SELECTED

2013-2017

South Georgia Negligent Security Attorney

Holding businesses and landlords accountable for insufficient security that invites crime and violence

Some call it a “stop and rob.” All that is necessary is a motivated, often desperate, robber and an unwilling, often unsuspecting, victim meeting at the wrong place at the wrong time. Robberies can occur in private or public spaces.

Types of Robbery

Most people think of robberies as those committed against banks and financial institutions, but they are actually quite rare. Late night retail stores like gas stations, or convenience stores, are more common. However, most robberies occur on the street or apartment complex or housing complex, directly against a person, and are called a strong-arm robbery. When someone uses force or fear against you to steal your car, it’s called carjacking. When someone robs you in your home, it is called a home-invasion.

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Convenience stores and other retail establishments have cash on hand or customers in the parking lot will become targets for robbery, theft, and physical assault, battery and sex crimes. Some establishments have pulled exterior security in an attempt to increase deny-ability to knowledge of this crime.

If security precautions are not in place, these establishments, apartment complexes and more can be held liable. Experts in the field have identified policies, procedures, guidelines and technologies which keep workers and customers safer.

What types of locations and problems are included?

  • Businessesnegligent security2
  • Apartment complexes
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Parking lots
  • Retail stores

Specific to regulations, these property owners and landlords have an obligation and duty to protect their patrons from dangerous situations and criminal acts of others. At the very least, the property owner is required to warn the customer or guest of any perils. To fail to do so is negligent.

What Actions Can Lead to a Negligent Security Case?

  • Rapenegligent security3
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Car Jackings
  • Muggings
  • Shootings
  • Assault
  • Wrongful Death

RESULTS

Automobile Accident

$2.6 Million Jury Verdict against Volusia County. Trial televised on Good Morning America

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Personal Injury

$2.6 Million Verdict against Volusia County, televised on Good Morning America.

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Medical Malpractice

Confidential settlement of over 100 cases against a pediatric dentist who faces prosecution for fraud based on abuse of children.

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Negligent Security Lawyers Serving Injured Clients in South Georgia

When you leave your house after dusk to make a quick run to the local grocery store or to a nearby convenience store, you should not have to worry that you will become a victim of violence because the property owned failed to take security precautions and to install lighting so that customers can remain safe while on the premises. However, negligent security lawsuits arise with some frequency in South Georgia, and it is important to speak with an experienced South Georgia premises liability attorney if you become the victim of violence as a result of a property owner’s negligence.

To be sure, negligent security cases can arise from violent crimes that take place in parking lots as well as within retail establishments. Yet these are not the only locations in which violent crimes can occur, and accordingly, these are not the only types of cases that can result in a successful premises liability lawsuit. For instance, if you are staying at a hotel or a motel, and there is insufficient security that plays a role in a violent crime that occurs, you may be eligible to file a negligent security claim against the hotel or motel owner. Even in the case of Florida residents that rent apartments in large complexes, an apartment complex owner can be responsible for harms if the property owner fails to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of others on those premises.
At the Law Offices of John M. Phillips, we are committed to helping victims of violent crime whose personal injuries have been caused by negligent security. If you have questions about filing a negligent security lawsuit, an experienced premises liability lawyer can assist you.

Controversy Concerning Premises Liability Lawsuits and Third Parties in South Georgia

Can anyone who becomes the victim of a violent crime on the premises belonging to another party hold that property owner liable for injuries and resulting damages? Some courts have been split about certain premises liability cases, especially when third-party crimes are involved. In particular, the article focuses on a property owner’s liability in injuries that are foreseeable, underscoring that the foreseeability of certain third-party crimes may not always be so clear.

To Whom Do Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care?

In cases involving third parties, the matter of how and why the injured plaintiff was on the property also becomes paramount. If the injured party was not invited onto the property in some capacity, then that person may not be able to prove that the property owner is liable for injuries. The following explains the types of parties that typically are considered to be “invited” onto the property under the law:

  •      Public invitee: this is a person who has been invited to enter the property, which is open to the public, as a member of the public. For instance, you might think of a public invitee as someone who enters onto the property of a public park for the purposes of enjoying a walking trail through the area.
  •      Business invitee: this is a person who has been invited to enter the property, either expressly or implicitly, by the property owner for the purpose of engaging in business. For example, a business invitee might be someone who makes scheduled deliveries to a business. Or, for instance, a business invitee might be a consumer who enters a store to make a purchase.
  •      Licensee by invitation: this is a person who is a social guest of the property owner. As an example, a licensee by invitation might be a friend or neighbor who is invited into a property owner’s home for a dinner party.

