Police were searching for a suspect recently who returned to the Atlanta gas station where he had been involved in a violent altercation days before and fired a gun into a crowd of people he recognized from the prior altercation. One bystander was reportedly grazed in the back of the head by a bullet during the shooting and was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition.
If an individual is injured by a violent act while on a commercial property, who is liable? The individual who acted violently and caused injuries to others is responsible criminally and compensation can also be sought from that individual through a personal injury lawsuit separately from the criminal proceedings. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to obtain compensation from that person unless he or she has an applicable insurance policy that would provide coverage, as insurance is the means by which most awards and settlements in personal injury cases are paid.
In some cases, the owner or possessor of the property on which the violent act occurred can be found liable for the injury, due to negligent security. Negligent security is a type of premises liability case in which the property owner or possessor failed to protect his or her guests that caused injury to them from known criminal activity. In order to prove a property owner was negligent in providing security, you must show that the property owner/possessor knew or reasonably should have known that there was a threat of violent acts occurring on the property and failed to protect others by taking steps to mitigate the known danger. Without knowing all the details of the case referenced above, it is impossible to know what steps were taken by the owner/possessor after the first altercation at the gas station to protect guests or whether there had been other security issues at the station in the past that had not been addressed. However, these are questions that an attorney seeks to find answers to in cases like this.
If you have been injured due to negligent security, contact the experienced premises liability lawyers at Cambre & Associates to learn more about your legal options.