Is an Apartment Building Liable for a Broken Security Gate?

negligent security apartment gate

Georgia landlords have a duty to fix broken security gates in order to keep residents safe. This is especially true when they have notice of criminal activity nearby. If there is a history of break-ins or robberies in the area, your landlord may be required to provide heightened security. When a complex falls into disrepair, your landlord may be on the hook for injuries suffered as a result of negligent security. One of the most common cases of negligent security is the failure to repair a faulty security gate. And, unfortunately, the consequences of a defective security gate can be deadly.

Liability for Negligent Security in Georgia

The owners and managers of Georgia apartment complexes owe a duty to both tenants and visitors to take steps to prevent crime on their premises. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. Any apartment complex that fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their tenants could be held liable for the damages that result from crime on the property. Walker v. Aderhold Properties, Inc., 303 Ga. App. 710 (2010).

Landlords and property managers are not liable for every crime that occurs at a Georgia apartment complex. There are two primary requirements that must be met for liability to apply to a landlord:

  • The criminal actions must have been foreseeable
  • The landlord must have failed to take reasonable measures to prevent crime

Foreseeable Threat

To be liable to a crime victim, a landlord or property manager must have been able to foresee the possibility of the crime in question. Drayton v. Kroger Co., 297 Ga. App. 484 (2009). The best way to prove a crime was foreseeable is to determine if similar criminal activity has occurred on or around the complex. If the apartment has had a string of break-ins, or if the surrounding neighborhood has a history of muggings, the threat may have been foreseeable to the point that your landlord should have taken steps to prevent it. In assessing the foreseeability of similar crimes, Georgia courts will “inquire into the location, nature and extent of the prior criminal activities and their likeness, proximity or other relationship to the crime in question.” Sturbridge Partners, Ltd. v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785 (1997).

Reasonable Measures

The second requirement is that the landlord failed to take “reasonable” steps to address the threat. Whether or not a step is reasonable is entirely subjective and determined on a case by case basis. Matt v. Days Inns, 212 Ga. App. 792, 794 (1994). If a negligent security lawsuit ends up going to trial, it will be up to the jury to determine if the steps taken were reasonable. But when it comes to the failure to repair a broken security gate, a strong case can be made that it is unreasonable allow a gate to remain in disrepair. After all, the gate is there for a reason.

While landlords and management companies might point to the cost of maintaining security gates, those costs are less than other security measures that may be necessary in areas where violent crime is rampant. Additionally, any savings from failing to maintain a security gate can quickly be wiped away by one incident of vandalism or property damage. Plus, it is a small price to pay for a landlord to protect their tenants.

Discuss Your Case With A Georgia Negligent Security Attorney

If you were a victim of crime at your Georgia apartment complex, you may have a claim based on your landlord’s failure to provide adequate security. A Georgia premises liability lawyer can review your case and determine if your landlord failed to take reasonable steps to protect you. To learn more, contact our firm at 833-LEGALGA for a free consultation. If you aren’t ready to speak to an attorney, you can learn more about negligent security cases on our YouTube Channel.

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

attractive nuisance

Children are naturally curious about their surroundings and can be harmed by what the law considers to be an “Attractive Nuisance.” Under Georgia law, any feature that could (a) draw the interest of a child and (b) potentially harm them is known as an attractive nuisance. The perfect example is a swimming pool. If a landowner fails to take appropriate steps to protect the public from this hazard, they could be liable for any injuries suffered by a child.

The combination of a child’s natural curiosity and the inability to identify potential hazards can be a recipe for disaster when a child is looking for a place to play and comes across a dangerous feature on another person’s property. If your child is injured due to an attractive nuisance in Georgia, you may be entitled to recover for your child’s medical bills. If your child dies after encountering an attractive nuisance, we can help you understand the challenges that are involved with bringing a wrongful death claim for the loss of a child.

Attractive Nuisance Liability in Georgia

For a landowner to be liable under the Attractive Nuisance theory, a few things must be proven. After all, not every nuisance is attractive and not every injury was feasibly preventable. A landowner is liable under the Attractive Nuisance theory if:

  • There is a dangerous condition on their property;
  • The hazardous condition was likely to attract young children;
  • A child, incapable of understanding the danger due to their age, was injured by the condition;
  • The landowner failed to take steps to guard against the injury; and
  • That preventing access to the condition or rendering it harmless was feasible without obstructing its intended purpose.

