Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability
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Can I Sue an Apartment Complex for Negligent Security?
The property owner can be liable if you suffer injuries because an apartment complex failed to take reasonable measures to keep you safe while on the property or did not take steps to prevent foreseeable assaults or attacks. Georgia law makes landowners responsible to people who get hurt as a result of negligent security.
What Constitutes Negligent Security at an Apartment Complex
If all four of these factors occurred, the apartment complex is liable for injuries from negligent security:
1. The apartment complex owed the plaintiff (injured person) a legal duty of care. The complex has to take reasonable measures to keep the apartment complex and its approaches safe for everyone who is present legally. Approaches include things like sidewalks, parking lots, and garages.
The duty of care applies to the residents, their guests, employees of the apartment, vendors, visitors, and others who are on the premises for a lawful purpose. For example, a letter carrier or meter reader has the protection of Georgia law because they are on the property for a legitimate reason. On the other hand, the landowner has no duty to provide adequate security for a trespasser.
By way of example, an apartment complex employs several maintenance persons who enter the individual units to repair problems that the residents report to the manager. The company has a duty to hire trustworthy people for this job, since the residents are in a vulnerable position when someone goes into their apartments.
2. The apartment complex violated its duty of care. If the apartment failed to provide security for the circumstances, it breached its duty of care. It is negligence when someone fails to meet the requirements of a duty of care.
Someone stole keys from a wall case in the apartment manager’s office. Although she discovered the theft, the manager took no steps to prevent foreseeable harm from this situation, like changing the locks.
A new handyman at the complex stole the keys. The handyman had a criminal record of breaking and entering. The apartment complex did not know about his criminal history because the company did not perform a background check when it hired him.
Also, the company did not have security cameras in the office or anywhere at the complex. Footage from security cameras could have shown who stole the keys and recorded who went into specific apartments.
3. The plaintiff suffered harm because of the apartment’s negligent security.
The handyman used the stolen keys to enter residents’ apartments and steal their valuables. A resident who was home sick for the day surprised the handyman when he came into her bedroom to steal her jewelry. She screamed, and he struck her, knocking her unconscious. She sustained a traumatic brain injury.
The negligent security at the apartment complex caused the harm to the plaintiff. The company is liable to the injured person.
4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime. The complex made multiple mistakes, all of which contributed to the harm the plaintiff experienced. It was foreseeable that someone would use the stolen keys to break into apartments and that someone could get hurt as a result.
- Even though the manager knew that the maintenance people went into the homes of the residents, putting those residents at risk of harm, the company did not do background checks on these employees. The failure to perform a routine background check including a criminal record check allowed a dangerous person with a criminal record to have access to apartments. Adequate security includes hiring trustworthy people. Running background checks would have prevented this crime.
- Failing to store the keys in a locked place in the office gave the criminal the opportunity to break into apartments. Properly securing the keys would have prevented the crime. It was foreseeable that someone might steal keys that were accessible.
- Failing to take steps to protect the residents from harm upon discovering that someone had stolen keys is negligent security. Changing the locks and warning residents would have prevented the crime. It was foreseeable that someone would use the stolen keys to break into apartments.
- The manager did not install security cameras to deter criminal activity in the office or throughout the apartment complex. Security cameras could have caused the crook to choose not to steal the keys, or have documented who stole the keys so that the manager could call the police with the identity of the thief. It was foreseeable that an apartment complex with no security cameras would be at greater risk of criminal activity.
Getting Legal Help for an Injury from Negligent Security at an Apartment Complex
You can call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC for help if you got hurt because of negligent security at an apartment complex. We will be happy to talk with you and let you know if you might be eligible for compensation. Call us today at 404-474-0804, to set up your free consultation.
Can I Sue a Mall for Negligent Security?
Landowners in Georgia have to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable assaults or attacks and keep people on their premises safe. A mall can be liable to a person who gets hurt because the property owner did not provide adequate security. Premises liability is the type of law that can hold property owners accountable for injuries that happen on their property.
