Whether you visit a private or public property, it is important to feel safe and secure. However, sometimes establishments fail to provide adequate security measures to protect their patrons.
If you have been injured by a violent attack, the property owner may be held liable in a negligent security lawsuit. Often referred to as inadequate security, negligent security is an issue of premises liability.
An injured party can bring a negligent security lawsuit based on the duty of care provided by landowners and possessors of property in the form of reasonable security measures, which are supposed to protect lawful visitors from foreseeable crimes committed by third parties. Negligent security assumes that the attack or injury could have been prevented—or at least made less likely—by using proper security measures. If a private or public property is located in a well-known, high-crime area or presents an attractive target for criminals for other reasons, the property owner or manager may be required to take reasonable measures to prevent crimes on the premises.
The following are common examples of negligent security:
- Inadequate security personnel
- Failure to have security personnel
- Improperly trained security personnel
- Negligent or reckless security personnel
- Lack of sufficient policies and procedures
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of or malfunctioning gates, fencing, or locks
- Lack of or malfunctioning video cameras
- Lack of or malfunctioning alarms
In order to file a negligent security claim, a plaintiff must show that the property owner or manager failed to exercise reasonable care to discover similar, previous criminal activities or failed to provide adequate warnings so patrons could avoid injury. In addition, the plaintiff must show that he/she was lawfully present on the defendant’s property, the defendant breached its duty to provide adequate security, the plaintiff suffered injuries due to the criminal actions of a third party that were reasonably foreseeable to the defendant, the plaintiff would not have suffered injuries if the defendant provided reasonable security measures, and the plaintiff incurred actual damages.
Foreseeability is one of the most important issues of a negligent security case. Courts often determine foreseeability based on previous, similar crimes in the same location that the property owner or manager knew or should have known about. Furthermore, how frequently police have been called to a property or the types of crimes that are reported are considered by the courts.
These type of premises liability cases are often complex in nature and the defendants are typically backed by powerful legal representation. It is imperative to obtain experienced legal counsel from a skilled personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.