Property owners in Georgia have a duty to keep those lawfully on the property safe from any foreseeable. criminal activity on the premises. A negligent security case occurs when someone is injured by an act of criminal violence, such as battery, robbery, or sexual assault that the property owner should have anticipated and failed to prevent due to inadequate security measures. The personal injury lawyers with the Don Turner Legal Team have years of experience working with those injured due to negligent security and can help you get the compensation you deserve.What is a “Foreseeable” Crime?
Under Georgia law, property owners are not automatically liable for every crime that takes place on their property. Rather, Georgia uses a standard known as “foreseeability” to determine whether a property owner or business should have anticipated criminal activity taking place on the premises and acted to prevent this. Examples of “foreseeable” criminal activity include:
- Similar crimes had already occurred on the premises: If there has been a consistent pattern of similar crimes taking place on the premises, then the property owner has a duty to address this by implementing the proper security measures. If they fail to do so, and someone is injured as a result, they can be held liable. Note that the criminal activity taking place only needs to be similar, not identical. For example, if a motel guest is assaulted in a break-in after the manager failed to address a pattern of burglaries on the premises, they would have grounds to pursue legal action.
- There was a volatile situation brewing on the property: For example, if two people on in a restaurant have been involved in a loud argument for an extended period of time, any reasonable person would have cause to believe an assault could occur. A business owner in this situation has a duty to recognize this and act accordingly before anyone can be injured. Should they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any injuries that may occur.
- The property is located in an area where there are high rates of crime: If there is a high crime rate in the area, and the owner of the property or business knows about this, they should be expected to take the right kind of security precautions. Note that if the property owner was unaware of the high crime rates in the area, they cannot be held liable.
All business and property owners owe a duty of care to those lawfully on their property. This includes exercising adequate security measures to prevent any foreseeable criminal activity on the premises. Examples of adequate security measures can include but are not limited to:
- Making sure that fences, gates, windows, and doors are kept in good condition
- Keeping parking lots and common areas well lit
- Ensuring that there are a sufficient number of adequately trained security guards on the premises
- Running criminal background checks on employees and tenants
- Warning visitors and tenants about any significant risks or dangers
- Installing other security measures including security cameras or bulletproof glass
In order to win your negligent security case and get successfully compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you may have endured, there are several elements you will need to prove in court:
- You were lawfully on the property. Property and business owners owe no duty of care to trespassers.
- There was foreseeable criminal activity on the premises, which the property or business owner failed to address by taking the correct security measures.
- You were severely injured by criminal activity as a direct result of the property or business owner’s failure to implement adequate security measures.
- If the owner of the property or business had addressed the criminal activity on the premises by taking reasonable security measures, your injuries could have been prevented
Be aware that Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. This means that the court will evaluate your actions, as well as the actions of the property owner in order to determine how much each of you contributed to the incident that cause your injuries. If you are ruled to be more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries, then you will not be able to recover any damages. This is why you should have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.The Don Turner Legal Team Can Help
A property owner who fails to keep you safe from foreseeable criminal activity on the premises has breached their duty and must be held accountable. Contact the Don Turner Legal Team today if you or a loved one was injured in an act of criminal violence that could have been prevented with the right security measures. Our personal injury attorneys can help you formulate a winning strategy for your case and will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.