A lot can happen when you go to court for a premises liability case in Georgia. While in court, the victims or their attorneys will present evidence of the defendant’s liability. They will also present evidence of their injuries related to the premises liability incident, while the defendant makes a case in their defense. Once the court hears both sides, a judge and jury will render a verdict, which may result in an award to the victim.
Why Would You Take Your Premises Liability Case to Court?
If you end up going to trial for a premises liability case, you are typically there because a property owner did not agree to an out-of-court settlement with you. Settlements exist to avoid the necessity of going to trial. They come in many forms, generally aiming to cover the losses that a victim experienced in an incident.
Although settlement amounts vary depending on many details, they often include compensation for recoverable damages, such as a victim’s medical bills, lost income, and emotional pain. When parties do not agree to a settlement regarding these damages, the victims may choose to go to court to pursue them.
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Premises Liability Cases in Georgia
If you sustained injuries as a result of a property owner’s negligence or misconduct, you could hold them liable for their actions and pursue compensation. State laws can be difficult to interpret on your own, and Georgia enforces several that may apply in your premises liability case.
When you have a lawyer by your side, they can offer their assistance in these matters and help you determine which laws apply to your case. For example, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 states that a property owner must maintain a safe environment for all those who visit the premises. Failure to do so may result in liability on the part of the property owner if invitees suffer any injuries due to improper care of the premises.
In any premises liability case, lawyers, property owners, and victims will work to either establish or deny liability. This process can be lengthy, as the property owner and their legal team may try to present an argument that assigns liability to you based on your own behavior. When you have a lawyer fighting on your behalf, they can defend your rights and lead the fight for compensation.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Establishes Negligence
You may find it difficult to prove a property owner’s liability without legal guidance and support. The lawyer who handles your case will investigate your accident and the property owner’s actions preceding it.
Their goal is to prove the four elements of negligence that enable you to seek compensation. These include:
- The property owner owed you a standard of reasonable care
- They neglected their responsibility to provide appropriate care
- Their negligence led to your injuries
- Your injuries resulted in financial consequences for you
To prove these points, your lawyer will collect evidence. They may also interview eyewitnesses and consult expert witnesses. Your premises liability case can be complicated if the evidence that proves these factors is not readily available. However, your lawyer can help obtain, organize, and submit compelling evidence on your behalf.
A Property Owner’s Responsibility and Financial Liability Can Vary
If you are an invitee on the property where you sustained your injuries, you might be entitled to a greater level of care than other visitors. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-3-3, a property owner does not owe someone who trespasses their property the same duty of reasonable care.
Question marks about your status on the property could complicate your case and make liability more difficult to prove. The lawyer who represents you will establish and document your on-property status. Proving you were not trespassing or otherwise uninvited can help substantiate your case. It can also ensure you obtain appropriate compensation and the best possible outcome for your case.
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Damages You May Pursue in a Georgia Premises Liability Case
Personal injuries can occur when a property owner fails to take proper care of the premises, resulting in accidents such as slip and falls. Slip and fall accidents may seem minor and negligible, but they often bear enormous health and financial consequences for victims. For example, victims could sustain preventable injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Some of these injuries may be minor, often resolving with time and rest. However, if a victim hits their head when they fall, they are at risk for severe head injuries and traumatic brain damage. Injuries like a TBI can lead to life-altering conditions, not to mention high medical bills and lost wages from time out of work.
If you suffered injuries due to the negligence of a property owner, you have the right to pursue justice and compensation for your damages. If the negligent party does not offer a fair settlement, you could end up in court.
Time Limits of Premises Liability Cases in Georgia
You may have limited time to initiate a lawsuit in Georgia per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Accordingly, you generally have up to two years to initiate your lawsuit. However, when the statutory clock starts can vary based on the outcome of the accident:
- If you or a loved one was injured, the statutory clock starts running on the date the accident occurred
- If your family lost a loved one, the statutory clock starts running on the day they died
Failure to comply with the statutory filing deadline could leave you with no legal avenue that compels the at-fault property owner to compensate you. Because of its complexities, your lawyer will explain some factors that could change the statute of limitations. This step ensures you will not run out of time to seek compensation.
