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Claridge Law Firm
206 Pleasant Home Road
Augusta, GA 30907

Fax: 706-860-4050
Phone: 706-860-4500
Augusta Law Office

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Augusta Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Premises liability claims and the attractive nuisance doctrine

Children can be both curious and unpredictable -- a combination that leads them to unknowingly doing something that could be dangerous. For example, they may go onto another's property to explore a swimming pool, machines, play equipment or construction debris. Thus, property owners are bound to the "attractive nuisance" doctrine, which requires them to make their premises safe for children who may be enticed to enter their property due solely to an enticing object on the property.

Of course, there are limits to the attractive nuisance doctrine. In general, a property owner is responsible for man-made objects that he or she has reason to believe would be attractive to children and could cause a child to suffer serious injuries. Finally, the cost to fix the hazard must not be overly burdensome and it should not affect with the way the item or property is used.

Registering dangerous and vicious dogs in Georgia

Dogs may be man's best friend, but they are still animals and are capable of being dangerous or vicious. Georgia law recognizes that some dogs pose a threat to public safety. Therefore, dangerous or vicious dogs must be registered.

Georgia Code §4-8-27 covers the registration of canines. Dangerous dogs are those that inflict a serious injury or present an imminent threat of serious injury other than simply growling, barking or showing their teeth. A vicious dog is one that has inflicted a serious injury upon someone who was reasonably trying to escape the dog attack.

Facing an insurance adjuster after an accident

If you were selling your house or your car, you would expect the buyer to haggle over the price and try to convince you to accept a lower amount. It is common for people in Georgia and elsewhere to save money by pointing out the things that are wrong with your property in an attempt to devalue it.

However, you would not expect the same to happen when your health is the item someone is appraising. Nevertheless, insurance companies use different methods to undervalue your claim after an accident. It is important to know how insurers work to avoid falling into their traps and losing benefits you deserve.

Will the advent of self-driving cars lead to fewer car accidents?

Self-driving cars may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, but several companies are testing prototypes of these types of vehicles. In fact, it is estimated in some reports that by 2020 there will be 10 million self-driving cars on roads across the nation. However, people in Georgia and elsewhere may wonder if such vehicles are truly safe and whether they will prevent car accidents from occurring.

Self-driving cars do take away the factor of human error, at least to a certain extent. In 2016, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving were the top three causes of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the nation. In fact, human error is a factor in around 94 percent of motor vehicle accidents.

Business owners must take care to prevent slip-and-fall accidents

When a Georgia resident goes into a store, a hotel, a restaurant or any other type of business, they certainly do not anticipate that they could be injured on the premises. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. For example, slip-and-fall accidents could occur, leading to significant injuries that could change a person's life forever. Unfortunately, many slip-and-fall accidents could have been prevented if the property owner exercised due care.

First, floors should be kept clean and maintained. If something is spilled on the floor, it should be cleaned up promptly. If the floor is wet, due to people coming in from the rain or due to being recently waxed or polished, a "slippery when wet" sign should be placed in the slick area. If necessary, the entire wet area should be closed off. Also, carpeted areas should not have bulges, tears, curled edges or worn spots. Any of these conditions could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.

How does a person's status affect a premises liability claim?

When a person in Georgia is at a store, at a friend's house or is even trespassing, they generally expect that the property will be safe. However, safety is no guarantee, and sometimes a dangerous condition on the property causes a person to suffer harm. The liability of the property owner in such situations will depend on the status of the injured party.

Under Georgia Code §51-3-1 through §51-3-3, when a person known as an invitee is on another's property through the express or implied invitation of the property owner, or if the property owner induces or leads another person onto his or her property for any legal purpose, the property owner may be held liable for any injuries the person suffered if the property owner failed to exercise ordinary care in making sure that the property was safe. Store patrons are an example of an invitee.

When could a dog owner be responsible for dog bite injuries?

Dogs may be "man's best friend," but in the end, they are animals who are capable of biting people in Georgia and elsewhere. Dog bite injuries can be very painful and can cause scars and disfigurement. Therefore, it is important to have a general understanding what a dog owner's responsibilities are when it comes to dog bites.

In general, dog owners can be held liable for dog bites under two theories: strict liability or negligence. With strict liability, the dog bite victim can pursue compensation without having to prove the dog owner directly at fault for the injuries their animal inflicted on the victim. Some states have strict liability laws like these on the books. Keep in mind that if the person the dog bit had provoked the animal prior to the bite or was trespassing, this may mean the injured person may not be able to recover damages under the theory of strict liability.

The right course of action after a motor vehicle accident

A motor vehicle collision can be overwhelming and confusing, and you may be unsure of what you should do next. From settlement offers from the insurance company to paying your medical bills, it can be helpful to know how to proceed in a way that protects your interests and allows you the best chance of a full recovery. There are certain steps you can take after an accident that can allow you to build a strong civil claim. 

If your accident was the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you could have a valid reason to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. The things you do after a crash matter, and Georgia drivers would be wise to know what to do to in order to preserve their financial interests. Often, accident victims find it beneficial to seek guidance as they walk through the aftermath of an accident.

How common is unsafe driving among teens?

With the school year starting, Georgia’s roads will once again be full of teen drivers around school start and end times. How such drivers act behind the wheel matters greatly for their own safety, the safety of their classmates and the safety of other motorists.

Unfortunately, a recent survey points to unsafe driving being pretty common among teen drivers.

Do I have to go to court to settle a car accident claim?

You suffered injuries from a car accident. You are tired, in pain and bleeding money trying to cover your losses. Being unable to work has not helped your financial situation. You believe that you are owed compensation, but you are afraid going after it would mean going to court. This has you thinking that you should just take the insurance settlement initially offered to you.

Here is the deal. Yes, sometimes to achieve fair compensation going to court is necessary. Sometimes, it is not. Insurance providers know it is in their best interests to settle before you take the matter to court. Unfortunately, it can take time for insurance to offer fair compensation.