Crime Victims

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This Atlanta personal injury law firm regularly gets calls from victims of crimes or their family members when an individual is criminally attacked or assaulted.  The assaults may include beatings, muggings, car jackings, shootings, stabbings, robbery and rape and often times result in catastrophic psychological and physical injuries and death. Inadequate security at hotels and motels, apartment complexes, gas stations, convenient stores, shopping malls, parking lots, movie theaters, bank ATM’s, as well as other retail businesses, is the reason many of these attacks occur.  An owner of a Georgia business must exercise ordinary care in keeping their premises safe.  This duty includes protecting patrons and business guests from injury and death caused by foreseeable criminal acts of third parties.

Whether damages can be recovered against the land or business owner depends on whether the crime was “foreseeable” and the security was inadequate.  There is a large body of case law on what makes a crime foreseeable.  In making this determination, the courts look at previous similar criminal activity at the location and in the area.  Generally, the prior criminal activity must be substantially similar, but does not have to be identical.  Substantially similar means the prior crimes should have put an ordinary prudent person on notice that the patron or guest was facing an increased risk of attack.  It is a comparison of the nature of the crimes that determine similarity – was it a crime against a person or against property alone – and not a comparison of the details of the crime or even the degree of force used.  Making an appropriate showing of substantial similarity and the foreseeability of the crime is critical to the success to recovering damages in these types of cases.

If you can convince the court and jury that the crime is foreseeable, you then next need to show that the security measures were inadequate and that adequate security would have prevented the attack.  This can also be difficult, but is often much easier to prove than whether the crime was foreseeable because many businesses are concerned about costs, and things like putting up fences, installing and monitoring security cameras, providing adequate lighting and hiring security guards all cost money, but don’t make money.  Also, juries can understand that these types of security measures do prevent crime.

These types of Atlanta crime cases take a lot of time and energy and legal skill to properly handle.  These are not simple fender bender claims.  If you or a family member has been a victim to a crime and think you may have a claim against the owner of the land or business where the attack occurred, please call our office and speak to one of our experienced injury attorneys.  We have the knowledge and resources to properly investigate these issues and successfully pursue your claims.

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