See Gregory v. Johnson, 249 Ga. 151, 154-155 (1982). In other words, a landowner owes a duty to any child that might be injured by a condition on their property that is attractive to the child. This is the case as long as it was feasible for the landowner to prevent access to the condition or render it harmless without obstructing the condition’s purpose. For example, an oil pump that might appear to a child as a teeter-totter may not be rendered entirely safe without affecting its ability to pump oil.

If all of the conditions described above are met, the landowner may be found liable for the injuries of the child. It is important to note that the duty owed to a child in these circumstances is much higher than that owed to an adult trespasser. In many cases, a landowner may be liable to a trespassing child for a dangerous condition but liability would not lie for injuries to a trespassing adult in the same situation. These nuisances can be either privately owned or public property.

Examples of Attractive Nuisances

Every premises liability case is different. However, there are a variety of examples that come up frequently in Attractive Nuisance lawsuits. Here are some of the most common examples of an attractive nuisance:

  • Railroad turntables
  • Empty swimming pools
  • Construction sites
  • Wells
  • Power lines
  • Man-made fountains
  • Abandoned cars
  • Farm equipment

These are only a few of the possible Attractive Nuisances that are common in Georgia. In many of these examples, the circumstances in each case could affect whether Attractive Nuisance liability applies. For example, farm equipment that was storable inside secure fencing might be an attractive nuisance, while equipment at a location where fencing is impossible may not qualify.

Premises Liability Attorney in Georgia

Every Attractive Nuisance case is different and will require extensive research and investigation. If your child or loved one suffered an injury on the property of another, it is possible that the property owner is liable for their damages. To discuss your options with an experienced premises liability attorney, contact us today at 833-LEGALGA.

Negligent Supervision of Children

negligent supervision of children

Parents and caregivers of children have a legal duty to supervise children under their care. Negligent supervision of children can create a legal issue when a child hurts him or herself or when a child causes harm to someone else because no adult was watching them. In these cases, the adult that was supposed to be watching them can be held liable. 

Negligent Caregivers and Harm to Children 

When a parent leaves their child in another person’s care, they are placing a huge amount of trust in that person to keep their child safe. Caregivers — like daycare attendants, babysitters, nannies, teachers, coaches, and camp counselors — have a responsibility to safeguard children under their care. When caregivers fail to take reasonable steps to keep a child under their care safe, they have breached a legal duty and are liable for whatever harm is caused to the child as a result. Whether a caregiver acted unreasonably is a question of fact that must be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Georgia Parental Liability Laws 

The other category of cases involving negligent supervision of children occurs when a child causes an injury to someone else. If a child was under the care of a daycare provider, teacher, guardian, or any other person with a legal duty to watch over the child at the time of the injury, then that party may be found liable to the person that was harmed. In all other instances, Georgia law holds parents vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of their children. This type of liability is not tied to a parent’s negligent supervision, but rather to the child’s actions. However, negligent supervision and parental vicarious liability are issues that are often closely tied together. 

Under Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 2 Section 2, parents are liable for negligent and intentional torts committed by their children. Unsupervised children can cause harm in myriad ways because they lack mental and emotional maturity. Georgia courts have determined that liability under that § 51-2-2 extends to auto accidents caused by children under the “family purpose doctrine.” This means that, generally, whenever a minor causes an accident while driving the family vehicle, the parents can be held liable. 

The Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 2 Section 3 additionally holds that parents are liable for the “willful and malicious” conduct of their children “in an amount not to exceed $10,000.00 plus court costs.” Because damages are capped at $10,000 for willful and malicious conduct, but not for negligent acts, it is important to have cases carefully evaluated to ensure that the proper statute applies. It is also important to note that § 51-2-3 states that it is not intended to provide a restrictive remedy, meaning that parents can be liable for the willful and malicious conduct of their children beyond the $10,000 limit if other theories of liability also apply. 

