Have you been a victim of negligent security? If an individual or business has put you in a situation that jeopardized your safety and well-being contact Calvin Smith Law today. An Atlanta negligent security lawyer can help seek damages for your pain and suffering.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a third party reach out to us today and schedule a free consultation and case review. Our relentless Atlanta personal injury lawyers will guide you through the process and help you seek the justice you deserve.
Table of Contents
What is Negligent Security?
The term negligent security refers to a kind of premises liability that deals with civil redress for violent acts and crimes. This area of the law allows an individual who has been injured by another party to attempt to hold liable the property’s tenant or owner where the violent crime occurred. For example, if an individual is shot at a grocery store by a third party, then according to negligent security law, this individual can bring a lawsuit against that grocery store chain if she or he is able to prove that the store did not have the property safety measures in effect or that the grocery chain had attempted to hide a number of violent acts that had occurred on the premises earlier. In a negligent security case, the injury can arise out of robbery, assault, rape, battery, or even death in some cases. Cases involving negligence that results in the death of an individual can lead to the guilty party being charged with wrongful death.
A negligent security lawsuit can be brought by an injured person based on the duty that landowners and tenants to have reasonable safety measures in place to protect guests, such as windows and doors with locks, electronic surveillance, adequate lighting, and other safety measures. It is assumed by negligent security that a crime could have been made less serious or been prevented if adequate measures have been in place. Residential and commercial tenants and landowners have been successfully sued under the negligent security laws, although the terms of liability and specific areas can vary.
Companies that manage and own properties have a duty to institute safety measures and provide protection against violent crimes. They must also warn customers and tenants whenever there is a crime problem present. If a business fails to do this, then the victim of a crime can file a negligent security case against the owner of the property. There is a financial incentive that these companies and to hide crime issues, and when that kind of financial incentives do exist, there are some companies that are less-than-ethical who will act on this. Our negligent security lawyers at Calvin Smith in Atlanta hold those unethical companies accountable. Calvin Smith Law specifically represents:
- Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, and Rape Victims
- Battery and Assault Victims
- Shooting Victims
- Family Members of Murder Victims
Those are just a couple of the ways that individuals are victimized on business premises. People experience a long list of crimes on other’s property, and one victim can suffer several different kinds of violent crimes on a business’s property. That is completely unacceptable. If that has happened to you, give us a call at (404) 383-7552 for your free initial consultation.
The critical thing that a victim needs to understand is they should not be required to pay the expenses of their suffering when there is a negligent business at fault.
Premises Liability And Negligent Security
Many people are not aware that when a property does not have adequate security falls into the premises liability category. Property owners have a duty to provide their visitors and guests with a safe environment which includes providing the proper security levels for locations that are known to be dangerous or should-be-known to. An owner will be found to be negligent if she or he knew, or should have reasonably known, of the risks of such incidents as assault, mugging, and theft and did not do anything to prevent those harms. Prevention methods include the following:
- Hire trained security guards
- Install a security or alarm system
- Provide adequate lighting to parking lots
- Surround a property with fencing
- Install locks on specific doors and gates
- Restricting access to a property’s keys
- Putting us signs like “Registers at all times have less than $50”
- Use a drop safe or other a similar type of system
Property owners are expected under the law to learn about the area’s criminal history and rates, keep up with changes, and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their visitors against criminal acts. When there is an instance of rape, robber while on another’s property, it can result in an Atlanta negligent security case. The property owner’s negligence in failing to uphold her or his duty of care to visitors led to the injury. Those are basic elements of all Georgia premises liability claims.
Negligent Security Examples
After a person is able to establish the legal rights they had as a visitor, next they must prove that the actions of a landowner, or their failure to act, constitutes a breach of the standard of reasonable care that invitees are given and that contributed to their injuries. A property or landowner can be held civilly liable for violent crimes that take place on their private property. These include robberies, theft, kidnappings, assaults, and even death. Those are all major examples of crimes that can result in a negligent security claim being brought.
The following are examples of a landowner failing to secure their premises adequately:
- Poorly maintained or broken security cameras
- Poorly maintained or broken locks that allow the public access
- Lack of call boxes in the event of an emergency
- Inadequate lighting
- Security teams that are improperly trained
An experienced and skilled Atlanta negligent security attorney can assess the property’s situation and the failures of the landlord to secure the premises properly. This evidence can then be used to prove the property owner was negligent.
