If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!

After an accident resulting in serious or fatal injuries you and your family may have questions about what to do next. Do I have to take my claim to personal injury court? Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company? How much money is in a fair settlement? Who can give qualified advice on how to win your personal injury claim? For answers to these questions and more, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help.

At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.

When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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  • Can I Sue a Stadium or Arena for Negligent Security?

    If you suffered injuries because a stadium or arena failed to provide adequate security, the property owner can be responsible for your losses. Georgia law requires landowners to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes and to keep people safe on their premises.

    What We Have to Prove in a Negligent Security Case

    We will have to prove all four of these factors to hold the stadium or arena responsible for your injuries from negligent security:

    1. The arena or stadium owed you a legal duty. If you were at the stadium or arena as a paying customer or authorized guest, the property owner had a legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to keep the venue and its approaches safe. The landowner also owes this duty to anyone else who is on the property for a legal purpose, such as an employee, vendor, or someone whose job requires them to perform a function on the grounds, like reading the water meter.

    The premises include the stadium or arena. The approaches can include things like the sidewalks, parking lot, or a parking garage that a visitor to the property would be likely to use when accessing the facility.

    Let’s say that there had been several muggings and assaults in the parking lot of the arena. The landowner must provide reasonable security to keep visitors safe in the parking lot.

    2. The stadium violated its legal duty. If the stadium did not provide adequate security for the situation, it breached its obligation to you. It is negligence when one fails to meet the requirements of a legal duty of care.

    The stadium could have taken reasonable measures like these to prevent future muggings and assaults:

    • Assigning security guards to patrol the parking lot.
    • Installing security cameras in the parking lot.
    • Posting warning signs in the area to put customers on notice.
    • Requesting extra patrols from the local police.

    If the stadium did not take reasonable measures to address the crime, the stadium was negligent.

    3. The negligent security caused your injury. Negligence by itself does not subject the arena to liability, but when the negligence causes someone to get hurt, the owner is responsible to that person. If someone assaulted or mugged you in the parking lot of the arena because of the arena’s negligent security, the arena will have to pay for the harm their carelessness caused.

    4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime. Georgia law does not require landowners to prevent every crime. Even the police cannot prevent all crimes. The law does, however, make owners take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable crimes.

    Because there had already been several muggings and assaults in the stadium’s parking lot, it was foreseeable that there would be future criminal acts there. The stadium should have used adequate security measures to prevent the crime you experienced. If the stadium failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the foreseeable crime, the owner is responsible for your injuries on the grounds of negligent security.

    Damages for Injuries from an Arena’s Negligent Security

    Every case is different, so the amount of your damages will depend on your unique set of facts. The damages in these cases can usually include things like:

    Medical expenses, for all the reasonable medical care you needed as a result of your injuries. These costs can include the costs of an ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, lab work, x-rays, surgery, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.

    Future medical care, if your injuries will cause you to need ongoing medical intervention.

    Long-term care, if you suffered devastating injuries that render you dependent on assistance with daily medical treatments and personal care.

    Lost income, to compensate you for the wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed because of the crime.

    Decreased earning potential, if you cannot make as much money as before because of your injuries.

    Disability, if you cannot support yourself through employment because of your injuries.

    Pain and suffering, to compensate you for the physical discomfort, psychological distress, and inconvenience you experienced because of the crime.

    Psychological harm, if you sustained ongoing emotional harm from the crime, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger, depression, or fear of leaving your home.

    Other non-economic losses, if the crime and injuries cause you to suffer things like disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

    Getting Help for a Claim of Negligent Security Against a Stadium or Arena

    If an arena or stadium failed in its legal duty to protect you from foreseeable harm and this negligent security caused you to get hurt, you can sue the stadium or arena and might be able to get compensation for your injuries. Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838, and we can set up a free consultation for you. We can talk with you about your situation, answer your questions, and let you know if you might have a negligent security injury claim.

  • Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Negligent Security?

    You might be able to sue a nursing home for negligent security. If your loved one suffered injuries because a nursing home failed to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes or to keep them safe while they were on the property, the facility could be liable for your losses. Under Georgia’s premises liability law, landowners are responsible for any injuries that occur because of the owner’s failure to provide sufficient security.

    Why Negligent Security Is an Issue at Nursing Homes

    Nursing home residents are usually quite vulnerable because of physical frailty and other aspects of aging, so they are the natural targets of criminals. As a result, the facilities have a greater duty to keep the resident safe than, for example, an apartment complex.

    Crime is not the only risk to nursing home residents. One foreseeable risk is that a nursing home resident with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia will wander away from the nursing home. Nursing homes must take reasonable measures to prevent this behavior.