When a Mall is Responsible for Harm from Negligent Security
A property owner may be liable in some cases if someone has been assaulted on their property, in this instance a mall . We have to prove all four of these elements to hold a mall liable for negligent security:
1. The mall owed the injured person a duty of care. The mall has to protect its customers, visitors, guests, employees, vendors, and everyone who is on the property legally. Even if a person is not a customer, the mall must maintain reasonably safe premises and approaches, as long as the person is there for a lawful purpose, such as to make deliveries or read the water meter.
The landowner must keep the premises and approaches reasonably safe. An approach is something that one might expect a person to use to access the mall. For example, the parking lot and sidewalks surrounding the mall are approaches. On the other hand, the mall has no duty to provide security to protect trespassers..
2. The mall failed in its duty of care to the injured person. A business is negligent when it fails in its duty, such as the responsibility of providing adequate security. The mall should evaluate things like crime rates in the vicinity and the history of assaults and other criminal activity on its premises and approaches to determine what crimes are foreseeable.
The company should then formulate and implement a security plan that includes reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes. For example, when there have been muggings in the parking lot at a mall, the company should install security cameras, make sure the parking lots are well-lit, and increase the patrols of security guards. Failure to take reasonable crime prevention measures after learning about crimes onsite is negligent security.
3. The mall’s negligence caused the injury. Inadequate security by itself does not create grounds for a claim against the mall. For instance, if you notice that a mall has no security cameras and the parking lot contains large areas that are dark after sunset, you cannot sue the mall for inadequate security.
The picture changes, however, if you suffer harm because of the negligent security. If someone attacks you because the mall did not provide adequate crime prevention security measures, the company’s negligence caused your injury, and you can sue them.
4. The mall could have prevented the harm with adequate security. Georgia law does not require mall to prevent every single crime. Not all crime is preventable. The law will, however, hold a property owner responsible if it could have prevented foreseeable crime but failed to do so.
The Requirement of Foreseeability
Some neighborhoods are safer than others. A mall in a low-crime area will have to provide and maintain adequate security for their location, but only to a certain extent because it is not foreseeable that significant crimes will occur there.
A mall in an area known for multiple assaults, muggings, and other criminal activity will have to take more security measures to protect its visitors from harm, because it is foreseeable that crimes will happen there.
While it might not seem fair to require one mall to spend more money on security than another, the safety of people on the premises is important enough for the law to demand that the mall implement reasonable security measures. Some crimes are not foreseeable for other reasons.
Inadequate Security at a Mall
The facts of each case are different. The level of required security will vary based on the local crime rates and the history of criminal activity in and around the mall. Some examples of negligent security can include failing to:
- Install security cameras after criminal events
- Provide bright lighting indoors and outdoors
- Repair broken locks, windows, gates, doors, fences, and alarm systems
- Warn visitors of foreseeable dangers
- Upgrade the security measures after criminal activity
How to Get Legal Help for an Injury from a Mall’s Negligent Security
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC can help people who suffer harm caused by negligent security at a mall. A premises liability and security attorney can explain your legal rights and tell you if you might have a claim for compensation. Call us today at 404-474-0804, and we will arrange your free consultation.
How Do Slip and Fall Cases Work?
When we handle slip and fall cases, we look at where the person fell and the circumstances that led to the accident. We have to evaluate the facts and determine who is responsible for the injury.
A slip and fall accident does not automatically result in financial compensation. To make someone pay you money for your losses, they must have failed to meet their legal duty of care toward you. The defendant’s negligence must have caused or contributed to your fall and injuries.
Step One: Where You Fell
We need to investigate the location where the accident happened to find out who owns the property. For example, if you slipped and fell at a private residence, the homeowner may be liable. If you slipped and fell at a grocery store, the grocery store may be liable. Much depends on the location of your fall.
Step Two: Why You Were on the Property
Visitors to a property generally fall into one of three classes: licensee, invitee, or trespasser.
