Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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In a disturbing trend, federal agencies are recording an increase in the number of people killed in fall accidents across the U.S. According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and based on statistics from all states, there has been an alarming spike in fall-related fatalities.  

Between 2008 and 2017, according to the data, there was a 17 percent increase in the number of deaths that occurred as a result of slip and fall accidents and other types of falls. The rate grew from 3.86 per 100,000 in 2008 to 4.52 per 100,000 people. In 2008, 12,311 fatalities were linked to fall accidents. That number spiked to 17,408 in 2017.  

Almost all demographics recorded an increase in fall-related deaths during this period of time. However, the rise was particularly significant in certain groups such as people in rural areas and senior citizens above the age of 75.  

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Legionnaires disease is serious, and potentially fatal, infectious disease that can result in severe medical injury and extensive hospitalization. Often, outbreaks or cases of Legionnaires disease are linked to unsanitary water storage conditions in hotels, cruise ships, apartment or office building, healthcare facilities and other properties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. This type of pneumonia is caused by the inhalation of tiny droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria. Interestingly enough, the bacteria is less likely to enter a person’s system through ingestion of the contaminated water. Rather, a person may be infected by inhalation of vapors and mist containing the contaminants.

The disease is fatal for one in ten people who contract the infection. Even when people survive Legionnaires disease, they may be hospitalized for several weeks or months, and may incur heavy medical expenses or experience long term health effects after the injury.

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As we age, we become more vulnerable to injuries, especially after an accident.  Senior citizens have a higher risk of suffering falls due to a variety of reasons.  Many of the reasons are caused by deteriorating health conditions, which in turn can result in serious injury after a fall accident.

As you get older, gait and balance may be affected and compromised, making it much more likely that you will lose your balance and suffer a fall. Muscular weakness is another common factor in slip and fall accidents. While bone health is a common focus of senior health, muscular weakness is often ignored. This is in spite of the fact that seniors may have a higher risk of muscular weakness as they age. Muscular strength is critical in helping to maintain proper gait and balance.  If you’re suffering from weakened muscle strength, it becomes harder to maintain your balance and avoid a fall.

Worsening vision can also increase a senior’s risk of a trip and fall.  Failing vision often contributes to falls. Ideally, a senior should have an eye exam every 6 months. If your loved one falls in this high-risk category, make sure that he takes regular eye exams.  Regular physical exams are also very important.

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Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and have life long implications.   A traumatic spinal cord injury is difficult to recover from for most all individuals. However, frail victims of spinal cord injuries may have a much higher risk of adverse effects and complications than healthy individuals.  These complications can include greater occurrence of hospitalizations and death after the injury.

According to the results of a new study that was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, frail victims of a spinal injury are at a higher risk of possibly life -threatening complications after the injury. The researchers identified spinal cord injury victims from between 2004 and 2016. The average median age of the patients was 50.3 years. Out of a total of 643 patients that were studied as part of the research, 77 percent were male. Falls were the leading cause of spinal injuries, with more than 60 percent of the patients, having suffered a spinal injury as the result of a slip and fall accident.

The researchers found that in patients below the age of 60 years, a person’s frail condition was a fairly reliable predictor of the number of adverse events, in-hospital mortality as well as length of hospital stay. In patients that were between 61 and 75 years of age, the frailty index also predicted the number of adverse events, length of hospital stay as well as in- hospital mortality. However, in patients above the age of 75, frailty did not predict any outcomes.

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In Georgia, when a person gets injured on someone else’s property, the injured party may be able to file a premises liability claim for their injuries against the property owner. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, trespassing being one of them.

In order to be able to file a claim for damages under Georgia premises liability law, you must have a legal right to be on the property. In other words, you must either be invited, or expected, on the property by the landowner when your injuries occur. Examples of these persons with this status can include shoppers at a mall, patrons at a restaurant, customers at a grocery store or department store, or guests at a hotel. People who are attending concerts or sporting events are also covered under the law because they have a legal right to be on the property. The legal right of the person to be on the party at the time of the injuries is often used by insurance companies and their lawyers to undermine premise liability claims. It is important, therefore, to determine your legal right to be on the property and identify if you were an “invitee,” a license,” or a “trespasser” in order to build a solid claim that protects your rights.

Sometimes, however, injuries occur when a person has no legal right to be on the property. This person is called a “trespasser,” and the laws governing trespassing and premises liability claims are complex. There is no black and white rule which states that all trespassers, without exception, are ineligible to file claims for damages if they are injured on a property.