    Elements of Negligent Security

    Nursing homes must put into place adequate protocols to protect residents, employees, visitors, and other lawful guests like vendors safe from foreseeable assaults and other crimes. The facility should anticipate that employees, visitors, other residents, and outside intruders could commit crimes against people on the premises.

    We have to prove all four of these factors for the nursing home to be liable for your loved one’s damages:

    The Facility Owed Your Loved One a Duty of Care

    The nursing home has a responsibility to use reasonable measures to keep everyone who is on the premises for a lawful purpose safe while they are on the premises. In a nursing home, these areas can include the buildings, the immediate areas around the buildings, the sidewalks, and the parking lot. A nursing home must have working locks on all exterior doors.

    The Nursing Home Failed to Satisfy Its Legal Duty

    An act of negligence could constitute a breach of duty. If the facility did not, for example, repair or replace a broken lock on an exterior door, the home is guilty of negligent security.

    The Facility’s Negligent Security Caused Your Loved One to Suffer Harm

    Negligence by itself does not mean that the nursing home will have to pay anyone compensation, but if the carelessness causes someone to suffer harm, the facility will be liable. If an intruder entered the nursing home through the door with the broken lock and assaulted someone, the nursing home will be responsible for the victim’s damages.

    4. Adequate Security Would Have Prevented the Incident

    Landowners are not required to prevent every crime that possibly could happen on their premises. Not even law enforcement can stop every crime. Georgia law does, however, require property owners to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes.

    If adequate security would have kept a crime from occurring and the facility failed to have sufficient security, the nursing home is liable for the harm that a victim suffers. Working locks on exterior doors are reasonable security measures at a nursing home, and this feature would have kept the intruder from walking right into the building and committing the crime. Since reasonable measures would have prevented the crime, the nursing home is responsible.

    How Foreseeability Affects the Nursing Home’s Liability

    Every situation is different, so what the law requires in each case is different. A judge might decide that certain security measures are an absolute necessity at one nursing home but find them to be expensive overkill for another facility. We will have to talk with you about the facts of your case to determine whether the nursing home provided adequate security.

    Georgia law requires the nursing home to provide the level of protection that is reasonable and sufficient given the circumstances of that particular facility. Even if two nursing homes are part of the same corporate ownership, one home might require more significant measures than one in another location to keep the residents, guests, employees, and other lawful visitors to the premises safe.

    The key is foreseeability. A nursing home with no history of attacks or assaults might need only minimal security measures. A facility in a high-crime neighborhood that has experienced multiple acts of violence might have to invest in security cameras, upgraded exterior door alarms, and other interventions to prevent crime. The bottom line is that if it is foreseeable that a crime is likely to occur, the nursing home must take reasonable measures to prevent the crime. Failure to do so is negligent security.

    Getting Help for an Injury Caused by Negligent Security at a Nursing Home

    The nursing home might have to pay your loved one compensation for the harm they suffered if they were hurt because a nursing home failed to keep them safe. You do not have to figure out the liability issues of your case. We will explain the essential components of your claim when we meet with you.

    We offer a free consultation for nursing home negligent security cases. There is no obligation. We do not charge legal fees until you win compensation when you sue a nursing home for negligent security. Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 to see how a negligent security attorney can help you.

  • Can I Sue a Parking Garage for Negligent Security?

    Landowners in Georgia must take reasonable steps to keep people safe on their property and to prevent assaults or attacks that are foreseeable. A parking garage can be responsible for a person who gets hurt because the parking garage owner failed to provide adequate security.

    Examples of Inadequate of Negligent Security in a Parking Garage

    Liability will depend on the facts of the individual case, but in general, a parking garage owner can be responsible if it fails to:

    • Provide sufficient lighting. Having to walk through dark areas of parking garages is unsafe.
    • Maintain functional lighting, in other words, repair broken light fixtures and replace burned-out bulbs.
    • Warn parking garage users of foreseeable dangers.
    • Repair doors, gates, fences, alarm systems, and fences.
    • Respond appropriately to alerts, warnings, threats, or other situations that would cause a reasonable person to have concerns about security.
    • After an adverse security event like a mugging or an assault, install security cameras.
    • Upgrade the existing security devices and protocols if multiple criminal acts happen in or around the parking garage.

    The Elements of Negligent Security

    We have to prove all four of these elements to hold the parking garage liable for your losses:

    1. The defendant parking garage owed you a legal duty. If you were in the parking garage for any lawful reason (as opposed to trespassing), the garage has a legal obligation to keep the garage and its approaches (like sidewalks, entries, and stairwells) reasonably safe.

    You are lawfully on the premises if you are a driver or passenger of a vehicle parked in the garage, a garage employee, a vendor (like someone refilling the soda machines), or another guest, like a tow truck driver entering the garage to help someone with a dead battery.

    2. The parking garage breached its duty to keep the property safe. If the garage failed to provide adequate security, the garage violated its duty toward customers and other lawful guests. Breaching a legal duty is negligence.

