Property owners and occupiers owe their invitees a duty to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. This includes apartment communities and hotels taking reasonable measures to deter criminals from preying on their tenants and guests. Georgia courts have consistently held that a property owner or occupier may be held liable for criminal acts occurring on its property if the occurrence of crime was foreseeable.
Many crime victims are unaware that they may have a claim against their apartment complex or hotel when they are the victim of a shooting, sexual assault, or other violent crime. In the most basic sense, the claims work like this:
If an apartment complex or hotel is the site of numerous violent crimes, the complex or hotel has a duty to take measures to try and deter future crimes from occurring on their property. There are several measures businesses can take to deter criminal activity including security guards, fencing, adequate lighting, controlled access gates, neighborhood watch programs, and providing adequate locks on doors and windows. Not all crime can be prevented but there is no question that business owners have a duty to take all reasonable measures to try and prevent future crimes.
A large number of Joel’s cases involve shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults, and murders at apartment complexes that did very little to deter criminals from preying on innocent residents. Each case is very fact specific and when Joel takes a premises liability/negligent security case, the first step is to gather all information related to the criminal history of a property. He then consults with law enforcement personnel to understand the motivation behind the crime. Joel routinely consults with nationally renowned experts in the security and property management industry to determine what, if anything, should have been done to prevent a crime.
If it appears that the complex or hotel acted negligently in failing to implement reasonable security measures, Joel files the case and vigorously fights to obtain justice for his client. He has recovered millions of dollars in just the past few years for the families of murder victims, victims of physical assaults such as shootings, stabbings, and beatings, as well as crimes involving sexual assault.
If you were to unfortunate victim of a violent crime at an apartment complex, hotel, or other residential facility, contact Joel today for a free consultation to learn about your legal options.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our firm today!