Atlanta Negligent Security Lawyer
Property and business owners are required by law to ensure that their properties and/or premises are safe to the best of their abilities. When a criminal act occurs that could have been foreseeable, whether committed by an employee, an occupant, a visitor, or even a vagrant, the property or business owner can be held at fault.
Unfortunately, examples of negligent security are far too common, and many victims of these episodes do not understand their rights in the matter—or how to pursue claims. Zagoria Law represented a woman whose spouse was killed due to a fire started by vagrants in a vacant apartment building adjacent to hers. She also was injured jumping from a window to escape the fire. Because the property owner failed to acknowledge the danger presented by a vacant building and to properly secure it against unauthorized access, that owner was guilty of negligent security, which caused the arson.
Foreseeability Can Equal Liability
Property and business owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care and protect against reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct. Nevertheless, proving that a business or property owner was negligent and that he or she should have foreseen—and taken steps to prevent—problems can be a complicated matter. For this reason, it is crucial that victims work closely with a seasoned attorney who has won these cases for others.
Finding this evidence is the key to a satisfactory outcome for victims. Prior incidents, behavior and other documented acts can build the body of evidence that is necessary to win these cases. The more evidence exists that problems similar to a current case have occurred in the past, the greater the likelihood the owner knew or should have known and should have taken efforts to mitigate risk. Even an intervening criminal act is not a defense to liability for negligent security, as a business or property owner cannot simply blame the criminal.
Zagoria Law Is Your Negligent Security Expert
Our Atlanta negligent security lawyers do the research to build solid arguments, including not only checking police records and other documents, but also interviewing those with knowledge of a business’s or property’s history. We prove a pattern or history of crime on or about the property or business that gives the owner knowledge that they have an issue. We work with current and former employees and neighboring tenants, taking their statements and encouraging them to testify, if necessary, to prove the case. We build and analyze crime statistics from local law enforcement agencies.
For example, if our client is shot on a property, we look for a history of similar violent crimes on the property where 911 was called to establish a recognizable pattern. We hire security experts to discuss measures that the property or business owner could have been taken to prevent crime—from installation of video cameras, adequate parking lot and common area lighting, appropriate door locks, fencing, and more.
The Duty is Clear
Crime can happen anywhere, those at fault often say, and we agree. Property and business owners can also be negligent anywhere. We’ve successfully pursued cases of negligent security at apartments, hotels, shopping centers, condominiums, restaurants and other locations where the public is invited to visit.
Regardless of location, business and property owners have a duty to obtain and understand crime patterns and provide adequate security. They must follow criminal activity in the area and know that it increases the risk of crime being perpetrated on those visiting their premises—even if no crimes have been committed at that particular location. They also have a responsibility to prevent vagrants and others from creating dangerous conditions on their property and to hire workers who will not commit violent acts.
In short, business and property owners have an obligation to protect members of public when they visit or reside with them. When negligent practices cause those individuals to become victims, Zagoria Law steps in to ensure their rights are assured, even though their safety wasn’t.