The same laws that require property owners to ensure their premises are safe for adult visitors apply to child visitors as well. If a child is injured due to hazardous conditions while playing or “hanging out” at a park, playground, school, the mall or a neighbor’s or friend’s home, the property owner or occupier may be accountable.
The child injury lawyers at the law firm of James M. Poe, P.C., work with families in Atlanta and throughout Georgia when their children have been unjustly harmed in accidents on another’s property. We work hard to seek the compensation that justice demands.
To schedule a free consultation about your case, please call or contact us online today.
Premises Liability Cases Our Atlanta Child Injury Lawyers Handle
“Premises liability” refers to the responsibility of owners and occupiers of land to cover losses suffered by those who are harmed on their property.
Generally speaking, owners/occupiers of real property have a duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors by eliminating hazardous conditions that are not open or obvious, or where elimination is not feasible, by providing an appropriate warning of the hazard. Where an owner/occupier fails to honor this duty, and someone gets hurt as a result, the owner/occupier is liable for any injuries.
The extent of the owner’s or occupier’s duty depends on whether the visitor, including a child, is a classified as an invitee, licensee or trespasser.
Trial lawyers Jim Poe and Matt Poe can handle a wide range of complicated premises liability cases involving children. Falls are one of the most common injuries. The Centers for Disease Control notes that “Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.” These cases can involve:
- Swimming pools – In addition to drowning in a swimming pool, common accidents at pools include near-drowning, slip-and-fall accidents on pool decks and a child hitting his or her head while diving. The pool owner or operator may be liable for failing to supervise the child appropriately, failing to follow local and state laws that require various safety measures at public and private pools, or any number of other negligent behaviors.
- Playgrounds – Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury to children. If an injury is suffered because equipment on a playground is unsafe due to design or lack of maintenance, there may be issues of premises liability in determining who is liable for the child’s injuries.
- Amusement parks – Accidents on thrill rides at amusement parks, fairs and carnivals are typically caused by negligent or inadequate maintenance, failure to make needed repairs, or ignoring or failing to enforce the rules regarding riders’ height and weight.
- Malls / escalators – Children walking through malls can fall on slippery floors, poorly maintained walks and parking lots and on escalators. Their feet can also become entrapped in the moving treads of an escalator.
- Dog bites – A dog owner in Georgia can be liable for negligently allowing a dog the owner knows or has reason to know is dangerous to attack a child, or if they allow the dog to roam free in violation of local leash laws.
Holding Georgia Property Owners Liable for an “Attractive Nuisance”
Property owners and occupiers may also face liability in Georgia where trespassing children are injured by an “attractive nuisance” on their premises. Generally speaking, there are five requirements that must be met for a viable claim of liability based on the doctrine of attractive nuisance to exist:
- The owner must have reason to anticipate the presence of a trespassing child;
- The attractive nuisance must pose an unreasonable risk of injury to children;
- The danger is one that children are unlikely to understand or appreciate;
- The risk of injury to children outweighs the utility of allowing the condition to persist; and
- The landowner fails to exercise reasonable care to prevent children being injured by the nuisance.
While this theory of recovery depends heavily on the facts of a given case, some common examples of potential attractive nuisances include:
- Swimming pools
- Hot tubs
- Swing sets
- Jungle gyms
- Artificial ponds.
Contact Our Atlanta Child Injury Lawyers About Your Premises Liability Case
An Atlanta attractive nuisance lawyer at James M. Poe, P.C., has experience with the unique challenges of claims involving injuries to children, including those that arise on the property of another.
If your child has been injured at a store, business, park or home owned by someone else, you may have a viable claim for compensation to assist with medical bills and other losses.
We can help you to assess a potential premises liability claim and seek all of the compensation you and your child are due. Contact us today to set up a free legal consultation.
Sources / More Information
• Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Home and Recreational Safety, National Safety Council
• Know the Steps to Safety When Using Escalators, Consumer Product Safety Commission