People expect to be kept safe from harm when visiting another person’s property. In order to do so, many office and public buildings have security systems, cameras, or security personnel in place to help prevent crime on that property. However, when these systems are not in place, or they fail and a person is injured, that property’s owner may be held civilly liable for the resulting injuries.
Lawsuits against landowners and property owners whose inadequate security leads to harm are most often pursued using the legal theory of premises liability. This tort alleges that a property owner’s negligence led to the injury of a visitor. There is a specific set of elements that a successful negligent security claim must include in order for that claim to be successful. If you were harmed while on another person’s property, a seasoned negligent security attorney could help you understand the elements of negligent security claims in Atlanta and whether or not those elements may apply to your case.
Duty of Atlanta Property Owners
Georgia law is clear in stating that property owners have a responsibility, or duty, to protect visitors to their land. However, the extent of this duty depends upon the reasons for the visitor being on the property. The law recognizes three classifications of visitors to land. Each of these classifications affects the duties of landowners to keep people safe.
The most protected people are those who enter a land with the express invitation of the property owner. These people are known as invitees. According to O.C.G.A. §51-3-1, landowners here must exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises safe.
Other Classes of Visitors
The other classes of visitors are licensees and trespassers. For these people, the landowner must only refrain from intentionally or recklessly causing harm. Since it is very rare that a landowner intentionally causes an injury through poor security, most inadequate or negligent security cases apply to those people considered invitees.
Landowners have an obligation to take reasonable care to protect invitees. This includes ensuring that their property is safe and measures are taken to prevent the criminal activities of others. Installing security cameras, hiring security guards, and limiting access to residents are all examples of steps that can be taken to maintain safe premises.
Breach of Duty in Negligent Security Claims
For a negligent security claim in Atlanta to prevail, a plaintiff often must show that the breakdown, or lack of, any security system lead to their injury. In order to do so, a plaintiff can illustrate there was a breach of a landowner’s duty by proving that:
- They entered the land with the permission of the property owner. This can include shoppers in a store, patrons in restaurant or bar, and even tenants in an apartment building.
- That the injury was caused in part by the poor security measures taken by the landowner. This can involve introducing evidence that a lock was broken on a door, that the landowner did not employ proper security measures, or even that the area had inadequate lighting.
Damages in Inadequate Security Claims
The final element of negligent security claims is an accurate accounting of the damages. A negligent security claim can demand compensation for any medical costs associated with the injury, money for lost time at work, and any mental anguish that a person experienced due to the incident. A landowner may be responsible for all of these if their inadequate security measures contributed to someone’s injuries. To learn more about the recoverable damages in a premises liability case and understand the elements of negligent security claims in Atlanta, an individual should get in touch with an attorney.
Proving the Elements of Negligent Security Claims in Atlanta
A successful negligent security claim in Atlanta must often demonstrate that the injured person had an invitation to be on the land and that a failure in security led to the incident. A skilled Atlanta attorney could work with victims of negligent security and fight tirelessly to prove both points.
Incidents that occur while a person is shopping, dining, or otherwise socializing may be the responsibility of the property owner. An experienced attorney will understand the elements of negligent security claims in Atlanta your case and help you determine if the landowner may be responsible for your injuries.