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A slip and fall accident on someone else’s property can result in serious injuries. If your fall occurred on another’s property, you may qualify to file a legal claim to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other costs. However, it’s important to take the right steps after a fall, so that you maximize your chances of protecting your legal rights.

It is important to remember, that the property owner will most likely try to show that your accident was a result of your own negligence, or that there was no negligence on his part. Georgia’s slip and fall laws require that you prove that the property owner had knowledge of the dangerous conditions that caused the injury, and failed to take any action to keep those on the property safe.

Here are the 5 most important things you can do to protect your rights after a fall.

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The North Georgia area is experiencing exponential growth in population.  And all these people moving to the area need a place to live.  In addition to the already existing number of apartments and rental properties, apartment buildings are being built all across the Atlanta area.    Many times people may feel forced or rushed to agree to live in a certain apartment because of either the lack of available apartments or the lack of affordable apartments to choose from.  Unfortunately, when a tenant is living in an apartment or complex that has been poorly maintained by the landlord or property owner, there is a high risk of injury to the tenant and their family members.  If this happens, the property owner could be held responsible.

A landlord has the duty inspect the rental property.  The landlord also has a duty to act with reasonable care to make sure the rented premises are kept in good repair.  A landlord’s failure to do so can make them liable for injuries caused as a result.  A landlord can also be held liable for injuries caused by defective construction.  A landlord of a leased apartment, house or other dwelling place cannot assign this duty to another party.  In other words, the landlord itself has the duty to maintain the property, and cannot blame anyone else for its failures to do so.

When people think of premises liability cases or claims against property owners, slip and falls, or trip and falls, usually come to mind.  However, with claims involving rental properties, a landlord can be held liable for far more.  In some recent cases, landlords and property owners have been held liable for a variety of defective conditions at their property.  Some of these include failing to repair the air-conditioning unit in an apartment building, causing the building to overheat to the point where it resulted in the death of an elderly disabled man.  Another case involved the property owner’s failure to maintain and repair the balconies of an apartment complex, which caused a balcony to collapse onto a child resulting in severe and lifelong debilitating injuries.

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Few things feel more like summer than a trip to the amusement park. As schools let out all over the state of Georgia in a few weeks, thousands will flock to Six Flags, White Water or other amusement parks throughout the state, or country, for some summertime fun. And while accidents on rides at amusement parks are rare, they are not unheard of. The safety of the rides at amusement parks around the country was called into question recently when two crash test dummies flew off their seats on a roller coaster and landed several feet away.

The two dummies were being tested to check the safety of the GaleForce roller coaster at Playland’s Castaway Cove in New Jersey. The ride was putting the dummies though a routine safety check, when the dummies, that were supposed to be securely restrained in their seats, flew off the ride midway and crashed into the roof of a nearby hotel. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported to the people at the hotel, although there was significant damage to the roof of the building.

According to amusement park officials, the fact that the crash test dummies flew off the ride is no cause for alarm. They insist that the ride is safe, and has been safe ever since it was launched. They say that there was no failure of operation or machinery, and that this incident was a result of the dummies not being used properly on the ride.

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With the warmer weather here, people will be out in parks and their neighborhoods, and many will be with their dogs.  And while it is an almost universal truth that children love dogs, not all interactions between children and dogs involve are fun.  Instead, a child may very well suffer a dog bite after innocently trying to show a dog some affection. After suffering a dog bite, many children end up with serious injuries, some of which can be serious enough to require surgery.

Over 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year, but only 17% of those get reported.  According to statistics, children account for more than 50 percent of the dog bites recorded in the United States every year. They are also much more likely to suffer serious injuries. In Georgia, dog bites are considered a public health concern.

There are some things that parents can do to make sure that their child is not injured in dog bite attacks. Don’t leave your child alone with a dog. Pediatricians say that this holds true even for family dogs or dogs that are familiar to you.  Remember, any dog can bite.

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Claims based on negligent security, which can arise after a person has suffered an assault, rape or other violent incident on another’s property, can be complicated to file.

A claim for negligent security is filed when a person has been injured on another person’s premises as the result of inadequate security. Examples of negligent security could be the failure to provide adequate illumination or security in vacant areas such as parking lots, failure to provide adequate security or protection to attendees at a concert or other event, and other incidents in which there are injuries caused as a result of the failure of the property owner to provide safe and secure premises.

In a claim based on negligent security, the property owner is considered liable if the injured party can prove that the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security at the premises led to a violent assault, attack, rape or any other incident that endangered the safety of the victim or the person bringing the claim.