There are circumstances in which a landowner can be held liable for not providing security, especially in a situation where someone is harmed as a result of negligent security. However, a person must prove the landowner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, should have known the crime was foreseeable and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it. Contact a dedicated premises liability attorney for more information, or for help with proving inadequate or negligent security in Oak Lawn.
A landowner owes all persons who are legally on their premises a duty of reasonable care, but the law recognizes that criminal attacks are largely unforeseeable. No one can predict when a crime will occur, but if a crime is reasonably foreseeable, a landowner has a duty to take protective measures to protect people who are on their property. A foreseeable crime is one that can be expected and therefore it is incumbent on a property owner to take steps to prevent it to protect people lawfully on the premises. A business cannot ignore past criminal activity and is required to provide adequate security under the circumstances.
What steps a landowner takes to prevent a criminal attack will vary and culpability is decided by a jury. The security steps may be as simple as providing adequate locks or they may be costly, such as providing security personnel. What is reasonable in one circumstance may be inadequate in another. Negligent security cases are very fact-specific. It is best for a person who feels they have a negligent security case to discuss it with an attorney with experience in inadequate or negligent security in Oak Lawn.
In Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia, a preventable criminal attack is one that was reasonably foreseeable, but plaintiffs claiming negligent security to prevent it have high hurdles to cross. The question that arises in such cases is what actions if any were taken and whether they were reasonable. A plaintiff must prove that steps that should have been taken that would have prevented a criminal activity. That usually requires the help of a personal injury attorney.
Often there are numerous defendants in an inadequate or negligent security in Oak Lawn case who can be sued for a person to make a complete recovery. It is important for a claimant to include all potentially responsible parties in a suit. Failure to do so may result in one defendant blaming another party who has not been sued. That is called the empty-chair defense. To avoid it, it is critical that a complete investigation is performed so any potential defendants are not missed.
The statute of limitations for an inadequate or negligent security case in Oak Lawn and elsewhere in Georgia depends on the defendant who could be sued because there are certain time restrictions in bringing a negligent security case. For private entities, a case must be brought within two years of the incident, although with some exceptions that a negligent security lawyer will be aware of. For a public entity, the period is shorter, and the attorney also will be able to keep track of the varying deadlines for statutes of limitations.
In order to prove inadequate or negligent security in Oak Lawn, the burden of proof is on the injured person, or plaintiff, to prove each element if they are to recover damages. The defendant has to prove nothing. To prevail, a plaintiff must show that a landlord failed to exercise reasonable care to discover similar prior criminal activities or failed to give adequate warnings so people lawfully on the premises could avoid harm.
A plaintiff must also prove the defendant breached its duty to offer reasonable security and that the plaintiff was injured because of a third party’s criminal act that was reasonably foreseeable. Finally, the plaintiff must prove they would not have been injured but for the defendant’s breach of its duty. Negligent security cases can be difficult to prove, so that is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer working on a person’s behalf.