Strange as it is to think about, unless you own a home, you spend 100% of your time on property owned and controlled by someone else. Even homeowners must regularly venture into businesses, schools, and other spaces where they have no say in the security measures to protect them. Some people try not to think too much about the danger of falling victim to violent crime.
At The Stoddard Firm, we are committed to protecting people against violent crime. Let us know if you need help with a wrongful death case caused by negligent security. We can connect you to a negligent security wrongful death attorney who can review your case and help you determine how to proceed.
Why Choose Us?
It can be tough to choose between negligent securities wrongful death lawyers. Fortunately, we take the guesswork out of finding a quality lawyer to represent you in your wrongful death case. Our negligent security wrongful death lawyer has a proven track record and the goal of ensuring that no client ever has to settle for an inferior result.
Initially, our attorney can meet with you to learn about your negligent security wrongful death case. We treat negligent security in wrongful death cases seriously. Our lawyer allocates as much time as needed to get insights into your case and explain your legal options.
Our team maintains a tried-and-true approach to wrongful death cases. We maintain a small caseload and invest the energy and resources to help you achieve your desired case result. If you have legal concerns or questions, our team is ready to respond to them anytime.
How We Can Help
When it comes to wrongful death caused by negligent security in Atlanta, we leave no room for mistakes. Our team represents your best interests and advocates for you throughout your litigation. In doing so, we make sure you are well-positioned to present a compelling argument and secure the most comprehensive damages possible.
Leading up to your wrongful death trial, we help you gather evidence. In addition, our team prepares you for your trial and makes sure you know what to expect once it gets underway. We keep the lines of communication open and encourage you to come forward with any legal concerns or questions before your trial.
Our lawyer works diligently to represent your best interests when your negligent security wrongful death case goes to trial. Our attorney clarifies to the court why you should be awarded full damages. If our lawyer succeeds, you can secure damages that can serve you well long into the future.
Everything You Need to Know About Wrongful Death in Georgia
By legal definition, a “wrongful” death is more than just an untimely death. It is a death caused by another person’s negligent or criminal actions. When a wrongful death occurs, the surviving spouse can sue for the “full value of the life of the decedent.”
There is no accurate way of placing a dollar value on human life. Still, the potential lifetime earnings of the deceased are often used as a jumping-off point. When there is no surviving spouse, the right to sue falls to the deceased’s children; when there are no surviving children, an executor of the estate will need to be appointed to sue on behalf of the next of kin. That can be a lot to take in during shock and grief, but a wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the requirements smoothly.
When a tragedy occurs, assigning blame to a single source can be tempting. However, multiple parties can be at fault for wrongful death, as is often the case in scenarios involving inadequate or negligent security.
For example, in a case where a hotel’s inadequate security allowed a man to hold two women and four children prisoner in his room, resulting in the starvation and death of one of the children, the man was found 60% liable for the child’s death and the hotel 30% liable.
An important point to recognize is that the ruling against the man now serving life in prison is mostly symbolic and uncollectable. Meanwhile, the ruling against the hotel will actually support the mother in her recovery and can serve as a warning to other complicit or indifferent hotel owners.
Some Businesses Encourage Their Own Patterns of Crime
In September 2018, a Bosnian War concentration camp survivor was shot and killed in a Walmart parking lot in Gwinnett County. The decedent’s wife brought a wrongful death suit against Walmart. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged Walmart did not address its longstanding inadequate security.
On its own, the aforementioned case might seem like a random tragedy. Yet, negligent security incidents at Walmart locations may be more common than you think. It remains an ongoing problem that puts people in danger every day.
Throughout the country, violent crimes are reported at Walmart locations. There is no telling when a violent crime will take place at a Walmart. Regardless, the crime can impact anyone at Walmart, along with their respective families.
Why Negligent Security Continues to Be a Big Problem in Georgia?
In terms of negligent security at Walmart, much of the problem seems to date back to an aggressive cost-cutting campaign in 2000. At this point, Walmart cut back its workforce to the point of having only one worker for every 524 square feet of retail space.
When Walmart made its cutbacks, the company pushed the expense for customer and employee safety onto the publicly funded local police.
With Walmart’s move, it may have been able to reduce its operating costs. On the other hand, the company did so at the expense of public safety. Worst of all, Walmart’s cost-cutting measures may contribute to the loss of lives.
Walmart is one of many businesses that may be negligent with its security. If a family member dies due to a business’s lack of security, you must hold the company accountable. To do so, it is critical to partner with a wrongful death lawyer that knows the ins and outs of negligent security law in Georgia.
