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Are Your Premises Safe?

If you have dangerous or hazardous conditions on your property, it would be wise to know the ins and outs of premises liability before someone injures themselves.

Basically the law of premises liability is a branch of personal injury law that covers injuries sustained as a result of dangerous or hazardous conditions on a piece of property. The major premise here is that a person who owns property – homeowner or commercial property – is (to a certain extent) responsible for what happens on that property. This means the owner is obligated to make sure the property and/or any buildings on that land are in safe condition for others.

The other name for cases in this area of law — perhaps you don’t recognize the term premises liability — is slip and fall cases. The bulk of cases in this area usually do deal with falls on slippery surfaces, trips over various hazards and other things, such as stairs in poor repair. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this area of law is connected to several others as well.

Other injuries that may be covered by the doctrine of premises liability are porches collapsing, lead poisoning, mercury contamination, elevator malfunctions or drops, stairs that collapse and property fires. No two premises liability cases are alike and each one must be considered on its own merits. However having said that, there is one common element in most of these cases, and that would be negligence. The courts need to know if a property owner or manager is liable for a plaintiff’s injuries.

Proving responsibility for someone else’s injuries requires three components or elements. The first is a showing of duty, meaning that the owner did know or should have reasonably known about a hazard on his or her property. The second element refers to a breach of duty, in that it must be proven that the property owner failed to act “as a reasonable person” to remove or fix the danger.

Element three is that the plaintiff must show a causal link. In other words, prove that the defendant did not follow a reasonable standard of care and that this failure was the “direct and proximate cause” of the plaintiff being injured. If you have had an accident on someone’s property and want to know your legal rights, contact a premises liability attorney to discuss your situation.

Tim Anderson works with Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert or Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury attorney, visit Ozcomert.com.