Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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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.

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Falls are a major cause of unintentional injuries around the global and the World Health Organization classifies falls as the second leading cause of such injuries and deaths every year. Every year, as many as 640,000 persons worldwide suffer a fall accident that leaves them with serious or fatal injuries, and seniors above the age of 65 form a sizable chunk of this group.  In the U.S., 2.8 million people are treated in the emergency room or hospitalized for fall related injuries.

Many times, a fall accident can be the result of property that has been poorly or negligently maintained.  In Georgia, business owners have a duty to keep their property safe and free of dangers, or warn of dangers, that could cause injury to their guests.  If a guest on their property trips and falls, or slips and falls, and gets injured because of their failure to maintain the property, they can be held liable for compensating the party that suffered personal injuries.

A fall accident can result in a number of injuries, many of which can be serious. Here is a look at some of the most common injuries that occur as a result of slip and fall accidents.

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With summer here we are reminded that some victims of dog bites seem to have it much harder than others. Children below the age of five, and postal workers are at a much higher risk of dog bites, especially during summer days.

During summer, dogs are much more likely to be out with their owners, or may be left off their leash, and that places postal workers at a much higher risk of bites. National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which this year was marked in the third week of May, focused specifically on educating people about the risks of dog bites. The U.S. Postal Service estimates that more than 5,500 postal employees suffered bites in 2013.

Children are also frequently injured during summer because they are out of school, and may be in playgrounds, parks or other places where dogs are being walked. Children are also much more likely to pet strange dogs, or to display other behavior that could be risky, and could lead to an attack.

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We call it “Black Friday” because it’s traditionally the day when retailers move their accounting ledgers from red ink (deficits) to black ink (profits).

Increasingly, though, America’s biggest shopping day is becoming “Black-and-Blue Friday,” as scores of innocent consumers find themselves seriously injured while out and about. Some have even died.

The Internet is catching on to the disturbing trend. BlackFridayDeathCount.com is as macabre as it is blunt, but the website, which tracks the number of injuries and deaths reported since 2006, has gained a lot of attention over the last few years.

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Georgia residents continue to be at a high risk of dog bites. In a recent study by State Farm, Georgia ranked at number nine in a list of the top 10 states in the country for dog bite incidences.

New statistics released reported by the insurer showed that State Farm paid out $3.8 million for 116 dog bite-related injury claims in Georgia in 2014. That places Georgia at number nine on the list of top 10 states for dog bite claims in the country. State Farm did not provide more data about the injury claims or the breeds of dogs that were involved in these attacks.

The high rate of dog bites in Georgia is a serious problem for residents of the Peach State, especially because dog bite laws here make it much more difficult for plaintiffs to recover damages after a bite, compared to other states. In California, for instance, the law allows for strict liability in dog bite claims. That means that a person who has been injured in a dog bite can recover damages, even if it was the dog’s first bite and even if the owner had no previous knowledge of his dog’s vicious tendencies.

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It’s too late to save the three-year-old boy who died in a playground accident in Alpharetta recently. However, parents of toddlers and children who will be swarming the state’s playgrounds over the next few weeks of summer must take heed. It’s very easy, and much more common than you know, for children to suffer serious or even fatal injuries while playing at the playground.

In the Alpharetta incident, the three-year-old boy was playing on the slide when he choked on a piece of twine. The caregiver had turned her attention away from the child, and had gone inside for a moment. That is when the accident occurred. The boy was sliding down when his head got caught in the twine. When the caregiver found the child, he was hanging from the twine. He was rushed to the hospital, but died days later.The cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation.

It appears that the piece of twine was at the top of the slide, and shaped like a loop. When the child was sliding down, his head got into the loop, cutting off his air supply.At this time, no charges have been filed against the caregiver or anyone else involved here.

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Some of the most common accidents that result in premises liability lawsuits are drowning and swimming pool accidents that occur at private homes. Drownings involving pools, hot tubs and spas claim hundreds of lives every year, many of them children.According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 3/4 of drowning accidents involve children below the age of five. The CPSC estimates that children between the age of one and five account for 67% of all fatalities in swimming accidents and 64% of all injuries.

This summer, as more families head out for fun in the water the risk of drowning accidents increases. In fact, among children below the age of five, drowning happens to be the single biggest cause of accidental death. Unfortunately, the fact is that many of these accidents occur even in the presence of parents and caregivers at the scene.There was recently a very tragic story in the news about a child who drowned while family and friends were singing happy birthday to another guest.

This summer, make pool safety a priority for your family. Swimming lessons are a great place to start. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children below the age of five take swimming lessons.Besides teaching your children to swim, it’s also important to make sure that your pool is safe not only for your children, but also visiting children who may have gathered at your home to have fun this summer. Installing a fence around your pool, which is required by Georgia law, is one of the best things you can do for safety. And those fences need to be a minimum of 5 feet tall, have locking gates that swing outward, and have a certain amount of space between rails.

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Everyone agrees that texting while operating a motor vehicle is hazardous and increases the risk of injury or fatal accident.However, when you compare statistics based on injuries per mile, it is texting while walking that seems to be much more dangerous.

There has been a growing body of research recently that seems to point to an increased risk of pedestrian injuries when people are texting while walking. For example, new research by the University of Buffalo specifically focused on injuries per mile caused when a person is texting while walking.According to the research, the consequences of texting while walking include falling down stairs, walking into walls, pillars and other stationary objects, and walking into traffic.

A person who is texting while walking is much less likely to notice a bump on the sidewalk, or obstacle in a driveway.Even though there are more injuries caused every year by texting while driving, injuries caused by texting while walking tend to be more serious.People who were texting while walking were 61% more likely to go off course while walking, and were also likely to overshoot their target by as much as 30%, compared to when they were walking without distractions.