Atlanta Attorney for Serious Injury Victims & Wrongful Death at Gas Stations in Georgia
Table of Contents
- What is Negligent Security at Georgia Gas Stations?
- Proving Liability and Legal Causation in a Negligent Security Case in Atlanta
- Compensation & Damages Recoverable in a Gas Station Negligent Security Case
- Types of Gas Station Negligent Security Cases We Handle
- Further Reading on Gas Station Negligent Security
What is Negligent Security at Georgia Gas Stations?
Gas stations are essential, but they are also some of the most dangerous places in Atlanta. The increase in violent crimes in Metro Atlanta and nationwide is even more evident when people are most vulnerable. Customers fueling their vehicles and buying coffee, snacks, and other convenience items in the store can quickly become victims of crime, even in “safe” neighborhoods.
With so much money changing hands all the time, gas station robberies are a high-dollar proposition for a criminal. It doesn’t take long for both employees and customers to become crime victims while filling their tanks.
Like any Georgia business, owners and operators of gas stations are legally responsible under OCGA §51-3-1 to protect their customers while they’re on the property. Negligent security happens when owners and operators fail to protect customers, visitors and employees from criminal activity that was foreseeable.
If an innocent victim is injured during a violent criminal act, the owner or operator can be held liable for those injuries. A victim can file a negligent security claim to recover compensation for their injuries in a civil court. The person who perpetrated the crime that led to the plaintiff’s injuries is tried in criminal court, which is separate from the claim for compensation.
Proving Liability and Causation in Georgia Gas Station Negligent Security Claims
If you’re injured in a gas station assault, you may have grounds to pursue claims against a few different parties. You could start with the attacker, by filing an intentional tort claim. The problem with this is that there’s no insurance for criminal actions. That means that, unless the perpetrator has significant assets that can be seized to cover the judgment, such a case may not be worth your time and energy.
You’re more likely to have success with a third-party liability claim for negligent security against the gas station owner. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; the plaintiff bears the burden of proof in showing that the crime was foreseeable and that the security was inadequate or conditions were unreasonably dangerous. Finally, if there was a security detail, a claim could be filed against that company if an employee was negligent in performing his or her duties.
Establishing Negligence in Gas Station Injury Cases
Georgia law establishes negligence by proving that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care but failed to do so. The result of this negligence was injury to another person.
A plaintiff must then prove that the property owner was negligent in this duty, and that the negligence caused their injuries by showing:
- The property owner had a duty of care to the plaintiff.
- The property owner neglected to take sufficient steps to ensure the safety of invitees, breaching their duty.
- The owner’s breach of duty was directly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
The other method of proof is known as cause in fact, indicating that a direct act was responsible for a person’s injuries.
Compensation and Damages Recoverable in Gas Station Negligent Cases in Georgia
Crime victims who suffer at the hands of criminals have a long road ahead of physical and financial recovery. If they were robbed and their car was stolen, they will need to replace the car as well as any money or other valuables lost, such as a smartphone or debit/credit cards.
If the injuries were the result of negligent security, damages such as:
- Medical expenses, current and future.
- Lost wages.
- Lost future wages.
- Property damage.
- Emotional anguish.
- Punitive damages (in some cases).
Speak with an experienced Atlanta gas station negligent security attorney immediately to discuss your case and learn about your options.