If you live in an apartment complex or hotel with a history of violent crime, the owner has a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent future criminal activity on the property. These steps can take a variety of forms, including hiring security, maintaining video surveillance, adding fences, adding lighting, or controlling who can access the property. Failing to take the appropriate security steps can have tragic consequences.
If you are a victim of a crime at an apartment complex or hotel, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner if they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the crime. A property owner isn’t liable for every injury that occurs after a crime is committed. The crime must be foreseeable.
Foreseeable Harm in Georgia Negligent Security Cases
What makes a specific harm foreseeable can vary depending on the circumstances. Ultimately, in a negligence case, it will be up to the jury to decide if the criminal act was foreseeable. Some examples in which Georgia courts have found criminal acts to be foreseeable include:
- Substantial Similar Crimes– If you sustained an injury during the commission of a crime that was substantially similar to crimes that have previously occurred on the property, the landlord might have a duty to guard against that specific criminal activity.
- High Crime Areas– In general, if the establishment is in an area known for its high levels of crime, the landlord may be expected to increase security regardless of the type of crime that may ultimately occur on the property.
- Volatile Situations– A volatile situation is any circumstance that presents an obvious risk of escalating to a crime. For example, if the property owner is aware of someone loudly berating or threatening a resident on their property, it may be foreseeable that an assault takes place.
It is essential to understand the role unforeseeable events play in negligent security cases, as they can prevent you from recovering anything from your landlord. In some cases, no amount of reasonable security measures would have prevented a specific type of crime. If you are relaxing in your living room and a stolen car smashes through your wall and injures you, it would be hard to argue the crime was foreseeable.
Negligent Security Attorneys in Georgia
Despite empirical data that shows security measures reduce crime, many Georgia landlords fail to deter criminals from their property. If you feel a lapse in security at a hotel or apartment complex caused you to be a victim of a violent crime, contact a Georgia negligent security attorney right away. To discuss your case with an attorney that has years of experience with Georgia negligent security cases contact Williams Elleby today for your free consultation by calling (833) LEGALGA.