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If someone assaults you at an apartment building, who pays your damages?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Premises Liability

You expect to be safe walking around your apartment building or when visiting somebody else’s complex somewhere in Atlanta. Unfortunately, violent crime is a fact of life in northern Georgia. You never know when someone might attack you in the hallway, laundry room, parking lot or other shared area of the apartment.

Hopefully, the police will catch and arrest your assailant so they can face justice in criminal court. But sending them to prison won’t pay your hospital bills, make up for the wages you lost while unable to work or fully heal any emotional trauma e the attack triggered. You could try suing the criminal, but if they lack financial resources, you might never recover whatever judgment or settlement you receive.

There could be another option for compensation: the apartment building’s owners.

More than slip-and-fall accidents

In Georgia, premises liability goes beyond a property owner being responsible when someone slips and falls on their premises because of a preventable trap like a wet floor or broken staircase. Just like store owners owe their customers a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably clean, safe and in good repair, landlords owe their tenants and legal visitors a duty to keep them safe from crime. This often means maintaining working locks on the exterior doors and some type of security system to keep out trespassers.

What can happen when a landlord neglects their tenants’ safety

Reasonable steps like these can significantly reduce the risk of violent crime in and around an apartment building. Landlords who fail to take them may be indirectly responsible when someone gets injured in an assault on the premises. As someone recovering from a brutal assault, you need to know all your legal options for financial compensation before you can make smart decisions about how to proceed.