due to the injuries that he or she suffered in the accident, then the accident victim may successfully make a lost wage claim.
In addition to these economic damages, the accident victim may recover non-economic damages. These damages compensate accident victims for all of the pain, inconvenience, suffering, and other losses that they incurred as a result of the premises accident. Moreover, if the accident victim suffered a permanent injury, that too may be compensable in the form of damages.
Specifically, the accident victim may pursue compensation for loss of the ability to use a specific body part and for loss of enjoyment or quality of life. Finally, the accident victim may file a claim for loss of family support or spousal consortium.
If you or a person you care about suffered one or more injuries on someone else’s property, you may pursue compensation against the at-fault person or entity. The experienced Duluth premises liability lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will work to help you pursue and recover this much-needed compensation on your behalf.
Call Brauns Law, PC for help with your claim. For a no cost, no obligation consultation, contact us at 404-348-0889.
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