A property owner has very little responsibility toward a trespasser, but if you were on the property for a lawful reason, the owner has a higher burden. For trespassers, the landowner is not allowed to sabotage the property or intentionally cause harm. The property owner and manager owe lawful visitors a duty of care.
Step Three: Whether the Landowner was Negligent
Under Georgia law, there are several elements of property owner liability, and we have to prove each:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property, and
- The owner knew or should have known about the hazard, and
- The owner did not correct or provide sufficient warnings about the situation, and
- The hazard caused your accident, injuries, and damages.
Step Four: What Caused Your Accident and Injuries
If your slip and fall accident met the elements that establish landowner negligence, and that negligence caused your injuries, we can pursue a personal injury claim against the owner. If there was a hazard on the property, but something else caused your fall, the owner is not liable.
Let’s say that you were walking to your table in a restaurant. Another patron told the server that there was a small spill of oil on the floor. The server ignored the warning and did not clean up the spill. If you slid on the oil and fell, sustaining an injury, the restaurant may be liable. The restaurant knew about a hazard and did not wipe up the oil. You fell and got hurt because of the negligence.
Step Five: Whether You Were Also Negligent
People walk around in a state of distraction today. People are texting and performing other functions on their cell phones without looking where they are going. If you were partly negligent, Georgia’s rule on comparative fault will reduce the amount of money you get in proportion to the percentage of your negligence, but you can still collect damages from the responsible party.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804 today, to get your free consultation about your premises liability case.
Who Is Liable for an Elderly Person's Slip and Fall?
When an older person breaks a hip or suffers other injuries from slipping and falling in a nursing home or elsewhere, people want to know who is going to pay for it.
Falls can lead to complications like pneumonia that can be fatal to an elderly person. Broken bones can rob the senior of the ability to walk independently. If another party is liable for the fall, the elderly person may pursue a personal injury case to recover compensation for damages.
Parties That May Be Liable for an Elderly Peron’s Fall
The property owner’s duty to people on the property depends on whether the visiting person was an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Further, whether the elderly person was a resident of a facility where the slip and fall occurred also affects liability.
Some of the parties that may be liable for an elderly person’s slip and fall include:
- Nursing home
- Residential care facility
- Assisted living facility
- Commercial establishment (restaurant, store)
- Office building
- Doctor’s office
- Personal residence
An Elderly Slip and Fall Case Must Prove These 4 Things
A defendant may be liable for a slip and fall if the injured party can prove these four elements of liability:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property.
- The defendant knew or should have known about the hazardous condition.
- The defendant failed to post adequate warning signs or take reasonable steps to prevent a slip and fall.
- As a result, the plaintiff suffered a physical injury and damages.
Additional Variables That Can Affect Legal Responsibility
Other variables can affect who is liable when an elderly person slips and falls. These can include:
Location of the Fall
Where the slip and fall accident happens is a significant factor in determining who is liable for damages. For example:
- On a public bus, we can look into filing against the government entity that operates the bus system, like MARTA.
- On a tour bus, the company that owns and operates the bus.
- On residential or commercial property, the property owner.
Cause of the Fall
For a defendant to be liable for the injuries of an elderly person who slips and falls, the owner’s negligence must have caused the fall. Thus, the elderly person’s case must establish negligence and liability.
We can build your case to establish negligence by presenting evidence that may include:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Video surveillance depicting the fall
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Expert witness testimony
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today so that we can evaluate the case and help you fight for compensation to cover the elderly person’s damages. Contact us at 404-474-0804 for your free case evaluation.
Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall Around a Swimming Pool?
Yes, you can sue for a slip and fall around a swimming pool if someone else negligently caused your injury. There are three steps to determining if someone is liable for your damages.