A lawyer who takes on personal injury and premises liability claims can guide you through the negotiations and take your case to court if it becomes necessary.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Will Represent You at Trial
When you go to court for a premises liability case, your case will be heard. All parties involved are granted the ability to provide any information or evidence regarding the accident, injury, or dispute. Court cases can last days, weeks, or longer. Because the court system is often busy and can be expensive for those involved, many cases are settled outside of the court system.
Navigating the legal system can be very complex, confusing, and stressful. If you were the victim of an accident, you are already living through a difficult time. It could be helpful for you to consider legal representation as you explore your legal options. A lawyer with our firm may be able to manage your expectations ahead of a court date and help put you at ease.
Having a Lawyer on Your Side
Having a lawyer on your side for a premises liability case could allow you to devote time to recovery. There are several ways in which a legal professional could help you throughout the process. Some of the benefits of hiring a lawyer from our team could include:
- A team of knowledgeable professionals available to answer your questions
- Assistance with paperwork and other complicated aspects of the legal process
- Someone to help you fight for a fair amount of compensation
- Organization and presentation of your evidence in a way that supports your claim
- The potential to settle a case out of court to save you the trouble of an ongoing legal battle
Many victims in premises liability cases have never experienced anything similar before. It can be scary, intimidating, and confusing to know what to expect while making important decisions that could affect you and your loved ones. If you are wondering what to do after an accident or loss on another party’s property, remember that you do not have to go on this journey alone.
Potential Types of Premises Liability Cases
What happens in your case depends on the specifics of your injuries, losses, accident type, and case in general. If you are able to prove that a party was liable, you could be able to collect compensation. If you have a strong enough case and evidence of liability, you could even settle outside of court.
Some types of premises liability cases caused by negligence include but are not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents are very common and can lead to severe injuries, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms. Some slip and fall accidents are preventable, but it is possible negligence played a role.
- Electrical accidents: Electrocutions, fires, and other types of electrical accidents can result in premises liability cases. If you were injured or experienced losses due to improper electrical systems or wiring, you might have a case.
- Vehicle accidents: Car accidents, damaged vehicles, or other property loss taking place on someone’s property could be subject to legal action.
- Theft: An armed robber could turn violent thanks to a lack of security or safety measures that should have been in place.
If you were the victim in a premises liability case, it is possible that you will not have to go to court. The court process can be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. However, many premises liability cases are settled before a court date would be necessary. You can still recover various types of compensation through the settlement process without going to court.
Recoverable Compensation for Victims
Premises liability cases also include theft. Your life can be forever changed as the victim of an accident on someone else’s property. Your losses could be physical, financial, and even psychological. You could be left with expensive medical bills, taxing injuries, and emotional trauma. Choosing to take legal action against those responsible could help bring you a sense of closure and the compensation you need to maintain your family’s financial situation, including:
- Lost wages
- Damages for your emotional trauma
- Compensation for medical bills and reimbursement for legal fees
- Damages for wrongful death claims
- Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged property
If you handle your claim, you might miss valid recoverable damages that you could add to your claim. However, when you have legal representation, they will ensure your case receives a comprehensive and accurate valuation. For example, your attorney may consult financial experts to ensure accuracy.
Your lawyer will also clarify which family members are eligible for wrongful death damages. In addition, they will ensure the appropriate party files your family’s case within the allotted time.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today About Your Premises Liability Case
If you suffered damages on private or public property, you could take action. If you are wondering what happens when you go to court for a premises liability case, there is a lawyer’s team available to answer all of your questions during a free, no-obligation case review.
In addition to the free case review, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront fees. Instead, our attorneys only collect their payment if you recover compensation. So, call our team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today and begin taking back control of your life.