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It may seem like a simple matter to collect compensation following a personal injury that occurs on another’s property. After all, property owners have the responsibility to keep their land safe for visitors, and they are liable for any accident that results in an injury.

While this is generally true, in reality, premises liability claims in Columbus are far more complex. A proper evaluation of your rights includes examining your motivations for being on the land, whether you had permission to be there, and any steps the landowner may have taken to prevent injury. Indeed, many people do not realize that a property’s owner may be liable even if that owner was not directly involved in an injury.

A Columbus premises liability lawyer may be able to help you pursue your legal rights following an accident. A seasoned personal injury attorney could work to explain the laws that apply to your case, to gather evidence of landowner negligence, and to measure your losses to demand proper compensation.

The Duties of Landowners to Visitors

As a general rule, landowners must keep their land safe for visitors. However, the extent of this legal duty changes based on a person’s permission to enter the land as well as their motivations for doing so. State law creates three classes of visitors:

  1. Trespassers: People who enter or remain on land without permission. Under C.G.A. §51-3-3, property owners must only not cause intentional or wanton harm to trespassers.
  2. Licensees: People who enter land for their own benefit. According to C.G.A. §51-3-2, much like trespassers, landowners must only refrain from causing intentional or wanton harm.
  3. Invitees: People who enter land for the property owner’s benefits. These are the only visitors who can claim damages after common accidents. Under C.G.A. §51-3-1, landowners must take reasonable care to provide protection and prevent harm.

Naturally, a key component to all premises liability cases is whether the property owner’s actions were sufficient to prevent foreseeable harm. This is a question for a jury, and the extent of reasonableness will be unique for every claim. A Columbus premises liability lawyer could provide clarification as to a plaintiff’s rights as a visitor and what they must prove to demonstrate landowner liability for an injury.

Premises Liability Cases Extend Far Beyond Typical Slips and Falls

The classic example of a premises liability case is a slip and fall. However, incidents that occur on another party’s property that result in an injury reach far beyond this limited example.

Structural damages or defects may also be responsible for a plaintiff’s losses. For instance, if a landowner fails to repair a stair leading into their shop, and a visitor falls and breaks their leg, this landowner is almost certainly liable.

Other examples of situations that result in injuries because of a failure to maintain a safe visiting area include:

  • Improper lighting in places people are expected to visit
  • A lack of proper locks or other security features that enable criminal acts
  • Poor paving in parking lots resulting in potholes
  • Poor security staff in bars or clubs that allow fights to occur

As a whole, landowners must take all appropriate steps to protect their business guests. This goes far beyond cleaning temporary hazards that may result in slips and falls. A Columbus premises liability lawyer could help evaluate the facts that led to a plaintiff’s injuries to determine if a landowner’s failure to provide a safe space contributed to those losses.

A Columbus Premises Liability Lawyer Could Help You

Plaintiffs who are injured on private property can demand payment of their medical bills, reimbursement for any lost wages, and compensation for any pain or suffering. Do not allow a negligent landowner’s failure to keep you safe impact your future any more than it already has. Contact a Columbus premises liability lawyer today to discuss your case.

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