Hotels and Apartment Complexes Are Common Negligent Security Offenders
Retail businesses like Walmart, hotels and apartment complexes sometimes ignore security. For example, a hotel owner may receive notifications regarding violent crimes on their property. Suppose the hotel owner chooses to ignore these notifications and takes no steps to protect guests against violent crimes. In that case, they can be held responsible for any such crimes reported in the foreseeable future.
Apartment landlords may be negligent with tenant security. For instance, a landlord may fail to get a faulty lock on a front door of an apartment complex repaired, even after the issue has been reported. In this instance, anyone can walk through the front door and commit violent crimes that endanger tenants.
There is no excuse for a hotel owner or apartment landlord to be negligent with security. If you believe security is an issue at a hotel or apartment, share your concerns immediately. In cases where security concerns go unaddressed and lead to a wrongful death, get legal help from an experienced attorney.
Sometimes Security Companies and Personnel Are Part of the Problem
The simplest way for a business to better ensure people’s safety is to install security equipment or hire security guards. It is not enough, however, to install or hire just any security provider without proper vetting. Sometimes, entrusting security to the lowest bidder can be worse than no security.
In one instance at a Norcross nightclub, a security guard opened fire into a crowded parking lot. The security guard killed a 19-year-old and wounded a bystander. Upon his arrest, police discovered what a simple background check would have revealed: the guard was a convicted rapist who legally should not have had a gun or been employed to wield one in a position of authority.
It is the responsibility of businesses and property owners to prioritize security. Otherwise, inadequate security conditions put people at risk.
How to Get Started with a Negligent Security Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
You are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are the decedent’s spouse. This applies if you are married to the decedent at their death.
- You are the decedent’s parent. You can sue an at-fault party in a wrongful death lawsuit if the decedent is unmarried and has no children.
- You represent the decedent’s estate. If the decedent is unmarried, has no children, and has no surviving parents, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of this individual’s estate.
If you plan to pursue a wrongful death claim, it is important to partner with an attorney. First, you can discuss your claim with a wrongful death lawyer. The lawyer can determine if you have a valid request for damages.
A wrongful death lawyer may find you have a compelling argument for damages on the grounds of negligent security. In this situation, the attorney will make sure your lawsuit is well-crafted and properly filed. You can request damages totaling tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How Much Time You Have to Request Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Georgia, you typically have up to two years from the date of a wrongful death to pursue damages. You should not wait to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you delay too long, you lose the right to pursue damages from any at-fault parties.
By meeting with a wrongful death attorney, you can request damages before the statute of limitations to do so lapses. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and help you submit a claim against anyone responsible for the wrongful death. Next, your lawyer will help you gather evidence and build a strong argument.
Before your wrongful death trial, your attorney will negotiate with any at-fault parties. It may take months or years to resolve your wrongful death case for negligent security. With negotiations, you may be able to settle before you need to go to trial.
What to Expect If You Get a Settlement Offer in a Wrongful Death Negligent Security Case?
The defendant in a wrongful death negligent security case may find the plaintiff has a strong case against them. At this time, the defendant may be more inclined to submit a settlement offer than ever. The defendant may offer the plaintiff a portion of the damages that were originally requested in exchange for a quick case resolution.
If you receive a settlement proposal in your wrongful death case, review it with your attorney. You are not required to accept a settlement, and your lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of doing so. If you decide a settlement is not what you want, you and your attorney can continue to prepare for your trial.
You may receive multiple settlement offers before your wrongful death case trial date. It is paramount to review each settlement that comes your way and figure out if it aligns with your best interests. If you feel comfortable with a settlement, you can approve it and close your case.
How a Negligent Security Wrongful Death Case Gets Resolved During a Trial
In a trial, you are responsible for presenting evidence supporting your damages request. Your lawyer reviews evidence with you before your trial date. Also, your lawyer considers how to present evidence and make sure the court understands its relevance.
When you and the defendant appear for your trial, you can share your respective arguments. Your lawyer will help you tell your story and may rely on witnesses to provide testimony. On top of that, your attorney will cross-examine witnesses presented by the defendant’s attorney.
If the court finds the defendant is fully responsible for a wrongful death, you will receive damages. You may be awarded economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are given for lost wages and other quantifiable losses, while non-economic damages are awarded for pain, suffering, and other subjective losses.
Move Forward with Your Negligent Security Wrongful Death Case
The Stoddard Firm offers legal help to people that want to file negligent security wrongful death claims. For more information or to request a free consultation, please contact us online or call us today at 470-467-2200.