Landowners have a duty to tenants and customers on their property to take action to create a safe environment. When property owners fail to, for example, fix broken locks or conduct background checks on employees, this puts you and others at risk. Negligent security is a way for you to hold the wrongdoer accountable and recover compensation for your losses.
At MG Law, we believe strongly in serving and being leaders in the Atlanta community.
An Atlanta negligent security lawyer at our office is ready to advocate for you. We have the resources and the ability to file a claim on your behalf and help achieve a favorable outcome for you.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim that holds a property owner accountable for a foreseeable illegal activity occurring on the owner’s land. You should be able to go to people’s houses and live in your apartment without fearing that you’re going to be attacked. When your landlord fails to take steps to secure your well-being when all the facts say they should, filing a negligent security claim is a way for you to hold them accountable.
Examples of Negligent Security
Negligent security can take many forms. When a property owner should have taken steps to protect occupants, there is a potential for a negligent security claim. Here are common examples that may amount to negligent security if someone is injured because of it:
- Not installing security cameras or keeping them on;
- Not conducting background checks on security guards;
- Not conducting background checks on maintenance personnel;
- Failing to warn residents, guests, or customers about a potential danger;
- Failing to take adequate measures to protect residents, guests, or customers after they receive a safety complaint;
- Not repairing broken locks, gates, or fences around the property; and
- Failing to maintain proper lighting near sidewalks or in parking lots.
For example, let’s say your landlord failed to fix the lock on the front door to the building, and you were assaulted by people who broke in. If the landlord knew about or should have known about the broken lock, then you may hold them accountable for the attack.
If you think a property owner could have prevented harm from befalling you or your loved one, call our office to discuss your legal rights. We understand that this is a scary time for you, and you may wonder if there’s anything that you can do that would make a difference.
We can listen to your story, review the evidence, and advise you on what we believe your options are.
Talking to an Atlanta negligent security attorney early on is essential to help ensure that you file a potential claim before important filing deadlines pass.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Negligent Security?
Property owners owe a duty to guests or tenants on their property. They may be held liable when they fail to meet their obligation to you to provide reasonably safe and secure premises. Types of entities that can be held responsible if something happens to someone on their property include:
- Apartment buildings,
- Colleges and universities,
- Sports and entertainment venues,
- Hospitals and care facilities,
- Restaurants and bars,
- Office buildings,
- Grocery stores, and
- Parking garages.
This list is not exhaustive. If you think a property owner is to blame for an assault that happened to you, the best way to get answers is to talk to an Atlanta negligent security lawyer.
A lawyer can talk to you about what happened, make an assessment, and let you know if they believe you have a claim.
MG Law fights for Atlanta’s personal injury victims.
How to Prove Negligent Security
To prove negligent security, you need to show that the property owner is guilty of negligence. To do so, you need to show that the following factors were at play:
- Duty of care – The property owner owed you a duty of care to act reasonably under the circumstances and take steps to make the premises safe.
- Breach of duty – The property owner failed to meet this duty of care.
- Injury – You suffered an injury (e.g., were assaulted) because of the breach.
- Causation – There is a causal relationship between the breach of duty and your injuries.
You need to prove all four elements to have a case against a property owner.
An Atlanta negligent security lawyer can help you gather the appropriate evidence. They can interview witnesses and curate records to prove that the assault may not have happened if the property owner had acted differently.
Our team prides in its dedication to the communities we serve, both in and out of the courtroom.
The Property Owner Owed You a Duty of Care
To have a successful case against the property owner, you first need to show that the property owner owed you a duty of care. Property owners owe duties of care to people on their property, but what that entails changes based on the person’s reason for being on the property.
Put another way, landowners owe different obligations depending on whether you were an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
Invitees are people who are expressly or impliedly invited onto the property. For example, customers and tenants are invitees. Property owners owe the greatest duty to invitees. Property owners are liable for injuries to invitees that occur because the owner fails to exercise ordinary care and keep the premises and approaches safe.
Licensees are people who are on the property for their own purposes or benefit, like door-to-door salespeople. Property owners have a more limited duty to licensees to keep them from suffering harm because of “willful or wanton” conduct that exposes them to harm.
Trespassers are those who are on the property illegally. In most cases, landowners don’t have an obligation to trespassers. But a notable exception is in the case of child trespassers. If the landowner has an “attractive nuisance” on the property, say, a swing set, they may be liable for injuries that occur to children because they trespass on the property to use the swing set.
What this looks like in a negligent security case can vary significantly from situation to situation. Talking to an attorney is the best way to understand and protect your and your child’s legal rights.
The Property Owner Breached Their Duty of Care
Next, you need to show that the property owner failed to meet (i.e., breached) their duty of care. You might accomplish this by showing evidence that, for example, the landlord didn’t take steps to fix the locks on the front door. Or that they didn’t conduct background checks on the maintenance and security staff members who assaulted you.
You Suffered an Injury
You need evidence that you suffered an injury because of the breach. For example, you can present your medical records to prove your injuries.
If your loved one died because of the property owner’s breach, you might be able to bring a claim on their behalf.
Our compassionate legal team is here for you and understands the pain victims of negligent security go through. It’s not your fault, and we do everything in our power to advocate for your right to recover and move forward.
The Property Owner’s Breach Caused or Led to Your Injury
Finally, you must show that the property owner’s breach caused or led to your injury. Put another way, you may build a case that if the property owner had acted differently, you might not have been injured.
Let’s say the property is in a high-crime neighborhood, and the landlord received notice from tenants that car robberies have occurred in the parking garage. They ignore these complaints and leave the parking garage gate open and unlocked. You’re robbed in the parking garage.
You may have a claim against the landlord. Had the landlord closed and locked the parking garage at night, the robber may not have been able to get into the garage. You may also ask whether there were security cameras in the facility and if they were on or operational.
What Damages Can You Sue for Negligent Security?
The compensation you may be eligible for include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Property damage.
Sometimes, the court may impose punitive damages on the at-fault party. Punitive damages serve to punish the wrongdoer and deter future harm from occurring. Punitive damage awards are rare and reserved for cases where the wrongdoer acted with malice, fraudulently, or willfully.
Our team will help you maximize the compensation you receive from the at-fault party. We understand that you are hurting and deserve to receive a damage award for what happened to you. We routinely handle these types of cases and will fight for you. We aren’t afraid to go up against big companies to help get the results that you deserve.
MG Law—Atlanta Negligent Security Attorneys You Can Trust
We are an Atlanta personal injury law firm that firmly stands behind our commitment to the communities we serve. Michael Geoffroy is a Fellow at the Georgia Bar Foundation, a membership level reserved for the top 4% of all Georgia attorneys. Michael is on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Legal Services Program and has been for over ten years.
If you or a loved one were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have options. Call our attorneys or contact us online today.