Land and property owners are expected and obligated to maintain proper security measures on their premises, in order to protect visitors from hazardous conditions, such as criminal or violent acts. When a patron or visitor is injured in a foreseeable crime, where the property owner or manager failed to supply adequate security, the victim may claim negligent security. Negligent security presumes that sufficient security measures could have potentially prevented or lessened the likelihood or severity of the criminal act. Property owners, lessees, or managers could all be held responsible for injuries that yourself or a loved one faced as a result of a crime that occurred on someone else’s property. There is a possibility you could recover compensation via a negligent security lawsuit. Similar to other personal injury claims, negligent security lawsuits must be filed within one year from the date of the incident.
There are a number of core legal principles that will help determine when a property owner may be held responsible. Property owners have an obligation to be aware of, and consider, previous criminal history in the area, and act in a way that protects patrons from safety threats while on their property. If there is a history of criminal activity near or on the property, it is appropriate to conclude that someone else could be harmed by a similar act. If a property owner does not supply protection against a known threat, such as installing or increasing security, they can be held liable if a criminal act occurs on their property. When negligent security cases are filed, attorneys will work to uncover any prior criminal activity on or around a property to prove that the owner had “constructive knowledge” that an incident could occur.
What suffices as adequate security can vary from case to case. A negligent security attorney will research the case completely and determine the necessary security measures for various establishments. General examples of negligent security could include: no security cameras or non-functioning cameras, a lack of or untrained security guards, doors with non-functioning lock hardware, a lack of or inadequate lighting, broken fences or gates, and a lack of or non-functioning alarm systems. Negligent security incidents can happen almost anywhere, whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, parking garage, bank, gas station, or a playground. In order to proceed with a negligent security lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the property owner failed to provide basic security measures, that the negligent security caused the incident, and that the crime should have been foreseeable. If you were injured on someone else’s property due to negligent security, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in a timely manner.