What Do You Have to Prove in a Negligent Security Case?
In Atlanta, every property owner, whether residential or commercial, has a legal duty to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for visitors. If a property owner does not maintain a reasonable level of safety and someone is injured on the premises, the owner may be liable. Injured parties may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries from the owner if their injuries were caused by unsafe property conditions.
However, what happens when the injury is a result of a burglary, assault, or rape that occurred on the owner’s land? Is the property owner responsible for injuries resulting from third-party crimes?
At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, it is our Atlanta personal injury lawyers goal to empower our clients with the advice and information that they need to take control of their situation.
Atlanta Negligent Security Cases and the Duty of Care
Commercial property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. A property owner’s duty to provide a safe environment for guests, customers, and visitors includes protecting them against any foreseeable crimes.
When a property owner fails to take reasonable precautions, the victim may be entitled to file a negligent security claim against the owner. Negligent security cases must show that the crime would have been prevented or highly unlikely to occur had the owner taken the appropriate security measures. Negligent security cases often involve injuries resulting from crimes such as physical assault, battery, robbery, kidnapping, rape, or murder.
Areas Where Atlanta Negligent Security Cases are Common
Of course, violence can occur anywhere. However, crime rates are particularly high throughout the urban areas of Atlanta. In areas where crime rates are high, commercial property owners are responsible for taking measures to prevent foreseeable crimes on the premises. Some types of establishments are more likely to attract criminal activity.
Common locations where negligent security cases arise include:
- Apartment buildings
- Shopping centers
- Sporting venues
- Concert arenas
- Office buildings
- Public transportation areas
Foreseeable Crimes in Atlanta
Under Georgia law, a successful negligent security claim must show that the incident was a foreseeable crime to the property owner. In demonstrating that the crime was foreseeable, the victim must show that a similar crime happened on or near the property. When similar crimes occur in the area, the property owner should have known that additional similar crimes may occur on their property. Analyzing whether an incident is substantially similar does not mean that the offense has to be identical.
Some Foreseeable Security Allegations
No property owner can anticipate the behavior of every individual on their property. However, they can take protective measures to decrease the prevalence and risk of criminal behavior on the premises. Often, negligent security claims may show a property owner was negligent in their failure to provide basic precautions that may have prevented criminal activity.
Some common claims of negligence involve:
- Improper security lighting: One of the most basic security features includes providing proper light on the premises. Owners may be responsible for maintaining proper interior lighting, as well as exterior lighting, including well-lit parking lots. If poor lighting allows an attacker to hide from their victim enabling a crime to occur, the owner may be liable for any resulting injuries.
- Failing to install proper monitoring services, security cameras, and corner mirrors: Installing monitoring measures is imperative for preventing criminal behavior in areas with high crime rates. By allowing visitors to see around blind corners and deterring crime with surveillance cameras, property owners decrease the risks of criminal activity. A property owner may be legally liable for crimes if they fail to provide proper security monitoring.
- Failing to provide security services: If a venue, bar, or even a nightclub is known for rowdy behavior, the owner must provide adequate security services to protect visitors at all times.
- Failing to respond to security issues or alerts: A property owner may receive warnings or threats of the dangerous activity or suspicious people on their property. When the owner is aware of dangerous activity, they have a duty to contact the police and respond to these security alerts. Not only will this ensure that their visitors are kept safe, but they will be taking the necessary security measures to protect patrons.
- Failing to provide adequate security like fences and locks or fixing broken doors: Property owners must properly maintain fences, doors, and locks to ensure their visitors are kept safe. When an owner is aware of security issues, they have a duty to repair those issues. Failing to address broken locks, doors, or fences may deem the owner liable for any crimes resulting from the improper maintenance of those security measures.
Atlanta Premises Liability Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
When you go shopping, stop for gas, or run any other type of errand around Atlanta, you expect to remain safe. You never go out thinking you will get robbed or attacked. In fact, you have a reasonable expectation that nothing bad will happen to you and you will return home as planned.
Unfortunately, that does not always happen. If you or a loved one suffered an attack while visiting a business, that business could be potentially liable for your injuries and subsequent medical bills. The best way to find out if you have a case worth pursuing is to speak with a skilled and experienced Atlanta premises liability lawyer today.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that describes a type of personal injury which occurs on someone else’s property. The law bases premises liability on a standard of negligence; in this case, the property owner was negligent in some manner and that negligence caused your injury.
