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What is Georgia’s “Open and Obvious Danger” Rule?

slippery sign on wet floor in office buildingProperty owners and businesses in Georgia have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors. However, they might escape liability in some injury cases due to the “open and obvious danger” rule. Understanding this legal principle is vital if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property.

Defining the Rule

Georgia’s “open and obvious danger” rule dictates that property owners generally don’t need to protect or warn invitees (customers, guests, etc.) about hazards that are plainly visible and should be known to a reasonable person. If the danger was something you should have easily seen and avoided, you may have difficulty obtaining compensation. Here are common examples where the “open and obvious danger” rule might apply:

Exceptions to the Rule

Importantly, the “open and obvious danger” rule is not a blanket defense. Several exceptions exist that may still allow you to pursue a claim. For example, distractions play a significant role. If a distraction on the premises prevented you from noticing a normally obvious hazard, you might have a valid case.

This could be something like a loud noise, a visually engaging display, or even an action by another person. Additionally, landowners have a higher duty of care to protect children. The law recognizes that children may not fully understand or appreciate the risks posed by obvious dangers. Hence, a property owner could be held liable for injuries to a child, even if the hazard would be deemed “open and obvious” to an adult.

How Can a GA Personal Injury Attorney Help?

Being injured due to someone else’s negligence is frustrating, especially when the “open and obvious danger” rule comes into play. Don’t assume you don’t have a case just because the hazard seems obvious. Consulting a skilled Blue Ridge personal injury lawyer is your best option to fully understand your rights and potential recovery options.

If you’ve been injured in Blue Ridge, the Law Office of Daniel R. Duello is ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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