Unsafe Apartment Complexes
Owners of businesses and property are required under Georgia law to protect their tenants and customers against unreasonable dangers. Those companies and individuals are required to take steps to at least learn about dangerous conditions and correct those dangers so that their tenants and customers leasing those apartments do not become hurt. However, when reasonable steps are not taken by these businesses to correct conditions that are unsafe or if someone is killed or seriously injured, then it can give rise to a possible inadequate security claim.
The two most common kinds of attacks in apartment complexes that we see are shootings and assaults. Reports of shootings or rape in parking lots and apartments are, unfortunately, disturbing and common.
If reasonable care is exercised by an apartment complex, then many of those crimes can be prevented. In many of these types of cases, the attacker was either a trespasser who come onto the grounds of the apartment complex, was a guest of one of the residents, or was a resident of the complex.
If the attack was a resident of the apartment complex, then it can be challenging to show that additional security measures might have prevented an attack from taking place. A great amount of investigation is required.
How Attacks Can Be Prevented By Landlords
The following factors can help to prevent crimes from taking place:
- Performing sufficient criminal background checks on tenants.
- Make sure that the lights in breezeways and parking lots are not broken or burned out.
- Having a fence installed around a parking lot and ensuring it is not broke, which can allow a criminal to enter.
- Making sure all doors and locks are secure. If the locks on the windows and doors are broken or inadequate, an attacker can easily access an apartment.
When an Attacker is a Trespasser
When an assault has occurred at an apartment complex, we will investigate in order to determine if there have been any prior victims or prior crimes. We will typically ask the following types of questions:
- Have any other attacks taken place on the property, like sexual assaults, shooting, or other types of violent crimes?
- Were the necessary, reasonable measures implemented by the apartment complex to protect tenants against past crimes?
Courts in Georgia indicate that past property crimes might give landlords notice o potential crimes against people in the future.
We frequently hire security experts in order to demonstrate that the standard of care was breached by the apartment complex by not having the necessary or inadequate security.
Motel and Hotel Accidents
You might stay overnight at a motel or hotel for business or leisure. No matter what your reason for staying at a motel or hotel in Georgia, you expect that you will be safe there. The owner of the motel or hotel has the duty to exercise ordinary care in order to prevent third-party foreseeable criminal attacks against visitors.
Unfortunately, criminal attacks take place at hotels throughout Atlanta due to negligent security. Assaults are reported in stairwells, hallways, parking lots, and other areas where the lights are either dim or broken and where there are improperly trained security guards. Hotel staff sometimes fails to watch security monitors. Windows might open easily. Doors might be not secured.
If you or a family member was a victim or a shooting, sexual assault, rape, or another violent crime at a motel or hotel, please call Calvin Smith Law. We will thoroughly investigate the matter in order to determine whether similar, prior crimes have occurred at the motel or hotel. We might interview victims of similar past crimes. We will not leave any stone unturned.
Shopping Centers and Malls
Shopping centers and malls are an important aspect of most Georgia residents’ lives. This type of business ranges in size from small mom and pop stores and strip malls to mega malls that have dozens of major department stores, branded shops, movie theaters, and multi-level parking areas. The owners of those businesses owe a duty of care to their visitors and customers.
Tragically, serious violent crimes, which include murder, shootings, rape, and sexual assault, occur at shopping centers and malls through no fault of visitors. They are tragic acts that often could have been prevented if property security measures had been taken by the mall owner.
Our lawyers will conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations into a shopping center or mall Atlanta premises liability case. Violent attacks in parking lots with dim lighting might be reported. You could suffer a serious injury inside of a mall due to an insufficient number of security guards. What the reason is for your injuries, it is important for you to have an aggressive and experience negligent security attorney to help you. In typical cases, we will obtain crime reports from the local police department in order to determine whether there have been any prior crimes. We will also examine the internal reports of the business owner, which might also show evidence at the same location that shows a history of attacks that were similar to yours. We will look at which security practices were in place in order to protect people who have been invited to the property.