The Three Steps of Determining Liability
The law requires that you prove three things to sue for a slip and fall around a swimming pool:
Duty of Care
The person must have owed you a legal duty of care. If you are legally present at a public or private swimming pool, the owner of the pool has a reasonable duty to do things to keep you safe, like promptly fixing known defects or cleaning up spills. If, on the other hand, you are trespassing at a pool and you slip and fall, the pool owner might not have to pay your damages, unless the owner committed gross negligence or an intentional act.
Breached Duty of Care
The defendant must have breached their duty of care toward you. If they knew, for example, that the maintenance person who cleaned the pool left a slimy substance on the paved surface around the pool but did not bother to clean it up or post warnings, they did not meet her duty of care. Failure to satisfy the duty of care is a type of negligence.
Causation to Your Injury
The negligence must be what caused your injury. We are all negligent multiple times throughout any given day. We are only liable to others if our mistakes harm them. If you slipped and fell because of the slimy substance on the area around the pool, the fact pattern satisfies the causation element of liability.
What Happens If You Were Also Negligent
Often, more than one person is at fault when someone gets hurt. If this is what happened in your situation, you might be worried about whether your part in the mishap will bar you from recovering any compensation from the other party. Not to worry, Georgia follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, also called comparative fault, your negligence will only prevent you from getting your damages if you were the one mostly at fault.
How Comparative Fault Works
Here is an example to demonstrate how comparative fault works:
Let us say that you were horsing around at the side of the pool and lost your footing because someone had spilled a slippery substance, like suntan oil. The pool had a sign that notified people of the pool rules, one of which was, “No Horseplay.”
If the judge finds that you were ten percent negligence for engaging in horseplay in violation of the pool rules, you will get 90 percent of your damages. The comparative fault rule will reduce your compensation in proportion to the percentage of your fault. So, if you have $50,000 in damages from breaking your leg when you slipped and fell, you can get $45,000 after the $5,000 deduction for your ten percent fault.
How to Get Help
If you suffered an injury after a slip and fall at a pool, and you think someone else was at fault, please call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC. We will not charge to evaluate your situation and tell you if we think you might be entitled to compensation. For your free, no-obligation consultation with a premise liability lawyer, call 404-474-0804 today.
Who Is Liable for a Pool Drain Accident and Injury?
If you or a loved one has suffered injury from a pool drain accident, you might wonder who is responsible for your losses. Liability will depend on the facts of your case, but these are some of the primary considerations we will evaluate when we investigate your claim.
The Danger of Pool Drains
Pool drains work by sucking hundreds or thousands of gallons of water out of the pool to circulation through the pool’s filtration system. When a person gets too close to a large pool drain, the results can be tragic. The powerful suction can trap the person underwater, resulting in drowning or horrific physical injuries.
Federal Law on Pool Drain Safety
Congress enacted the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) after the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III drowned because of a pool drain in a spa. The suction of the drain trapped and drowned the seven-year-old girl, despite the efforts of adults to pull her free.
The federal legislation requires that all public pools and spas have raised, curved drain covers instead of the older-design of flat covers, which are more likely to trap people. Pools that do not have at least two compliant drains must have an automatic shut-off system or other safety features to prevent suction from trapping or injuring swimmers.
How the Law Applies to Your Situation
Public pools: If the drain accident or injury happened in a public pool or spa that did not comply with the P&SS Act, the owner will be negligent for failure to follow the law. There is no excuse that the owner needed more time, since the act is now ten years old. In fact, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) celebrated ten years with no reported drain entrapment-related deaths of children in public pools or spas. Any public pool or spa that is operating in violation of the law will have to answer for injuries or accident.
Private pools: The P&SS Act does not apply to private pools. The Georgia Department of Public Health has rules for swimming pools, spas, and recreational water parks, but those regulations do not apply to:
- Private swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas at single-family homes only for the use of the residents and their guests
- Apartment complex pools
- Country club pools
- Subdivision pools only for the use of subdivision residents and their guests
- Therapeutic pools or chambers
- Religious ritual baths
If the pool drain accident happened in a public pool that failed to follow the federal or state law, and your injury occurred because of that failure, the pool owner will be liable for your damages. If the accident took place in a private pool, the owner could still be responsible under the theory of negligence.
