All landowners in Atlanta have a duty to protect visitors to their property. However, the extent to which they need to look out for their well-being depends largely upon why that visitor was on the land in the first place. Georgia law recognizes no fewer than three classes of visitors, each with their own level of legal protection.
A seasoned injury attorney could help you analyze your legal protections when visiting another person’s property. They can then analyze the facts that led to your injuries to determine whether the landowner has violated their duty of a landowner/possessor in Atlanta.
Duties Landowners H ave to Protect Invited Visitors
The law provides the most protection to people who are given an express invitation to visit another’s land. These people are known as invitees and can include guests at a house party, shoppers in a mall, or spectators at a sporting event. According to O.C.G.A. §51-3-1, the duty of a landowner/possessor in Atlanta is to exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises safe for them. The question of what counts as reasonable care is the core question in many premises liability cases.
In general, an invitee must prove that the landowner’s negligence contributed to their injury. This can be by not repairing a known structural defect, not taking steps to protect them from a temporary hazard, or even failing to provide adequate security to prevent criminal activity.
Duties Property Owners have towards Other Visitors to their Land
Not every person who enters onto land is invited to do so. The clearest example of this is trespassers. These are people who enter onto private land without the invitation of the owner. O.C.G.A. §51-3-3 states that the duty of a landowner/possessor in Atlanta is not owed towards trespassers and must only refrain from causing a willful or wanton injury. Therefore, a landowner is only responsible for injuries suffered by a trespasser if they intentionally set traps or if the land is so inherently dangerous that no person should enter.
Finally, the last class of people is licensees. Under O.C.G.A. §51-3-2, a licensee is a person who is permitted to enter land for their own benefit or interests. However, this does not include customers, servants, or trespassers. In other words, these are people who enter land without express permission of the landowner but are still legally allowed to be there. Here, the landowner must refrain from causing and willful or wanton injury to the visitor.
How an Atlanta Negligent Security Attorney Could Help
Many injuries that happen while visiting another person’s property are the landowner’s fault. This can be a private home, business, or private property held open to ticket holders. The level of duty of a landowner/possessor in Atlanta is determined not by the type of property but by the reason the visitor has for being there.
Depending upon these reasons, you may be protected as a visitor from almost any carelessness on the part of the landowner or only from intentional or reckless harm. An attorney could help you examine the facts that led to your injury to determine your legal rights under the law. When those rights have been violated by the landowner, a lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact an attorney today to further discuss your case.