Parking Lot Injuries
Quite a few premises liability injury cases include ineffective boundary demarcations, lighting or signage that resulted in a pedestrian accident. Owners of property are responsible for ensuring safe access out of and into a parking lot, which includes measures such as the indication of the right of way and clear lines of sight.
Parking areas might have risks for an assault or robbery. It might be necessary for property owners to install cameras or hire security in order to prevent the occurrence of negligent security cases. For victims, negligent security-related crimes can be devastating. Although the perpetrators will be pursued by law enforcement, we believe the party who is responsible for the property and failed to provide adequate security needs to be held accountable as well.
We assist victims of parking lot accidents with getting justice and holding the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Call Calvin Smith Law today at (404) 383-7552.
What to do Following a Negligent Security & Hiring Injury
If you or a family member was injured or was killed while on someone else’s Atlanta property – private or public – get legal assistance right away to receive the compensation that you deserve and need.
Do not discuss the case with others. Keep all of your receipts and medical bills for your associated expenses, such as parking prescriptions. Follow all of your doctor’s treatment orders, including missing work in order to recover if necessary. When talking to property managers, owners, and others, never admit that could have acted in a way to reduce your own risk, since those statements may be used to direct liability to you.
Contact a trustworthy Atlanta security negligence attorney as soon as possible. Negligent security or negligent hiring can be a key factor that leads to a death or injury. The earlier that an experienced attorney can start working on a case, the more likely it will be that valuable evidence will be detected and preserved and your lawsuit or claim for compensation will be made stronger.
Why You Should File a Negligent Security Claim
The purpose of premises liability laws is to protect you whenever you visit another’s property. Those laws require owners and managers to take the steps necessary to maintain the safety and health of visitors, tenants, and patrons. When property managers and owners do not take the necessary precautions and you or a family member are injured, you will be eligible to receive compensation from the property manager or owner.
Negligent security injuries frequently are life-threatening and permanent. For example, your child might have been shot by stray gunfire coming from a botched drug deal. If your child survived the attack, she or he might not be able to work if her or his spine was injured by the bullet. Your child may not ever be able to work or provide her or his future family with financial stability. A negligent security claim will provide your child with the opportunity to receive compensation for all of the harms that the incident caused, including lost future earnings capability and future medical treatment.
Even if you had fairly minor injuries, it is very important that your negligent security claim is filed so that others will not be at risk of suffering injuries that are similar to yours in the future when they visit the same property. When a negligent security claim is successful it can motivate the property manager or owner to ensure the property is safe for future tenants and patrons.
What Elements are Involved in a Negligent Security Claim?
Under Georgia state law, the following must apply in order for a victim to collect damages that arise from negligent security:
- A property owner knew or should have known, there were was a dangerous condition
- You were occupying the premises lawfully
- She or he failed to take reasonable steps in order to provide you with adequate security
- As a result of the negligence, you incurred damages
However, depending on the specific circumstances, there could be other issues that exist where a personal injury claim is warranted. If you suffered hard due to insufficient security, then ask a lawyer whether the owner of the property was responsible for the safety of the area.
When it comes to negligent security claims, one of the most critical aspects is whether or not your injuries were “foreseeable.” If it is determined by the court that a property owner could foresee the potential for injury, then she or he will be liable for any resulting damages.
If you were the victim of a criminal act that took place on another’s property, the lawyers at Calvin Smith Law will assist you in obtaining compensation for your damages. Call us today to get a free consultation scheduled with our law firm.
Factors That Help With Building a Strong Negligent Security Case
Security providers, managers, and property owners are not responsible for all injuries that take place on their premises. However, they may be held responsible for those injuries that could have been prevented by a “reasonable person” who exercised “ordinary care.”
The main reason why a “reasonable person” would be able to anticipate and attempt to prevent an incident from taking place is when similar incidents have occurred on the property in the past. Evidence of past crimes occurring on the premises can provide an element for building a very strong case for you. The case would argue that an incident could have been prevented if greater care had been exercised by those responsible due to the previous incident that had taken place in the past.
Lacking due diligence also can provide a strong argument that a security provider, manager, or owner could have prevented the incident from occurring if they had exercised more care. Employers are responsible for making sound hiring decisions. They need to seek out qualified candidates and have their criminal backgrounds investigated, particularly for those employees who are responsible for protecting the property’s visitors or tenants.
