In Atlanta, crimes such as shootings, rapes, robberies, or assaults occur on many commercial properties, including hotels and motels. Under Georgia law, a victim of a crime that occurs on the property of an unsafe hotel or motel may be able to recover against the hotel or motel for negligent security.
Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim. Premises liability cases in Georgia rest on the principle that a property owner has the legal duty to make sure that lawful visitors or “invitees” to its property are safe from dangerous conditions. An invitee of a hotel or motel includes guests, and dangerous conditions can include crimes that are committed by unrelated persons who come on to the property or even other motel or hotel guests.
Hotel and motel owners have the duty to protect its guests from “foreseeable” criminal acts, even if the crimes are committed by third parties. Thus, one of the factors that a victim of a crime on an unsafe property has to prove is that the crime was foreseeable. You may ask how anyone could predict the future to foresee the criminal act of a third party. Some factors that show that a property owner should have foreseen a criminal act are past crimes that occurred on the property or complaints about criminal behavior from customers, employees, or other guests.