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.