When you go onto the property of a business, you likely expect there to be certain safety measures to deter crime and protect you. Parking lot lights, security cameras, and sometimes even security guards are necessary to guard against criminal attacks.  What happens when there are little to no security measures in place and you fall victim to a crime on the property of another person or business? Some important considerations are whether the property had any security features and, if so, whether they were sufficient to meet that property owner’s duty to you as a visitor. Learning about negligent security can help you to understand your potential claims after a criminal attack.

Most negligent security lawsuits resulting from criminal acts in Atlanta are brought in the civil division of the State Court of Fulton County.

Security Measures

There are several safety measures that a property owner may take to protect its guests against crime. These may include:

  • Installing security cameras
  • Ensuring all windows and doors have functioning locking mechanisms
  • Putting additional lighting in the parking lot or outdoors around the premises
  • Restricting visitors or visiting hours in apartments or residential areas
  • Installing fencing around the property
  • Hiring trained security guards
  • Installing an alarm system

Measures like these are particularly important if a property is located in a high crime area.

Filing a Negligent Security Lawsuit in Albany, Georgia

For most negligence claims, a plaintiff must establish four elements: 1. the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, 2. the defendant breached that duty, 3. the breach caused the plaintiff harm, and 4. the plaintiff suffered actual damages or harm as a result. You must show the following for your claim to survive in court.

  1. The Property Owner Owed You A Duty Of Care.

As with other premises liability suits, a property owner’s duty of care toward a visitor regarding security against crime depends on the visitor’s relationship to the owner.


An invitee is a person with an express invitation to be on another person’s property, like a customer in a shop or a renter at an apartment complex. They are entitled to the highest level of protection under the law. When it comes to security, property owners have a duty to invitees to exercise “ordinary care” to protect against people who may commit crimes or endanger guests.

“Ordinary care” is not clear-cut. If a business owner’s property is in a high-crime area, more security measures may be required on their property than on property in an area with low rates of crime. A property owner may be liable for failing to protect invitees against foreseeable crime.

Licensees and Trespassers

Social guests are called “licensees” under the law. Houseguests fall into this legal category. Under Georgia law, “trespassers” are people who are on your property without your permission. Under premises liability law in Georgia, property owners are only liable to licensees and trespassers if the harm from the lack of security features was intentional or reckless. Because of this, most lawsuits based on negligent security are against commercial property owners, not private homeowners.

  1. The Property Owner Breached That Duty.

A property owner may have breached their duty if they failed to guard against foreseeable crime. If you are trying to show that an owner breached the duty, you could claim that the business lacked adequate safety features for the area. Showing crime rates and referencing the level of security of businesses nearby may be helpful to your claim. If you cannot show that the security measures were insufficient, a court may find that the property owner took reasonable care to guard against dangerous visitors. This may hurt your claim that the property owner breached the duty of care. A negligent security lawyer for crime victims can help you determine whether a property owner acted reasonably.

  1. The Breach Caused You Harm.

To have a claim against the property owner, you must show that the crime would be less likely to have occurred had the property owner had adequate security.

  1. You Suffered Actual Damages.

To have a claim against the property owner, you must have suffered actual damages. If you were physically attacked, damages could include medical bills and lost wages from missing work due to the harm. You could also include future lost wages or medical bills if the harm will require ongoing treatment and work absences. If you were robbed or suffered property damage due to the crime, you may be able to claim damages for those economic harms as well. You may also be eligible for non-economic damages, such as for mental or physical pain and suffering as a result of the incident. Further, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the property owner for particularly egregious behavior.

Albany, Georgia Negligent Security Attorney

If you have been injured in Albany Georgia because of someone’s negligent security, you should talk to a negligent security attorney right away. Williams Elleby attorneys are experienced and well-versed at bringing negligent security lawsuits on behalf of injured crime victims. We will help you clearly understand your legal options and will aggressively pursue all remedies against those who are responsible for causing you harm. To learn more about how a Williams Elleby attorney can help you, call (833) 534-2542 or contact us online.