But to be clear, just because you suffered an injury on someone else’s property, that does not mean they were negligent. To prove the property owner was negligent, you must show:
- The property owner knew of or should have known there was a dangerous condition on their property.
- The property owner did not take action or did not take reasonable action to eliminate the dangerous condition.
- The dangerous condition on their property caused you to suffer an injury.
- Because of your injury, you have suffered to a point where damages could be awarded.
To find out if you have a premises liability claim worth pursuing, reach out to a seasoned Atlanta premises liability attorney today to discuss your case. The exact circumstances of your accident and injury could mean you are entitled to recover damages from the property owner.
What is negligent security?
Negligent security is a type of premises liability case. When businesses operate and welcome the public to their property, the more people who visit, the greater the likelihood of crime. While crime in the United States is currently down, that does not remove the security issues at play.
Negligent security typically only involves business owners and landlords. These specific property owners have a legal duty to keep visitors to their property safe. When a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to keep you safe while on their property, you could have a claim for damages against them.
What are some common types of negligent security cases?
When a property owner does not take reasonable measures to protect the people visiting their property, the results can be severe.
Negligent security can result in:
- Assault and battery
These are serious crimes, and the property owner could also be held liable for playing their part in allowing the crime to happen. If you or a loved one has been the victim of any crime or injury while visiting a business, speak with a negligent security attorney in Atlanta today so they can help to protect your rights.
Where does negligent security happen?
Generally, you can encounter negligent security anywhere you go. Every place you go to get groceries, clothes, mail a package, grab a drink with friends—all of these are areas where you could suffer harm if the property owner does not take adequate measures to keep you safe, including places like:
- Parking lots
- Parking garages
- Apartment complexes
- Strip malls
- Shopping malls
- Convenience stores
- Gas stations
- Community pools
- Cruise ships
Negligent security can have dire consequences in any of these places, and more. When you go to the grocery store, you park in a parking lot or garage owned by the property owner. You then walk into the store which might be owned by another entity. At any point, walking to or from the store or while in the store, you could suffer injury because the property owner did not take appropriate action to protect you.
Negligent security can happen multiple ways, including:
- Not having a security guard
- Inadequate lighting
- Faulty security systems
- Poorly trained security guard
- Poorly trained staff
The law requires all commercial properties to protect their visitors, especially businesses where crime might be more expected. Think of the last time you were in a bank. Criminals target any place where people store money. Banks have security guards and security systems to protect their employees and you, their customer. When any of those guards or systems fail in an emergency, you could suffer serious injuries; the bank is partly to blame, and should be held accountable. The best way to do that is to speak with a trusted Atlanta negligent security attorney today.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In Georgia, you only have two years after your injury to file a claim. If you do not file your claim in this window, your claim could be forever barred. That means, if you miss this important deadline, you risk having to pay out of pocket for the medical expenses you face. That adds insult to injury, as you played no part in causing your injuries, and should bear none of the responsibility for the costs to recover.
To avoid this tragic situation, work with an experienced negligent security lawyer in Atlanta. At Brauns Law, PC, we take your injuries seriously and do not treat you like just another number. We care about you as an individual and want to help ease your suffering. We know what you have been through, and diligently work to help clients get the compensation they need to get better.
What rights do I have?
Your injury most likely involved a crime committed by another person. That person will suffer consequences for their actions and what they did to you. But the property owner should also be held accountable for their failure to protect you, which allowed the crime to occur.
Filing a claim for negligent security against the property owner where you were the victim of a crime is an important step in your recovery process. To make a full and complete recovery from your injuries, you need to focus all of your effort and energy on them. When you are worried about being out of work and how you will pay your bills, you are not putting your focus where it needs to be. That’s where the right lawyer can make a difference in your case.
What damages can I get?
This is one of the most frequent questions we get from clients. The damages you can recover from the property owner will depend on the nature and severity of the crime which caused your injuries.
The damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Current and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Counseling costs
As the victim of a crime, your injuries could be serious and life-altering. The criminal will likely not be responsible for all of the costs you have to recover. That’s why it’s important to file a negligent security claim against the property owner for failing to adequately protect you while on their property. This allows you to collect damages to help you recover.
