A delivery driver brought a claim against a gas station after he was hit by another car while he was at the gas station. The driver had come to the station to deliver gasoline and was measuring the station’s gas levels when a customer’s car backed into him. He then brought a premises liability claim against the station.
In the recent case, a Georgia appeals court considered whether the station could be held liable for having created a hazard that increased the driver’s risk of injury. The delivery driver had come to the station to deliver gasoline, and after filling out forms and making the delivery, he went to measure the station’s gasoline tank levels. He was required to do this both before and after delivering the gas. When he went to measure the tank levels after the delivery, he brought an orange traffic cone with him and placed it in the tank area. The tank area was located in the parking spaces near the front of the store. The driver was measuring the tank level when he dropped a tank cap into the tank well. As he got onto his hands and knees to retrieve it, another car backed into him, injuring him.
Although a court initially found the gas station was not liable, the appeals court reversed the decision, finding the station could be held liable. The court explained that even though the driver’s knowledge of the potential danger of measuring the tanks was at least equal to the station’s knowledge of the danger, the station could still be liable if it was determined that the station created a hazard that increased the risk of injury by third parties.
Here, the driver and his colleagues had complained about the danger of measuring the tanks at this location and others. Yet the station manager still required the driver to measure the tanks despite his concerns. Doing so placed him at risk for injuries such as the one that occurred. Accordingly, the appeals court found the gas station could be found liable if the case went to a jury, and it allowed the case to continue.
Liability of Land Owners in Georgia
Under Georgia law, any person who owns or occupies land and invites others to come onto the premises for a lawful purpose may be liable for injuries caused by a failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises safe.
To recover compensation on a premises liability claim, a plaintiff is required to show the defendant had knowledge of the hazard, and the plaintiff lacked knowledge of the hazard despite exercising ordinary care. Generally, a plaintiff must show that the owner had superior knowledge of the hazard. However, even if a plaintiff had equal knowledge, the plaintiff has to either assume the risk or be able to avoid the danger with ordinary care. Thus, the plaintiff’s exposure to the risk must be voluntary and a result of a deliberate choice.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered an injury, you need an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who understands how to help you seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. At the McAleer Law Firm, you will always work with a lawyer who will give your case the time, diligence, and personal attention it deserves. Our firm has a proven track record of results, and every year we recover millions of dollars for our clients. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call the McAleer Law Firm at 404-622-5337 or fill out our online form.
See More Posts:
Man Shot by Stranger While at Home in Apartment Complex Fails to Establish Property Management Company Was Liable, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, January 30, 2017.
Plaintiff Receives $21 Million After Wife Suffers Catastrophic Brain Damage During Back Procedure, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, February 10, 2017.