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Door with Broken Window

When someone is the victim of a violent crime that occurs on private property, the building owner may be liable. That’s because landlords have a responsibility to ensure their property is not only safe but has adequate security measures in place that could reasonably prevent a crime from happening. But what does someone need to prove to make a negligent security claim after a violent crime? Allow us to explain.

The Elements

Negligent security cases are like If->Then statements. If certain criteria are met, then the landlord may be considered liable for someone else’s injuries. The five elements of a negligent security case are:

  • The plaintiff (victim of the crime) was lawfully on the landowner’s property at the time of the crime.
  • The defendant (the landlord) failed to equip their property with reasonable security measures (lights, locks, a guard, cameras, etc.).
  • The plaintiff was injured due to the rationally foreseeable actions of a third party (the criminal).
  • The plaintiff’s injuries could have been prevented had the property been equipped with adequate security measures.
  • Because of the injury, the plaintiff suffered tangible losses (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)

If an attorney can demonstrate those five elements, there’s a good chance they will be able to prove negligent security after a violent crime. However, a big part of that is demonstrating what is considered “reasonable security” and what is “rationally foreseeable.”

Reasonable and Foreseeable

The elements above mentioned that the property owner has a responsibility to provide reasonable security. What is considered reasonable will greatly depend on the area and the nature of the building. For example, a security guard at the gas station isn’t reasonably expected in most places, but it is reasonable to have a guard watching cameras at your apartment building.

The same reasoning applies to foreseeable actions. If an apartment building did not have locks or monitored cameras at the door, it is foreseeable that a third party may try to use that door and could potentially harm the tenants.

That said, determining the exact nature of a negligent security case is best left to an experienced attorney.If you were impacted by a crime that could have been prevented with proper security, our team is here for you.

To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney from Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, please call (888) 425-6070 or send us an email.