How a Private Pool Owner Can Be Negligent About Drains
If the pool owner knew that the pool drain was damaged, defective, or otherwise dangerous but did not repair or replace the equipment, the owner can be responsible to people who sustain injuries. Property owners must fix hazardous conditions on their property or warn their guests about the risk of injury. If the pool owner knows that people will be swimming in a pool with a dangerous drain, she can at least turn off the pool pump to stop the suction of water through the drain.
When there is no barrier or fence around a pool, the owner can be liable for injuries that could have been prevented by an enclosure. Even if not required by local ordinances, it can be negligence if the owner does not protect the public, particularly children, from “attractive nuisances” like swimming pools that draw children to them and then lead to injuries.
Liability under negligence requires:
- A duty of care: Pool owners have a duty of care toward people who are anticipated to use the pool.
- Breach of duty: If the pool owner does not protect potential swimmers from a known dangerous drain or provide an adequate enclosure to offset the attractive nuisance quality of a swimming pool, the owner is negligent.
- Causation: If the negligence caused the accident or injury, the pool owner is liable for the damages.
Damages for a Pool Drain Injury
After we prove that the negligence caused the injury, depending on the facts of the case, we can hold the pool owner responsible for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Ongoing medical treatments
- Long-term care
- Decreased earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These injury claims usually fall under the pool owner’s insurance policy. If you call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804, we will schedule your free consultation to evaluate whether you are entitled to compensation for your losses.
Can a Slip and Fall Cause Sciatica?
You can develop sciatica after a slip and fall accident if you pinch a nerve or herniate a disc in the fall. Your sciatic nerve branches off of your lower back and goes through your hips and buttocks, then down the back of your legs. If you feel pain radiating through these areas after a slip and fall accident, you should get an evaluation for sciatica.
How a Slip and Fall Accident Can Cause Sciatica
The way your body moves during the mishap can affect the kind of damage you suffer. Here are three of the more common scenarios for slip and fall accidents:
- Your feet go out from under you. Let us say that someone spilled a drink on the floor of a restaurant and you slid on the puddle. Your feet flew forward, and your body fell backward. You landed hard on the floor in a sitting position, jamming the base of your spinal column onto the surface. This type of trauma to your spine can cause small pieces of your vertebrae, which are the small bones in the center of your back, to chip off and damage the discs that serve as cushions between the vertebrae. The disc damage and bone fragments can irritate or injure the sciatic nerve.
- You slide on something slick, like ice. By way of example, if you are walking on a sidewalk that has black ice, you might suddenly and unexpectedly lose control over your ability to walk safely. You could slam into something, slide off to one side, or hurtle forward and land face first. Any of these situations can damage your back, herniating a disc or pinching a nerve and resulting in sciatica.
- You twist your body trying to avoid falling. Sometimes the injury happens while you are still in the air - before you make impact with the ground or another object. Sharp changes in the direction of your body can cause you to slip a disc. For example, you start to slide on the spilled drink in the restaurant. You throw your arms out, trying to grab anything to prevent a fall. The sudden jerking of your limbs can force your back into an unnatural position, damaging bones, muscles, discs, or nerves in your spinal area.
Compensation for Sciatica from a Slip and Fall Accident
You can recover your losses for sciatica that results from a slip and fall accident if you can prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and how the harm you suffered affects your life.
Some people make a complete recovery from sciatica within a few weeks or months with only conservative treatment like rest, prescription muscle relaxants and painkillers, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. Those patients usually will not receive as much compensation as someone who had to undergo surgery, will face a lifetime of chronic pain, and can no longer support themselves or their family through gainful employment.