    Let’s say that, despite numerous recent assaults and car break-ins, the garage had no security cameras, no onsite attendants, and posted no warnings of the danger. These failures to act constitute negligence.

    3. The defendant’s negligence caused the harm to the plaintiff. If a third party attacked the plaintiff because of the lack of reasonable security measures made the plaintiff an easy target, the negligent security is partly to blame for the assault. The attacker is also responsible, but the victim’s best bet for collecting compensation is usually from the property owner, not the street criminal.

    4. Adequate security would have prevented the attack. The parking garage owner is not responsible for every crime that ever takes place on its premises. Preventing 100 percent of crimes is impossible.

    The parking garage owner is responsible for the crimes that happen because of negligent security. Failing to take any measures to keep the parking garage safe after numerous criminal acts is negligent security. Taking reasonable steps in this situation could have prevented the crime, so the garage is liable.

    Foreseeability of the Crime

    Whether a crime is foreseeable will turn on such things as the neighborhood and the history of criminal activity in the area. If the parking garage is in a high-crime, inner-city location where many attacks have taken place, the parking garage owner should have anticipated the likelihood of future attacks. On the other hand, if the parking garage is in a safe neighborhood of a small town that hardly ever sees violent crimes, an assault is less likely, and thereby, less foreseeable.

    The Parking Garage’s Responsibility

    Parking garages, like all other businesses, must provide security that is appropriate for the individual location. Satisfying this legal requirement starts with a risk and threat assessment. The owner must then develop and implement a security strategy to keep the people it attracts to its premises safe.

    Actual Harm

    A successful claim for negligent security requires an actual physical injury. If you have a close call but manage to escape the situation without physical harm, you cannot get damages from the parking garage. However, if the event leaves you with actual injuries, you can sue the owner of the parking garage for your losses due to negligent security.

    Getting Help After an Injury in a Parking Garage

    You do not have to figure out the legal issues – we can take care of that for you. If you sustained an injury in a parking garage and you think the garage owner failed to keep you safe, you might have a valid claim for compensation. Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 to arrange your free consultation.

    A negligent security lawyer will talk with you about what happened to you and explain your legal options such as whether you can sue a parking garage for negligent security. We do not charge for this service, and we do not get paid legal fees until you win a settlement or award.

  • Can I Sue a Restaurant for Negligent Security?

    Georgia law holds landowners responsible when people get hurt because of the failure to provide adequate security. A restaurant can be liable if the owner did not take reasonable steps to keep you safe when you were on their property or to prevent assaults or attacks that were foreseeable.

    The Four Parts of Negligent Security in Georgia

    Our state’s laws require us to prove all four elements of negligent to hold a restaurant liable for your injuries:

    One, the restaurant owed you a legal duty of care. As long as you were on the premises for a lawful purpose, such as to eat at the restaurant, make a delivery, or work as an employee of the restaurant, the company must take reasonable steps to keep the restaurant and its approaches safe.

    Approaches include things like sidewalks, entryways, parking lots, and other places people use to access the restaurant. Businesses have no obligation to provide security for trespassers.

    Let’s say that the restaurant is in a part of town that regularly experiences muggings and assaults on the public from strangers. The restaurant will have to provide reasonable security so that guests can be free from attacks or assaults while in the restaurant. The measures must also keep patrons safe when they enter and leave the restaurant and are in the parking lot and garage.

    Two, the restaurant breached its legal obligation toward you. If the restaurant failed to live up to its legal duty toward you, the business is negligent. Let’s say that there have been attacks and robberies in the restaurant’s parking lot every week for the last six months.

    The police recommended that the restaurant install security cameras and hire a guard for the safety of its patrons, but the company did not take any precautions to prevent future crimes. The restaurant is guilty of negligent security.

    Three, you got hurt because of the restaurant’s negligent security. If you ate at the restaurant and later learned about the history of criminal activity there, you cannot sue the restaurant unless their negligent security caused you to suffer harm.

    On the other hand, if someone assaulted you in the parking lot and you sustained physical injury, you have a claim for your losses. The restaurant’s negligence caused the harm to you, and these facts satisfy the causation factor for negligent security.

    Four, appropriate security measures would have prevented the crime. The restaurant does not have to stop every crime, because doing so is impossible. The law does, however, require the business to take reasonable steps to prevent crimes that are foreseeable.

    It is foreseeable that violent crimes will happen in a location where such incidents have occurred on a regular basis for months. Security cameras and a guard are reasonable measures for a business to implement in situations like this, and these steps could have prevented future criminal activity. Since adequate security measures would have prevented the crime, the restaurant is liable.

    How to Determine What Security Measures are Reasonable

    Business owners could not afford to hire personal bodyguards to escort every customer on and off of their premises. It would not be reasonable to require a restaurant to provide such a service.

