You can sue any party that played a role in creating the negligent situation that led to your injuries in a premises liability claim. This party could be the property owner, the party that is renting or leasing the property from the owner, or a party that is lawfully occupying the property.
Sometimes, premises liability injury cases can lead to confusing situations for you as the victim of the negligence. You and your attorney will need to study the facts in the case to search out which party is responsible. In some cases, multiple parties could be liable for your injuries.
How to Determine Liable Parties in Premises Liability Cases
Even if it seems obvious which party should be liable in your premises liability case, you and your attorney have to follow a number of steps to prove which party should be held liable.
Did the Liable Party Owe You a Duty of Care?
Any premises liability case starts by showing that the property owner or lessee owed you a duty of care. In simple terms, this means that you had the right to be on the property and the right to remain safe from harm.
Some of the people who have the right to be on the property, according to Georgia statute OCGA §51-3-1, include:
- Someone the property owner or occupier invited
- A customer at a business
- A ticketed patron at an arena or stadium
- A volunteer at a facility
- A patient or visitor at a medical facility
As long as you were on the property in a legal manner, meaning you were not trespassing, you deserve fair treatment from the owner or occupier of the property.
Did the Liable Party Have a Dangerous Situation on the Property?
When you suffer an injury on someone else’s property, it may have been a simple accident that no one anticipated. If this occurred, you will not have a personal injury case.
To show that negligence occurred, you and your attorney have to be able to show that some sort of hazard on the property led to your injuries. A hazard could involve a number of items, including:
- Tripping hazard in a walkway
- Broken sidewalk
- Broken stairs
- Broken railing
- Liquid spill that creates a slipping hazard
- Unsecured hazardous chemicals
- Unsecured swimming pool fencing
- Unsecured items falling from above
Did the Liable Party Know About the Hazard?
Georgia state law gives the property owner or occupier the benefit of the doubt in a premises liability case concerning the hazard. The law says property owners must have a reasonable amount of time to learn about the hazard and to fix the hazard.
If the owner cannot fix the hazard quickly enough, he or she should install signs that warn everyone of the hazard.
A failure to promptly provide a warning or to fix the hazard leaves the property owner liable in a premises liability case.
Did the Hazard Cause Your Injuries?
Finally, you need to be able to show that the hazard led directly to your injuries. An insurance company may claim that your injuries are related to another incident or that you are lying about suffering them on the property.
You and your attorney can use the facts in the case and testimony from your doctor and from witnesses to show that you are telling the truth and that the property owner is liable for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
How to Determine the Settlement You Could Win
Once you have proven that another party should be held liable for your injuries suffered on the party’s property, you then can seek damages. Your exact settlement amount will depend on a number of items, including:
- Costs you have incurred to date for medical care
- An estimate of costs you will incur in the future for medical care
- Reimbursement for wages you could not earn while recovering
- An estimate of wages you will not be able to earn in the future
- A settlement for emotional trauma
- A settlement for any reduced quality of life you will have
- A settlement for disfigurement and disability
We Work Tirelessly to Help You Win the Settlement You Deserve
After an accident on someone else’s property, you may be wondering, “Who can I sue in a premises liability claim?” Once you prove that another party’s negligent behavior or actions led to your injuries, that party will become the defendant in the lawsuit.
Some premises liability cases can become extremely complex. Having a trusted attorney on your side makes the process go far smoother, giving you confidence about the protection of your rights to seek damages for your pain, suffering, and medical bills.
For a free consultation, contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888. As soon as you choose to hire us, we will be ready to begin working on your case. Georgia statute OCGA §9-3-33 gives victims of personal injury cases up to two years to start the process. We will keep your case moving forward, meeting all deadlines.