In a recent ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals, it was provisioned that a residential lease limiting the time a tenant can sue to one year applied to any sort of claim. This would include Personal Injury claims that would otherwise fall under the state’s two-year statute of limitations. If management companies begin incorporating these shortened limitations provisions to lease agreements, there could “be a dramatic effect on premises liability litigation.” How could this change affect your personal injury case? What goes into consideration when you’re pursuing a premises liability claim?
Understanding how the law works and how you are impacted is important in every case. Premises Liability refers to the responsibility of property owners or non-owner residents to maintain a relatively safe environment so that those who come onto their property don’t suffer an injury. In the state of Georgia, you have two years after a premises accident to file a lawsuit against a company or person. This statute of limitations means that “any lawsuit arising from an accident or injury must be filed within [this] time limit or the injured person's legal claim will be barred and his or her right to sue will be lost forever.” The ruling that was made directly affects this as the Court of Appeals decided to uphold verbiage in the plaintiff’s leasing agreement that stated, “To the extent allowed by law, resident also agrees and understands that any legal action against management or owner must be instituted within one year of the date any claim or cause of action arises and that any legal action filed after one year from such day shall be time-barred as a matter of law.” While the language of the limitation-on-actions provisions is broad, it encompasses any legal action that the resident could have taken against the owner or management of the apartment complex. This “appellate opinion affords blanket immunity to anyone who places such a requirement into a contract” and puts those who don’t read these agreements into a tight situation.
If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, we urge you to contact a lawyer right away. You may be able to recover damages if you have not exceeded the time limit. In some cases, the statute of limitations is not clear, so in any event, you should have your claim reviewed by a qualified injury attorney. To speak to one of our claims specialists day or night, call Schneider Hammers today.