Whether someone owns a private home or commercial space, property owners must take reasonable steps to protect individuals invited onto their land from harm. The question of what is reasonable is one for a jury to answer. However, they often frame the question in terms of what harm is foreseeable. If the landowner fails to take security measures that could prevent a foreseeable harm, that landowner may be civilly liable for injuries that are the result of crimes on their property.
Foreseeability in Atlanta negligent security cases is, therefore, a key concept for anyone wishing to pursue landowners for poor security. An accomplished negligent security attorney could help you discover evidence concerning the property’s past and any steps not taken by the landowner to address security issues.
How the Law Handles the Issue of Foreseeability
The concept of what incidents are foreseeable differs depending on the circumstances. It generally is contingent on the history of the property, crime statistics in the area, any past incidents on the land, the type of property, and the nature of the business. For example, if someone owns a private home who knows most of the visitors who come to their land, they may have a lesser responsibility to provide advanced security systems than a business.
Businesses may have a higher level of responsibility since they are generally held open to the public. They often use security cameras, trained staff, and advanced locks to keep people under control. As a result, a failure to provide any of these systems may be evidence of negligent security.
If a crime occurs on the property of a business, a full investigation into any past incidents, any remedial steps were taken after those incidents, and even an investigation into the surrounding neighborhood may be essential to the case.
Events That are Not Foreseeable
Most incidents are foreseeable. All property owners must take reasonable steps to protect their invited guests from harm. Incidents involving violent crime are rare, yet not altogether unforeseeable.
It may be unforeseeable for a stranger off the street to break into a private home at night and attack a sleeping houseguest. However, it is somewhat more foreseeable that a stranger could wander in during a house party. The more open the event, the more foreseeable an incident could be.
The same logic can apply to attacks that happen at businesses. Areas such as shopping malls that let anyone in off the street should be prepared to deal with any sort of incident. Sports arenas or theaters that only allow ticketed guests can expect a small amount of control over incidents. Similar to questions of whether the security measures taken by the landowner were adequate, the issue of foreseeability in Atlanta negligent security cases is one for a jury to consider.
How an Atlanta Negligent Security Attorney Could Help
Whether an incident was a foreseeable result is an important question to consider for any negligent security case. If the incident was not reasonably foreseeable, it is not likely that a jury will hold a landowner responsible for poor security.
On the other hand, if these sorts of incidents have happened in the past, or the property is open to the public, landowners should take precautions to prevent attacks. A lawyer can help you better understand the concept of foreseeability in Atlanta negligent security cases.