Under the law, owners of establishments are responsible for ensuring that their property is reasonably safe and secure from anticipated dangers. This can be criminal acts like shootings, fights or other acts of physical violence to defects in architectural design.
However, an architect or contractor can be held accountable when the incident involves improper property design. For example, they can be held responsible when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle on a property where the architects or engineers failed to create a safe walkway.
While it is accepted that an independent contractor is not liable for injuries suffered as a result of the work they did on the property, Georgia allows for negligence to be brought against the actual design by an architect if:
- The work causes a nuisance or is inherently dangerous to third persons.
- The work is so negligently defective that it is imminently dangerous to third persons.
As with any negligence claims, we must prove five elements to prevail in court:
- Duty: This concerns the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. Our negligence lawyers must be able to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care (responsibility) not to cause you or others harm. Whether or not a duty is owed in a negligent security case often hinges on the foreseeability of criminal activity.
- Breach of duty: Once duty has been established, we must prove that the defendant did not meet a level of standard care, which resulted in the injury to you or a family member.
- Cause in fact: We must show the causal connection between the defendant’s conduct or actions and the resulting harm to you or your family.
- Proximate cause: Our negligence lawyers must also show a direct correlation between an act of negligence and the injury that resulted from it and whether that harm was foreseeable. Foreseeability is a pivotal issue in any negligent security case.
- Harm/Damages: Finally, our negligence lawyers must be able to show that the defendant’s negligence resulted in actual damages for you or a family member.
Parker Miller and Houston Kessler, lawyers in our Atlanta office, oversee these cases and other premises liability and negligent security cases across the State of Georgia and other states.