Generally speaking, the property owner owes the types of persons described above a duty to maintain the premises so that they are in safe condition, to take steps to prevent foreseeable crimes committed by third parties, and to warn about certain dangers on the property. What persons are not owed a similar duty of care? At the very least, property owners typically do not owe a duty of care to the following types of persons to guard against crimes committed by third parties:

  •      Uninvited licensee: this is a person who comes onto the property without an express or implied invitation for his or her own purposes. An example of an uninvited licensee might be a salesperson who is going door to door—without an express or implied invitation from those whose doors she is knocking on—for the purpose of making a profit from sales.
  •      Trespasser: this is a person who has no reason to be on the property of another, and may be on the property for harmful reasons (for example, to commit a crime), for the convenience of the trespasser (for example, trespassing to get more easily from Point A to Point B), or simply to engage in loitering for no purpose.

Tips in Case You Have Been in an Accident:

Get to a doctor and document your injuries. Not only does being proactive help your health, but insurance carriers and their lawyers always look to use evidence against you- how long you took to get to a doctor, what you complained about or didn’t complain about and they will comb through your records in painful detail. Go to the doctor, be honest and detailed.

Fill out any available accident reports and police reports. Ask for a copy. Then, call your insurance carrier and make a claim. Be careful what you say. All too often, injury victims will say they are “fine” or “not that bad” or otherwise be polite and that will haunt then if their injuries take a turn for the worse. The ER will only really tell you if you have broken bones or major issues, but go and be honest. Hospital emergency rooms tend to leave the bulging discs, herniated discs, shoulder tears and the like to later treating doctors.

Many of our clients are hurting, struggling and hoping they get better, but aren’t. You get one shot at recovery. Lawyers must make sure the insurance companies are acting fairly. John worked for eight years defending these claims for these companies and big businesses and could write a book about ways they use your desire to be fair and reasonable against you. He now solely works for injury victims like you.

While all lawyers are allowed to advertise and anyone can basically handle a personal injury case, only Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers are allowed to identify themselves as an “expert” or as “specialist” in this area. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the area by the Supreme Court of Florida. It also means the lawyer is known for trials- pushing beyond low offers by defendants, passed a peer review and passed a tough exam. Most cases do not get that far, but it is good to have a lawyer with all of the tools in their arsenal.

Insurance carriers try to negotiate every dollar they can, because every $100 means millions in the end to their Board of Directors. Attorneys matter. Defendants and their carriers change their game plan when an experienced lawyer is involved. For that reason – and the misinformation by TV lawyers and referral services- is why people should select lawyers carefully. Also, make sure it is the lawyer who shows up to meet with you and not a mere investigator. You are haring a lawyer and deserve their time. Also, ask for sample closing costs. Some lawyers charge for faxes, phone calls, scanning, postage, “in house courier” charges and even interest in these charges.

Because of the economy, more lawyers are jumping into personal injury and should stick to what they know. Personal injury law requires knowledge about medical science and biomechanics (the forces on a body in a wreck or a fall) far greater and more specific than you’d think. The other side has doctors and millions on their side to say nothing is wrong or fight the claim.

Elements of a South Georgia Premises Liability Lawsuit Based on Negligent Security

What elements must a plaintiff in Florida prove to win a negligent security case? Under Georgia law, a plaintiff generally must be able to prove the following in order to be eligible for damages:

  •      1) Property owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, which includes providing basic security measures to protect against third-party crimes;
  •      2) Property owner breached the duty of care by failing to provide basic security measures designed to protect the plaintiff against third-party crimes; and
  •      3) Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the property owner’s breach of the duty of care.

To prove the first element, the plaintiff will need to show that she was on the property as a public invitee, a business invitee, or a licensee by invitation. As we mentioned above, property owners do not owe the same duty of care to uninvited licensees or trespassers. To prove the second element, the plaintiff will need to provide evidence concerning basic security measures. At this step, the type of property—such as an apartment complex, a hotel, or a nighttime convenience store—will be particularly important, as basic security measures can vary among different types of property. Third, the plaintiff will need to prove that the injury she sustained as a result of being a victim of violent crime occurred because the property owner failed to provide basic security measures.

Contact Us For Help

If you have been the victim of violence, don’t face the court system alone. Contact the skilled Georgia attorneys at the Law Offices of John M. Phillips for immediate assistance with your case.

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