In the City of Alpharetta, premises liability cases are on the rise. As a personal injury law firm, our Alpharetta Injury Attorneys are highly skilled in the area of property owner liability, having obtained substantial recoveries for our clients in many owner negligence cases.The CDC estimates over 20,000 slip and fall accidents happen every year.
Premises liability is the legal term referring to a property owner or manager’s responsibility when a third party sustains an injury while on their property. For example, homeowners and commercial building managers are responsible, to a reasonable extent, for the safety and well being of those on their property.
While many assume that such landowner responsibility is limited to those people invited onto a property, the reality is that, in many situations, such responsibility actually extends to anyone on the property. However, the crux of premises liability really lies in negligence, or demonstrating the owner or manager’s carelessness in regard to the safety of the property.
Those acts included under premises liability law are varied, ranging from falling objects to negligent hiring to failing to act in the event of a criminal act by a third party. More recently, premises liability has also been used to litigate for false imprisonment or false arrest, when a patron is wrongly held on suspicion of shoplifting or another criminal offense. However, the most common and well-known category of premises liability litigation is known as “slip and fall” liability. The notoriety of slip-and-falls may be due to their high prevalence: according to the CDC, approximately 20,000 unintentional falls resulting in injury occur every year!
The most common injuries suffered in premises liability cases include torn rotator cuff, soft-tissue injury, broken arms or legs, contusions, head injury and back injury. If any injury has occurred, it is important to seek medical attention through an orthopedic doctor or chiropractor. There are many qualified orthopedists and chiropractors in the Alpharetta, Georgia areas and immediate treatment with these professionals is very important.
Have You Been Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
As a prime slip and fall example, let us consider the 2007 case of Annette Ritzmann, who, four years prior, had been entering a gas station to pick up her morning paper when she slipped because of a leaky awning. Although she returned to work as the manager of a large cosmetology firm a few days after the accident, she soon began suffering from seizures and other post-concussion symptoms. It was quickly apparent that she would no longer be able to work as she had in the past. After contacting a knowledgeable lawyer who could help her navigate the complexities of premises law, it was found that the store manager had known about, but failed to act on, the leaky awning. Ritzmann was subsequently awarded more than $12 million.
Yet, while the summary of the Ritzmann case has been provided in only a few short sentences and concludes with a hefty compensation to the victim, there should be no confusion regarding the level of difficulty and variability with premises liability litigation. A property manager or owner is not automatically guilty simply because an accident or attack occurred on their premises. Rather, a lawyer must demonstrate that negligence was not only involved, but was also the direct cause of the injury.
To satisfy the first of these two requirements, it must be proven that the owner did not demonstrate reasonable care for those on his property. This alone can be a difficult task, especially in situations where the owner is adamant that they were completely unaware of the circumstances that caused the injury. Employing an experienced lawyer is, unquestionably, the best way to mitigate such circumstances. The latter requirement is most often satisfied by a thorough investigation and appropriate medical reporting. Here, too, will a victim find a seasoned lawyer’s experience highly beneficial in organizing and accounting for all necessary documentation.
Because of the broad range of situations constituting property owner negligence, the level and types of injuries sustained by the victim in a premises liability case are more varied than in other personal injury cases. These injuries can range from subsequent physical disabilities to mental or emotional distress. The best way to determine whether or not your injury constitutes grounds for legal action and compensation is to consult a lawyer with a proven track record, who understands the full scope of this particular personal injury field.