If a business owner has reason to foresee a danger of criminal assaults upon its customers and other business invitees, the business owner has a duty to take reasonable measures to deter, prevent or guard against such criminal assaults.
Businesses and property owners can be liable for negligent security in the events of rape, sexual assaults, shootings, or other violent crimes at hotels, motels and apartment complexes. Proving the forseeability of criminal assaults on the premises can be proved through evidence of prior similar assaults or criminal acts on the same property. Additionally, evidence that the business was aware of similar crimes in the immediate vicinity or at its other similarly situated locations can be used to establish liability.
Frequently Asked Negligent Security Questions
What should I consider when hiring a negligent security attorney?
When you have a negligent security case, you want an attorney who handles personal injury law, not an attorney who represents business deals or drafts wills. You want a lawyer who knows about negligent security claims and has experience handling negligent security claims.
Negligent security claims are very different than car accident claims. The law in Georgia on these issues is very complicated; if you do not have an attorney who knows how to handle these cases and knows what evidence is necessary to prove in order to bring your case to trial, it’s very possible your negligent security claim could be dismissed by the court. You need a lawyer who’s experienced and knowledgeable about negligent security claims specifically, not just car wrecks or slip and falls. You want a lawyer, too, who will not only handle the case just to settle it, but who will go to trial and has experience trying negligent security claims.
If you were injured or assaulted at a shopping center, hotel or motel, or an apartment complex where there was a high-crime rate in the past, and the owner of that property knew about that crime rate and didn’t take appropriate or reasonable measures to protect their customers or tenants, they may have responsibility. The defense lawyers who are defending the owner will attempt to put all the blame on the criminal himself. The owner of the complex or the shopping center or the hotel has a responsibility to protect their customers or their tenants. You want a lawyer who knows how to prove that and knows what to expect at a trial, what type of defenses to expect and how to deal with those defenses.
How long will a negligent security case take?
Unfortunately, there is no way to know right away how long a case will take. Every case is different and depends on different facts. Negligent security claims are not like a car accident case where someone gets rear-ended at a red light and you deal with an insurance company. Most of the time, with negligent security claims, you need an attorney who knows how to pursue the case and knows how to build the case. This can involve hiring experts and locating and obtaining evidence to prove that the owner of the premises bears some responsibility, not just the criminal who injured you or your loved one. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take quite a while to obtain that evidence and build up the case so that you or your loved one can recover what you’re actually entitled to.
How much is my negligent security claim worth?
A lot of times, in these types of claims, it’s not really about the amount of medical bills when it comes to valuating the claim. The injuries involved are not always the same type of injuries or damages that you may have in a car accident case, and it may not be the type of scenario where you look at medical bills or lost wages. The damages may be quite different in some of these cases where someone’s been the victim of a crime.
If you’ve been the victim of a crime and you think you may have a negligent security claim against the person or party that owns the property where the crime occurred, call an attorney. We know what to look for and how to prove your damages. Often, in these types of cases, the damages are more emotional or mental.
We know what types of experts our clients need to see for their own well-being and mental health, but also to prove the injuries that he or she has suffered as a result of this crime. You want an attorney who’s experienced in handling negligent security claims and who knows how to bring to bear the right resources.
What damages am I eligible to recover in a negligent security claim?
With a negligent security case, oftentimes the damages are really not tied to medical bills. Damages in these cases can be quite significant because this is the type of injury that can affect a person for the rest of their life, but they can be more complex to define. The true damages in these cases are often pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering comes in many forms, and it is not just the physical pain that you may have experienced. If you were shot during a robbery at an apartment complex, when that physical pain eventually dissipates and goes away, there are other types of pain and suffering that remain– mental and emotional pain. Oftentimes, this is the more significant area of damages. You need to have a lawyer who knows how to pursue those damages, how to prove those damages, and knows what you are entitled to recover.
Since evidence of prior crimes is generally critical to success in handling negligent security cases, it is important to contact an attorney immediately so the vital information can be gathered. Once this evidence is gathered through a thorough investigation, expert testimony is often essential in establishing the foreseeability of criminal assaults and what reasonable security measures the business could have, and should have, used to deter and prevent crime on the premises.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as the result of criminal activity in a hotel, motel, shopping center, or apartment complex, contact the attorneys at Princenthal, May & Wilson, LLC.