Georgia Premises Liability Law
Under Georgia law, a property owner may be required to pay money damages if a tenant, guest, customer, visitor, or patron is injured or killed as a result of a crime on their property. Learn everything you need to know here from our expert attorneys.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
Premises liability is among the most common grounds for personal injury claims in Atlanta. While many premises liability claims involve slip and fall injuries, other claims are brought by victims of crimes at unsafe premises. These claims are based on the negligent failure by the property owner or occupier to keep their premises safe.
If you were or a loved one were attacked on a business property and sustained an injury, including death, contact the experienced crime victim attorneys at Deitch & Rogers, LLC. We’re prepared to inform you of your rights under Georgia’s premises liability laws and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Georgia Premises Liability Laws
Owner and occupiers of property in Georgia have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of their premises for use by tenants, guests, customers, visitors, and/or patrons.
To prevail in a premises liability lawsuit, the victim must prove that the property owner or occupier was negligent and that their negligence was a cause of the injuries sustained. This involves proving that the defendant knew or should have known about the risk of violent crime but failed to respond reasonably by providing security measures (such as security guards, surveillance cameras, adequate lighting, fencing, etc.) and/or providing warnings about the danger.
Elements of Premises Liability Lawsuits
First, it must be proven that the defendant owed the victim a legal duty. This is typically established by proving that the defendant owned or occupied the property where the victim was attacked and that the victim was permitted or expected to be on the property. Under Georgia statute § 51-3-1, “Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
Second, the victim must show that the defendant property owner or occupier breached their legal duty in failing to keep the premises and approaches safe. If a property owner knew or should have known of the risk of violent crime on the property but failed to take reasonable steps to address the danger, they will have breached their duty. This is often proved by showing that the owner was aware of prior violent criminal activity on or around the premises but failed to take sufficient action to make their property safe and prevent continued violence against their tenants, guests, customers, visitors, and/or patrons.
Third, the breach of duty must have been a cause of the victim’s injury. To satisfy this element, the victim must show that the property owner’s actions or failures to act contributed to cause his or her injuries. Put another way, the victim must show that the criminal attack and resulting injuries likely would not have occurred if the defendant had acted reasonably to make the premises safe. Sometimes, the victim will also need to show that they exercised “ordinary care” for their own safety. If they failed to do so, it may result in a reduction of the awarded damages or even dismissal of the premises liability claim altogether.
Fourth, the victim has to prove that he or she has suffered damages. Damages can include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and mental pain and suffering. Oftentimes, it is this final category of damages – mental pain and suffering – that is the most significant for the victims of violent crime. Punitive damages and attorney’s fee may sometimes also be awarded to punish egregious conduct by a property owner.
Types of Crime-Related Premises Liability Law Cases
A premises liability claim can develop in several scenarios, and every type of environment can be at risk of crime, including murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, assault, and rape/sexual assault. The types of properties that can give rise to a premises liability claim include but are not limited to apartment complexes, hotels, grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gas stations, stadiums, arenas, schools, hospitals, treatment facilities, workplaces, amusement parks, government buildings, parks, etc.
Ask an Attorney About Premises Liability Laws
If you have been injured – or a loved one has been killed – as the result of a criminal act on someone else’s property, you might be struggling with continuous pain, unable to work, and stressing over mounting medical expenses. The thought of pursing a legal claim under these circumstances can feel daunting, if not impossible. Don’t give up or try to go it alone. The crime victim attorneys at Deitch & Rogers, LLC have the experience, skill, resources, and tenacity to pursue and obtain justice on your behalf. Let us carry the weight of your legal claim so you can focus on what matters most — your recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
- Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer
- Serious Violent Injury Atlanta
- Wrongful Death Attorney Atlanta
- Sexual Assault Victim Lawyer in Atlanta
- Apartment Shooting
- Unsecure Hotels/ Motels
I have seen Gilbert Deitch in every capacity as a lawyer. I have opposed him in premises liability cases, used him as a consultant and seen his work as a trial lawyer
Gino Brogdon, Former Judge
Fulton County Superior Court