An area where we have developed particular expertise is in the area of “Inadequate Security” claims. Georgia Law provides a recovery for crime victims who are injured on a landowner’s property who can show that the landowner did not provide adequate security to protect them. The question of what is “adequate” security under the law requires the same legal analysis as other “non-security” premises claims. Put another way, for a crime victim to recover under the law they can only be successful in their legal claim where they can prove that the property owner (1) had superior knowledge of a danger (crime) on their property, and a property owner (2) who does not take reasonable steps to provide security against the danger, or warn the person coming onto their property about the danger.
Inadequate security cases require the lawyer to have an understanding of both Civil law and procedure and Criminal law. Nelson Tyrone handled cases both as a Prosecutor in Dekalb County and as a Criminal Defense lawyer for one of the top firms in Georgia, Garland, Samuel & Loeb before taking on Inadequate Security cases on behalf of crime victims. It is this experience with law enforcement, crime scene analysis, security analysis and criminal law that makes the Tyrone Law Firm uniquely positioned to handle claims on behalf of crime victims in Inadequate Security Cases. We have access to the leading crime and security experts and routinely involve law enforcement and former officers in our investigation on behalf of our clients.
Dangerous Premises Law in Georgia – Generally:
Georgia law provides several different types of legal claims against landowners where the landowner’s negligence results in a person who is legally on their property being injured. The Tyrone Law Firm been successful on behalf of clients bringing Premises Claims. In fact, we have also obtained some of the largest jury verdicts in the state. Specifically, in a case that went to jury trial in Cobb County in 2010 we obtained the largest Premises Claim verdict in the State. As the law is complicated, what we are able to outline in a webpage is only the most general overview. Please take this advice. (It is the same advice we would give our neighbor or a member of our family). Before you select a lawyer to represent you – particularly in something as important as choosing a lawyer to bring a Premises Claim lawsuit on behalf of you or a member of your family: you must compare lawyers and choose wisely.
A successful Premises Claim Lawsuit – if handled correctly – can provide you and your family money for urgently needed medical care, for wages lost as a result of injury, to reimburse you for past medical care, and for the pain and suffering resulting from the injury. It is hard to overstate how much is at stake.
The Elements of a Premises Claim in Georgia:
Georgia law provides a legal claim where someone is injured on another person’s property. The injured person can only be successful in their legal claim where they can prove that the property owner (1) had superior knowledge of a danger on their property, and a property owner (2) who does not take reasonable steps to fix or remove the danger, or warn the person coming on to their property about the danger.
This is a very important point: the law in Georgia does not provide a claim in all cases where a person is injured on another person’s property. Put another way, Courts in Georgia have held “the landowner is not the insurer of persons who come on their property”. Therefore, the lawyer handling your Premises Claim must be an expert in gathering the evidence necessary to show the landowner’s (1) prior, superior knowledge of the danger, and (2) that the landowner did not act reasonably in either fixing, removing, or warning about the danger. If the lawyer cannot establish each of these on behalf of the client, the landowner and the Court can end the lawsuit shortly after it begins.
Developing the “story” of the client’s injury and loss:
Georgia is different from many states in that the client’s injury is considered not from the perspective of “any person” or “how the juror perceives the injury”, but how the injured person values their own injury and the monetary value the injured person would put on their own injury. While it might seem obvious that each of us would value our own injury to the highest dollar amount, in fact, to the law, this not the case. In fact, the message behind this particular point of view is that “each person may put a different value on their injury”. Put another way “each injury and each person is different”.
The lawyer must gather evidence of what the client values in life and how their injury has impacted them. Has their injury impacted their contact with their family? What if they have no family? Has their injury impacted the activities in their life? What if the person was not active? This is where the lawyer’s skill in putting on evidence – in fact, putting on “the story” of the client’s life – and how the injury has impacted them (not how it might impact someone else) is critical. At the Tyrone Law Firm, we have developed an expertise in this process. We employ the methods of a family therapist to discover the story of the person and how they lived their life. (In fact, we routinely use psychologists to work with us in “discovering” the client’s story). We employ the methods used by screenwriters, actors and directors to determine how to best tell the story of the client’s case. (In fact, we routinely use screenwriters and directors to help us craft the story – the witnesses, pieces of evidence and “scenes” from the client’s life that we will put before the jury).
Why we are “trial-focused” and “jury-focused”?
Clients often ask us “why so much talk about the trial or the jury if I really am hoping you can settle my case without a trial?” The answer is simple. Corporations and Insurance Companies (who are most often the Defendants in our client’s cases) will not pay a penny more than they think they will be forced to pay. When we make a settlement demand on behalf of our client, the insurance company does not pay because they are being nice. They only pay because they believe they will have to. Here is the important part: corporations and insurance companies will pay different amounts to different lawyers based on how afraid they are of the lawyer’s ability at trial. Many lawyers who handle personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits always settle their client’s cases without trial – no matter what. Insurance companies are not going to pay the full value of any claim to a lawyer who is willing to settle their client’s case at a discount. They will only pay top value to a lawyer who (1) has a reputation for taking client’s cases to trial and recovering large jury verdicts, and (2) who has prepared the specific case before them for trial.
This is why we focus on trial. This is why we focus on juries. By preparing all of our clients’ cases for trial, we send a message to insurance companies that they will not be able to settle our client’s case for a discount. They can either pay a premium to settle our client’s case, or face a jury trial. Because of our expertise in presenting our clients’ cases to juries, we believe the juries will force them to pay a premium at trial. Either way, they will pay our client full compensation. We will never give them a discount.