If you injure yourself on someone else’s private property in Georgia, can you sue? The simple answer is yes. When you enter a property that someone else owns, you have the expectation that it will be safe. If conditions are hazardous, you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on their private property in Georgia.
The more complicated answer is that, while it is possible to sue for damages, whether or not you have a solid case actually depends on a few different factors. It is important to learn more about premises liability cases and when the owner of a private property is actually responsible for harm that comes to you.
The Difference Between Invitee and Trespasser
The key is whether or not a person on the property is owed a “duty of care.” Under statute O.C.G.A. §51-3-1, an invitee is owed a duty of care by the property owner, meaning that there is an assumption on the part of an invitee that the property is safe and free of dangers. If there is a slipping hazard, a faulty escalator that could cause harm, or parts of the property that are inadequately maintained, this is a problem for the property owner. If they know that these issues are present and do not do everything reasonable within their power to fix these problems, an invitee who is injured would likely be able to sue for damages.
On the other hand, a trespasser is not offered the same “duty of care” that an invitee is owed. Simply put, if you are on someone’s property without their knowledge or permission you are not protected in the same way as someone who was invited onto the property is. Suing for damages is, generally, not an option in these situations.
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Types of Compensation
If you decide to sue for damages after you hurt yourself on someone else’s property, there are multiple types of compensation that you can pursue. These damages include, but are not limited to:
Medical Costs: if you are injured on someone else’s property, treatment can cost a significant sum of money. Compensation can cover the costs of hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and other medical bills. If your injuries are the fault of someone else, you should be compensated.
Lost Wages: an injury that keeps you out of work results in missed paychecks and lost pay. This can create economic hardship for any family, so if you have lost wages due to an injury you suffered on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation.
Reduced Earning Potential: unfortunately, some injuries can cause lasting damage that stays with you long after the incident that caused them. If this is the case for you, you might not be able to work as often, work at all, or work in the same profession as you once did. If this affects your future earning potential, that should be considered when calculating what kind of compensation you are owed.
Loss of Enjoyment: if you are unable to participate in an activity or hobby you once enjoyed because of your injuries, that should be considered as well. This can affect your mental health and quality of life.
Georgia Statute Of Limitations
It is important to remember that you do not have unlimited time to pursue your case. In most situations, statute O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 gives you two years to file a personal injury case against another person. If you are filing against the state, city, or county, the statute of limitations may be different. In any situation, it is wise to begin pursuing damages as soon as you can.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
A lawyer is not required if you have been injured on someone else’s property and decide to pursue damages, but one can help. A lawyer will take care of all parts of your case, including:
- Filing your suit
- Gathering important evidence
- Talking to other parties
- Updating you on any progress
- Making your case in court
- Determining your fair compensation
Instead of handling this case on your own, you have someone in your corner who is ready to fight and do the important work for you. You can focus on recovering, taking care of an injured loved one, or otherwise returning to your normal life while a lawyer helps you get the compensation you deserve.
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Call for a Free Consultation Today
Now that you know more about whether you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on their private property in Georgia, it may be time to talk to someone about your case. Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers at (404) 888-8888 and ask for a free consultation today. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation.