Most people probably do not think that they might fall victim to criminal activity while out shopping, or visiting a friend. Unfortunately, this activity is very real for many Georgia residents each year, and many of these incidents likely could have been prevented if the owners and managers of the properties were more diligent about maintaining safe property conditions.
While it is possible to successfully file suit over a failure to provide proper security, it will be easier if you do it with a capable premises liability attorney. An Athens negligent security lawyer can communicate with the defendant’s team, gather evidence, and lay out your case for financial compensation.
Proving that a Criminal Act Was “Foreseeable”
Every property owner in Georgia has a basic duty to provide “ordinary care” to ensure their land is reasonably safe for people visiting or residing there for the owner’s financial benefit. This obligation includes promptly and regularly addressing any known hazardous conditions and inspecting their property. When a crime occurs on a property, it does not necessarily prove that a landowner or property manage failed to provide reasonable security.
For a negligent security claim to proceed, then injured party must be able to prove that a landlord or landowner should have been aware that a criminal act was likely to occur but did nothing to minimize the risk. As an Athens negligent security attorney can explain, whether or not a particular crime could be “foreseeable.” For example, similar crimes had repeatedly happened on or near the property in the past, or if the surrounding area had a notably high overall crime rate. Potential acts of protection include installing security cameras, lights, fencing, and locks on doors.
Recoverable Damages Through a Successful Claim
A civil claim over negligent security would proceed separately from any related criminal proceedings. The defendant in the civil claim would be a negligent property owner or manager, rather than the person who committed the crime. If litigation is successful, a person injured due to criminal activity could potentially recover for both economic and non-economic fallout of those injuries, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma and distress
- Lost work income and/or working ability
- Personal property damage and/or loss
- Lost enjoyment of life
If a landowner’s behavior was especially negligent or malicious, a court may impose additional punitive damages that may avryup to $250,000. This is generally reserved for rare and extreme situations. A negligent security lawyer in Athens can clarify what losses might be compensable through a particular settlement demand or lawsuit.
Work with an Athens Negligent Security Attorney
In addition to fixing structural wear and tear and informing lawful visitors of any dangerous conditions, property owners in Georgia have a specific duty to minimize the risk of criminals causing harm to other people. Any failure to fulfill this obligation could be grounds for a civil lawsuit if it results in injury.
An Athens negligent security lawyer could provide the answers you need to get in a stronger legal position. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation about your potential case.