    Every location is different, so every negligent security lawsuit is unique. Security protocols that might be inadequate for one restaurant might be wasteful overkill at another. We will talk with you about the facts of your case to determine what the restaurant should have done.

    A restaurant in a high-crime area might need security guards, secured parking lots, multiple security cameras, and live monitoring of the video feed during the hours that the business is open. An eatery in a different location might only need a security camera at the cash register.

    Examples of Negligent Security at a Restaurant

    Although every situation is different, some common principles apply to most restaurants. If someone got hurt by a criminal act, a restaurant can be liable if it did not:

    • Keep doors and windows secured. For example, leaving unlocked a door that leads to a back alley behind a restaurant in a high-crime area is a failure to keep doors secured. If someone sneaks in and attacks a patron or employee, the restaurant is responsible.
    • Install security cameras after repeated attacks or assaults.
    • Warn people of foreseeable dangers.
    • Repair broken locks, alarms, and security equipment.
    • Provide bright lighting around the restaurant and approaches.

    Getting Legal Help for an Injury from a Restaurant’s Negligent Security

    If you sustained an injury because a restaurant did not keep you safe, the company might owe you compensation. You do not have to sort out the liability or other legal issues. We can do that for you, and we do not charge to talk with you. A negligent security lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.

    Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838, and we will arrange your free consultation. There is no obligation, and we do not charge legal fees until you win.

  • Can I Sue an Amusement Park for Negligent Security?

    Under Georgia law, property owners must take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable attacks or assaults and to keep people safe on their property. This means that an amusement park can be held responsible for the injuries you suffer on its property if the landowner failed to provide sufficient security to prevent them.

    Factors for Proving Negligent Security at an Amusement Park

    There are four elements to holding the amusement park liable for negligent security:

    1. The amusement park had a legal duty toward you. The company has a legal duty to take reasonable measures to keep the park and its approaches safe for its guests. This legal duty also extends to employees, vendors, and other individuals who are on the grounds for a legal purpose, such as to read the electric or water meter.

    If an amusement park experienced several incidents of assaults happening in its arcades, for example, it would have an obligation to provide reasonable security in those areas to prevent future assaults.

    2. The amusement park violated its legal duty. If the amusement park did not provide sufficient security, it breached its duty to you.

    Reasonable measures to prevent assaults in an arcade could include:

    • Installing security cameras in the area.
    • Posting signs in the arcade that notify patrons of the rules, which might include warnings against horseplay, roughhousing, physical confrontations, and assaults. The signs should also warn people that violating the rules will result in prosecution.
    • Assigning security guards to the arcade and surrounding area.
    • Immediately removing rule-breakers from the park.
    • Banning people who engage in assaults from future entry to the park.
    • Exploring whether changes in the location, layout, and configuration of the arcade would help deter future assaults.

    If the amusement park fails to take enough reasonable measures, it could be considered negligent.

    3. The negligent security at the amusement park caused your injury. Negligence by itself does not subject the park to liability, but when the company’s negligence causes an injury, the landowner is responsible. If someone assaulted you because of the park’s failure to provide adequate security, the park could be liable.

    4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime. It is impossible to prevent every crime, but Georgia law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable crimes. If assaults continue to occur in the arcade, for example, the amusement park could be held liable for failing to prevent these foreseeable crimes by improving its security in and around the area.

    Damages for Injuries from Negligent Security at an Amusement Park

    When you get hurt because of an amusement park’s negligent security, you may be eligible to recover damages that include:

    • Medical expenses. This can cover your ambulance, emergency room, doctors, hospital, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and all other reasonable medical care needed as a result of your injuries.
    • Lost wages. If you missed work because of your injuries and recuperation, you may be able to recover the income you lost.
    • Decreased earning potential. A significant injury may impact your future earnings over the course of your life. If you must take a lower-paying job because of your injury, you may be able to recover the difference between your previous and your current earning capacity.
    • Pain and suffering. Simply paying a person’s medical bills does not compensate them for the physical pain, mental distress, and inconvenience suffered as a result of their injury. Calculating pain and suffering damages can help address that deficit.
    • Loss of enjoyment of life. Victims of violent crime often face a lifetime of psychological ramifications from the trauma. Many people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can harm personal relationships and make employment and social interaction difficult. Physical injuries can also cause you to be unable to do things that you enjoyed before, like walking or hiking.

    How to Get Help for an Injury from an Amusement Park’s Negligent Security

    If an amusement park failed in its legal duty to protect you from foreseeable harm and this negligent security caused your injury, you might be eligible for compensation. Call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 to schedule your free consultation. We know how to win a negligent security case. We will answer your questions and tell you if you might have a case against the amusement park.

  • Are Negligent Security Cases Hard to Win?

