Premises liability laws require businesses in Georgia to keep their property safe for customers, clients, and other guests. It is a comprehensive legal responsibility. Businesses often must do more than removing safety hazards and conducting basic maintenance—they must also provide proper security. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for an assault/attack by a third party. Within this article, our Atlanta negligent security attorney provides a comprehensive guide to liability in negligent security cases in Georgia.
Know the Law: Negligent Security in Georgia
Negligent security claims fall under premises liability law. In Georgia, a business or a property owner can be held legally liable for its “failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” (O.C.G.A. §51-3-1) Negligent security claims fall under this standard. To be clear, a business in Georgia is not automatically liable for a third party assault/attack on its premises. However, a business can be held legally responsible if that assault/attack happened—at least in part—because of negligent security practices.
What Constitutes Negligent Security in Georgia is Highly Case Specific
In Georgia, what’s considered negligent security varies greatly from case to case. Different types of businesses have different standards for safety. For example, a large nightclub that serves alcohol in the heart of Atlanta is expected to take comprehensive security measures—including things like screening at doors, surveillance cameras, and hiring well-trained security personnel. On the other hand, a small rural gas station will not be expected to take nearly the same security precautions. The key standard is what a reasonably prudent business owner would have done under similar circumstances.
Examples of Business Security Lapses that May Be Negligence in Georgia
What does negligent security look like in practice? Here are some of the most notable examples of failure that could be considered negligent security by a business:
- Inadequate Lighting: Poor lighting in parking lots or walkways can lead to accidents or crime. Businesses should ensure all areas are reasonably well-lit.
- Lack of Security Cameras: Not having security cameras, especially in high-risk areas, can be seen as a lack of effort to monitor and deter criminal activity.
- Lack of Security Guards: For certain businesses, like nightclubs, bars, banks, or large retail stores, no security guards or or poorly trained guards can lead to unsafe conditions.
- Faulty Locks: Failing to maintain secure entry points allows easy access for potential criminals. Regular maintenance of locks and fences is crucial.
- Ignoring Previous Incidents: If a business has a history of incidents and takes no action to improve security, it could be deemed negligence.
- Lack of Emergency Procedures: A business in Georgia that does not have a clear plan for emergencies—from fires to active shooters—may be legally liable for negligence.
A Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Negligent Security Claims in Georgia
You do not have an unlimited period of time to bring a negligent security lawsuit in Georgia. Under state law, there is a two-year statute of limitations for these cases. Waiting too long could mean losing your right to seek justice and compensation. If you or your loved one has suffered any type of harm due to inadequate security by a business, be proactive. Consult with a top-tier Georgia negligent security attorney as soon as possible.
An Overview of Compensation You May Recover in a Negligent Security Claim
An assault or other type of attack at a business in Georgia can leave a person dealing with serious injuries. You have the right to hold a negligent company liable for your economic damages and non-economic losses. Sadly, businesses and their commercial insurers fight to pay out as little as possible in negligent security cases. Financial compensation may be recovered for:
- Property losses;
- Emergency room care;
- Medical bills;
- Long-term medical needs;
- Lost wages and diminished earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disability or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Atlanta Negligent Security Attorney Today
At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, our Atlanta premises liability lawyers handle the full range of negligent security cases. If you or your loved one suffered harm due to the improper security practices of a business or property owner, we can help. Give us a phone call now or connect with us directly online to arrange your no cost, no commitment case review. With law offices in Atlanta and Augusta, we take on negligent security claims all over Georgia.