In Georgia, businesses and property owners have a responsibility to look out for the health and well-being of the people on their premises. Under OCGA § 51-3-1, a business or property owner in Atlanta may be liable for injuries caused by a “failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
A business or property owner may even be liable for a criminal assault by a third party if that attack occurred, at least in part, because of a failure to take adequate security precautions. Here, our Atlanta negligent security attorney highlights four key elements that you need to prove to bring a successful negligent security claim in Georgia.
- A Duty of Care
To hold a business or property owner liable for injuries caused by negligent security, a claimant must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care. As noted, Georgia businesses and Georgia property owners owe a duty of care to customers and other guests under OCGA § 51-3-1. However, a duty of care is generally not owed to trespassers. With limited exceptions, a plaintiff must establish that they had the authority to be on the premises (not trespassing) to bring a negligent security claim in Georgia.
- Breach of Duty
Next, a plaintiff in a premises liability claim must prove that the defendant failed to live up to their responsibilities under Georgia law. To satisfy this element, you must establish that the defendant’s security fell short of what would be expected under Georgia law. In general, businesses and property owners need to provide security that is at least as good as a person of ordinary prudence would have provided under similar circumstances.
- Causal Connection
You can only recover compensation for negligent security if the defendant’s breach of duty actually contributed to your injuries. Proving that the defendant failed to take adequate safety precautions is not sufficient if your injuries are not related to the breach. For example, imagine that you were criminally assaulted while staying at a hotel in Atlanta. To hold the hotel company liable for negligent security, you must prove that the attack occurred, at least in part, because of the failure to provide proper security.
- Actual Harm
In a negligent security claim (and other types of premises liability claims), injured victims have the right to pursue compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. If you did not suffer actual harm as a consequence of the defendant’s negligent security, you will generally not be in a position to bring a personal injury claim.
Contact Our Negligent Security Lawyer
At Ponton Law, our Atlanta negligent security attorney helps injured victims maximize their financial recovery. If you or your loved one was injured due to a business owner’s failure to take proper security precautions, we can help. Give us a call now or contact us online for a free, no-obligation review of your case. With an office in Atlanta, we handle negligent security claims throughout Georgia, including in DeKalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, and Douglas County.