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Atlanta Negligent Security Lawsuit

This post will look at negligent security lawsuits in Atlanta and in Georgia and how to get compensation for personal injuries or death caused by a property owner’s failure to provide adequate security. We will also look at the potential settlement payout value of negligent security lawsuits in Atlanta and the surrounding area by reviewing recent verdicts and reported settlements in prior cases.

What is a Negligent Security Lawsuit?

A negligent security or inadequate security lawsuit can be filed if someone is the victim of a violent crime such as an assault, robbery, rape, etc. due to the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security.

Property owners, such as retail business, landlords, or apartment management companies, have an obligation to ensure that guests, customers, tenants or anyone else on the premises is reasonably safe. This may require the property owner to install security lights, cameras, or have security guards onsite, depending on the nature of the property and the risk level.

If a property owner negligently fails to implement reasonably adequate security measures and a guest on the property is assaulted or victimized as a result, they can sue the property owner for negligent security. For example, let’s say Acme Company has a store in a high-crime area. They have a large parking lot that has very poor lighting. If an Acme customer is assaulted in the dark parking lot while leaving the store, they can sue Acme for inadequate security and get compensation.

Types of Negligent Security Lawsuits in Atlanta

There are many different types or categories of negligent security or inadequate security lawsuits that can be brought in Atlanta under Georgia law. Below is a list of the most common types of negligent security claims that we see in Atlanta cases.

Inadequate Security at Apartment Complex: The city of Atlanta has a number of apartment complexes that are known to be high crime areas. The management companies that own and/or operate these apartment complexes have a legal obligation to ensure that the property is reasonably safe for tenants. At a minimum, apartment complexes should have adequate lighting, video surveillance systems (that actually work) and 24-hour security personnel. If tenants or their guests are victims of violent crimes at an apartment complex that fails to provide these security measures, they can sue the property management company for negligent security.

Inadequate Lighting: Making sure that a property is well lit at night is one of the most basic security obligations of all property owners. Dark parking lots or alleys facilitate violent crime. Too often, however, businesses are negligent in maintaining the lighting on their property. If guests, tenants or customers are victimized as a result they can bring a negligent security lawsuit.

Inadequate Locks: Ensuring secured access is a very important security measure for certain types of properties, such as apartment or condo complexes, daycares, or other places where only certain people should have access. Residential complex should have gated access, and working lock systems to access common areas.

Lack of Video Surveillance: certain types of properties, such a hotels, apartment complexes, or shopping centers, have an obligation to ensure that guests are safe by having a functioning video surveillance system. Video surveillance deters criminal activity and enables help to be dispatched when events do occur.

Failure to Respond: If a property owner or management company ignores reports of criminal activity or unsafe conditions at the property, they have an obligation to respond and take action. The also have a duty to respond to reports of an ongoing assault.

Who Can You Sue for Negligent Security?

Any property owner, management company, retail business, or basically anyone who owns or has legal responsibility for a property can be sued for negligent security. That being said, there are certain types of property owners and businesses that make ideal defendants in negligent security lawsuits for various reasons. Below is a list of common negligent security lawsuits defendants.

Apartment Complexes / Management Companies: owners or management companies that manage residential apartment or condo complexes are some of the most common defendants in Atlanta negligent security lawsuits. The level of security that apartment complexes are obligated to provide for tenants or residents is significantly high compared to other types of businesses. Apartment complexes in Atlanta have a legal obligation to implement extensive security measures to protect tenants and guests on the property. These can included gated access to common areas, video surveillance systems (that actually work), adequate lighting, working lock systems, and even 24-hour security guards.

Shopping Centers / Retailers: Shopping centers, such as malls, strip malls, or retail plazas, are usually owned and/or operated by commercial management companies. Shopping centers and the individual retail stores have an obligation to ensure the safety of their customers by providing reasonably adequate security. This typically requires proper lighting for parking and other areas, video surveillance, and possibly security guards or limited access parking.

Hotels: Hotels or motels have a legal obligation to provide security for their guests. This obligation is very high, and it is comparable to the security obligation at an apartment complex. It typically requires lighting, video monitoring, 24-hour staffing, keyed access, etc.

Settlement Value of Atlanta Negligent Security Lawsuits

Negligent security lawsuits in Atlanta and the surrounding metro area have a relatively high average settlement value compared to other types of personal injury cases. This is primarily due to the fact that most negligent security lawsuits involve very serious violent crimes such a rape, murder, assault, etc. The potential damages for these types of incidents can obviously get very high.

$350,000 Verdict (Fulton County): Two men entered an apartment complex property through a broken gate while under the observation of security guards, and then proceeded to rob and sexually assault a female tenant. The plaintiff sued the property management company for negligently failing to maintain the locks, and sue also sued the security company hired by the management company.

$4,200,000 Verdict (Clayton County): The plaintiff, an adult female, went to a Wal-Mart store late at night. While walking back to her car in the store parking lot she was robbed at gunpoint and then shot once in the back as she tried to run back into the store. The lawsuit alleged that Wal-Mart negligently failed to provide proper security because it knew or should have known of 39 previous similar criminal acts in the area in the previous 2 years.

$385,000 Settlement (DeKalb County): A 19-year-old female student suffered posttraumatic stress disorder after being raped at an apartment owned by the defendant. The plaintiff contended that the defendants knew of prior incidents involving an unknown intruder and were negligent in failing to provide adequate security and in failing to repair the door to her apartment after the first break-in occurred.

$1,300,000 Verdict (Cobb County): A 25-year-old female was stabbed to death in the bed of her hotel room. The decedent was to serve as a maid of honor in a wedding and was a guest at the defendant hotel. The lawsuit alleged that the hotel was negligent for failing to provide proper room security by keeping track of individual room keys and that the defendant had notice of the potential for intrusion into the decedent's room.

$2,200,000 Verdict (Fulton County): The plaintiff was a guest at the defendant’s hotel in Atlanta. Shortly after checking in and while walking to his room, the plaintiff was assaulted by an unknown assailant with a handgun who shot him in the right leg. The lawsuit claimed the hotel negligently maintained, inspected, secured, patrolled and managed the hotel, and therefore failed to keep it safe.

$650,000 Verdict (Fulton County): The plaintiff, a truck driver, stopped at a gas station and was assaulted on the premises by another unidentified truck driver. He suffered a broken jaw and injuries to his face. He sued the gas station for failing to provide proper security measures.

Contact Us About Atlanta Negligent Security Cases

If you have a negligent security lawsuit in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, contact our personal injury lawyers today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation.

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