Negligent security is a key component of Georgia’s premises liability laws. Property owners must maintain safe conditions for those invited to their premises. Typically, most people think of premises liability laws as requirements for accidents like slip and falls. However, negligent security accounts for a large part of premises liability claims.
Georgia's Premises Liability Laws
Under Georgia law, Title 51, Chapter 3 – Liability of Owners and Occupier of Land, a duty of care requires property owners to provide security to its visitors. The statute states:
“Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
As a result, many establishments and property owners must ensure there is adequate security for their visitors. If a property owner fails to provide adequate security or lighting and a visitor is attacked or otherwise injured, the property owner may be liable.
Venues Requiring Adequate Security
Many places must provide additional security for their guests. These locations and businesses may include:
- Parking lots
- Sports and other similar event venues and stadiums
- Apartment complexes (especially in areas with higher crime rates)
- College dormitories
- Amusement parks
- Bars and nightclubs
- Movie theaters
Negligent security expectations require property owners to ensure the physical and financial security of their visitors.
Consider the following examples:
- Sports and concert arenas often contain rowdy, intoxicated fans. Arena owners must employ security guards to ensure the safety of guests on the property. If an intoxicated sports fan injures another visitor to the property, the arena owner can be liable for negligent security.
- Parking lots are often the location of robberies, kidnappings, assaults, and carjackings. A property owner should include adequate lighting and/or security guards to patrol the area. If someone walking in the parking lot is the victim of a robbery because the area was dimly lit, the property owner can be liable for any injuries.
How Property Owners Can Ensure Adequate Security
Knowing where certain security measures should be in place and identifying what should be in place are two different things. For example, hotels and college dormitories must implement sufficient security measures to ensure the safety of occupants. There are many ways property owners can ensure their visitors are safe. These security measures may include:
- Security guards
- Secured gates
- Maintaining security systems
- Security protocols
A failure to implement any of the above could qualify as a breach of the duty of care, and this is what your negligent security claim ultimately hinges upon: proving that the owner behaved negligently and, thus, is liable.
Proving Negligence and Liability in Your Negligent Security Claim
Like most personal injury cases, negligent security claims require proving negligence. To do so, we must establish a few elements:
- Duty of Care
We have established what constitutes a duty of care. But being able to prove negligence, causation, and damages will determine to entitlement to compensation for any injuries you suffered.
Simply, negligence is a failure to fulfill the expectations expected of property owners. It not only involves failing to do certain things, but it also presumes an expectation that property owners will foresee certain hazardous actions. For example, not having enough on-duty security guards in a high crime area could qualify as negligence.
Causation requires proving that you suffered injuries or losses due to the negligence of the property owner. For example, if a clearly intoxicated patron assaults you at a bar or nightclub, you could argue that the security guard failed to do his duty to keep you safe.
Damages are the results of the incident. They can include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and more.
Call an Atlanta Negligent Security Lawyer
Many negligent security incidents are violent in nature and can leave a victim suffering for weeks, months, or even years.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury caused by negligent security, you deserve compensation for those injuries. We encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our team dedicates itself to protecting victims who may be involved in robberies and assaults. We understand that Atlanta’s citizens place significant responsibility in the hands of local property owners to ensure their safety.
If you believe they did not fulfill their duties, we encourage you to call today to speak with a negligent security lawyer at 404-842-7838.