Treatments for Sciatica from a Slip and Fall
The primary conservative treatments for sciatica after a slip and fall include:
- Prescription drugs including muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications
- Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy after the acute painful stage has passed
If those non-invasive methods do not help you achieve a full recuperation, your doctor might use injections of corticosteroids near the injured or inflamed nerve. The steroids can lessen the inflammation and relieve your pain, but your doctor can only use a limited number of these injections, and their benefits are temporary.
Only if your sciatica does not improve with conservative treatments or steroid injections will your doctor recommend surgical intervention, unless your condition worsens or you have a medical emergency. If you have significant weakness, your pain intensifies, or you experience new or worse symptoms, the surgeon can remove the piece of your spine that is compressing the nerve in your back.
Call Jason R. Schultz for a Free Consultation
If you have back pain, weakness, or pain down the back of your legs after a slip and fall accident, you might have sciatica. Get medical treatment right away, and call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804, to line up your free, no-obligation consultation. Our law office can examine your premise liability case to hold somebody responsible for your accident.
How Long Do Slip and Fall Settlements Take in Georgia?
How long slip and fall settlements take depends on various factors. These include:
- The severity and prognosis of your injuries
- How long it takes to gather evidence
- Whether the other party disputes fault
- The negotiation process
The Severity and Prognosis of Your Injuries
You never want to settle a claim until you know the severity and prognosis of your injuries. If you need several surgeries or long-term rehabilitation, you may not yet know all the costs. It may take weeks or months of recovery and rehabilitation until you know if you will fully recover.
If you settle too early and later find out you will need lifelong care, you cannot ask for more compensation.
Receiving a prognosis for your injuries could take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
How Long It Takes to Gather Evidence
To win a claim for a slip and fall accident, you have to prove that the property owner or manager was at fault for the problem that caused the fall. You will need evidence to prove this, which may include pictures, eyewitness statements, and investigating how long the danger that caused your fall was there.
Some of this evidence, such as surveillance video of the accident or a store’s maintenance policies, is in the hands of the other party and might prove difficult to obtain. For this reason, there is no way to estimate how long gathering this evidence can take.
Whether the Other Party Disputes Fault
Unless liability is clear-cut, you can be sure the other party will dispute fault or try to blame you. This can delay your settlement considerably.
We will build a strong case to lessen the other party’s ability to dispute fault or to place any blame on you.
The Negotiation Process
The first offer from the insurer is likely much lower than you need to cover your losses. We will negotiate with the other party until it offers a settlement you deserve. However, we might require rounds of negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurer which could take weeks or months.
Do I Have to Settle My Case Within a Certain Period?
Yes. Per Georgia law, you have two years to settle your claim or to file a lawsuit.
If you attempt to file a claim or lawsuit outside of this statute of limitations, the insurer or court will likely deny your claim. If the time limit is fast approaching and the insurer still refuses to offer you a fair settlement, we might consider taking your case to court.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. Today
Jason R. Schultz will do everything he can to settle your case quickly and get you the settlement you deserve for your premises liability claim. For a free evaluation, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 today.
Can a slip and fall cause a bulging disc?
Can a slip and fall cause a bulging disc?
Yes, a slip and fall accident can cause a bulging disc in your spine. In fact, a bulging or herniated disc is a common slip and fall injury.
A series of individual vertebrae make up your spinal column. Between each one of these vertebrae is a spinal disc. Your discs contain a squishy substance and serve as shock absorbers, protecting your vertebrae and holding them in place as you go about your day. When portions of your back or neck move out of place because of an injury, your discs can bulge between vertebrae and rupture.
Falling can directly damage the vertebrae or discs, especially if you land on your back or strike it in the process of tumbling down. The sudden, jerky motions people experience when falling can cause strains of deep muscles in the back, which can wrench a disc out of place.
If you suffered a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may need extensive medical treatment to repair your bulging disc and manage the pain that comes along with this back injury.
What is the treatment for a bulging or herniated disc?
If your doctor suspects you have a bulging disc, he or she will first conduct a physical examination to evaluate your pain and look for weakness or changes in sensation or reflexes. Sometimes your doctor will order imaging tests, such as an x-ray, CAT scan, or MRI, before making a diagnosis.
