When you step on to someone else’s property, your favorite clothing store in Atlanta for example, you expect a certain measure of safety. In other words, you do not expect to come into contact with dangerous conditions that might cause you harm. Unfortunately, this does occur. Maybe the floor at the supermarket was wet and you slipped. Or, perhaps the carpet in your doctor’s office was torn and caught your shoe, causing you to trip. When accidents like these occur, premises liability comes into play.
In general, premises liability has to do with a property owner’s (or other occupant’s) duty to people that come on the property.
Your status as a visitor
There are three different statuses that the court might examine in terms of a visitor’s status. These are invitee, licensee and trespasser. An invitee is someone who has an invitation to come on the property. You, as a customer to a retail store, would be an invitee. A licensee is a person who enters the property for his or her own reasons, but with the approval of the owner or renter. The final status of trespasser belongs to individuals who have no right to enter the property. In general, the property owner does not have any legal duty in regard to the safety of trespassers.
Uniform standard of care
In many states, the court will consider the condition of the property, the activities of the owner and the behavior of the visitor during a premises liability case. Under the uniform standard of care, the property owner has a duty to provide a reasonably safe space for visitors. The court might examine the circumstances under which you entered the property, the intended use of the property, if there was any way to anticipate an accident and if the owner took reasonable steps to prevent hazardous conditions.
If you suffered an injury, such as a slip-and-fall, you might be able to take legal action. When an injury occurs due to someone else’s negligence, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries and other damages.