Premises Liability Attorney in Atlanta
Property owners, especially owners of businesses who invite customers onto their property, have a duty to keep the premises safe from dangers. Atlanta negligent security lawyer Terrence R. Bethune serves clients throughout Georgia by litigating personal injury cases. If you were injured as a result of a business’ failure to provide adequate security, The Law Office of Terrence R. Bethune can help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Thousands of Crimes Are Committed Each Year in Atlanta
According to the Atlanta Police Department, the overall crime rate in Atlanta decreased about five percent from 2011 to 2012. Although we all want our city to be safe, crimes still occur. There were 3,555 aggravated assaults and 2,276 robberies in Atlanta in 2012. A premises owner should take action to protect people on her property if she has reason to believe crime might occur.
Premises Owners Must Keep Their Property Safe for Visitors
Premises owners have a general duty to keep their property safe. In a negligence case, the occurrence of third-party criminal activity might pose a problem for a plaintiff needing to prove causation; however, in a premises case, it could be the basis for liability.
Generally, in premises cases the plaintiff must prove:
- A dangerous condition existed on the property;
- The owner knew or should have known of the condition;
- The owner failed to fix the dangerous condition; and
- The condition caused the plaintiff’s injury.
These principles also apply to a negligent security or inadequate security case. Negligent security cases often happen in an apartment complex, shopping mall, or parking garage. If the area is known for criminal activity or there were past crimes of the same type, the owner is put on notice that criminal conduct might occur, and the second element is met. If criminal activity occurs that injures the plaintiff, the property owner will be liable if the non-negligent security measures might have prevented the injury.
Some examples of negligent security measures might be:
- Failure to respond to emergency situations;
- Security guards who do not adequately patrol or otherwise guard the premises;
- Security cameras or lighting that does not work.
Although these are a few examples, there are many possible ways in which a property owner may have provided negligent security. If you are unsure whether your landlord, a business owner, or another property owner has provided negligent security, ask an experienced attorney.
Successful Plaintiffs May Collect Damages from Negligent Owners
A plaintiff who brings a successful negligent security case can collect damages from the defendant. Expenses the plaintiff incurred as a result of the accident — such as medical bills, lost wages, or property damage — can be reimbursed as economic compensatory damages. If the plaintiff suffered emotional distress or pain and suffering, she can collect compensation for these noneconomic damages, too. In rare cases where the defendant acted with malice or a conscious disregard for the consequences of his actions, the plaintiff may win an award of punitive damages.
Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable for their Choices
A property owner who fails to keep customers safe has breached his duty under Georgia law. If this decision results in someone getting hurt, the property owner will have to pay for the injuries. Atlanta premises liability attorney Terrence R. Bethune has been litigating premises cases since 1997, and he can help you seek compensation for injuries caused by negligent security. Call (404) 875-7800 or email us to schedule a free consultation.