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The Blame Game

Proving who is at fault in a premises liability case is sometimes quite difficult.

At the very heart of the matter of premises liability law is the question “Who is to blame?” This isn’t the easiest thing to figure out, and that is why many premises liability lawyers will comment that each and every case is unique and has very little in common with any other case of the same nature. The circumstances of the case are what tend to make each one different.

“In a nutshell, the concept of premises liability boils down to this: a person who owns or occupies land (controls it) is responsible to make sure that the land is safe and hazard free for other people,” explained Georgia super lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert of Atlanta.

This also isn’t easy when those slip and fall accidents happen right out of the blue. For instance walking down the sidewalk in front of a merchant’s store and accidentally tripping over a broken piece of pavement, or while in the hair dresser’s shop, someone slips on a pile of freshly clipped hair lying on a linoleum floor.

These seem like accidents that could have been avoided if only the owner of the premises had done something to warn customers about a hazard (cut hair on a linoleum floor) or had fixed an accident waiting to happen (the broken pavement). “If there had been a sign that warned customers about the hazards of slipping on cut hair, and someone wasn’t paying attention, it’s questionable whether or not there would be grounds for a lawsuit,” added Ozcomert.

This is where hiring a premises liability lawyer comes into play. They are there to help those who feel they have been a victim of a slip and fall injury by explaining the concept of negligence and liability. Only a skilled premises liability attorney is able to ascertain if there is a case worth pursuing.

“If there is a case and it proceeds to court, one of the things the court takes into consideration is how long an unsafe condition existed and if the owner was careless in leaving it unrepaired,” said Ozcomert. They also look to see if the owner did have posted warnings on the premises and they were ignored. The other component of a court’s assessment of a slip and fall case is whether or not the person who sustained the injuries was a reasonable person.

“Being a reasonable person in part means the plaintiff was not trespassing on the owner’s property or wasn’t doing something they were not supposed to do on that property. In other words, the victim’s own actions play a big part in the disposition of a slip and fall case,” outlined Georgia super lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert of Atlanta.

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