    You can win a negligent security case if you can prove all four elements of negligent security as required under Georgia law. In Georgia, property owners must take reasonable measures to keep people safe on their premises and to prevent foreseeable assaults and attacks. If you get hurt because a landowner failed to provide adequate security, the property owner can be liable for your injuries.

    Elements of Negligent Security

    Georgia law requires that we prove all four of these factors to hold a property owner responsible for negligent security:

    1. The landowner (defendant) had a legal duty toward the injured person (plaintiff). Property owners must take reasonable measures to keep their premises and its approaches safe for people who enter the premises lawfully. Approaches can include things like sidewalks, parking lots, parking garages, and entryways. A landowner has no duty to keep the premises safe for trespassers. Let’s say that a shopping center has had a problem with purse snatchers. The center must provide reasonable security so that customers can shop, enter and exit the center, and safely walk to and from their cars without someone stealing their handbags.
    2. The defendant failed in its legal duty to provide adequate security. If the landowner did not provide adequate security for the circumstances, it violated its duty of care. It is negligence to breach a legal duty. If the shopping center failed to take reasonable measures to protect patrons from theft, the company is guilty of negligent security. Reasonable measures could include things like installing security cameras, posting signs to warn shoppers, and hiring security guards.
    3. The shopping center’s negligent security caused the injury. If the company was negligent, but no one got hurt, the “no harm, no foul” rule will apply. On the other hand, if the center’s negligent security resulted in harm to someone, the facts satisfy the causation element of negligent security. For example, imagine that the shopping center did not take adequate security measures appropriate for the situation. A shopper was on their way to the center’s main entrance when a thief grabbed her bag. The shopper fought back, but the thug pushed her down to the ground and ran away with the purse. The shopper sustained a broken arm. The center’s negligent security caused the injury.
    4. Adequate security would have prevented the harm. Property owners in Georgia are not responsible for every crime that takes place on their premises, but they do have to put in place reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crime. If adequate security would have prevented the harm, the landowner is liable.  Having security guards, installing security cameras, and posting warning signs     for shoppers are reasonable security measures at a shopping center with a history of purse-snatching. Taking reasonable security measures could have prevented the crime, so failure to take reasonable measures makes the center liable.

    What Can Constitute Negligent Security                             

    Many factors will control the level of security needed at any given location. These considerations can include things like:

    • The neighborhood
    • The history of crime on the premises and in the surrounding area
    • Recent changes in criminal activity
    • Other known risks or security factors

    With those issues in mind, it can be negligent security if a property owner does not:

    • Warn visitors of foreseeable dangers
    • Respond appropriately to warnings, threats, or other facts that would give a reasonable person concern for safety
    • Provide adequate lighting
    • Fix broken or faulty fences, gates, windows, doors, locks, or alarm systems
    • Improve security measures after a criminal event
    • Install security cameras where needed for safety

    Preventability and Foreseeability

    Even though it is impossible to prevent every crime, a landowner must try to protect people on the premises. If a property owner does not lift a finger or spend any money on reasonable measures to keep people safe, Georgia courts will be likely to impose liability on the owner when people get hurt.

    Callous disregard for the safety of others, mainly when those people are your customers or business guests, can expose a company to liability. When people get hurt because a corporation puts profits ahead of people, juries can punish the company financially.

    It is important to remember that the harm must be foreseeable. In other words, if a business is in an area with a meager crime rate, the burden to provide security will be lower than for a company in a high crime area, because one would expect criminal activity in a place with high rates of crime.

    How to Protect Your Right to Compensation for a Negligent Security Injury Claim

    Taking on a company that failed to keep you safe can be daunting, call the team at S. Burke Law to have a premises liability lawyer on your side. We can explore the facts, determine who is liable, gather the evidence to build your case, deal with the insurance company, and file a lawsuit for your losses.

    Call 404-842-7838 today, to arrange your free consultation. We do not charge legal fees until you get compensation.

  • Can I Sue a Movie Theater for Negligent Security?

    A movie theater can be liable to you if you sustained an injury on the premises because of the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security. Georgia law mandates that landowners must take reasonable measures to keep people safe while on their property and to prevent foreseeable attacks or assaults.

