Atlanta Negligent Security Lawyers
Property owners have a duty to provide adequate security for everyone invited onto their land whether they are a private homeowner or landowner, or rent the property as a business. If a property owner does not take the necessary steps to adequately secure their premises, which then results in harm to another, that owner may be civilly responsible for those injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured due to a crime that took place on someone else’s property, an Atlanta negligent security lawyer may be able to help you. An accomplished premises liability attorney could conduct independent investigations into the incident, discover evidence of the landowner’s negligence, form demand packages to obtain compensation for your injuries, or take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
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Legal Basis for a Negligent Security Claim
Negligent security claims are a form of premises liability claims. Premises liability refers to the area of law that gives all landowners a legal duty to protect visitors to their land from foreseeable harm. However, the extent of this protection depends on why a visitor is on someone else’s land.
Georgia law recognizes three categories of visitors. Each of these categories has its own legal definitions and protections. Most instances of negligent security cases will involve people who are on land with the owner’s permission. These people are called invitees.
Common examples of invitees include:
- Guests invited into a private home
- Shoppers in a mall or grocery store
- Spectators at sporting events
Under O.C.G.A. §51-3-1, landowners must exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises safe for invitees. Whether the steps taken by the landowner are reasonable is a matter for a jury to decide. At times, however, if an injured person can gather evidence to illustrate that a lack of security led to their attack and harm, defendants and their insurance companies may seek a settlement.
Examples of Negligent Security
Once a person can establish their legal rights as a visitor, they must prove that a landowner’s actions, or failures to act, constituted a breach of the reasonable care standard given to invitees which then contributed to their injury. A landowner or property owner may be held civilly liable for any violent crime that occurs on their private property including assaults, kidnappings, theft, robberies, and even death. These are all prominent examples of crimes that may result in a negligent security claim.
Examples of a landowner inadequately securing the premises include:
- Improperly trained security teams
- Lack of adequate lighting
- A lack of call boxes in case of emergency
- Broken or poorly maintained locks allowing access to the public
- Broken or poorly maintained security cameras
An experienced Atlanta negligent security lawyer can evaluate the situation on the property and any landowners’ failure to secure the premises. They can then use this evidence to fight to prove negligence on the part of the property owner.
What is Adequate Security in Atlanta?
All property owners have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for their visitors. In fact, landowners who fail to do this may be civilly responsible for any injuries that result from criminal activity.
At the core of any lawsuit alleging negligent security is the question of when security measures are adequate to protect visitors. Even if a landowner believes their security measures meet the legal requirements, incidents may still occur and result in injury.
If you suffered an injury and believe inadequate security was a contributing factor, contact an practiced negligent security attorney who can examine all of the aspects of your case and advise you of your best legal options going forward.
Legal Standard Property Owners Must Meet
Questions concerning adequate protective measures may be asked during lawsuits alleging negligent security. In general, these cases only apply when the injured person was an invited guest onto the owner’s land. According to O.C.G.A. §51-3-1, landowners have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent injuries that can occur to visitors on their property.
In terms of adequate security, the concept of reasonable care is open to interpretation. It can depend upon the location of the property, the time of day when people are invited, and even standards within the industry if the incident occurred on the land of a business. Ultimately, it is the job of the jury in a case to determine whether the lack of adequate security contributed to the crime.
Examples of Lack of Adequate Security
The level of security that landowners must employ depends upon several factors. However, in general, a landowner should take some basic steps to ensure adequate security. These can include:
- Making sure that all locks are functioning;
- Ensuring that only authorized people are allowed access to the land, especially after dark;
- Making sure that all security staff are well trained and equipped;
- Using and maintaining security cameras;
- Installing panic buttons;
- Hanging warning signs to deter people from committing crimes; and
- Responding to increased levels of crime in the surrounding neighborhood.
In general, landowners should make choices that allow visitors to feel safe on their property. It does not matter whether the land is commercial property, a private home, or even an apartment building, this duty to take reasonable steps to prevent crime extends to all landowners.
