Accidents can happen anywhere, and public property is no exception. If you suffered injuries on public property, contact an Atlanta public property liability lawyer for a consultation. A skilled attorney could help guide you through the challenges of your case and recover the compensation you may be entitled to.
Liability Differences on Public and Private Property
Liability can differ between public and private properties. The key issue in a public property premises liability claim will come down to two things: immunity and ante litem notice requirements. The possibility of immunity arises in a case against a governmental entity. If it is public property, one needs to determine:
- Who owns the property
- Who is responsible for maintaining it
- Whether they are complying with the ante litem notice provisions that require very detailed notices to the government entity
If a person is injured on public property, the case is more complicated than one that occurs on private property due to the notice issues and government immunity defenses. A person needs to understand the nature of the premises, which government entity owned it, and whether notice provisions were followed. There also is the nature of the hazard to consider. If the responsible government entity knew of a hazard but allowed it to continue to exist, it may be held responsible despite the immunity defense.
One has to identify what type of governmental entity it is, whether it is county, city, state, or federal. Then they must comply with the notice provisions, which have much shorter deadlines than the two-year statute of limitations.
The state laws are the overarching laws that determine liability in Georgia, covering all jurisdictions. It is the state that sets forth the law that a premises owner must exercise reasonable care. Beyond that, however, what is considered reasonable care can be informed by the local codes or ordinances at the county or city level. Failure to comply with those codes or ordinances can be evidence they were not acting reasonably, so it is important to consider both state and local laws. An Atlanta public property liability lawyer could answer questions that an individual may have.
Atlanta’s Duty of Care
Atlanta’s duty of care to the residents of government property is the same as its duty of care to those on private property, and that is to act reasonably. There are issues of immunity that can arise with government property. As a result, a person considering liability must analyze all potential defenses that may be available to a governmental entity, and craft and pursue the case based on what is the most likely to be free of immunity defenses.
Most governmental entities have a variety of defenses at their disposal, such as immunity defenses and notice defenses, and they will assert them with vigor to the extent they have to litigate or defend a case. They often litigate the case much like a private property owner would.
Filing a Claim
How a person files injury claims against the government depends on whether the governmental entity is county, city, state, or federal. However, for each, the most important thing to do is provide the appropriate notice pre-suit. If it is federal land, there are additional notice requirements. Those issues determine how to litigate the case before filing a claim and any pre-suit provisions they must comply with. In premises liability cases involving public property, it is very important for a person to involve an Atlanta public property liability lawyer early on so they have time to comply with all the specific provisions.
Assuming someone has complied with the notice provisions and filed in the appropriate court, the litigation process against public property is the same as the process against private property, and a jury will determine how responsible each party was for the accident. The same questions of acting reasonably based on the information they had, also arises.
The nature and amount of damages one can recover after a public property premises liability injury depends on the nature of the case because there are potential caps on the recovery of specific sorts of damages that could come into play. Whether public or private, it will be a fact-specific inquiry that must be closely analyzed on a case-to-case basis, and sometimes recovery will be capped by the insurance the government obtained.
The most common reason why someone may not be able to seek damages related to governmental entities is the failure to provide an appropriate ante litem notice. Another reason is the immunity issue. If the government entity is immune from those claims, a person could be prevented from being able to seek out these damages.
Consulting an Atlanta Public Property Liability Attorney
Managing your own injury case can be difficult and confusing, especially when that case occurs on public property. An Atlanta public property liability lawyer understands the law and could help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Call today for a consultation with an experienced Atlanta attorney.