    Required Elements to Prove Negligent Security at a Movie Theater

    We have to prove all four of these factors to hold the movie theater responsible for your injuries:

    1. The movie theater (defendant) had a legal duty toward you (plaintiff). If you are on the premises legally as a customer, employee, vendor, or another lawful guest, the movie theater must take reasonable measures to keep the theater and its approaches safe. Approaches can include such things as sidewalks, entryways, parking lots, parking garages, and other approaches. Suppose people must walk through an alley to get from the overflow parking lot to the movie theater. The theater must provide reasonable security so that customers can walk safely from the cars to the theater.
    2. The movie theater breached its legal duty of care toward you. The theater failed in its legal duty toward you if it did not provide adequate security. If the company did not take reasonable measures, like installing bright lighting and security cameras and having security guards patrol the area, the theater was negligent. Negligence means that someone breached a legal duty.
    3. The movie theater’s negligent security caused your injury. If the theater’s failure to provide adequate security resulted in harm to you, the theater is liable. The theater refused to spend the money on bright lighting, security cameras, or guards. If someone assaulted you while you were walking through the alley between your car and the theater, the company’s negligence caused your harm.
    4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime. Property owners do not have to pay damages for every crime that happens on their premises. Georgia law recognizes that it is impossible to prevent every possible crime. The law does, however, require landowners to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes.

                It is foreseeable that a person could become a victim of crime while walking through a dark alley. Bright lighting, security cameras, and security guards are  reasonable security measures in this situation and could prevent crimes from happening. Since adequate security measures could have prevented the harm,  the movie theater is liable for the harm its negligent security caused.

    What Negligent Security at a Movie Theater Can Look Like

    Every case is different. What might be necessary for security in one neighborhood could be superfluous in another. With that in mind, it can be negligent security if a property owner fails to:

    • Provide and maintain sufficient lighting (replacing burned-out bulbs, having enough bright lights to illuminate the area and deter criminal activity)
    • Fix malfunctioning or damaged locks, doors, fences, gates, or alarm systems
    • Warn customers of foreseeable risks
    • Improve security measures after criminal events
    • Install security cameras where appropriate
    • Respond appropriately to incidents that would make a reasonable person have safety or security concerns

    Foreseeability of Crime

    If the movie theater is in a location that has a low crime rate, the law will impose less of a burden on the company to provide adequate security for patrons. Let’s say that the theater is in a suburb that historically has some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the entire state. The movie theater is ten years old and has no reported incidents of violent crime. Adequate security measure for that theater might be merely having adequate lighting and some security cameras.

    On the other hand, a similar movie theater located in a high crime part of the city might have a history of many assaults, gang activity, robberies, and other crimes in the surrounding area. That theater will have to install a much higher level of security equipment and safety measures to satisfy the requirement of adequate security.

    The movie theater in the city might have to install more security cameras, have a security guard to patrol the premises, and have someone monitor the live feed from the security cameras whenever the theater is open. If the theater does not provide the level of security that is reasonable for the circumstances, they can be guilty of negligent security, even if their security measures exceed those of other theaters in a safer neighborhood.

    Getting Legal Help for Negligent Security at a Movie Theater

    If you sustained an injury at a movie theater because of negligent security or you think the company failed to protect you from harm, you might be eligible for compensation. You do not have to investigate the facts or understand the legal theories that control this area of the law. A premises liability lawyer can do all of this for you.

    We can explain your legal rights to you and answer your questions. To arrange your free consultation, call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838.

  • Can I Sue a Hotel for Negligent Security?

    If you get hurt because a hotel failed to prevent foreseeable assaults or attacks or did not take reasonable measures to keep you safe while you were on their premises, the property owner can be liable. Georgia law dictates that landowners are liable to people who sustain injuries as a result of the failure to provide adequate security.

    The Elements of Negligent Security

    We have to prove all four of these factors to hold a hotel responsible for your injuries from negligent security:

    1. The hotel (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a legal duty of care. If you were present on the premises for a lawful purpose as a hotel guest, visitor, vendor, employee, or for another allowed reason, the hotel owner has to take measures to keep the hotel and approaches (sidewalks, entryways, parking garages, parking lots, and other approaches) reasonably safe. The hotel has no such duty toward trespassers. Suppose that the hotel is in a downtown area known for random muggings. The hotel must provide reasonable security so that the guests can safely enter and leave the hotel and be free from assaults while in the hotel, parking garage, and parking lot.
    2. The defendant hotel failed in its legal duty toward you. If the hotel did not provide adequate security for the circumstances, it breached its duty toward you. Breach of a legal duty is negligence. If the hotel failed, for example, to install security cameras in high-risk areas in and around the hotel or failed to have working locks on the hotel guest room doors, the hotel is guilty of negligent security.
    3. The hotel’s negligent security caused harm to you. Mere negligence without harm does not make a case for compensation, but if the hotel’s failure to provide adequate security resulted in harm to you, the hotel is liable. Let’s say that the hotel knew that its guest room doors did not lock, despite exhibiting red or green lights when a person used a key card. The hotel decided to wait to buy and install new door locks. In the meantime, an intruder entered a guest room and assaulted someone staying in the hotel. The hotel’s negligence caused the harm, satisfying the causation element of negligent security.
    4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime. Georgia law does not charge property owners with preventing every crime on their premises. Some crime is not preventable. If adequate security would have prevented the harm to the plaintiff, the hotel is liable.

