Student dormitories are a great place to help transition young students into the complexities of adult life. Dorms are meant to offer independence as well as some responsibilities, while providing a safe space for students to grow and learn. One of the most crucial selling points of these housing facilities is the safety they are meant to offer to young people. Especially for dorms in urban centers, parents and students should be able to expect the school to take adequate precautions to keep criminals and other dangerous elements out of the dorms so that they cannot harm or steal from the students. When dorms fail to protect their residents, the victim of the crime may be able to file a negligent security lawsuit against the school.
Negligent security is a type of premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability is the legal concept that holds property owners accountable for the safety conditions of their property. When someone is hurt or injured because of a condition that the property owner was aware of but failed to correct, that person can file a lawsuit against the property owner under premises liability. So under this principle, if the school has failed to provide proper security that would have prevented a crime, the victims may be able to receive compensation from the school.
However, just because a crime occurred in the dorm does not mean that the school was negligent. In order for a negligent security case to be successful, the victim of the crime must prove that the school did not take reasonable security measures to prevent the crime. If the school, for example, failed to train their security staff or replace a broken security gate, then they could be found liable for any theft or injuries caused by a criminal who walked into the dorms. The crime committed must also be foreseeable to the school based on the criminal history of the area.
We expect our students to be safe when we send them off to college, and we must hold schools accountable for when they negligently fail to provide this safety. With many complicated factors playing into determining liability in a negligent security case involving a school dormitory, it is important to contact a skilled negligent security and personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on. An attorney will be able to analyze the crime and help determine if you or your student can seek compensation for injuries or damages caused by a crime committed inside the dormitories.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into dorm security liability.