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC 

If you would like more information about this issue, or if you would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule a free consultation today by calling (404) 389-1035.

Can I Recover if I am Burned on Someone Else’s Property?

recover burned someone else property

Burn injuries occur frequently, and when they do they can be devastating. The American Burn Association states that there are nearly 500,000 burn injuries each year in the United States. Burn injuries are excruciating physically and the damage caused by a burn injury can endure for the rest of a person’s life. If you have suffered a burn injury while on someone else’s property, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand your legal rights and options. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to getting each client the compensation they deserve. 

Georgia Premises Liability Law 

The first thing to consider if you have been injured on someone else’s property is whether you have a premises liability claim against the owner of the property. The general rule is that a property owner has a duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care to ensure that their property is safe. A property owner has a heightened duty towards those that have been invited onto a property. Under O.C.G.A. 51-3-1, “Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” Towards all others, a property owner must not recklessly or intentionally cause harm. 

Burn injuries can occur when a property owner fails to maintain equipment, leaves dangerous or flammable chemicals exposed, or neglects to repair a dangerous electrical system. If a property owner negligently fails to use reasonable care to prevent others from being burned, they are liable under Georgia’s premises liability law for any harm that occurs. 

Special Statutory Protections for Certain Landowners 

Georgia has enacted special protections for certain property owners. Under the Georgia Recreational Property Act: “An owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational purposes or to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on the premises to persons entering for recreational purposes.” The law is intended to encourage property owners to make their land available to the public for things like hunting, fishing, and hiking. 

This law also states that when a property owner invites persons onto their land for recreational purposes they do not extend any assurance that the property is safe for any purpose, confer the legal status of an invitee or licensee to people they invite, or assume any responsibility for injury to person or property. A property owner will only be liable for harm if they have charged the victim a fee to use the land or if they willfully or maliciously failed to guard or warn against a dangerous condition. 

Products Liability 

If an accident was caused by a defective product, the victim can bring a products liability claim against the manufacturer. If a victim was injured by a product while on another person’s property, it may be difficult to know whether a premises liability or products liability claim is more appropriate. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, help accident victims understand their legal rights and options in these circumstances. 

Comparative Fault 

All types of personal injuries in Georgia are subject to a comparative fault analysis. This means that if a plaintiff is partly at-fault in causing their own harm, their compensation will be reduced accordingly. If a plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent at-fault in causing their own harm, they will not be entitled to any compensation under Georgia law. 

Types of Burn Injuries 

These are the six main types of burn injuries

  1. Heat (thermal) burns. 
  2. Cold burns 
  3. Electrical burns 
  4. Chemical burns 
  5. Radiation burns 
  6. Friction burns 

Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, to Discuss Your Case Today 

Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to maximizing compensation for burn injury victims. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, Joel Williams Law is here to help. Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free consultations and takes cases on a contingency fee basis. Call today to discuss your case at (404) 389-1035.

Falling Objects Causing Injuries at a Work Site—Who’s at Fault?

falling object job injury fault

According to the Federal Department of Labor (DOL), approximately 3 million workers are injured on the job each year, and more than 4,500 are killed. Many of these accidents are caused by falling objects. In fact, the DOL has labeled falling objects as one of construction’s “fatal four” types of accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a falling object at a work site, you should be aware of your legal rights and options. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (404) 389-1035 today.

Falling Object Injuries on Work Sites

Whenever work is being done on multiple levels, there is always the risk that debris will fall or objects will be dropped, even when workers are using reasonable care. Severe injuries from falling objects at work sites often can be blamed on the failure of workers to wear a hard hat. Workers should always wear a hard hat when there is even a small possibility of falling objects.

Employers have a duty under OSHA regulations to maintain a safe work site and ensure that workers have the proper protective gear. Workers have a right to request an OSHA safety inspection if they feel conditions are unsafe, and employers are forbidden from retaliating against workers that make such a request.

Ultimately, however, for workers covered by Georgia’s Workers Compensation Law, a determination of fault is ultimately irrelevant in most cases. This is because under this law, workers automatically receive benefits when they are injured on the job, regardless of who is at fault. However, compensation is also limited.

Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law

Workers’ compensation functions by providing workers injured on the job with automatic compensation for harm and with benefits if they become disabled. Workers’ compensation insurance also provides benefits to dependents if a worker dies as a result of a job-related injury. The trade off, however, is that workers are prohibited from bringing lawsuits against employers (or co-workers) if they suffer harm in the course and scope of their employment.

Determining whether workers’ compensation applies is often complicated. In the State of Georgia, any employer with three or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When jobs utilize contractors and subcontractors, it is often unclear at first whether a particular worker will be covered by the law. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, help worksite accident victims navigate the law so that their rights are protected.

Non-Worker Victims of Harm

Non-workers are not, of course, covered by Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law. For instance, if a pedestrian strolling past a construction site is struck by a falling object, they are free to bring a negligence claim against the party or parties responsible. In cases where debris falls from a building, a premises liability claim could be brought as well. Premises liability claims can be brought when property owners are at fault for failing to ensure that their property is free from unreasonable hazards.

Damages in a Personal Injury Suit

Georgia personal injury law is intended to fully compensate victims for their harm. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit, also called damages, is intended to pay for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In cases where a defendant exhibited intentional or reckless conduct, punitive damages may also be possible. However, it must be remembered that personal injury victims covered by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law will be strictly limited to the compensation permitted under that law.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC

Worksite accidents can be devastating, particularly when caused by falling objects. Victims need the support of qualified and experienced legal counsel on their side. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, work hard to get accident victims the compensation they deserve.

Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Joel Williams Law, LLC, serves clients throughout the State of Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at a work site due to a falling object, the attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand what possible claims you may have and work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call (404) 389-1035 today.

Icy Walkways & Trip and Falls

icy walkway trip fall

It has been a cold winter this year. Even in many areas throughout in the South, snow and ice have been very present this historically cold winter. Due to snow and frigid temperatures, Georgia Governor issued a state of emergency on Monday, January 15. “To ensure people’s safety and to allow GDOT to do its job, I urge people to remain home and off the roads,” Governor Deal stated.

Wherever snow and ice are present, not only are roadways more dangerous, but there is also an increased risk of falling. It is important for everyone venturing outside in wintry weather to take steps to stay safe. When falls do occur, it is important for fall victims to be aware of their legal rights and options.

Injury Liability for Falls on Icy Surfaces

Under Georgia’s premises liability law, property owners that invite others onto their property have a duty to “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” Walkways in front of or alongside businesses would be considered approaches of those businesses. Therefore, businesses that are inviting people to come inside have a duty to ensure that the walkway leading to their business is safe to use.

When icy conditions are present, this means that business owners need to take reasonable steps to remove the ice and to warn people about the danger. However, a business is not necessarily liable for every trip and fall that occurs on an icy walkway leading into the business. Businesses do not actually need to remove all ice or ensure that walkways are completely safe. They only need to exercise “ordinary care.” Whether ordinary care has been exercised is a question of fact that depends on the circumstances.

Fall victims should understand that they may not be able to win a claim if a court determines that they assumed the risk. In premises liability cases, this principle is expressed by something known as the “superior knowledge” doctrine. This doctrine holds that a landowner must have had superior knowledge of the dangerous condition in order to be liable. Therefore, if icy conditions were obviously apparent, superior knowledge would not exist, and a business owner may not be liable.

Compensation in Icy Walkway Fall Cases

Plaintiffs that win slip and fall cases can expect to receive compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, additional damages may also be possible.

What to Do if You Fall

If you slip and fall on an icy walkway and suffer an injury, it is important to take steps to protect your potential right to compensation. Document the conditions at the time of the accident. Take photos of the walkway with your cell phone if you can. Most importantly, contact an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible to investigate your case.

Safety Tips

If you do need to go outside during wintry weather, there are steps you can take to avoid falling. You should take your time, wear shoes with good traction, and if at all possible avoid walkways that look icy. If you can’t avoid walking on an icy walkway, take shorter steps. And if you do fall, try to relax your body and make contact with the ground with your hip and shoulder together to spread out the impact. When people reach out with their arms to break their fall on an icy surface, they often only exacerbate their injury.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC

Joel Williams Law, LLC, is dedicated to helping injury victim get the compensation they deserve. If you have suffered a fall on an icy walkway and think you might be entitled to compensation, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand your case. They work hard to maximize compensation for every client they accept.

Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Joel Williams Law, LLC, serves clients throughout the state. The attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, offer free case evaluations and accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients don’t pay a dime in attorney fees unless and until they’ve won their case. If you would like to discuss your case, call Joel Williams Law, LLC, today at (404) 389-1035.

The Importance of Expert Testimony in Slip and Fall Cases

slip fall testimony expert witness

You’ve slipped and fallen on or near the property of a business due to a dangerous condition. You were paying attention and behaving reasonably, but you fell nonetheless because the business owner negligently permitted a dangerous condition to exist. You suffered an injury as a result, causing you to accrue medical bills, lose out on wages, and endure pain and suffering.

Under these facts, you may think it would be simple enough to gain compensation for your harm from the responsible business. After all, property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe, and when they fall short of that duty, the law says they must compensate any victims that suffered harm as a result. However, slip and fall cases are rarely that simple.

Property owners will often hotly contest every issue in a case. Whether a condition was unreasonably dangerous, whether a condition was the cause of the fall, and whether medical bills and other damages are properly attributed to the slip and fall can all be surprisingly complex questions to answer. To win slip and fall cases, plaintiffs often need to have qualified expert witnesses testifying on their side. Expert witnesses can help explain complex issues to the court, and they are often persuasive to both judges and jurors alike.

The Use of Expert Testimony in Slip and Fall Cases

Depending on the facts of a case, a plaintiff may need to rely on multiple experts to prove their claim. There are the primary functions that an expert witness can serve in a slip and fall case:

• Establishing that a dangerous condition existed. While some conditions are obviously unreasonably dangerous, a closer inspection is required to make this determination for others. For instance, whether flooring, stairs, railings, or construction defects constitute a dangerous condition can depend on the precise risk presented and prevailing safety standards. Experts trained in engineering or that have deep knowledge of building codes can help a court understand why certain conditions should be considered unreasonably dangerous.

• Demonstrating causation. Slip and fall accidents can cause a range of injuries. Some of these injuries can be extremely serious, even fatal. Judges and jurors may not always understand how a slip and fall can cause serious injuries. Accident reconstruction or medical experts can help show how the injury complained of was in fact caused by the fall and not by some other incident.

• Proving damages. Damages are the award of compensation given to a plaintiff that wins their case. In every personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove the amount of damages owed to them. This means that a plaintiff must prove that all of their medical expenses stemmed from the accident, which almost always requires the expert testimony of a doctor. A medical or vocational expert can also be used to help the court determine a fair amount of damages for lost wages.

Injury Victims Need a Well Connected and Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

The difference between prevailing and losing a personal injury case can often turn on whether the plaintiff had effective expert testimony on his or her side. This is especially true when the defense offers expert testimony of its own. Injury victims need an experienced personal injury attorney that has connections to the types of expert witnesses that can inform and persuade the court effectively.

Joel Williams Law, LLC, understands the importance of expert testimony in slip and fall cases. The experienced slip and fall injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, diligently ensure that their clients have the expert support they need in every case.

If You’ve Suffered a Slip and Fall, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall, it is imperative that you have the support of a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer. Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you understand your legal rights and options, and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Joel Williams Law, LLC, has an extensive track record of success getting slip and fall victims the compensation they deserve. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free case evaluations and serves clients throughout the State of Georgia. Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, today to discuss your case at (404) 389-1035.

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Hotel Premises Liability Cases

hotel liability case

Georgia is a unique state in terms of its geography, history and culture. Key industries such as Arts, Commerce, Film, Music, and Tourism shape the economy and its people. We, as a state, integrate and support them collectively to create and sustain a diversified economy. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, more than 100 million people visited Georgia in 2015. Millions of these people stayed in Georgia hotels, and hotel stays have only been rising in Georgia over the past two years.

The hotel industry profits enormously from tourism and travel in Georgia, and in return hotels that do business in Georgia have a duty to keep their hotels safe. Despite this duty, thousands of personal injuries occur each year in Georgia hotels. Some of these accidents are unavoidable, and other times hotel patrons irresponsibly cause harm to themselves in ways the hotel can’t control. But in many cases, a hotel is at fault for failing to maintain the safety of the hotel premise.

