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The information on this website was written by Michael G. Hostilo, LLC as advertising material and is intended for general information purposes only. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Client testimonials are actual and not paid for. The firm is licensed to practice law in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina

Premises Liability Law


What Is Premises Liability Law?


Premises liability laws involve a property owner’s responsibility to protect against clear dangers.

Premises liability refers to a building or grounds owner’s legal duty to ensure that their premises are safe – for both the public and private guests. Failure to maintain this standard could result in a dangerous accident, leaving a property owner liable for their negligence. A premises liability lawsuit may arise if the injured person files a legal claim seeking compensation for their accident injury.

If you are injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, contact the Mike Hostilo Law Firm today. You may have a premises liability claim – but handling it on your own can be complicated. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced liability lawyer on your side.

Premises liability laws are related to the duty of a property owner to protect against obvious hazards. While specific laws and precedents vary from state to state, they typically involve a direct injury resulting from clear negligence on the part of the property owner. A skilled premises liability lawyer can manage your legal claim and offer trusted legal advice as you seek justice for your accident injury.

What Does “Duty of Care” Mean?

The law defines “duty of care'' as a company’s or business’s obligation to protect its employees and the public from undue risks. For instance, businesses have a duty of care to their employees and the public. While operating their business, they must promote the health, safety, and wellbeing of others. Furthermore, the business and its owners or management have a moral and ethical duty not to cause or fail to prevent any physical or psychological harm to the employee. 

Because liability claims can be challenging, it’s best to entrust yours to an experienced premises liability attorney. In addition to legal support, you’ll receive trusted guidance as you pursue the justice you deserve.

If I Am Injured on Someone's Property, Is the Owner Liable for My Injuries? 

Simply put, it depends. 

Note that a property owner or manager is legally required to keep their premises safe. If they know that there are unsafe areas on the property, it's their responsibility to correct the problems and keep those areas blocked off until they are fixed.  

Therefore, if someone is injured on the property due to negligence or carelessness, the owner is liable. However, proving this can be tricky. It requires evidence that your injury resulted from a dangerous condition on their property – and that the owner knew about it or should have known. 

The liability lawyers at The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can help. We will work to gather the necessary evidence and prove your premises liability claim. But it’s important that you act quickly. If you’ve been injured, contact our premises liability attorneys as soon as possible.

Also, be sure to notify the property owner that you are injured and seeking medical attention immediately. Getting medical attention right away is not only critical for your care, but in documenting that the injury resulted from the accident. The time available for filing a premise liability claim is limited, so there’s no time to waste.

Remember, there’s no guarantee that the owner of the property will be held liable for the accident injury. While many states have laws that protect accident injury victims, others limit the situations in which property owners may be held responsible for an injury. Rest assured that our premises liability lawyers will work tirelessly to see justice done.

Ask A Premise Liability Lawyer: What Factors Are Required for A Legit Premises Liability Claim?

For a liability claim to be brought against a property owner, a trusted premises liability lawyer can help prove that the following occurred:

The injured party must be lawfully on the property or, when trespassing, the property owner needs to be aware of the trespass.

The property owner must have allowed an unsafe condition on their property.

That unsafe condition must stem from the owner’s failure to address a clear danger. They can also be held liable if the danger was addressed ineffectively or in a way that made the condition worse.

The accident injury must be directly related to that unsafe condition.

Who Can Bring a Liability Claim Against a Property Owner?

In most cases, the plaintiff or accident injury victim in a premises liability claim must be an “invitee” of the property owner. This can include, but is not limited to, several scenarios, such as:

  • A person performing work at the premises
  • A customer to a business
  • A visitor, whether explicitly invited or as a guest of an invitee (who is not exclusively barred from the premises)

When filing a liability claim, a premises liability lawyer is crucial. They bring trusted legal experience and knowledge to the table, helping to manage the complexities of your premises liability case.

When your compensation is on the line, let the liability attorneys at The Mike Hostilo Law Firm put our experience to work for you. 

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In a Premises Liability Claim, What Is Considered an Unsafe Condition?

Unsafe conditions must be clear to an observer. Such examples might include:

  • Visible damage to a structure
  • An unrestrained animal
  • Dangerous chemicals or fumes
  • Situations created by a lack of proper security

Keep in mind, the list of unsafe situations that create liability is extensive. However, courts have rejected liability claims related to conditions that, while ultimately unsafe, did not meet the standard. Determining a premises owner’s “duty of care” takes careful analysis and experience – and our premises liability attorneys at The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can provide just that!

Additionally, an unsafe condition created by the actions of a premises employee can also create liability. Generally, the third party is an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor – and the action must be performed in line with how the employer had instructed the employee. For example, if an employer requires that employees clean spills, but fails to train them in how to put out a sign warning of the freshly washed area, someone slipping on that surface could attempt to hold the premise liable.  

As one legal expert for Baylor University Medical Center noted, business owners have a duty to ensure employees are properly supervised and that “problem” employees are not retained. He notes, however, that nothing can “absolutely” prevent a lawsuit against a property. 

What Constitutes Negligence by a Property Owner in Premises Liability Claim?

In short, negligence stems from a premises owner’s failure to warn invitees of unsafe conditions – or to prevent them.

An example is a “Beware of Dog” sign in front of a fence that separates the dog from trespassers. The property owner would be liable for the trespasser’s dog bite if they didn’t have a sign in place.

However, a property owner who addresses an unsafe condition can still be found liable if the effort proves insufficient. An improperly repaired stair rail that breaks, for example, creates a more dangerous situation than the original broken rail because the user would believe it's safe. In this example, however, the injured party must be able to show that the rail was improperly fixed, and that the property owner knew the rail was incapable of holding a typical person’s weight.  

There are exceptions to this level of liability. In the state of Georgia, for instance, the law protects premise owners from liability when the invitee is on the property for “recreational” purposes. This applies even if an injury occurs because of the property owner’s negligence.

Because the laws governing premises liability are very intricate, it’s important to have an experienced liability lawyer on your side.

Ask A Premises Liability Lawyer: Most Common Premises Liability Injury Are Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are the most common liability claims made against property owners. 

The National Floor Safety Institute further estimates that “slip and fall” cases account for over one million emergency room visits per year, or approximately 12%. Among adults over 65, slips and falls are the second highest cause of injury-related deaths, according to research cited by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. 

As the name implies, these are accident injuries caused when a person falls because of slippery or uneven walking surfaces. Slips and falls cost an estimated $50 billion in medical costs in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

As with most cases, holding a premises owner accountable in a “slip and fall” claim can be difficult. What seems like a straightforward case can become complicated very quickly.

Other injuries that commonly result in premises liability claims include:

  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Bites from dogs or other animals
  • Injuries from premises-owned equipment, such as playgrounds
  • Injuries from partial structure collapse

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The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can manage your premises liability claim, as well as a wide variety of other cases – including car crashes, trucking accidents and other accident claims. We are here to help! Our team proudly serves accident injury victims throughout Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. 

So, if you need a premise liability attorney to fight for your legal claim, contact The Mike Hostilo Law Firm today!

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