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When Can I Hold a Property Owner Accountable for Negligent Security Due to an Assault on the Premises?

When you stay at a hotel or motel in the Atlanta area, or you visit a retail establishment or nightclub, you should be able to expect that the property or business owner has taken reasonable care of the property so that you will not sustain injuries. In many circumstances, the idea of the property owner being liable for injuries caused by hazards on particular premises often involves issues like slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, or even animal attacks on the property. Yet in some cases, a property owner may be responsible for injuries that occur in an assault on their premises.

Although the perpetrator of an assault may be directly responsible for your injuries, you should know that the owner of the premises where the assault occurred may also be responsible if the assault ultimately was able to occur because of negligent security on the premises. While different states have specific laws concerning negligent security claims, Georgia typically requires a plaintiff to be able to show that the assault was foreseeable. Our Atlanta negligent security attorneys can say more about when you may be able to hold a property owner accountable for negligent security due to an assault on the premises.

Negligent Security and Assaults in the Atlanta Area

When can negligent security result in an assault on the premises? There are many different instances of cases across the country in which a property or business owner’s failure to make the premises safe resulted in an assault. Some examples include the following:

  • Hotel or motel owner fails to repair a broken lock on a room window or door, and a third party breaks in and assaults a hotel or motel guest;
  • Mall fails to repair lighting in a parking lot area, and a retail shopper is assaulted while getting into her car in a darkened area of the parking lot;
  • Nightclub fails to hire security guards or bouncers to manage guests, and an assault occurs on the premises; or
  • Condominium association (COA) or homeowners’ association (HOA) fails to repair a broken alarm system or gate designed to prevent non-residents from entering the property, and non-resident is able to enter the complex and perpetrate an assault.

Foreseeability and Negligent Security Claims in Atlanta

In order for a property or business owner to be responsible for any of the third-party assault examples described above, or any other third-party assaults on the premises, the injured plaintiff must be able to show that the assault was foreseeable by the property or business owner. There are a couple of different key ways that a plaintiff can show that the assault should have been foreseeable:

  • Business or property owner sees that a volatile situation is arising on the premises, making the possibility of an assault foreseeable under Georgia law; or
  • Substantially similar criminal acts have occurred in the past on or around the premises, making the assault foreseeable.

In some cases, merely operating a business in an area with significantly high crime might mean that the property or business owner is responsible for taking additional security measures.

Contact Our Atlanta Negligent Security Attorneys

If you were assaulted on someone else’s premises, you may be able to file a claim against the property or business owner where the assault occurred. An experienced Atlanta negligent security lawyer at our firm can help. Contact Ponton Law for more information.