Georgia Negligent Security Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lawyers - Murder, Assaults, Shooting Claims
Negligent Security — Civil Claims for Families of Murder, Rape, Shooting, and Assault Victims
Criminals tend to select circumstances in which they expect little to no resistance, and most crimes are about opportunity. However, property owners have the ability to deter or help prevent violent crimes in restaurants, stores, amusement parks, condominiums, apartment complexes, hotels, parking lots/garages, stairwells and other property that is open to the public for business purposes. In cases of residential areas, property owners and managers owe a duty to their tenants to keep the property safe as well. The duty of a landowner or property owner to provide adequate security stems from Georgia's premises liability laws. In Georgia, property owners are required to keep their "premises and approaches safe” pursuant to OCGA § 51-3-1, which encompasses the possibility of an owner/occupier to be liable to victims harmed by foreseeable violent criminal activity at the hands of third parties.
The landowner’s defense in a case involving negligence when failing to provide adequate security typically centers on whether the criminal act perpetrated by a third party was foreseeable. Examples of ways in which property owners and managers can be held liable for negligent security are the following:
- Poorly trained or inadequate security personnel
- Broken or unlocked gates, windows, doors and fences, allowing access to the public
- Broken, nonfunctioning, and/or poorly maintained security cameras
- Inadequate emergency exits or law enforcement callboxes
- Inadequate lighting
Negligent security cases are most viable in instances in which the owner has reason to believe that a violent crime can occur, or where there has been documented prior crimes on or near the property. However, defendant property owners and managers in such cases use the laws of apportionment in Georgia in order to avoid liability. In other words, defendants in negligent security cases often attempt to persuade juries to place the majority of liability on the third party criminal(s). The Georgia court of Appeals has also held that juries can apportion fault between both intentional and negligent acts in such cases. Six Flags Over Georgia II, L.P. v. Martin, 320 Ga.App. 52, (2013).
These laws can make retaining counsel essential for victims and families to hold negligent property owners and managers responsible when they fail to take reasonable steps to protect their customers or tenants from violent crime. Such cases require an immense amount of investigation, interviews of witnesses and evidence preservation, all of which must be done as quickly as possible from the date of the event. Our Negligent Security Attorneys at Montlick & Associates know what is necessary to prove liability in such cases and obtain maximum compensation under the law for our clients.
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If you have been a victim of an aggravated assault, shooting or rape, or have a family member who was murdered on someone else's property, call our lawyers today for a free assessment of your legal rights, as well as what steps can be taken to protect those rights. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over 38 years, and our attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for our clients.*
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* Dollars recovered are cumulative and not indicative of individual case results. Each case is unique. Results depend on the facts and applicable law.