Whenever you lawfully enter someone else’s property, the owner or manager of that property owes you a certain degree of protection from harm for the entire length of time you are on their land. However, the amount of protection they owe you—as well as the degree of liability they hold for injuries that do occur on their premises—varies significantly depending on the exact reason for your visit.
If you suffered harm due to dangerous conditions on private property, you may have grounds for a lawsuit that an experienced attorney could help you pursue. Get in touch with a Macon premises liability lawyer to determine what your legal options may be given your unique situation.
Duties of Property Owners to Different Visitors
Property owners in Georgia owe the highest duty of care to visitors who are on their land by expressed or implied invitation, as per Official Code of Georgia §51-3-1. Specifically, property owners and managers are liable for any harm these visitors—known as invitees—suffer as a direct result of the owner or manager’s failure to use ordinary care in inspecting, securing, and maintaining their premises. For example, if a customer in a retail store trips over a broken piece of tile that the owner was already aware of and had not fixed or cordoned off, they may have grounds to file a premises liability claim.
Conversely, under O.C.G.A. §51-3-2, landowners do not owe any such duty of ordinary care to licensees, which are visitors who are allowed on private property for their own interests or convenience and are not acting as customers, trespassers, or individuals with contractual relations to the landowner. Instead, property owners only must refrain from willfully injuring licensees.
Additionally, according to O.C.G.A. §§51-3-22 and 51-3-25, owners and operators of land used for public recreation owe no duty of care to lawful or unlawful visitors, except that they may not intentionally cause them to suffer harm. A Macon property liability attorney could explain in further detail how state law holds or does not hold property owners liable for certain types of accidents.
Recoverable Damages in a Premises Liability Claim
Through a successful lawsuit or settlement demand, a victim of an accident on someone else’s property may be able to recover for both economic and non-economic losses. In other words, a premises liability attorney in Macon could help a plaintiff seek restitution not only for damages with objective value like medical expenses and missed work wages, but also subjective forms of harm like loss of enjoyment of life and physical pain and suffering.
However, as is the case with all personal injury claims, O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 sets a two-year statutory filing deadline on premises liability lawsuits. If an accident victim fails to get their case started within two years of when they first discovered their injuries, they will almost certainly be barred from recovering any money at all.
Speak to a Macon Premises Liability Attorney Today
Georgia does not hold property owners and managers liable for injuries suffered by all lawful visitors to the same extent that many other states do. However, if you got into an accident while visiting a retail store or otherwise acting as an invitee, you may be able to hold a landowner liable for every injury and loss you experienced as a result.
A Macon premises liability lawyer could go over all your options and get you on the right track towards recovery during a confidential consultation. Get in touch today to schedule yours.