Businesses that invite customers onto their property have a duty to protect those people from dangerous conditions. If a retail store owner fails to abide by Atlanta, Georgia law and someone is hurt as a result, the injured party may have a liability claim. Premises liability attorney Terrence R. Bethune has dedicated his practice to helping Atlanta residents and others who have been harmed by the negligence of other people or entities.
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HOLD RETAIL STORES ACCOUNTABLE BY SEEKING COMPENSATION
State premises liability law imposes a high standard of care on property owners who open their stores to the public. Essentially, they must keep their businesses free from dangerous conditions and their customers safe.
An individual injured in a retail store must prove several essential elements:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property;
- The property owner knew or should have known about it;
- The property owner did not fix or warn of the hazard; and
- The dangerous condition caused an injury to the plaintiff, from which actual damages resulted.
A dangerous condition might be a slippery floor, precariously arranged merchandise, or even inadequate security in a high-crime area. Anything that might pose an unreasonable risk to customers may constitute a dangerous condition.
If the property owner knew of the hazard, the second element likely is met. It usually is even met if the owner did not know of the condition but merely should have known about it. Because of this high standard of care, property owners must perform a regular inspection of the premises to check for broken handrails, damaged floors, or other dangerous conditions.
An owner who discovers such a situation must take action to fix it. If the hazard cannot be repaired or eliminated, the owner may provide an adequate warning or rope off the area.
For the last element, the plaintiff must establish a causal connection between his or her injury and the dangerous condition. In Georgia, this exists if the hazard was both the cause in fact and the legal cause of the harm. This means the injury must have been a direct and foreseeable consequence of the condition.
If a customer who is hurt in Atlanta, Georgia in a retail store can prove the store’s liability by a preponderance of the evidence, he or she may be entitled to compensation for any physical, emotional, and financial injuries. This may include money to pay for medical bills and lost wages as well as damages to compensate for physical pain and suffering and emotional distress.
DISCUSS YOUR PREMISES LIABILITY CASE WITH AN ATLANTA ATTORNEY
It is clearly established that Georgia property owners must take steps to protect customers from harm. Retail stores near Atlanta are no different. If you were hurt on this type of property, slip and fall lawyer Terrence R. Bethune can help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 1-800-INJURED or visit our online contact page. We will take the time to evaluate whether you have a claim and develop a strategy suited to your situation if you do.