While Atlanta property owners are not expected to prevent every act of violence that occurs on their property, the law does require that they take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable criminal activity. If an Atlanta property owner fails to take reasonable precautions and a person suffers an injury in a shooting on their property, an Atlanta shooting injury lawyer could help hold the property owner accountable.
If you are a victim of a gun crime in Atlanta, you could have a viable claim against the property owner that failed to protect you. Not every violent crime results in a viable injury claim, however, so it is important to discuss your case with an experienced negligent security attorney.
Liability in a Shooting Injury Case
To recover damages, a plaintiff in an Atlanta shooting case must establish that the property owner was negligent in its failure to protect them from harm. The elements for establishing negligence in a shooting injury claim are slightly different from standard injury claims. The elements include:
- A duty of care;
- A breach of that duty;
- Damages; and
To prove liability, an Atlanta shooting injury attorney must show the property owned had a duty to protect the victim from violent crime and failed to do so. However, a plaintiff is not entitled to recover even if they can prove that the breach led to their damages if they are unable to prove foreseeability.
In these cases, foreseeability refers to whether the property owner knew or should have known about the risk of criminal activity in or around the property. A plaintiff may establish foreseeability by proving the property sits in a high crime area, or that a shooting had previously occurred on the premises.
Apartment Complexes in Atlanta
Criminal activity, including shootings, are more common in apartment complexes than in private homes for a few reasons. Similar to a commercial property, the owner or manager of an apartment complex could face liability if they fail to reasonably address security issues after becoming aware of the risk of crime on the property.
Some common steps apartment complex owners and managers can take to address security deficiencies include:
- Securing gates;
- Installing surveillance cameras;
- Hiring on-site security;
- Improving lighting; and
- Fixing broken locks.
When Shopping Center Owners Are Liable
Unfortunately, shootings at shopping centers or malls are far too common in Atlanta. In some cases, the owner of a shopping center could face liability for a shooting that occurs on the premises. If the mall or surrounding neighborhood had a history of violent crime, the mall owner could owe a duty to provide additional safety measures. These safety measures could include additional security or surveillance cameras. If a mall owner fails to take these steps, a shooting victim injured on their property could pursue them for damages.
Shopping center owners are not the only party that could potentially face liability. A security firm or property management company could also face liability if they failed to secure the premises despite the foreseeability of criminal activity.
How an Atlanta Shooting Injury Attorney Could Help
If you or a loved one was a victim of an Atlanta shooting, the losses from the injuries could be extensive. An Atlanta shooting injury lawyer could help by investigating your claim and filing an injury lawsuit on your behalf. To discuss your case, call today for a free consultation.