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  • By: Fall Law
  • Published: January 24, 2024
A woman fell on the snowy ground - Fall Law

A slight sheen on the ground in a crowded store could be the last thing you see before waking up in the hospital with a nasty concussion. Fortunately, if you are injured as a result of the negligence of a property owner leaving such unsafe conditions unattended in Georgia, you can claim financial compensation for your losses.

This is called premises liability law, which you can read more about here. This article goes into more depth on certain details of Georgia premises liability law, including:

  • How the environment and weather contribute to premises liability cases.
  • The role of insurance and how premises liability claims differ for homes and commercial properties.
  • How long you have to file a premises liability claim for financial compensation after a fall.

How Does The Condition Of Sidewalks, Parking Lots, And Common Areas Contribute To Premises Liability Cases?

Sidewalks, parking lots, and other common areas are all too often where falls and other injuries take place, which can leave both the victim and the property owner unsure about the legal obligations involved.

In Georgia premises liability law, the owner or occupier of the property has a legal responsibility to exercise “ordinary care” in keeping these areas safe for visitors. But what does this mean?

If you are injured due to a hazardous condition—such as tripping on a broken sidewalk, falling because of insufficient lighting in a parking lot, or sliding on a wet floor in a common area—and the property owner knew or should have known about it and failed to rectify the situation or warn visitors, they can be held liable.

However, it is not always easy to prove that the property owner had knowledge of the hazard that caused the injury. To obtain compensation, you will have to show that they knew about the dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it, while you did not know about the risk.

Conditions in public areas can also be impacted by forces outside everyone’s control, such as the weather.

How Do Weather-Related Conditions Affect Who Is At Fault In Premises Liability Cases?

Weather-related conditions add a level of complexity when determining who is to blame in premises liability cases.

Georgia law says property owners have an obligation to maintain safe conditions on their premises. Part of this duty of care requires them to anticipate and respond appropriately to weather-related hazards, especially those that are predictable or common.

However, hazardous conditions from the weather are not automatically the property owner’s fault or legal responsibility. Whether it is their fault or responsibility depends on the circumstances. If they do not have the chance to notice the danger and then fix it, then they cannot be held responsible.

For example, if a sudden snowstorm blew in and you slipped before there was time to clear it, the property owner may not be held accountable as they did not have a reasonable duration of time to clear the snow.

Your status on the property, as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, also influences how the law is applied in these cases. Given these complex nuances, it’s always recommended to seek advice from a legal professional for guidance on specific situations. The other reason is the need for someone to help you go up against the insurance companies involved.

How Does Insurance Coverage Come Into Play In Premises Liability Cases?

Property owners typically have insurance policies that provide coverage if an accident occurs on their property. It is this insurance that will end up paying for your injuries if you make a personal claim under premises liability against them.

There are several different types of insurance that may apply:

  1. Premises Liability Insurance: This kind of insurance usually covers incidents that happen on a business’s It can even help pay for the cost of legal defense if someone sues a business due to an injury that occurred on the property.
  2. Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance: These policies often include personal liability coverage, which may cover accidents taking place on someone’s residential property.

The exact role and impact of insurance coverage can vary widely and are heavily influenced by the specifics of the policy. Each policy will dictate, among other things, the types of incidents covered, the policy’s limits and deductibles, and any exclusions.

It is important to remember that, even with insurance coverage in place, the insurer may still deny liability. They might argue that you were partially responsible for your injuries or that the owner’s negligence did not cause them.

In these scenarios, you may need to negotiate or even go to court to determine if and to what extent the insurance policy will cover the incident. To do either, you will need a premises liability lawyer on your side, especially since you are on a deadline.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Premises Liability Claim?

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including premises liability cases, is two years from the date of the injury.

This means that any legal action must begin within two years of the incident. If you do not file your claim within this timeframe, you may never be able to recover any compensation.

While this is a state law, some local laws and specific details of the case can influence this deadline, so consulting with a legal professional is always advised. For more information on Factors Impacting Premises Liability Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step.

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