Your recovery hinges on your lawyer’s ability to protect your rights. Getting a successful outcome from a negligent security claim is not as simple as just saying the property owner is to blame. It is a complex legal process, and not every lawyer has the skills to help victims like you.
How much could I recover?
This is another frequent question we receive from clients. And like the previous question, the answer to this question varies based on your specific injuries and the circumstances surrounding your injuries. Seeking compensation from the property owner through these legal means is the right course of action for you to take.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may face substantial medical bills because of:
- Multiple surgeries
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple doctor visits
- Prescription drug costs
- Trauma counseling costs
Nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies filed in the United States result from medical expenses. By filing a negligent security claim against the property owner, you give yourself a better chance of not becoming part of this statistic. You need to account for your financial needs when considering the value of your claim. That includes all of your needs and losses. Because you may be out of work temporarily or even permanently, you also need to account for that financial loss. Being out of work places additional burden and stress on you and your family which takes your attention away from your healing process.
When you work with us, we can help you create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs and your potential financial losses. We do this because it helps us understand the full value of your claim and gives you a better idea of what you face. Your Atlanta negligent security attorney can make a difference in how much you might be able to recover.
Should I settle?
You need to remember one important fact: The insurance company representing the property owner, and you, have very different goals in a settlement. The insurance company wants to settle your case for as little as possible. You, on the other hand, want to collect enough money so that you do not end up having to pay out of pocket for any of your expenses related to your injuries.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often use their weight and influence to try to get you to settle for much less than your claim is worth. That’s why you need to work with a trusted negligent security lawyer in Atlanta who can help you understand the full value of your claim and aggressively work to protect your rights.
We align our goal with yours, not the insurance company. We want to maximize your recovery and we do that by taking on the insurance company in settlement negotiations on your behalf. If you have received a low ball settlement offer from the insurance company and do not yet have a lawyer, now is the time to get one. If you take the low ball offer, you might waive your right to bring any future claim against the insurance company for this injury. That means that when you realize the settlement funds were not enough to cover all of your expenses, it’s too late and now you have to pay out of pocket for all of your remaining expenses.
Do not let this happen to you. Contact a compassionate and aggressive Atlanta negligent security lawyer with the resources you deserve to take on the big insurance company. Your lawyer also needs the resources for a trial. Many insurance companies will try to force a trial because they are expensive and time consuming. If an insurance company can force you to go to trial, you might settle faster and for less than your claim is worth. Don’t hire a law firm that this tactic will intimidate. Instead, look for someone with the resources you need to take your case to trial, if that’s what you require to maximize your compensation.
How Can Our Atlanta Lawyers Help?
Your lawyer can make all the difference in your negligent security claim. Choosing a lawyer is a personal decision. You want to feel comfortable with your lawyer, and want them to have your best interests at heart, while also having the resources needed to maximize your recovery. Make sure your advocate is the right fit for your case and your needs. If you’ve been injured due to a property owner or manager’s negligent security measures, speak with an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible.
Negligent security cases are often extremely complicated. An experienced premise liability lawyer regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to.
When appropriate, a premise liability lawyer can provide injured victims with legal assistance in the following areas:
- Analyze data: Strong evidence is required to prove a property owner’s fault in negligent security cases. An attorney may help gather evidence by conducting extensive research and a thorough investigation. If necessary, an attorney may review police records and interview individuals with knowledge of the property’s history.
- Show patterns: An attorney may interview tenants, employees, and other individuals to reveal patterns of criminal behavior in the area. When appropriate, they may analyze crime statistics from local police agencies to demonstrate a history or pattern of crime that happened on the property or nearby. Showing patterns of crime close to the property may prove the property owner should have known of the risks of criminal activity.
- Show adequate security measures not taken: Attorneys will work with security experts to go over specific security measures that the property owners should have taken to prevent the crimes from happening.
Call Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm for Help With Your Atlanta Premises Liability Cases
Victims who are injured as a result of negligent Atlanta security often suffer severe and traumatic injuries. Those who are fortunate enough to survive criminal attacks may experience physical, emotional, and financial hardships for years following the incident. If you were injured due to unsafe conditions on another’s Atlanta property, consult our trusted premises liability lawyers.
At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, our team’s experience has helped many people recover the compensation they are entitled to. We use our resources to research, investigate, and find the necessary evidence to build strong claims for injured victims.
Call our office, today, for a free consultation, at (404) 418-8244, or reach out to us using our contact page.