                Having functioning door locks on the guest rooms would have prevented the intruder from being able to walk right into the room and assault the guest. Working door locks are reasonable security measures at a hotel. Since appropriate security would have prevented the crime, the hotel is liable.

    Examples of Negligent Security at a Hotel

    The facts of each case are different, but general principles can apply in many situations at hotels. A hotel can be liable to people who suffered harm as a result of criminal activity if the hotel failed to:

    • Install security cameras after criminal activity
    • Provide and maintain bright lighting in and around the hotel and approaches
    • Repair broken or damaged security equipment and doors, locks, fences, gates, and alarms
    • Warn people of foreseeable dangers
    • Upgrade existing security (like hiring security guards) after criminal activity
    • Respond appropriately to any facts that would give a reasonable person concern about safety

    Foreseeability Determines What Security Measures Are Adequate

    Every negligent security case is unique because every situation varies. Measures that might be more than adequate at one hotel could be insufficient at another. We cannot say without talking to you about the facts of your incident whether the hotel provided sufficient security. The law will require the hotel to provide the level of protection that is reasonable and adequate for the circumstances.

    A hotel in an upscale resort community with almost no violent crime may only need to provide bright lighting and some security cameras to protect patrons from harm. Another hotel in the same hospitality chain might need several security guards, exterior doors that only open with a room key, many more security cameras, and a security professional constantly monitoring the live feed from the security cameras.

    How to Get Legal Help for an Injury from Negligent Security at a Hotel

    If you got hurt because a hotel failed to keep you safe, the company might have to pay you money for the harm you suffered. Do not worry – you do not have to figure out who is liable or wade through the legal issues. A premises law attorney can assist you.

    We will be happy to explain your right to compensation and answer your questions. Just call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 to line up your free, no-obligation consultation.

  • Can I Sue a School for Negligent Security?

    Yes, in some cases you can sue a school for negligent security if they failed to provide a safe environment which resulted in the injury of you or a loved one.

    Georgia schools must follow federal rules for providing a safe environment for our students and teachers. If a school fails to meet the standards for school safety or its negligence causes someone to suffer an injury, the injured person may be able to sue for damages.

    What Constitutes Negligent Security at a School

    We must prove all four elements to make a successful case for negligent security at a school. These elements are:

    1. The school (defendant) had a legal duty toward the injured person (plaintiff).

    Schools have a legal duty to protect students, teachers, parents, volunteers, and authorized visitors. The school campus, parking lots, and entryways must be reasonably safe.

    2. The defendant breached its duty toward the plaintiff and failed to maintain safety on school premises.

    Failure to provide and maintain adequate security is a breach of duty. Thus, behavior that fails to live up to the legal standard of care is negligence.

    3. The school’s negligence caused the harm that the plaintiff suffered.

    The school’s negligent security must be at least part of the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Mere negligence without injury falls under the “no harm, no foul” rule.

    Negligent security claims must involve physical injuries. If someone threatens you with imminent bodily harm, but you manage to escape without physical injuries, you do not have a negligent security claim.

    4. Adequate security would have prevented the crime.

    Schools are not legally responsible for every crime that takes place on their premises. For example, the school is not liable if providing appropriate security would not have prevented the crime.

    New Legislation About School Safety in Georgia

    Georgia lawmakers passed tougher security requirements after the school shootings in Florida and other states. These new rules became effective for the 2018-19 school year.

    Some school districts previously had some of these measures in place. However, the new law ensures more uniformity in school security measures across the state. The updated requirements require:

    • The local emergency management agency to approve every school district’s safety plan.
    • School staff to receive training in violence prevention and mental health issues.
    • Schools to install and utilize high-tech security devices.

    The state of Georgia has set aside $16 million in grants to help schools pay for the security upgrades. Schools will not receive grant money if they do not comply with the new safety requirements.

    How New Legislation Affects Liability of Schools

    If someone sustains an injury at a school that failed to implement the recently-mandated security measures and its compliance would have prevented the injury, the injured person has a strong negligent security case. In this situation, the plaintiff can sue the school for flouting the traditional negligence and negligent security provisions of the law.

    Specific Threats That Schools Must Address

    Georgia law requires schools to create and implement safety plans that protect students, teachers, and authorized visitors from:

    • Weapons
    • Potential terrorist activities
    • Transportation risks
    • Hazardous materials
    • Natural disasters

    Victims can bring negligent security claims against schools that fail to take reasonable and required steps to protect them.

    Persistently Dangerous Schools

    Georgia’s Department of Education identifies schools that have ongoing safety issues and offers them professional and technical help to ensure compliance with safety laws. A student who is the victim of a violent crime or who attends a school labeled as “persistently dangerous” can exercise the Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO) and attend a different public school.

