However, even if you have grounds to file suit against a negligent landowner, achieving a positive result from your claim will likely require assistance from an experienced attorney with a track record of success. By working with a Macon premises liability lawyer at the Gunn Law Group, you could increase your chances of securing the compensation you need.
Different Duties of Care for Different Visitors
The exact “duty” that a property owner in Macon owes to a visitor varies depending on a particular visitor’s reason for being on the property in question.
As per Official Code of Georgia §51-3-1, property owners owe the highest degree of care to “invitees.” These are people expressly or implicitly invited onto private land by the owner or occupier for that party’s financial benefit, like customers in a retail store. Landowners must exercise “ordinary care” to protect invitees from avoidable harm by regularly inspecting their property, promptly fixing dangerous property conditions, and notifying invitees of any hazards they have not yet addressed.
Licensees and Trespassers
However, property owners owe much less significant duties to “licensees” visiting property lawfully for their own interests and “trespassers” on land without the owner or occupier’s permission. According to O.C.G.A. §§51-3-2 and 51-3-3, landowners only bear civil liability for “willful or wanton injury” to licensees and trespassers—in other words, injuries caused intentionally and maliciously by the property owner. A Macon property liability attorney could provide further guidance on whether a visitor might be able to pursue civil compensation from a landowner after a serious injury.
Recovering for Losses after a Macon Property Accident
A comprehensive settlement demand or lawsuit against a property owner may seek restitution for all economic and non-economic consequences of the plaintiff’s injuries. Both past and future losses may be compensable through this kind of claim, including:
- Medical expenses
- Personal property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost working capacity
- Physical and psychological pain
- Lost overall quality of life
Importantly, any degree of fault assigned by a civil court to a plaintiff for negligently causing or worsening their own injuries may result in a proportional reduction of their final damage award, or possibly prevent them from obtaining any compensation. Additionally, as a local attorney at our firm could explain, O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 sets a two-year filing period for premises liability claims. This timeline generally begins on the date of the injury, making it crucial for property accident victims to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Work with a Macon Premises Liability Attorney
Pursuing civil compensation after an injury sustained on private property can be complicated in many ways, especially if you have no prior experience with civil litigation. Even if it seems obvious that a landowner is to blame for your damages, holding them accountable in court or during settlement negotiations can be difficult without legal help.
The assistance you need is available from a knowledgeable Macon premises liability lawyer. Schedule a consultation by calling the Gunn Law Group today.