A property owner who invites customers onto their property has a duty to keep the premises safe. Atlanta negligent security lawyer Terrence R. Bethune has been litigating premises liability cases since 1997. If you have been injured because of a property owner’s inadequate security, a liability lawyer in Atlanta at The Bethune Law Firm can help.
THE NUMBER OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS INCREASED IN 2012
According to the Atlanta Police Department, there were more than 3,500 aggravated assaults in Atlanta in 2012, an increase of one percent over 2011. Although the number of other crimes was down, there were still more than 6,000 burglaries in 2012. A person injured on the property of another person by the criminal act of a third party may have a right to seek compensation for those injuries.
BUSINESS OWNERS MUST PROVIDE ADEQUATE SECURITY MEASURES
A person injured as a result of criminal activity on the property of a business owner may be able to file a premises liability case to seek compensation from the business owner. This is because Georgia law requires that business owners keep their premises safe from foreseeable dangers.
To win a general premises liability case, the plaintiff must prove four elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property;
- The premises owner knew or should have known of the condition;
- The owner did not fix the dangerous condition; and
- The condition caused the plaintiff’s injury.
These elements also apply to an inadequate security case. If the property is in an area known for criminal activity or there was criminal activity in the past, the property owner likely should have known that a crime might occur. If the plaintiff was injured by a criminal act, the property owner may be liable if she failed to provide adequate security measures that would have prevented the crime.
What constitutes an adequate security measure varies depending on the property at issue. Many inadequate security measures have harmful consequences in places like apartment buildings, malls, and parking garages. Some things that could constitute inadequate security may include:
- Lack of security cameras;
- Dimly lit hallways or parking areas;
- Unlocked or rundown fences, gates, or doors; or
- No security guards.
In cases like these, there are many things a landowner can do to ensure that customers are safe. If you are unsure as to what amounts to inadequate security, ask a knowledgeable attorney.
A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF CAN COLLECT COMPENSATION
A person who brings a successful inadequate security case can collect damages from the defendant. A portion of the damages can include compensation for pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish. Hospital bills lost wages, and property damage can also be reimbursed to the plaintiff. It is rare for punitive damages to be awarded in premises liability cases in Georgia.
HOLD PROPERTY OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR INADEQUATE SECURITY
A property owner who benefits from having customers on his property has a responsibility to ensure that the premises are safe for those customers. If the property owner skimps on providing adequate protections for his customers, an injured customer can collect damages. No matter where in Georgia you are from, Atlanta personal injury attorney Terrence R. Bethune can help you if you were injured because of a business or other property owner’s failure to provide adequate security measures. Call 1-800-INJURED or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation.