There are many factors that influence the outcome of premises liability cases. When individuals are injured on someone else’s property, they can hold property owners, managers, and others accountable for those injuries and other damages.
But under Georgia and other state laws, the reasons why an injured party was on the premises determines the duty of care that was owed to them by the defendant.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, understanding your role in an accident helps you determine the best legal strategy to receive the compensation you deserve.
Property Owners and Their Duty of Care to Licensees
Property owners and managers are required by law to protect visitors and occupants from harm. There are many ways they can keep enhance the safety of their properties including:
- Keeping entryways and stairs free from obstruction
- Installing lighting to improve visibility
- Monitoring with security cameras and other technologies
- Hiring security officers
- Posting warning signs where needed
- Complying with building codes
A duty of care exists in retail businesses, hospitals, hotels, and in public spaces among other settings. Injuries can lead to long-term or permanent disabilities, loss of income, and other damages.
Who Are Licensees in Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability cases can involve any one of three categories of injured parties. Invitees have entered the property with the implied or expressed invitation from the property’s owner.
Licensees are those individuals who are on the property for reasons outside of business or service to property owners. Trespassers include anyone who has entered the property without permission.
When it comes to licensees, property owners may be held liable for causing injuries deemed “willful or wanton”. A licensee is not part of a commercial transaction, and they are typically on the property for personal or social reasons.
Georgia courts view licensees as individuals who are on the property for their own benefit, interests, or convenience.
In addition to social guests, licensees include salespeople soliciting their businesses, emergency responders, and invitees whose actions extend beyond their legal boundaries.
Property owners may be liable for injuries in cases where there were known safety hazards that the owner failed to correct or disclose to licensees. Also, knowledge of the licensee’s presence influences the degree of care owners must provide.
If property owners or managers are unaware of a licensee’s presence, they may not be liable for injuries resulting from an accident in the same way as they would in cases where they knew the licensee was on the property.
Compensation for the Injuries and Other Damages of Licensees
You can get the compensation you deserve when you understand the role that invitees, licensees, and trespassers play in premises liability cases.
The duty of care owed to each category varies along with the owner’s liability and the compensation you may receive.
Working with a skilled personal injury attorney who understands premises liability is the first step to recouping lost wages and future earning capacity, medical expenses, and other losses.
Plaintiffs must demonstrate to the courts that the defendant had a legal responsibility to keep them safe. The property owner’s failure to maintain their properties must be shown to have caused your injuries in order for you to win your case.
You need to gather evidence that demonstrates the defendant’s negligence or willful intent to cause harm.
When you have a legal strategy that supports your claims, you can get the compensation you need to protect you and your family’s future wellbeing.