There are few things more life-shattering than being victimized by a violent criminal act. If you or a loved one was put at risk because of property owner negligence, Bey & Associates is ready to hear your story.
We represent survivors and families of victims of preventable violence in Macon, GA and throughout the state of Georgia. Contact us by phone or online to learn more in a free consultation about your rights and legal options for recovery.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security is a specific kind of civil legal case involving injuries suffered in a crime that wouldn’t have occurred if adequate security measures had been in place. When a person is injured in a crime committed on someone else’s property—and the property owner did not provide adequate security to prevent the crime—the injured victim may be able to hold the owner liable through a negligent security claim.
Property owners who provide inadequate security leave visitors vulnerable to a range of violent crimes. A negligent security case may involve an act of violence such as:
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual assault or rape
- Gun violence
- Attack with explosive devices
- Murder or attempted murder
- Crowd violence
Negligent Security Is a Type of Premises Liability Case
Personal injuries suffered on someone else’s property are categorized as premises liability cases. This makes negligent security a subsection of premises liability law. In addition to negligent security, cases like slip and fall accidents, animal attacks, swimming pool accidents, and toxic exposure are generally covered under premises liability law.
In Georgia, property owners have a legal duty to protect visitors and keep premises safe. This requires owners and managers to take reasonable security measures to create and maintain a safe and secure environment where violent crime is not allowed to take place.
Negligent Security Laws Address Violent Crimes Committed on Another’s Property
Negligent security law may apply when a crime occurred and injured a visitor or resident at one of the locations listed below:
- Shopping centers
- Apartment complexes
- Office buildings
- Schools, daycares, and universities
- Event venues
- Retail stores
- Gas stations
- Nursing homes
- Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Grocery stores
- Theaters and arts venues
- Airports, train stations, and bus stations
- Amusement parks
- Commercial properties
What Must a Property Owner Do To Keep Premises Safe?
Few people actively think about what makes a property safe. As we run errands, go to work, and go about our daily business, we rarely stop to ask ourselves: Has the property owner established sufficient security measures?
But whether or not we are aware of it, proper premises security protocol keeps us safe every day. Under Georgia law, property owners in Macon, GA must establish a system that keeps visitors free from hazards and protects them from violent crime. This often requires:
- Hiring an adequate number of security guards
- Properly training security personnel
- Putting up and maintaining adequate lighting in dark outdoor or indoor areas
- Conducting thorough check-in screenings, including checking ID, inspecting bags, and scanning visitors with a metal detector
- Setting up and monitoring security cameras
- Ensuring gates, locks, doors, windows, and other entry points are secured and in working order
- Erecting fencing or electric barriers around the perimeter of a property
- Installing alarm systems
- Restricting access to keys, entry codes, and identification cards
- Managing crowds and limiting foot traffic in constricted areas
- Creating and following an effective emergency response plan
When devising a security system that effectively meets the needs of the venue, property owners must account for local crime statistics, violent crime trends, and any criminal case that occurred on the property in the past.
Examples of Negligent Security
Negligent security describes a failure to enact the measures that make properties safe. What exact measures are required, however, depends on the type of venue, its location, and other factors like the number of visitors, proximal businesses, crime rates in the area, and more.
We can look at a few examples of negligent security at some of the most common locations listed in Macon, GA negligent security claims: shopping malls, apartment complexes, large event venues, and hotels.
Shopping Mall and Retail Store Security
Inadequate security at shopping malls, department stores, and other retail outlets puts thousands of people at risk. If the incident of violence occurred at one of these establishments, the business owner may be held liable for security failures like lack of metal detectors, broken surveillance cameras, or poor lighting in parking areas.
Apartment Complex Security
The landlord of an apartment complex is legally bound to protect tenants and visitors from foreseeable harm. If a property owner does not practice ordinary care by providing a secure environment, they may be named as a defendant in a negligent security case.
Actions such as changing locks between tenants, fixing broken fences, placing security guards at entry points, and establishing a thorough screening process for visitors entering the building are often needed to keep an apartment complex safe.
Large Event Security
Macon, GA has a vibrant arts and music scene and a variety of sports leagues. When large crowds of excited people gather together to celebrate, appreciate, learn, cheer, and enjoy, things can quickly become unsafe if proper safety measures haven’t been taken.
Inadequate security is a serious issue at a large event venue like a stadium, arena, auditorium, or theater. Security personnel must be trained to effectively manage high-risk situations such as an act of gun violence. There must also be enough security personnel on hand to control crowds and prevent trampling, crowd surges, or outbreaks of aggressive behavior.
Hotel and Motel Security
As the business owner of an establishment created for visiting guests, a hotel proprietor has a heightened responsibility to ensure the security of their property. Keyless entry points should only allow cardholding visitors access to areas where guests reside, and close watch must be kept for any suspicious persons on the premises. Lax security at a hotel can allow crimes of opportunity to occur, as individuals with malicious intent may see a chance to take advantage of guests who believe they are safe at the hotel.
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Negligent Security Claim?
The best way to learn your legal rights and options is to schedule a free case evaluation with a negligent security lawyer. A legal representative can review the facts of your case and determine:
- The property owner’s legal duties, given the circumstances of the case
- Whether inadequate security played a role in the incident
- If the violent crime could reasonably have been prevented
- How the crime caused your injuries or the loss of a loved one
- What damages you suffered as a result of your injuries
- What compensation you are entitled to recover
- What evidence is needed to prove your claim, and how to obtain that evidence
The Macon negligent security lawyers on our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation to find the answers to your questions. We provide sound, seasoned legal advice that our clients know they can trust.