Joel Williams Law, LLC, aggressively fights to get personal injury victims the compensation they deserve when they are harmed by hotel premises defects or other negligence. If you or a loved one has been harmed while staying in a Georgia hotel, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and options. The experienced premises liability attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help. Call (404) 389-1035 today to schedule a free consultation.

Georgia Premises Liability Claims Against Hotels

Premise liability claims in Georgia derive from Title 51 Chapter 3 Section 1 of the Official Code of Georgia. This law holds that when landowners invite others onto their property, for instance when hotels invite people to stay in the hotel, they must “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” This duty of ordinary care means that hotel rooms and other hotel spaces must be free from conditions that could cause harm. It also means that hotels must take reasonable precautions to maintain hotel security and to ensure that areas such as workout rooms and swimming pools are safe.

If you’ve been harmed because of an unsafe condition that existed in a hotel, you may be entitled to compensation. The key to determining whether a hotel is liable is whether they failed to “exercise ordinary care.” There are several important factors that go into determining this, including:

1. The condition that caused the harm must be dangerous or unreasonable;
2. The hotel must have failed to remedy the condition and/or failed to warn hotel patrons about the risk, even though it had the opportunity to do so; and
3. The dangerous condition must have caused the harm.

These elements may seem simple, but hotel premises liability cases are often highly complex and hotly contested. Hotels will very often fight tooth and nail to avoid liability in court. Hotels that are a part of a larger chain may put up a particularly tough fight. Proving that a condition was dangerous and that it was the cause of the harm can often require expert witnesses and eyewitness testimony. In some cases, a medical expert may also be necessary to explain to the court exactly how the hotel defect caused the harm.

But it is not enough to simply prove that a dangerous condition existed and caused the harm. A hotel must have negligently failed to fix the problem. This means that it must be proved that a hotel knew or should have known about the condition, and failed to fix it or warn patrons of it.
Georgia courts follow the “superior knowledge” doctrine, which holds that a hotel must have had superior knowledge of the dangerous condition when compared to the plaintiff. Therefore, even if a hotel knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, if a plaintiff was aware of the danger but ignored the risk, the business may not be liable. Proving that a hotel could have or should have remedied the problem can also require large amounts of evidence, such as hotel records or surveillance footage.

If You’ve Been Injured While Staying at a Georgia Hotel, Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia hotel, the legal team at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you get the compensation you deserve. Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free consultations and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Joel Williams Law, LLC, represents clients in all areas of the State of Georgia. To discuss your case, call (404) 389-1035 today.

The Georgia Recreational Property Act

Georgia recreational property act

Georgia residents love spending time outdoors. Camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, and hunting are staples of many people’s lives. However, few people actually own land that can be used for those purposes. Instead, most people use public land or use private land that has been made available to the public.

Great places to spend time outdoors in the North Georgia area include:

• Kennesaw Mountain https://www.nps.gov/kemo/planyourvisit/things2do.htm
• Lake Acworth http://www.n-georgia.com/acworth-beach-cauble-park.html
• Red Top Mountain State Park http://www.redtopmountainstatepark.org
• Lake Lanier https://www.lanierislands.com/
• Amicalola Falls State Park http://www.amicalolafallslodge.com/

South Georgia residents may look to:

• Kolomoki Mounds http://gastateparks.org/KolomokiMounds
• Providence Canyon http://gastateparks.org/ProvidenceCanyon
• Callaway Gardens http://www.callawaygardens.com/
• Okefenokee Swamp http://okeswamp.com/
• Georgia Veterans State Park and Resort http://www.lakeblackshearresort.com/ga-veterans-park/camping/

When someone in Georgia suffers an injury on land that has been made available for recreational purposes, however, the Georgia Recreational Property Act (GRPA) bars the injured person from suing the landowner in most cases.

The purpose of this law is to encourage landowners to make their land available for recreational activities. Without the GRPA, many land owners would close off their land to the public to eliminate their risk of liability, and in doing so cut millions of people off from the ability to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities.

