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.