It may sound unbelievable, but it happens. Whether they’re teenagers exploring an old building or a robber entering your home, trespassers can pursue damages if they’re hurt. Explaining why trespassers can file negligent security claims is a little complex, all property owners must understand the importance of adequate security.
Establishing a duty to protect guests is a significant element of any negligent security claim. While trespassers have the least protection under the law, property owners establish a duty under the law if they do not take steps to stop trespassers who frequently use their private land.
For example, if a landowner knows trespassers take a shortcut through his or her property daily, it would be the property owner’s responsibility to either reasonably close off the path, make the area safe, or post warning signs.
Regardless of whether you’re aware of trespassers, all properties must be reasonably approachable. Landowners who create unreasonable fortifications or traps could face criminal charges if someone suffers an injury on their property. Booby-traps are illegal in the state of Georgia, and it is considered unreasonable to defend an unoccupied property with deadly force.
A “Credible” Threat
Trespassers can file criminal charges if a property owner uses deadly force without warning.
The law only allows property owners to defend their property from a credible threat. In other words, you risk criminal charges if you attempt to defend your property from a noncredible threat, such as someone with the sole intention of taking a shortcut through your property.
These laws exist to keep everyone safe. For the most part, trespassers only have a negligent security case if the property owner goes out of their way to either make the property dangerous or deliberately attack nonthreatening trespassers.
If you were the victim of a violent crime due to negligent security measures, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Atlanta premises liability attorney from Pratt Clay to evaluate your claim, please send us an email or call 404-566-9460 .