If you are a property owner or an occupier and you have invited someone over, you have a duty to exercise care and caution to keep the premises safe, as stated by O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. Included in this are apartment communities and hotels who must take reasonable measures and precautions to deter criminals from preying on tenants and guests. Throughout the years, Georgia courts have consistently upheld and maintained that a property owner or occupier can be held liable for criminal acts occurring on their property if the occurrence of the crime was foreseeable and/or preventable. Many people who are victims of a crime may be unaware that they could have a claim against the apartment complex or hotel they were at when the crime occurred. Crimes included are a shooting, sexual assault, robbery, and many others.
If an apartment complex or hotel has many crimes that occur on the premises, the complex or hotel has a duty under Georgia law to takes steps to deter future crimes from occurring on the property. There are many measures that a business can take to try and deter criminal activity from occurring on the premises. Some options include security guards, fencing, lighting, controlled access gates, neighborhood watch programs, and upgraded window and door locks. While not all crime can be prevented, some can and business owners are responsible for taking all measures to prevent the crimes they can.
Many cases seen by attorneys include shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults, and murders that occur at apartment complexes, and many of these complexes have failed to take basic security measures which could prevent criminals from targeting innocent residents or guests. Each case is different, so in a premises liability case the first step your attorney must take is to gather the criminal history of the property in question. Next, local law enforcement must be consulted. Our attorneys routinely consult with security and property management experts in order to determine what could have been done to prevent certain crimes. If it appears that the complex or hotel was negligent in preventing a crime, a case can be filed. Our attorneys will exhaust all measures to make sure the business is held liable for their negligence. If you have been the victim of a crime at an apartment complex or hotel, you may have a case.