Depending on the level and severity of your injury, your doctor may prescribe a few days or weeks of rest, pain medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, you may need physical therapy or surgery to reduce back pain and return to your previous level of mobility.
Most people recover from a herniated disc, but some do not. A bulging disc can cause long-term or permanent injury, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, a history of back problems, or your back injury is particularly severe. Even if you initially recuperate well from your spinal injury, 3 to 5 percent of patients experience a second rupture sometime later.
Treating a bulging disc can mean you will face costly medical bills and significant time off work while you recuperate and undergo physical therapy. If you are facing a permanent disability, you may never earn the same income you did prior to your fall.
How can I recoup my losses after a slip and fall accident?
If your bulging disc occurred after a fall on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for compensation for your expenses. The premises liability attorneys with the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, can file a claim on your behalf to help you recover the costs you are facing because of your injury.
We can calculate the value of your claim, including all of your medical expenses and lost wages. We will also consider the long-term impact of your injury and the costs you will face down the road. Then, we will negotiate directly with the property owner’s insurer to get you the full compensation you deserve.
Our initial consultations are free, so call us today at 404-474-0804 to set up an appointment.
Can I file a premises liability case if I was trespassing?
Yes, in some cases, you can file a premises liability case if you were trespassing at the time of the accident. However, because property owners do not owe a general duty of care to trespassers, it is more difficult for trespassers to win premises liability claims than it is for people who were invited on the property. For help with your premises liability claim, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C.: 404-474-0804.
When are property owners liable for accidents that happen on their property?
O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1 requires property owners to keep their land and buildings in a reasonably safe condition or to at least warn visitors of any dangerous conditions, depending on the type of visitor. There are three types of visitors:
Invited Guests: These are individuals that the property owner explicitly invited onto the property, often for a business-related purpose. Customers in a store are an example of invited guests.
Licensees: These are individuals that the property owner has allowed, but not explicitly invited, to enter. This can include someone who comes in off the street to use the bathroom, or who enters to premises to sell something. Social guests are also licensees.
Trespasser: These people have no right to be on the premises as they have not been invited or allowed onto the property.
If I have no right to be on the property, how can I hold the owner liable?
Property owners are under no obligation to compensate trespassers for injuries they sustained while trespassing on their land. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. In certain situations, trespassers are entitled to compensation from the property owner for their injuries. These situations might include:
Known Trespassers: Although property owners generally are not liable for injuries to trespassers, if the owner becomes aware of trespasser they have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring the trespasser. For example, if a homeowner knows a group of teenagers passes through his yard every day and does nothing to stop them, the homeowner must at least warn the trespasser of any hazards that are not obvious.
In addition, the owner cannot take actions against a trespasser (such as setting up booby traps like trip wires) and they are required by law to warn those trespassers of any potential dangers (such as an electric fence).
For example, consider the same homeowner from our earlier example. If that homeowner hid a trip wire in the grass and caused one of the teens to suffer an injury, he would be liable for any costs related to the injury.
Children: Another exception for trespassers concerns children. Under attractive nuisance laws, property owners may be liable for damages to child trespassers if they have an attractive nuisance on their property.
An attractive nuisance is a man-made dangerous condition or object that would encourage a child to come onto the property and potentially injure themselves. Examples of attractive nuisances include swimming pools, abandoned cars, or large items that children could climb on.
For example, if a child enters a stranger’s backyard and uses their pool, the property owner will be liable for any injuries (including death by drowning) that child suffers. The property owner is liable because young children do not have the maturity to understand the dangers of trespassing on another person’s property.
What do I have to do to file a premises liability claim?
In order to successfully recover compensation from a property owner for injuries that you sustained while on their land, you must either prove that you were not trespassing or that you fall into one of these exceptions. A premises liability attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. will review the facts of your case and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804 today to set up your free, initial consultation.