Both kinds of mistakes are lapses in a defendant’s “duty of care.” The lapse must have led directly to the incident, that directly caused the plaintiff to be inured, who must have suffered damages that may be reclaimed through an insurance system or court. Those four components – the duty of keeping someone safe, breaching the duty, an injury or injuries, and damages are the basis of all negligence cases.
How Much Does Hiring A Negligent Security Lawyer Cost?
The good news is that it will not cost you anything upfront to hire a negligent security attorney in the city of Atlanta. The cases are worked on a contingency basis. That means we will not get paid until you are. If you win your case, then the attorney’s fees will be paid from your jury award or settlement agreement.
If your claim is unsuccessful for some reason, then you will not owe us anything.
What Is Involved In A Negligent Security Claim Process?
After you hire an Atlanta negligent security attorney, we will start working for you. Calvin Smith Law collects evidence, which includes public records, witness statements, medical records, and police reports as we start building your case. We even will hire expert witnesses, if needed, at no cost to you. Throughout the entire legal process, our attorneys will remain in close community with you and at any time will answer any questions you have. After a lawsuit is filed, your lawyer will follow up with any documents or records that the court requests. At some point, your case will either be settled or a date for the trial will be set. We will advocate aggressively for you either way so you can obtain the financial compensation that you deserve and need.
How Much Financial Compensation Can I Expect To Receive?
Every case is different, so the amount of compensation will vary. In general, the more reckless the negligence and more serious the injuries, the higher the financial compensation will tend to be. Although we cannot tell you precisely how much the financial compensation will be on your case, these kinds of financial awards can commonly be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Give us a call for a confidential and free consultation to determine whether or not you have a valid claim and the amount of compensation it might be worth.
How Long Does This Type Of Case Take?
There are several factors that will determine how long your case takes, including whether you go to trial or settle, how many defendants there are, how many witnesses are interviewed and other factors. Cases may take a couple of months of several years. A skilled and experienced negligent security lawyer should be able to estimate how much time will be involved after discussing the details of your case. Getting through this type of case takes patience, but is very important to keep in mind that your lawyer is fighting for your legal rights, and the financial future of your family in some cases. You might be injured and not be able to work, or you could have diminished earning capacity due to another person’s negligence as well as the resulting crime that you have suffered. This is why Calvin Smith Law will work aggressively to ensure that you are compensated fairly under the law.
The Role Location Plays In A Negligent Security Case
Property owners are required under Georgia state law (OCGA § 51-3-1) to keep their approaches and premises safe. That means that property owners in Georgia potentially can be found liable for the injuries that take place due to foreseeable third-party criminal activities that occur on their premises
Property owners in some situations might be liable as well when those kinds of injuries take place near their property.
In its Martin v. Six Flags Over Georgia 2017 decision, it was found by the Georgia Supreme Court that approaches to a property includes areas that are directly touching, adjacent, or contiguous to the entryways of a premise. The Court also found in the Martin decision, Six Flags was also found liable for a violent assault that took place outside of the property line due to the fact that it was a planned attack and started on the park’s property.
There are numerous exceptions to the business owner and property owner liability. For instance, if a landowner allows people to enter her or his property for recreational reasons and doesn’t charge them a fee, the liability of the landowner will be limited.
The Role That Relationship Plays In A Negligent Security Case
Georgia state law differentiates between the duty of care that is owed to trespassers, licensees, and invitees.
An invitee is a person who has been invited onto a property. Businesses such as hospitals, gas stations, amusement parks, shopping malls, and shops “invite” their patients, patrons, or customers onto their premises. Also, tenants are considered to be their landlord’s invitees. Under Georgia law, every occupier or owner or land is required to exercise “ordinary care” to keep the premises safe for all invitees. If a landowner fails to do this and an injury occurs, then she or he might be liable for damages. For more information refer to Georgia Code (OCGA § 51-3-1).
A lower standard of care is required under Georgia law for licensees (people who are on a property that were not invited by the owner) and trespassers. In those situations, a property owner only is liable if any wanton or wilful injury takes place on the property. For more information refer to Georgia Code (OCGA § 51-3-1 and 51-3-2).