After suffering injuries, you may wonder if you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on their private property. You certainly have the right to file a lawsuit to try to win damages. To win your case, though, you will need to prove that the property owner should have been able to prevent your injuries from happening.
To give you the best chance of winning your case, you and your attorney will need to show that the property owner’s negligence led to your injuries. This means that your injuries did not need to happen had the property owner simply fixed the problem—or warned you about the problem.
Steps Required to Prove Your Case
When attempting to sue a property owner in a premises liability case, you have to follow a number of steps to show that you meet all of the criteria to win a financial award.
Duty of Care to Keep the Property Safe
The property owner or the lessee has a duty to keep the property safe, protecting those people who visit the property in a lawful manner. Someone who enters the property by a number of means would be on the property legally, including:
- Through implied invitation, such as a place normally open to the public
- Through express invitation
- Through the purchase of a ticket to an event
- Through being a patient in a medical facility
- Through being a volunteer for an organization
OCGA §51-3-1 explains the classes of visitors for whom the owner must keep the property in a safe condition. Should you have been on the property illegally, such as via trespassing, you may not be able to satisfy this aspect of the premises liability case.
Breach of Duty of Care
Next, you must show that the property owner or occupier failed to provide safe conditions for those visiting the property legally. This can involve failing to fix a dangerous situation or failing to warn visitors about a dangerous situation.
These may include:
- A slip and fall on a spilled liquid
- A trip and fall on equipment left in the walkway
- Inadequate security
- Inadequate swimming pool fencing
- A dangerous dog
- Broken sidewalks, railings, or steps
- Inadequate storage of dangerous chemicals
Injuries Occurred Related to the Breach
You and your attorney must show that you suffered injuries as a direct result of the dangerous situation on the property. You will need to have an official medical report about your injuries from a doctor.
Damages Related to the Injuries
Finally, you will need to show that you had some sort of financial loss related to your injuries. Some of the items for which you can receive compensation in a premises liability case include:
- Medical costs for emergency care
- An estimate of medical costs you will have going forward
- Reimbursement for wages you lost while recovering
- An estimate of wages you will be unable to earn in the future because of your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- A reduction in your quality of life
- Disfigurement or disability
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Understanding How an Attorney With Our Firm Can Help Your Case
Because a premises liability case can involve quite a few complexities, having your attorney on your side can give you peace of mind.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to figure out the facts that they need to prove fault. Some of the ways they can help with your case include:
- Collecting the facts in the case
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing video and photographs of the scene
- Providing advice regarding a fair amount to request as a settlement
- Keeping you updated about the progress in the case
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Working to force the insurer to stop stalling and to move the case forward
Should the insurer refuse to negotiate fairly, your lawyer will represent you in a court case, standing by your side the entire time.
The Time to File a Lawsuit is Limited
You can sue someone if you hurt yourself on private property, but you have to be able to prove that the property owner’s actions caused your injuries to win the case. If you try to sue without having facts that show negligence on the part of the property owner, you likely will lose the case.
According to OCGA §9-3-33, victims in personal injury lawsuits have up to two years to start the process of a case. The sooner we can begin working on your case, the better chance we will have for discovering the facts in the case, as witnesses will have a clearer recollection of what happened now than they will well in the future.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
For a free review of your case, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers at (404) 888-8888. We provide our legal services on contingency, meaning there are no attorney’s fees unless you collect compensation.