Activities Covered by the GRPA

Only land made available for “recreational purposes” is covered by the law. Several notable activities, such as cycling, running, and most sports, are not actually covered by the law. The law strictly defines“recreational purposes” as:

• Hunting
• Fishing
• Swimming
• Boating
• Camping
• Picnicking
• Hiking
• Pleasure driving
• Nature study
• Water skiing
• Winter sports
• Viewing or enjoying historical, archeological, scenic, or scientific sites

Exceptions to the GRPA

There are two major exceptions to the GRPA that landowners and outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of. The GRPA does not apply when there has been a “willful or malicious failure” of the land owner to guard people against a dangerous condition. Therefore, landowners that make their land available to the public still have a duty to take action to prevent harm when they are aware of a dangerous condition on their property.

The GRPA also does not apply when a landowner charges a fee for the use of the land. Landowners should remember that they forfeit their immunity under the GRPA if they charge any fee in exchange for permission to use their land; but if the fee is collected for some other purpose, the GRPA will still apply. For instance, if a land owner profits by selling goods on the same property, the GRPA will still provide immunity despite the fact that they are making money as long as the purchases are not required in order to use the land.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

Nobody wants to be injured when they are doing something they love, but accidents happen every day. If you suffer an injury while doing a recreational activity, or if you are a landowner making your property available to others for recreational purposes, it is important to be aware of the Georgia Recreational Property Act and to protect your legal rights accordingly.

The experienced legal team at Joel Williams Law, LLC, has deep knowledge of all aspects of Georgia tort law. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Joel Williams Law, LLC, represents clients in personal injury cases throughout the State of Georgia. If you have suffered a personal injury and would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, today at (404) 389-1035 to schedule a free consultation today.

Georgia Slip and Fall Claims

Georgia Kennesaw slip fall claim attorney

Georgia Slip and fall claims are largely governed by Georgia premises liability law. The basic rule of premises liability law is found in the Official Code of Georgia Section § 51-3-1, which states that when landowners invite others onto their property, they must “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”

If you’ve fallen in a store or other business because of an unsafe condition, you may be entitled to compensation. The key to determining whether a property owner is liable for slip and fall harm is whether they failed to “exercise ordinary care” in keeping the premises safe. There are several important factors that must be considered. The basic elements of a slip and fall claim in Georgia are:

1. There must have been a dangerous condition present;
2. The property owner must have negligently failed to remedy the condition and/or failed to warn the victim about it; and
3. The dangerous condition must have caused the harm complained of.

Establishing Property Owner Liability in Slip and Fall Claims

Although the elements of a slip and fall claim are relatively simple, these types of cases can be surprisingly complicated. Businesses will often hotly contest liability, and proving these claims typically involves collecting large amounts of evidence. Eyewitness or video evidence is usually needed to prove that a “dangerous condition” existed. Without proving a dangerous condition existed, a plaintiff cannot successfully win a slip and fall claim.

But it is not enough to simply prove that a dangerous condition existed. Sufficient evidence is also required to prove that the business owner negligently failed to fix or warn about the dangerous condition. This can require collecting evidence showing that the business knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Georgia courts also follow the “superior knowledge” doctrine, which holds that the business must have had superior knowledge of the dangerous condition compared to the plaintiff. Therefore, even if a business knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, if a plaintiff was actually aware of the danger but ignored the risk, the business may not be liable.

Once a plaintiff can prove that a dangerous condition existed and that a business was negligent, he must then prove that the condition caused his harm. This often requires medical evidence and expert testimony. Finally, it is also a defense against liability if the plaintiff negligently caused their own harm. A plaintiff may not be able to win their claim if they were contributorily negligent.

If You’ve Taken a Fall in a Store, Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

If you’ve been injured in a Kennesaw, GA slip and fall accident because of a hazard or unsafe condition, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. When businesses fail to clean up hazards, fix dangerous conditions, or warn customers about risks, anyone harmed as a result is entitled to compensation. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, have deep knowledge of Georgia premises liability law and are dedicated to maximizing compensation for each of their clients. Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, today to schedule a free consultation by calling (404) 389-1035.