When you hear premises liability claims, do you only think slip and fall accidents? Did you know property owners are not the only ones who can be legally responsible in premises liability cases? If you answered “yes” to both questions, you are not alone.
There are many misconceptions about premises liability claims, which is why having an Atlanta premises liability lawyer on your side is helpful. We’ll go through the five biggest misconceptions about premises liability claims so you can understand how a premises liability lawyer may help you.
- Property owners are the only ones who are legally responsible in premises liability cases
Most people are familiar with property owners being sued for premises liability issues, but these claims are not limited to property owners or private owners. Others who can be liable in premises liability cases include:
- Property managers
- Maintenance workers
- Airbnb hosts
- Commercial business owners
- Negligent security
For example, if you are a tenant and rent an apartment from a landlord, the landlord owes a duty to you during the term of your lease. The duty of the landlord is to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises safe.
The premises include the inside, outside, and common areas of your building, walkway, and the parking lot. If the landlord fails to repair a hazardous condition on the property and you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
However, the landlord had to know about the hazardous condition and then did not take steps to repair the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
How do you know what is a hazardous condition or what is a reasonable amount of time? That is where an Atlanta premises liability lawyer comes in. Consult with a premises liability lawyer to better understand your case and the next steps to take so you can receive compensation for your injuries.
Airbnb is another situation where more than the host, which is the property owner, is liable. While the host is liable if a guest is injured on their property, Airbnb may be liable as well. Airbnb hosts do not always have insurance because it is expensive, and a basic homeowners insurance policy may not cover Airbnb guests.
If the host does not have insurance, it is hard to receive a payout from them. However, Airbnb does have up to $1 million USD of primary liability insurance.
Yet, that does not mean Airbnb will cover all your expenses if you are injured at a host’s house. It means you must go through the claims process, which is through Airbnb’s insurance, to receive compensation. This can take time and is a headache you don’t need while you recover from your injuries.
- If your insurance provider is involved then you do not need a premises liability attorney
Premises liability cases can be complicated, especially when your insurance company is involved. Insurance companies are focused on profit and settling claims for the least amount possible. Even though they are your insurance company, they may not have your best interest at heart.
Eventually, your medical bills will pile up and you may be pressured by the insurance company to take a settlement that doesn’t cover your bills. Next thing you know, the insurance adjuster is calling and asking if you want to settle.
The insurance agents are experienced at negotiation, so it’s best not to go at it alone. Not only do you have the stress of bills on your mind, but you have injuries to care for as well. The pressure of dealing with the insurance company and handling negotiations is a lot to handle in a short amount of time.
Another common misconception when it comes to the insurance company is once you start working with the company, it pauses the time to file your lawsuit. However, this is not the case. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years from the date you were injured.
You have two years from the day of your accident to file a premises liability claim. If you do not file within those two years, you can no longer sue the person or company who was negligent and caused your injury. Keep in mind there are some exceptions to this rule, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney.
If your insurance company does not pursue your claim right away, and they miss the deadline to file suit, you could completely miss out on your damages.
If you have a premises liability claim, the best option is to consult with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer. When it comes to lost wages, medical bills, and future expenses, an attorney will help you recover the damages so you can focus on your recovery.
- If you are partially at fault you cannot recover for your injury
Even if you are partially at fault when it comes to your premises liability claim, you may still be able to recover. Georgia Code Section 51-12-33 says that if a plaintiff is partially responsible for their injury, the court determines the plaintiff’s percentage of fault during litigation against the defendant.
Once the court determines the plaintiff’s percentage, the judge reduces the amount awarded in proportion to the fault of the plaintiff.
For example, if the court finds the plaintiff was 30 percent at fault, and the awarded damages were $100,000. The judge would reduce $30,000 from $100,000 for a total payout of $70,000.
However, if the court finds the plaintiff is over 50 percent at fault, then the plaintiff cannot recover any damages.
Even if you were a little at fault for your injury, it is important to consult with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer to discuss the merits of your case.
- Premises liability cases are frivolous
Some people think premises lawsuits are frivolous or they may think they are not entitled to damages because they did not “suffer enough.” Even if your claim isn’t worth millions of dollars, you could still be entitled to compensation for your injuries, emotional suffering, and lost wages.
When you speak with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer, you are exercising your right to receive compensation for your injuries. If you suffered harm, it is only fair that you seek justice.
The legal system is in place to protect people who are wrongfully injured or hurt. Most of the time, the money does not come from the individual itself, but it comes from a multimillion-dollar insurance company. The owner, landlord, or business pays insurance premiums for a reason. That reason is to pay for claims in case anyone is injured on their property or premises.
Basically, the money is rightfully yours because you were injured due to the negligence of the other party. Your injuries are real. Your pain is real. Don’t feel guilty about filing a claim because another person was negligent and caused you harm. Talk with a premises liability lawyer to discuss your options.
- Slip and fall are the only type of premises liability cases
While slip and fall are common premises liability claims, they are not the only type. The following are examples of other premises liability claims:
- Escalator injuries
- Criminal attacks, such as shootings, rapes, and other assaults on unsafe properties
- Non-existent or inadequate fire alarms in rental properties
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Animal attacks
- Wrongful death accidents
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Amusement Park injuries
An example of a premises liability case that is not a “slip and fall” is a criminal attack or assault that occurs on an unsafe property. Under Georgia law, a property owner, such as an apartment complex, is responsible for keeping the property safe from known dangers, including criminal activity that can harm tenants and visitors.
In Atlanta, there are numerous apartment complexes and other properties where the owners and property managers know that crime is a problem but fail to provide security patrol, adequate lighting, working controlled access gates, and take other measures to protect their tenants and other visitors. If an attack, such as a rape or shooting, occurs on one of those unsafe properties, the property owner and manager can be held responsible for the attack, if they knew about the potential for crime and did nothing to stop it.
As you can see, t here are many different types of premises liability cases, which is why it is important to contact a premises liability lawyer. They can explain the law, their experience with the justice system, and provide more information on how your case will go.
Talk to an Experienced Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer
If you were injured at a person’s home, a commercial business, an Airbnb, or as a tenant, contact the Atlanta premises liability lawyer at the Davis Injury Firm. Betty Davis has over 15 years of experience helping thousands of clients get the compensation they deserve. You shouldn’t have to pay medical bills out of your own pocket or suffer in silence.
Call Betty Davis at (404) 647-0722 today to talk about your case so you can rest easy.