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Measures for avoiding premises liability claims

Business owners in Georgia need to do all they can to avoid accidents on the property because if they involve a visitor or customer rather than an employee, accidents can lead to premises liability claims. Slip-and-fall accidents are behind many of these claims, so owners may want to start by addressing hazards like wet floors, torn carpeting, ice on the sidewalks and potholes in the parking lot.

There are plenty of other dangerous conditions that owners must do something about. For instance, customers in a retail store may be injured by falling merchandise. There's also the question of security. If the neighborhood is known to be crime-ridden, owners should consider hiring guards. Otherwise, entrants may wind up the victims of assault and sue the owners because of it.

Business owners have what's called a duty of care to lawful entrants. Trespassing children can also be protected under the "attractive nuisance" doctrine, so owners must foresee how things like swimming pools and fountains are naturally enticing to children and then set up preventative measures.

Training employees on how to address safety hazards is another part of one's duty of care. Besides fulfilling this duty, employers are advised to obtain general liability insurance, which can cover damages and sometimes the cost of a legal defense.

When preventable accidents arise on another's property, those who incurred the injury can consider filing a premises liability claim. It may be best to have a lawyer evaluate the case. If there is clear proof that the owner failed in his or her duty of care and that the defendant used the property in a reasonably safe manner, then the case may proceed with the lawyer handling all negotiations. As a last resort, the lawyer might need to litigate.

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  • IACC | International Association of Commercial Collectors Inc.
  • Atlanta Apartment Association
  • NOVA | National Organization for Victim Assistance
  • CVAC | Crime Victims Advocacy Council
  • CLLA | Commercial Law League of America
  • The National Center for Victims of Crime
  • The National Crime Victim Bar Association
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