From our first meeting, we will be open and honest about the merits and disadvantages of your case. If you have a valid negligent security case, a personal injury lawyer from our firm will handle your civil lawsuit with care and expertise, giving you the legal representation you need to win a favorable outcome.
Negligent Security Law in Georgia
Suffering a violent crime on someone else’s property does not automatically entitle you to compensation for damages. You must be able to satisfy certain criteria that will then allow you to pursue legal action under Georgia negligent security civil laws.
Your negligent security lawyer will help you determine if the following elements exist and can be proven in your case. If so, you will have legal standing to move toward justice through a negligent security claim.
- You were the victim of a violent crime and suffered injuries as a result.
- The crime occurred on another person’s property.
- You were visiting the property legally.
- The property owner was negligent in their duty to keep visitors safe, reasonably foresee potential dangers, or warn of known dangers.
- The injuries you suffered due to negligence resulted in verifiable damages.
A Property Owner Has a Duty To Keep You Safe
Negligent security cases are important because they hold property owners to the standard of safety established by law. When premises owners and managers violate these standards, people get hurt.
As injury attorneys working in Georgia, we have seen too many individuals suffer violence that never should have been allowed to happen. We see each negligent security case we handle as an opportunity to make our city and state that much safer for everyone.
How to File a Macon Negligent Security Claim
At Bey & Associates, every security negligence case begins with a free case evaluation. We’ll review the facts and determine what legal rights you have. Once that has been established, your legal advocate will begin a thorough investigation into your case.
Our team will examine the actions and duties of all involved parties and find the evidence needed to prove your claim. In many cases, we partner with professionals and experts who can provide more context and specialized knowledge to back up your case.
Part of our investigation will look to see how your life has been impacted by the crime and what compensation you deserve to recover. Our calculations will reach a number that fairly and fully values all of your financial and non-monetary losses.
Finally, we will negotiate with the property owner’s insurance company to achieve this amount of compensation. If the insurer is unwilling to reasonably value your claim, we will take your case to court and advocate for you before a judge and jury. Only a small number of our cases go to trial, but those that do have a high rate of success.
Throughout this entire legal process, we will keep you updated and informed. We are open in our communication, and our team is always available to answer questions and sit down for meetings with you.
How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Georgia law allows only two years from the date of the incident to file a claim for financial recovery. This time limit is referred to as a statute of limitations. Your two-year deadline may be shortened or lengthened by certain factors related to your case.
If you miss the opportunity to file legal action, you no longer have the right to seek damages. Speak to a qualified attorney promptly to find out how much time you have left. Don’t let your rights be taken away by a deadline.
Can I Recover Compensation After a Negligent Security Injury?
Yes, if you have a legitimate inadequate security claim, you are entitled to recover compensation for your losses. This includes both economic (monetary) damages and non-economic (non-financial) damages.
The economic losses of your negligent security case will usually come in the form of bills and lost income. You may be eligible to seek compensation for monetary damages like:
- Medical expenses
- Medical bills you may incur in the future for ongoing care and medical treatments
- Transportation costs if you are unable to drive yourself
- Mental health care costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if you cannot return to the same level of income
- Domestic services like in-home care, child care, or pet-sitting
Although your non-economic damages are far less tangible, they are every bit as real. The trauma of suffering a violent crime leaves victims with lasting social, emotional, and psychological injuries. Your personal injury attorneys will be able to identify if you are qualified for compensation for devastating losses like:
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Loss of ability to participate in activities
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Macon Negligent Security Lawyer?
Litigating negligent security claims can be expensive and time-consuming. As the plaintiff in your case, the cost of hiring a lawyer is something you should consider from the beginning.
Every Macon negligent security lawyer has their own way of handling attorney’s fees and court costs. At Bey & Associates, it’s important to us that high-quality legal representation is available to all, not just to those who can afford it.
Bey & Associates Takes Most Cases on a Contingency Fee Basis
At our law office, we take most negligent security cases on a contingency fee basis. This is sometimes referred to as a “no win, no fee” payment structure because we only get paid if we win your case for you. We don’t require any upfront fees, and we don’t charge you an hourly rate for talking with us.
We believe a contingency fee model is the right choice for us and our clients. But not every personal injury law firm in Macon, GA feels the same way. Be sure to include payment on the list of questions you ask a negligent security lawyer in your first meeting.
What Evidence Do You Need To Prove a Negligent Security Claim?
Proving that inadequate security caused you to fall victim to a crime is not a simple task. Your negligent security attorney will investigate, analyze, and gather a variety of evidence to prove that a property owner or business owner should have acted to prevent your injuries.
Depending on where the incident occurred, your negligent security lawyer may need to work to obtain critical evidence such as:
- CCTV or surveillance camera footage
- Video or photographs taken on personal cell phones
- Dashcam of traffic camera footage from a nearby vehicle or intersection
- Police reports
- Arrest records
- Statistics on crime rates and trends in the area
- Records of past violent crimes committed on the property
- Interviews with eyewitnesses or security personnel
- Property deeds proving ownership
- Physical evidence of damaged locks or gates, burned-out lightbulbs, nonfunctional cameras, or other proof of inadequate security
Talk to a Macon Negligent Security Attorney Today
If you or someone you love was victimized on a property in Macon, GA or the surrounding areas of Bibb County, we invite you to discuss your Macon negligent security case in the safety and confidentiality of a free initial consultation.
After reviewing the details of your case and determining if you have grounds for legal action, our attorneys will explain the legal process in a way that you can fully understand. The decision to take your life back after a violent crime is yours to make. We want to empower you with the knowledge and resources to make the best decision.
If you are ready to speak with a negligent security lawyer, contact Bey & Associates by phone or online. We are prepared to answer your questions.