Understanding Premises Liability Law

Gwinnett County Accident Attorney Shane Smith Discusses State Premises Liability Law and Past Criminal Acts

According to O. C. G. A. § 51-3-1 when an individual enters the premises or approaches a premises owner and the invited individual becomes injured, the premises owner may be held liable if a reasonable standard of care is not exercised.

How is the standard of care determined?

Based on State law and claims of lack of security, past criminal acts on and around the premises are taken into account in determining liability. Generally speaking, premises owners may be held if there is a reasonable expectation that a crime may be committed with reasonable expectations.  

However, if the premises owner has had prior criminal acts occur on or near their premises or approaches or there have been criminal acts perpetrated in the surrounding area, the owner/operator must take reasonable steps to ensure the risk posed to their invitees is reasonably minimized.

How may liability be established?

Along with determining the potential for future criminal acts, from premises, nearby, and related crime history and statistics, the criminal act in question that a claimant questions liability on must be similar to the past criminal acts cited. A similar act must be established because the claimant must prove that the premises owner failed to take appropriate actions to reduce the likelihood of a similar act occurring. The crime does not necessarily have to be the EXACT crime, but it must be a similar crime.

If the crime in question is markedly different from the past crimes cited, liability may or may not exist with the premises owner. Depending on the exact circumstances of the crime and damages from it, premises liability may exist. However, the only way to see what your legal rights are is to speak with a Georgia accident lawyer.

When you speak with a Gwinnett County accident lawyer at our law firm, you will understand what your legal rights are, including the possibility of a personal injury claim. Call our law firm today at (980) 246-2656 to speak with an accident attorney today!      

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