I Was Attacked in a Restaurant’s Parking Lot. Can I Sue for Damages?
Businesses in Georgia are required to ensure that people they invite onto their properties are safe. This means restaurants have a duty to put reasonable security measures in place and protect patrons from foreseeable crimes. If you were robbed, assaulted or raped in a restaurant’s parking lot, you may be able to get compensation for your physical, emotional and financial injuries. However, it is critical that you prove the restaurant was negligent in some way. You will need the help of a personal injury lawyer who has years of experience with premises liability cases.
Four Elements of Negligence an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Will Seek to Prove
The restaurant will not be automatically held responsible simply because your injury occurred on their property. While you will naturally be upset after your ordeal, there are certain facts you have to establish. A personal injury attorney in Atlanta would work with you to determine if you really have a case against the business. To win a personal injury claim against an Atlanta restaurant, you will have to prove four things.
Firstly, you must establish that there was a dangerous situation on the property. One example of this is that the parking lot had very poor lighting and there was no security guard present. This could be compounded by a lack of security cameras in the area.
The second element is you need to prove is that the property owner knew about the conditions or should have known about them based on how long the conditions existed. This is based on the duty property owners have to inspect their property regularly or have someone do it on their behalf. This means a business can be held liable for dangerous conditions even the owner wasn’t actually aware.
The final element you will need to prove is that the dangerous conditions led to your attack. This means you have to show that what happened to you was a direct result of the poor security in the parking lot and a foreseeable consequence of maintaining a poorly lit parking lot.
In seeking to prove these elements, your lawyer will look at whether:
- the neighborhood is known for criminal activity
- similar attacks occurred in the past
- complaints were made to the property owner in the past
You will also have to show proof of your injuries, medical bills and property damage in order to put a figure on your losses.
Defenses to a Premises Liability Case
Even if you are on solid ground in bringing a premises liability claim against the restaurant, you can expect they will mount a defense. They may argue that you knew of the dangers of using the parking lot but opted to leave your car there anyway. Alternatively, they may suggest you were somehow partially at fault for the attack. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence rule, if you are found to be partially responsible, the amount they would have to pay would be reduced.
You can be sure the restaurant will have an attorney on their side seeking to minimize the amount they have to pay. They will even try to get out of paying you anything at all. That’s why you need to reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta as soon as possible after the incident.
Damages Personal Injury Attorneys in Atlanta Will Seek
If you are successful in your claim, you can expect to collect a range of damages depending on the specifics of your case. These include medical bills, lost wages and property damage or loss. These are all economic damages which can be reimbursed. Your personal injury attorney will also seek non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress if these are applicable.
Call Bethune Law Firm Today for Assistance
If you’ve been attacked in a restaurant parking lot or on any business’ premises, contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney at the Bethune Law Firm. Any property owner who invites customers onto his property has a duty to ensure their safety. If adequate security wasn’t provided and you were attacked, you can collect damages. If you want compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress, reach out to us today and schedule a free consultation. We will give you some preliminary advice and suggest what your next steps should be. If you hire us, we will work hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.