It seems like every day we hear stories of innocent bystanders who are victims of violent crime. When you walk into a store, gas station or any privately owned place in Georgia you have a right to feel safe and expect that the owner has taken reasonable steps to protect you from harm.
When you are injured in someone else’s place of business, you might have a claim for negligent security. This is a form of premises liability law and applies when you are injured on someone else’s property because of inadequate security measures.
What is a property owner’s legal duty?
Your injury could be any type of injury, such as one arising from an assault, robbery or sexual assault. You file your negligent security claim against a property owner, who has a legal duty to provide adequate security on their property.
Additionally, to succeed in a negligent security claim, you must prove that the property owner did not provide adequate security and your injury occurred because of the inadequate security.
Did the owner know about the problem?
Proving this is more complicated than it may initially seem. The property owner must have known about the safety issue and not done anything about it.
For example, if the property is in a high crime area, and you can present statistics to back up the area’s criminal history, it can help prove that the property owner knew or should have known about safety issues.
A property owner who knows about an issue and takes no steps to increase security because of the threat to customers or the public could be held legally liable.
Was your injury foreseeable?
The injury or harm you suffered must be foreseeable. Using the above situation, if a property is in an area that is relatively safe and has a heavy police presence, you could have a harder time arguing that the owner should have known about safety issues.
Being the victim of a violent crime can permanently affect you, both physically and mentally. A negligent security claim can help you recover compensation as you try to move forward with your life.