What to do if Someone Suspects Inadequate Security Contributed to an Injury?
Whenever a person is a victim of a violent crime, the perpetrator of the crime may be civilly liable for any damage caused. However, in situations where the attack happens on private land, the landowner may also be liable if they failed to provide adequate security.
An attorney could help you examine the reasons for their injuries, discover evidence of poor landowner practices, and name the landowner as a co-defendant in a lawsuit for personal injury. Contact an Atlanta negligent security attorney today to discuss your case and begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve.
Appealing a Negligent Security Verdict in Atlanta
Not every jury returns a correct verdict. Especially in situations where you are trying to hold a landowner responsible for a crime that took place on their property, you may feel cheated out of justice you feel is rightfully yours. However, an unfavorable verdict in a civil claim does not always mean the end of the case. In certain situations, you can file appeals with Georgia’s appellate courts to give your case new life.
Not every case is appealable. In general, an appeal may only be filed if a party to a claim believes there has been an error of law. You cannot appeal a case based simply upon not agreeing with a jury’s verdict. Instead, you must believe the judge made an error and this error negatively affected your case. Appealing a negligent security verdict in Atlanta is a complicated matter. A compassionate negligent security attorney could help you understand the law and to file appeals to get the compensation you deserve.
When May a Person File an Appeal?
The two main issues that may arise when appealing a negligent security verdict in Atlanta are timing and error of law. Claimants do not have an unlimited amount of time to appeal a decision. In general, under O.C.G.A. §5-6-38, a person must file their initial notice of appeal no more than 30 days after the entry of a decision they wish to contest.
In many instances, this can occur before the primary case is decided. For example, many contested issues in negligent security cases concern the discovery of evidence. A plaintiff’s attorney and a defendant’s lawyer may differ in their legal opinions as to what evidence is relevant in the case. They will typically file motions requesting the judge to decide. This decision may be binding for the final trial which may not occur for months down the road.
In general, appeals concern matters of law that include:
- The relevance and discovery of evidence
- Which witnesses may testify at trial
- Jury instructions
- The qualifications of expert witnesses
- The propriety of arguments by counsel
- Jury selection and strikes for cause
Any of these examples may serve as the basis for an appeal. An attorney could help someone examine the judicial decisions in their case for any potential errors.
How Georgia’s Appellate Courts Handle Appeals
The filing and presentation of appeals cases is a long, complex process. Once a person makes an initial filing with the trial court, they must serve the defendant with an official copy of the request for appeal.
If the appeals court accepts the case, the appellant has a set time to file a legal brief with the court. This brief outlines the legal justification for the appeal and makes a formal request for specific relief. Most often, this is a request for a new trial with an instruction to the presiding judge to change an erroneous ruling.
Most appeals cases are decided on the merits of the briefs. However, under limited circumstances, a person may request an in-person hearing. An attorney can help someone considering an appeal decide which path works best for them. For more information about appealing a negligent security verdict in Atlanta, speak with an attorney today.
A negative verdict does not mean a person cannot collect compensation from injuries that resulted from negligent security. Many times, a judge makes decisions about the law that affect the future trial. Whenever these decisions are incorrect, a person may have the right to appeal.
Appealing a negligent security verdict in Atlanta must be done quickly and can only concern specific areas of the law. An attorney could help you examine your cases for judicial errors, file the appropriate appeals in a timely manner, and author legal briefs that outline your legal argument and demand relief. Contact an adept appeals lawyer immediately to see how they could help you.
Consulting Experienced Atlanta Negligent Security Lawyers
If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime while visiting another’s property, that property owner may be civilly liable if the owner did not have adequate security in place.
An Atlanta negligent security lawyer could help you better understand your rights under the law and pursue negligent landowners for damages. These damages can include medical costs, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. There is a limited time to file a claim so do not delay, contact a negligent security lawyer in Atlanta today and learn how legal counsel may be able to help you.