Inadequate Security Claim
Many violent attacks are entirely preventable if only property owners employed adequate security measures. When property owners fail to, they can needlessly cause visitors to suffer rapes, assault, battery, kidnapping, and even homicide.
At Slappey & Sadd, our Atlanta premises liability attorneys have met with many victims of violent crime who are outraged that so little security existed at the location where they were attacked. Certainly, few people step into a store parking lot or establishment like a hotel expecting to suffer a violent attack. When the unthinkable happens, you need to contact us right away. We might be able to help you obtain compensation, and you shouldn’t wait to call 404-255-6677 for a free case evaluation.Premises With Inadequate Security
Businesses owe their customers a duty to protect them from violent attackers. If they fail to take the necessary steps to keep their area secure, then victims can sue for compensation. Unfortunately, crime is not rare in the Atlanta area. Innocent victims can be attacked in a variety of places, including:
- Apartment complexes and condominiums
- College dormitories
- Nursing homes or assisted living facilities
- Bowling alleys
- Movie theaters
- Hotels and motels
- Office buildings
- Parking garages
- Malls and shopping centers
- Colleges and universities
- Subway stations
- Grocery and convenience stores
- Convention centers
- Retirement communities
If you have suffered a violent attack in any of these areas, then you might qualify for a lawsuit against the business or property owner.Establishing Negligence
Business and property owners do not guarantee your safety, and the law does not require that they do everything humanly possible to keep you safe. Instead, Georgia law requires that defendants use reasonable care to protect against criminal activity.
Common security measures include:
- Adequate lighting in stairwells and on walkways
- Locks on doors and windows
- Security cameras in locations where crime might take place
- Security guards who are properly trained
- Fences and gates
To prevail in a lawsuit, you will typically need to show that the defendant’s security measures were inadequate in some way. Each case is different and will depend on the circumstances, but below are some of the following ways that property owners fall short of the their legal requirements:
- Apartment buildings - Security could be inadequate where there are no locks on the front door or the doors of each apartment, or the locks are old. Windows, particularly on the ground floor, might be incapable of being locked. An apartment building might also lack adequate lighting in common areas as well as on walkways, where someone can hide and surprise tenants or visitors.
- Malls - The mall might lack adequate security, or security might be poorly trained and not know how to handle rowdy crowds. The mall might also fail to have an adequate anti-loitering policy to keep away criminal activity away from the premises.
- Movie theaters - The theater might not look the doors that lead out of every theater and might not take complaints of rowdy behavior seriously. The mall might also lack adequate staff to deal with dangerous people.
- Nursing homes - A nursing home might make it too easy for people off the street to enter the nursing home due to inadequate screening or other security features. Staff might not respond or take seriously complaints from residents that they are being harassed.
- Concert auditoriums - Staff might have let the crowd exceed maximum capacity, which could undermine safety in the event of a fire. The event planners might also not have hired adequate security to manage the crowds.
- Convenience stores - Based on the criminal history of the area, staff might have needed bullet-resistant windows to shield them from customers.
The law does not tell businesses what they must do to have adequate security. Instead, the amount of security will depend on many factors, such as the criminal history in the area, suspected or reported crime, as well as the layout of the business or community. Other important factors include whether the premises owner complied with building codes and whether they advertised that they had more security than they really did.Proving Causation
Even if you are attacked in a place where security was lacking, you still must prove that the attack would not have happened but for the inadequate security. This is called proving causation. A defendant is not responsible if the criminal activity would have happened anyway.
Causation can be a little tricky but turns on the specific facts of the case. For example, if someone broke into your apartment because the locks were worn and old, you could show how much harder it would be to break in had the landlord installed a new deadbolt.Inadequate Security Injuries
When security is clearly inadequate, innocent people can suffer horrific injuries, including:
- Sexual assault
- Broken bones
- Head and face trauma
- Stab or gunshot wounds
- Internal organ damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These injuries can take months to heal and often require extensive medical treatment. The psychological fallout can be just as serious—possibly more so. Crime victims report intensely negative feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, or irritability. They might have trouble sleeping at night, maintaining a healthy weight, and leaving their homes out of fear that they will be victimized again. Fortunately, Georgia law allows victims to receive compensation for this emotional distress as well.Fight Back by Hiring an Atlanta Premises Liability Attorney
After suffering a violent attack, you might feel powerless and not know where to turn. Fortunately, you can fight back by bringing a lawsuit against the entity responsible for the lack of security.
At Slappey & Sadd, our Atlanta premises liability attorneys have helped many crime victims get the money they need to cover medical expenses, replace lost wages, and compensate them for their emotional distress. We are eager to hear from you. Instead of assuming that you don’t have a legal case against the property owner, please meet with us today.
One of our lawyers can review the facts of your case and answer your questions. Contact us today by calling 404-255-6677 or filling out our online contact form.