Landlords and property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises safe, which includes instituting proper safety measures. Places such as hotels, shopping malls, and apartment complexes must keep guests, customers, and tenants reasonably safe from harm—criminal acts included. When a property or business owner fails to take proper security precautions, a crime victim might be able to file a negligent security lawsuit. Pursuing compensation for negligent security is complicated, so it’s best to speak with an experienced Conyers negligent security lawyer.
At MG Law, we understand what a frustrating time this might be for you and your family. Being victimized somewhere you should feel safe is terrifying. You might still be recovering physically and emotionally. The last thing you need is to argue with an insurance adjuster about how much compensation they owe you.
Concentrate on your recovery and let our team assist you with all the legal aspects of your injury. Our lawyers represent clients only for personal injury matters. Our personal injury experience has shown us what’s necessary to build a strong case against a property or business owner.
What Is Negligent Security?
Before you start a claim for negligent security, it’s necessary to understand what the term means. Negligent security claims fall under the general area of premises liability law. These laws hold property owners liable for failing to provide adequate security measures to prevent crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault. A negligent security lawsuit alleges the crime that caused your injury was foreseeable and the property owner could’ve stopped it—or made it less likely to occur—had they instituted security measures. It might be easier to understand a negligent security claim as an “inadequate security” claim.
Negligent security claims can involve many different types of defendants. Some of the most common defendants include:
- Shopping malls,
- Apartment complexes,
- Retail stores,
- Parking lots,
- Bars and nightclubs,
- Universities and schools,
- Gas stations, and
This list isn’t exhaustive. Don’t assume you don’t have a claim because your location isn’t listed here. Speak with a knowledgeable Conyers negligent security attorney at MG Law to learn whether you have a viable negligent security claim.
Examples of Negligent Security
Criminal acts are more likely to occur in certain places, such as shopping mall parking lots. According to the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center, commuter parking facilities have “particularly high rates of car crime,” with nearly 25% of all car thefts occurring in these facilities. The Urban Institute’s report emphasizes that technology can help prevent crime if it is used effectively. For example, security cameras do not help deter crime if the footage is not shared with law enforcement.
Some common examples of negligent security include the following.
Parking lots are notoriously underlit. A lack of adequate lighting provides the perfect conditions for criminals to commit various crimes, including car theft, assault, and robbery.
Broken locks happen, but landlords should get them fixed immediately. Waiting or not repairing the locks puts people at risk. Criminals can quickly enter the grounds or someone’s apartment, leading to burglary.
Broken Fences or Gates
Criminals look for convenient opportunities to commit a crime. Broken gates or fences provide easy access for people looking to steal or commit a violent crime. Landlords and property owners should immediately repair broken fences and gates.
Broken Security System
Having a security system can bring some peace of mind. But what if the system is broken? Criminals can find out the system is broken, allowing them to enter the building for nefarious purposes. A non-functioning security system is the same as not having one at all.
Lack of Security Guards
Certain types of businesses should employ security guards. Failure to do so could put anyone who visits the business or premises at risk.
Lack of Background Checks
Hiring a security guard helps only if the person is qualified to do their job. Likewise, building maintenance workers must be qualified to perform repair work and be trustworthy, especially workers who must enter residents’ homes. Landlords, business owners, and property owners should conduct thorough background checks on staff members.
Security guards hired to monitor a business or apartment complex must have proper training. Without adequate training, these guards may not deter crime. For example, they may hesitate in a stressful situation, fail to respond, or station themselves in the wrong place.
Not Taking Any Action Despite Known Area of Crime
When an area has a known history of criminal activity and the property owner doesn’t take proper precautions, they could be liable. For example, imagine a shopping mall parking lot sees an increase in parking lot assaults. However, the mall does nothing to deter crime, such as installing cameras or increasing lighting and security patrols. The shopping mall may be liable for injuries suffered by the victim of a crime carried out in the parking lot.
How to Prove Negligent Security?
You might assume proving responsibility in a negligent security claim is straightforward. However, these types of claims are often complicated. For example, a lack of security cameras can make proving what happened difficult. Insurance companies vigorously defend against these types of cases too.
Georgia law holds property and business owners liable when they don’t institute proper security and safety measures to prevent crime. The requirement to keep property safe doesn’t mean the owner has to guarantee no crime will ever occur. However, they are expected to take reasonable precautions to prevent crime. Numerous parties and entities could be named defendants in your case. Several defendants, from property owners to government agencies, could be held responsible for your injuries.
To prove the defendants are responsible, you must present evidence that the property owner had knowledge or should’ve known the crime was possible because of negligent security. One of the most common ways to prove negligent security is through constructive knowledge. Constructive knowledge means showing similar crimes previously happened at the property. Our Conyers negligent security lawyers can help you build a strong case against a negligent property owner.
What Damages Can You Sue for in a Negligent Security Case?
Understandably, prospective clients want to know how much money they might receive in a negligent security settlement or court award. Every case is unique. Your potential compensation depends solely on the circumstances of your case. Factors that can impact your possible compensation include:
- The severity of your injuries,
- Overall damages,
- Available insurance coverage limits, and
- The strength of your evidence.
Do your injuries keep you from working? Are you experiencing residual pain that will require future medical treatment? Do you have a percentage of fault in the incident? Are you experiencing any emotional unrest after the crime? These are just a few questions your attorney will ask when reviewing your case. While physical injury caused by a crime may eventually improve, the emotional wounds may never heal. You deserve compensation for the total value of your case, including the cost of anticipated future treatment.
Your negligent security lawyer will explain the best- and worst-case scenarios for your claim and what you can reasonably expect to receive should your case resolve successfully.
Ways Property Owners Can Address Security Threats
Once a property owner becomes aware of a threat on their commercial property, they must address it immediately. That could mean closing the business until the danger passes or distributing warnings to potential victims. The most common option is to employ various security measures to protect people who are unaware of the threat. Examples of potential measures include:
- Putting up signs to warn customers;
- Installing fences and gates around the property;
- Installing video cameras around the property;
- Implementing new safety procedures;
- Adding extra lights in dark areas;
- Implementing check-in and check-out procedures;
- Hiring security guards;
- Installing peepholes in residents’ doors; and
- Conducting background checks on employees, security guards, residents, etc.
Cases against property owners can be complex but are worthwhile to pursue. Not only do you get reimbursed for your losses, you might help keep other people safe. A negligent security lawsuit can force a property owner to beef up security and take other preventative measures, so no one else has to go through what you endured. That’s why you need a qualified legal advocate on your side. Our Conyers negligent security attorneys will work tirelessly to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries.
Contact a Conyers Negligent Security Attorney
Property owners don’t have the luxury of pretending hazards don’t exist. When a property owner ignores their responsibilities, you have the right to hold them accountable.However, you must act quickly. Preserving evidence is paramount to building a successful negligent security lawsuit. You also have legal deadlines to meet. Inadvertently missing a deadline could jeopardize your potential compensation. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner we can start working on your case. MG Law understands what’s at stake and the importance of building the strongest case possible. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We can help you identify all responsible parties and help you pursue the compensation you deserve in a negligent security lawsuit.