Can I File a Claim Against a Bar, Nightclub, or Property Owner for Lack of Security?

Categories: Negligent Security

negligent security

Georgia Law and Nightclub Security

Inadequate or negligent security is often to blame for preventable acts of violence – including rape, homicide, or assault and battery. Businesses and property owners, including those who run bars or nightclub establishments, could be found negligent for failing to provide adequate security. Inadequate security often places a customer or visitor at greater risk for being victimized. Many victims are justified in seeking a claim against a property owner, especially when such crimes and injuries are preventable with proper security measures.

Georgia Law and the Duty to Provide Adequate Security

Inadequate security lawsuits, often referred to as “negligent security” claims, are when a crime victim asserts that the defendant(s) failed to provide adequate security measures, or take reasonable precautions, to protect their visitors or patrons from acts of violence or criminal acts. To impose civil liability, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a duty under Georgia law to provide adequate security and take precautions against known dangers  to their customers (and against dangers they should have known).

In these types of cases, there is no uniform federal law that guides property owners as to what legal duties they have regarding security. Instead, negligent security is governed by the various state laws and the particular circumstances of the injury and criminal act.

The Elements of a Negligent Security Claim in Georgia

A victim of a crime cannot recover damages in civil court just by stating that he or she was injured on the premises. That is because the property owner is not automatically liable every time someone is victimized by a criminal on his or her property. Instead, the liability only arises when the crime could have been prevented, due to the owner’s inability to provide a duty of care (reasonable security) to the public.

To prove this, four elements must be present in a negligent security claim:

1. The victim must have been a patron, customer, ticket-holder, employee, guest, tenant, or other invitee or licensee on the premises at the time of the crime. Being a trespasser does not qualify.
2. The defendants (property owners) must have owed a legal duty to make the premises safe or they must have assumed a duty to provide security measures, which made them obliged to provide such security.
3. The crime would not have occurred, or the victim would not have sustained injuries, if the defendant provided sufficient and reasonable security.
4. The defendant negligently failed their legal or assumed duty to provide security and make their premises reasonably safe.

Seek Legal Representation from a Georgia Lawyer Experienced in Negligent Security Claims

As a crime victim, you may feel powerless. In reality, you can fight back, holding those parties liable for your injuries and accountable for their actions. At T. Madden & Associates, P.C., we hold property owners responsible for inadequate or lack of security. Because time is of the essence in these types of claims, you need to speak with an experienced attorney right away to initiate the investigatory process. Schedule a consultation today at 770-978-6711 in Atlanta and 706-524-7784 for Augusta. You can also inquire about our services online via our online contact form.