Crime victims that need to pursue a Woodstock, Georgia negligent security case need personal attention from their attorney. Williams Elleby handles negligent security cases in Woodstock. Our main office is in Kennesaw, Georgia just down the road from Woodstock.

If you have been the victim of a criminal attack on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring a civil claim for damages. Attorney Joel Williams discusses negligent security cases in this video that will help you understand the nature and details of a Woodstock negligent security claim:

Property owners must take reasonable measures to keep their tenants and guests safe from known hazards. If someone is shot, stabbed, or assaulted on the premises, the victim may be able to bring a negligent security lawsuit for monetary damages. If the property owner lives in, or is incorporated in Woodstock, Georgia, then a lawsuit will most likely be filed in Cherokee County State Court.


Winning a negligent security case in Woodstock requires diligent work. Negligent security cases find legal footing in a Georgia law that sets out the duties property owners and occupiers owe to their guests. The property owners, whether for an apartment complex, bar, gas station, or motel, must exercise ordinary care in keeping their premises safe. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1.

Of course, it is often difficult to determine what equates to ordinary care but the analysis usually begins with an investigation into what the property owner knew about criminal activity on their property. Georgia courts have decided that property owners or occupiers may be liable for criminal acts occurring on their property if the crime that occurred was foreseeableWalker v. Aderhold Properties, 303 Ga. App. 710, 712-13 (2010).  Whether the crime was foreseeable comes down to notice – did the property owner have knowledge that other tenants were shot in their parking lot? Did they know other people were robbed and burglarized before it happened to you? If the property owner knew about prior crime and did not do anything to protect their tenants or guests from those hazards (i.e. hiring security, improving lighting, adding surveillance cameras), then the property own may be liable to you for your injuries and damages.


At the beginning of most negligent security cases in Woodstock, an attorney will send an open records request to the City of Woodstock Police Department, or the police department that has jurisdiction over the area where the property is located. The request will ask for a crime grid that shows the type and number of crimes that occurred at the particular location, and whether the crimes are similar to the one that resulted in the injury.

After gathering crime reports and 911 call histories from the relevant police department, your attorney may consult with a security expert to determine whether the level of security provided at the location was appropriate. After reviewing the open records and discussing the case with an expert, the next step would be to discuss filing a lawsuit with your attorney.

The lawsuit will likely be filed against the property owner, management company, or security company (if necessary). During the lawsuit, depositions of the property owner, its employees, and any witnesses will be taken to try and establish extent of their knowledge of the prior criminal activity on the property. Depositions also establish what knowledge or information they have about the specific incident. Prior crime victims will be interviewed and possibly deposed to prove that prior crimes were reported to the property owner.

In addition to proving that the property owner knew, or should have known about the hazard, you will also need to prove your damages (i.e. your injuries and the amount of your medical bills). This is done through medical records, medical bills, life care planning experts, friends and family, and the testimony of treating physicians.

Once you have gathered evidence and taken depositions, you case is ready for trial or mediation. At trial, a jury of 12 people from Cherokee County will decide whether the at fault party is liable to you for damages, and the amount of those damages that should be award.


If your Woodstock negligent security case goes to trial, the judge will instruct the jury to apportion (or divide) fault between the responsible parties. Fault can be divided between the property owner, management company, the criminal, or even you, depending on the facts in the case. When deciding who is responsible for the act, the total percentage of fault must equal 100%. This video explains the process in more detail.

It works like this: Say the jury decides to award the Plaintiff $1,000,000.00. The jury also decides that 70% of fault is on the property owner and 30% of the fault is on the criminal. Under this scenario, the Plaintiff recovers $700,000.00 from the property owner. $300,000 will have to be recovered from the criminal. Most of the time the criminal is either unknown or unable to pay an amount that large.


If you have been the victim of a violent crime at an apartment complex, hotel, bar, gas station, or any other commercial establishment or property in Woodstock, Georgia, the personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby are here to help. You can reach us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule your free consultation.