In Georgia, a property owner or occupier must exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises safe. The duty of “ordinary care” extends to keeping the property itself safe (i.e. stairs, ramps, etc.) but also extends to protecting individuals on the property from third-party criminal activities. For example, if a property owner knew that there had been criminal activity on the property but failed to take proper precautions, they could be held liable for the resultant injuries. Some examples of premises liability actions include:
Government Premises Liability; and
Recreational Area Liability.
We begin our investigation shortly after you retain our firm. We almost immediately begin requesting relevant documents, security footage, and police reports. One of the elements in these cases is the property owner’s prior knowledge of danger on the premises, so we will request 911 calls to the premises, scour the internet for prior incidents, and will also do social media sweeps to see if others have had issues on the premises. We will also work to identify and interview relevant witnesses.
After we do our initial investigation, we will generally prepare and send to the defendant(s) a settlement demand. In this document, we provide a broad summary of our case and include a settlement offer.
In the event we are unable to reach an agreeable settlement in the pre-litigation stage, we will then file a lawsuit. Where the case is filed will depend mostly on where the relevant incident occurred. The Defendant(s) will then be required to file their “Answer” to our lawsuit within a certain number of days.
After we file the lawsuit, the parties will engage in discovery. This is the phase of litigation where the parties will request and produce additional information (i.e. documents, videos, statements), as well as take depositions. The parties will also typically file motions during, or at the close of discovery, in an effort to resolve the case short of trial (i.e. motion for summary judgment).
The parties may also elect to engage in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, in an effort to get the case resolved.
After discovery ends, all motions are resolved, and the parties still do not have a resolution, the case will then move to trial.