Georgia Premises Liability Attorneys
Companies that manage property must follow certain protocol that includes inspecting for property hazards and using reasonable care to fix those hazards. If you or a loved one was seriously injured because a company chose to violate these rules, the Stoddard Firm can help. We have extensive experience handling all types of property defect cases, including:
- Property Fires
- Broken Concrete
- Rusted Railings
- Rotted Stairs
- Carbon Monoxide Inhalation
- Unguarded Holes
- Slippery Substances
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
Fall-related accidents are the most common cause of injury on poorly-maintained property. Slips, trips and falls can result in extremely serious injuries that might lead to costly medical bills, ongoing treatment, diminished work capacity and life-long impairment. Falls are particularly harmful for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older Americans, causing 7 million injuries and 27,000 deaths annually.
There are several other types of injuries that are closely related to premises liability cases. Faulty wiring, broken staircases and the presence of certain gases or toxins can all lead to serious injury. Here are just a few examples of possible injuries in premises liability cases:
- Brain injuries – Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, accounting for more than one-third of all TBIs. Being struck by a falling object is another common cause of brain injuries. These injuries are often permanent, affecting a sufferer’s memory, mood, personality, language-processing skills and physical abilities.
- Back injuries – Back injuries come in many different forms, though one of the most common and severe is spinal cord injury. When a spinal cord injury leads to paralysis, the lifetime costs of treatment and ongoing care can be staggering, often totaling millions of dollars.
- Fractured bones – Ninety-five percent of broken hips are caused by falls. When someone falls on an unsafe property, they often try to catch themselves, which is why falling is one of the leading causes of Colles wrist fractures. These injuries, along with knee and ankle fractures, typically require a long to time to heal and cause restricted mobility, which could mean diminished work capacity or quality of life.
- Torn ligaments – Premises liability-related injuries sometimes include injuries to major ligaments, such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Fall-related ligament injuries typically occur in the knees, which means that a sufferer will have difficulty walking and encounter a long road to recovery.
- Burns – Burn injuries may occur when hazardous property conditions lead to electrocution or exposure to flames and dangerous chemicals. These injuries are notoriously painful and expensive to treat. Burns also sometimes lead to permanent disfigurement, which is associated with serious psychological and emotional suffering.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning – Property owners, especially those who are operating a business, should have detectors installed to eliminate any possible exposure to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in garages, hotels, offices and apartment buildings. In the initial stages of carbon monoxide poisoning, a person might exhibit flu-like symptoms; if there is prolonged exposure, they could suffer fatal injuries.
- Internal damage – Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding or kidney injuries, are sometimes difficult to detect immediately after an accident, which makes them extremely dangerous. If not treated promptly, internal injuries can be fatal.
- Wrongful death – When a property-related injury is fatal, surviving family members can file wrongful death claims to help cope with the financial consequences of their loss. These claims are vital for surviving family members because they help pay for outstanding medical bills, lost income and end-of-life costs.
Those are just a few examples of the suffering that can be caused by poorly maintained properties. The common thread is that they are expensive to treat, require a long time to heal and often lead to lengthy or permanent physical restrictions. Premises liability claims are a tool used by people who have suffered harm because of a negligent property owner or manager; with the help of a premises liability attorney, they may recover the extraordinary costs associated with this type of injury.
Premises Liability Cases Are Often Complex Matters
The law governing these claims is complex, and it favors the property owner. For this reason, retail stores, hotels, apartment complexes, and other large property owners often have procedures designed to document the incident in a way that gets your case thrown out of court before you ever reach a jury.
The Stoddard Firm knows how to prevail in these cases. The injured party must convince first the judge, and then the jury, (i) that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, (ii) that the property owner did not act reasonably in fixing or removing the danger, and (iii) that the injured person was not aware of the danger.
The Stoddard Firm knows how to keep your case from being thrown out of court. It typically requires hiring experts in building codes, life safety codes, mechanical codes, and fire codes. It also requires time-consuming investigations and numerous under-oath interviews of current and former employees. After all, defendants rarely admit that they knew about the hazard before the injury occurred. Many of these cases fail because the injured victim’s lawyer is either unwilling or unable to invest the time and financial resources required.
Reaching out to us is free. Please give us a call or contact us online so we can answer your questions and discuss what is necessary to achieve a favorable result. It never hurts to have more information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do your services cost?
A consultation with the Stoddard Law Firm is free. In most circumstances, we earn no fee unless we win your case. If your claim is successful, we take a percentage of the recovered amount.
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.
How much is my case worth?
There’s no way for us to know how much your case is worth until we hear the details of your case. Be wary of any lawyer who gives you an amount without first evaluating your case. After evaluating the facts, an attorney should be able to determine how much to seek in damages, i.e., the amount of compensation you are owed for your injuries.
What has to be proven in a premises liability case?
A successful premises liability claim must show that a hazardous condition exposed you to an unreasonable risk of harm and that the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care to maintain a safe premises. Common examples include slippery floors, unstable structures, broken handrails, stairs not built to code, scalding apartment shower water, natural gas explosions, electrical shocks, and improperly fenced swimming pools. There are several factors that can make or break a case, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer who can thoroughly investigate the situation.
How is negligent security different from premises liability?
Negligent security is a type of premises liability. These claims arise when a person is assaulted on someone else’s property by a third-party. Owners of apartment complexes, hotels, gas stations, and other retail establishments can sometimes be held liable if their inadequate security practices contributed to the attack. Such practices include failure to warn of prior crimes, inadequate lighting, broken access gates, broken locks, and failure to provide security guards.
How can an attorney help me?
Whether your injury was mild or severe, proving fault for premises liability can be a complex process. The standard of care owed by the property owner is made up of many factors and, in some cases, the hazardous conditions may no longer exist. A skilled premises liability attorney knows how to gather and preserve the necessary evidence – and how to defend you against accusations that you should have known about the dangerous condition.
How do I choose an attorney?
There are a lot of lawyers out there, so it’s important to select one that you feel comfortable with and who inspires confidence. Choose one who has experience with the type of claim you have, is qualified, has a good reputation in the legal community, and seems dedicated to helping you win your case.
How do I pay an attorney?
The Stoddard Firm handles litigation on a contingency basis. This means we accept a percentage of the amount we recover for you. If your claim does not have a successful resolution, we do not collect any fee. We are also pleased to offer free consultations.