    You can access the USCO reports to find out about reported criminal activity at your child’s school. Once a school knows about an unsafe condition, it must take reasonable measures to prevent harm to students, teachers, and authorized visitors. Failure to do so can be construed as negligence.

    Georgia School Safety Laws

    Georgia has many laws that prohibit certain acts on or near school campuses. If a school does not address and enforce these regulations, it can be guilty of negligent security. Some of the prohibited activities include:

    • Possession of a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school
    • The manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana or other controlled substances within a school safety zone
    • Possession of alcoholic beverages on school premises
    • Cell phones and other electronic communication devices (at the discretion of each school)
    • Loitering on or near the school premises (designed to prevent gang and drug activity)
    • Disrupting a school, especially in a bomb threat scenario

    The law requires that students attend school. Georgia law also orders schools to protect their students and teachers from harm. Victims can sue a school for negligent security if it fails to implement adequate measures to guarantee their safety.

    If you need help to decide if you can sue a school for negligent security, call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838. We will set up your free consultation to discuss whether you might be eligible for compensation for negligent security at a school.

  • Can I Sue a Security Company for Negligent Security?

    You may be able to sue a security company for negligent security if you sustained injuries on your or someone else’s property.

    Potential Lawsuits Against a Security Company for Negligent Security

    If you suffered an injury because the security company failed to provide adequate security on your property, you may have a negligent security and breach of contract claim. You may also have a negligent security claim if you sustained injuries on premises owned by someone else who hired a security company.

    Actions That May Constitute Negligent Security by a Security Company

    There are many ways in which a security company can be negligent. Here are a few examples:

    Negligent hiring of employees. A security company should perform sufficient background and criminal checks to ensure that they are not hiring dangerous or violent felons. It should also confer with previous employers to see if the potential employee poses any type of security risk.

    For example, if at a previous job, the security guard left his assigned post in a parking lot behind a downtown store. While the guard was in a nearby bar, someone attacked and injured a customer who was walking from the parking lot into the store.

    The previous employer fired the guard for leaving his post. A routine background check would have revealed this. If the current employer did not perform a background check when hiring the guard, the company can be held liable for negligent security.

    Negligent training of employees. A security company may have thoroughly investigated its job applicants but failed to train them. Handing someone a uniform and a badge without making sure that he has the skills to handle foreseeable circumstances is negligent training. It can subject the security company to liability for damages. 

    Negligent supervision of employees. A security company should have protocols in place to make sure that the employees do their jobs correctly. If the security company does not keep track of how its employees perform, the company can be guilty of negligent security.

    Let’s say that a night security guard is supposed to make the rounds every hour, checking to see that the doors are locked and that the building is secure. However, the company never verifies that these security measures have been implemented. Consequently, it can be held liable for negligent security, especially if someone gets hurt because of the guard’s negligence.

    Negligent retention of employees. No matter how well the security company vetted, trained, and supervised an employee, the firm has a duty to remove dangerous employees. If the employer knows or should have known that the employee poses an unacceptable safety risk and does nothing, the company can be held liable if that failure to act causes harm to someone.

    As an example, a security company hires a guard who must drive a golf cart-style vehicle while performing her duties. Despite her third conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, the security firm does not fire her. As a result, she injures two people while driving the security company’s vehicle through the parking lot. In such a situation, the security company is liable for negligent retention.

    Respondeat superior. Sometimes, employers have to pay for the harm their employees cause. The theory of respondeat superior holds employers responsible because they hired the employee.

    If you need help determining if you have a case, contact a premises law attorney for legal assistance.  

    The Four Elements of Negligence

    We must prove four factors to win a security negligence claim:

    1. The security company (defendant) had a duty toward the injured person (plaintiff). Georgia law requires security guards to “protect the asset under their protection.” They are to carry out such actions as are legal under state law for the security of the person or property under their care. If the security company was supposed to protect the person who was injured, the firm had a legal duty toward that individual.

    2. The security company failed to fulfill its legal obligations toward the person or asset under its protection. If the security company did not take the required actions to protect someone within the scope of its duty, the company breached its legal duty toward that person.

    For example, a jewelry store hires a security company to protect its employees, customers, and merchandise. However, the security guard on duty fails to take any action when he sees someone stealing a ring. This failure to act constitutes negligence.

    3. The negligence must be the cause of the injury. The thief is emboldened by the guard’s negligence and brandishes a gun. He robs the store and shoots a customer in the process. The guard’s failure to act contributed to the shooting.

    4. The injury must be preventable. If the guard had responded to the thief promptly, he could have prevented the injury.

    Since the above constitutes all four prongs of a negligent security claim, the security company can be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

    Get Legal Help for Your Negligent Security Case

    We provide a free consultation to determine if a security company’s negligence makes you eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 today for a free case evaluation.