Experienced Injury Attorney Fighting for the Rights of Victims Hurt Due to Negligent Security in Savannah, Georgia
I love almost everything about Savannah – strolling through the Savannah Historic District, enjoying the atmosphere of the Savannah Music Festival every spring, or simply enjoying Southern hospitality at its finest. In case I get “cabin fever” and need to spend a weekend out of town, Interstate 16 and Interstate 95 are always waiting for the rubber to hit the road.
Despite its charms, however, Savannah records over 1.000 violent crimes every year. Many of these crimes could have been avoided if various establishments – such as hotels, parking garages, apartment complexes, nightclubs, shopping centers, airports and other establishments – did not shirk their responsibility to provide appropriate security.
You Can Sue an Establishment That Fails to Provide Adequate Security
Establishments that are open to the public, open to tenants, or open to invited guests only all have a legal responsibility to protect their guests against foreseeable risks. This means that some of these establishments are charged with the responsibility of providing adequate security to prevent violent crimes, whether that “security” means adequate locks, private security guards, or restricted access.
The problem with filing a lawsuit is that perpetrators of violent crimes typically lack the financial resources to pay a lawsuit judgment, and insurance companies rarely insure against criminal acts committed by the insured. This means that to actually collect compensation, you will need to find a responsible third party to sue. That third party might just be an establishment with negligent security.
You Will Likely be Dealing With a Large Insurance Company
The establishment that you assert your claim against is likely to hold insurance that will pay out on a negligent security claim. Although large insurance companies, motivated by profit, like to eat personal injury claimants for breakfast, their attitude becomes far more respectful when they realize that they are dealing with an experienced Savannah personal injury lawyer who knows how to stand up to them.
My name is Clarke Nash, and before I became a personal injury lawyer, I worked as an insurance defense lawyer. As a consequence, I know exactly how insurance companies think, and how they try to avoid or minimize valid claims. I know every trick in the book because once upon a time, I was using them myself. I can apply this knowledge to your claim and use it to seek full compensation for you.
A Word From One of Our Clients
In October of 2012, I had a slip and fall accident. My first attempt to get what I deserved was with another firm. Then Clarke Nash, P.C. stepped in. Within two months, I was paid and really satisfied. No one brushed me off at that firm. I spoke to Clarke Nash whenever I chose. His office was kind and professional. I tell everyone about his firm. I never want to have to get hurt. But, if so, he’s the one. He told me one amount. Then, behold, he gave me more than he said at first. Thank you, Clarke Nash, P.C. – P. Chappel, Dublin, GA, April 23, 2015
Our Primary Areas of Practice
Car Accidents: Over 1,000 people lose their lives on Georgia roads every year, and over 100,000 are injured. Although these numbers have declined over the past 10 years, your risk of an accident is still far from insignificant. Most of the time, a car accident is the fault of one of the drivers. When that driver is not you, it is time to file a claim.
Truck Accidents: Truck accidents are typically catastrophic, and frequently fatal. Two factors often distinguish a truck accident claim from a car accident claim – i) first, the driver is typically a commercial driver working for a company; and ii) second, a commercial driver is subject to numerous regulations that do not apply to ordinary drivers.
Bicycle Accidents: Bicycle accidents commonly result in serious injury or death, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. In most cases, a bicycle accident can be traced to the negligence of a motorist who didn’t see the bicyclist or who misjudged the speed.
Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents can be devastating, especially for elderly victims with brittle bones. A slip and fall accident is particularly likely to support a personal injury claim if it occurred while the victim was a guest at a private residence or commercial establishment.
Wrongful Death: Strictly speaking, a wrongful death claim is not a personal injury claim – it is what a personal injury claim becomes if the victim dies from his or her injuries. Damages in a wrongful death claim go to the victim’s close relatives and probate estate.
Product Liability: You can file a product liability lawsuit if you were injured by a defective product, even if you did not purchase the product in question. A product liability lawsuit can address an injury caused by anything from an automobile component to a defective prescription drug. In many cases, the defendant can be held liable without even proving fault.
Dram Shop Liability: The Georgia dram shop law holds nightclubs, social hosts, and sometimes even convenience stores liable for an alcohol-induced accident if they served alcohol to the perpetrator before the accident, and the perpetrator was either: (i) under 21 or (ii) obviously intoxicated at the time when served.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is “negligence per se” and how can it help my case?
Under the “negligence per se” doctrine, a defendant is considered automatically negligent if he or she violated a relevant safety law or regulation. If the defendant was negligent and that negligence actually caused your injury, you will probably win your case.
What do I have to prove to win a negligent security claim?
To win a negligent security claim, you need to prove that:
- The defendant had an obligation to provide adequate security;
- The defendant failed to meet its obligation to provide adequate security;
- The defendant’s failure to provide adequate security was a substantial cause of your accident; and
- You suffered injury as a result.
How do I know when an establishment has a duty to provide security?
An establishment has a duty to provide security when there is a substantial and foreseeable risk of harm to guests, if providing security would be feasible and would significantly reduce the risk of harm. A five-star restaurant might not need to hire a bouncer, for example, while a rough nightclub might need to.
I was injured due to a violent crime that occurred in a commercial establishment. Am I automatically entitled to compensation?
Not automatically. The issue is not whether you were injured, but whether the establishment’s security arrangements were negligent. Sometimes, injuries occur despite conscientious security precautions; in such cases, the proprietor is not normally subject to liability.
How much compensation can I recover?
There are three main types of damages available under Georgia personal injury law:
- Economic damages: Easily quantifiable damages, such as medical expenses and lost earnings.
- Non-economic damages: Real but intangible damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages: An extra sum designed to punish the defendant for particularly outrageous conduct (seldom awarded).
Am I eligible for punitive damages?
Although Georgia does allow punitive damages, courts are reluctant to award them. To win punitive damages, you must prove that the defendat’s conduct was particularly outrageous (malicious or intentional, for example), and you must prove this by “clear and convincing evidence,” which is a higher-than-normal standard of proof in a civil case.
What type of legal action should be taken if the victim of negligent security dies?
The moment the victim dies, the personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death claim in favor of the close relatives identified in Georgia’s wrongful death statutes. Generally, the victim’s spouse files the wrongful death claim, although other relatives are sometimes eligible.
Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit?
Yes – for personal injury, the deadline is two years from the date of the injury; for a wrongful death claim, the deadline is two years from the date of death. If you miss the deadline, your claim will die. Certain narrow exceptions apply, however.
Now is the Time to Act Decisively
Your choice of attorney might turn out to be the most important decision you make in your entire case. That sobering reality is fine with me, because well over 90 percent of my clients see their claims settled out of court. Almost all of them walk away with compensation for their injuries.
I am so confident that I can win your case, that I can make you this guarantee: You will owe me absolutely nothing in legal fees until and unless I win your case. If you lose, you pay nothing, and if you win, your legal fee will be proportionate to how much you won. I only win if you win too, and I only win big if you win big.
Contact Me for Your Free Case Consultation
If you believe that you have a negligent security claim, telephone me today at (912) 200-5292, use my online contact page, or simply stop by my Savannah office at Suite 601, 2 E. Bryan Street near Ellis Square to schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your case.