Victims of Negligent Security may have Premises Liability Claim
Victims of crimes in private establishments like bars, parking lots or housing complexes may have legal claims against the owners and management for possible negligent security. The owners and property managers are not directly responsible for criminal action, but if businesses fail to provide adequate staff, lighting or other basic security measures to protect against crimes that are reasonably foreseeable, they may be liable for putting either employees or patrons at unnecessary risk.
The courts have upheld the belief that property and business owners have a legal duty to make sure their property does not present an undue danger to the physical well-being of workers, tenants, customers or people who come onto the property for any purpose. If an assault or robbery occurs on private property due in part to poor security conditions, a civil lawsuit against the property owner for negligent security may be filed. Negligent security cases fall under the practice area of premises liability law, and may involve hotels, stores, restaurants, malls, parking garages, or apartment complexes.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney investigating claims of physical assault or property damages due to negligent security.
Common Crimes in Negligent Security Lawsuits
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault
- Rape claims
- Wrongful death
- False imprisonment
- Home invasion
- Car jacking
Proper Crime & Safety Precautions
Businesses in high-crime areas are common defendants in negligent security claims. If it is more likely that crime is likely to occur on a property, there must be preventative security actions taken to ensure the safety of employees, tenants and patrons. Poor security conditions include a lack of security staff, and a lack of lighting and cameras. The more security barriers there are, the less likely a criminal will seize an opportunity to commit a particular crime.
Whether or not a safety risk is foreseeable depends on where a business or property is located, how attractive it is to criminals, and the history of area crime. If the property in question is located in a high crime area, any property owner has a duty to obtain sufficient security measures.
For a victim to win a negligent security case, a court must find that the property owner knew the property was located in a high-crime area, and still failed to take appropriate caution. An experienced local lawyer can analyze area crime statistics and experts’ opinion to argue that the property owner ignored obvious crime risks.
How much security is enough? The answer depends on specific case circumstances, but usually the more frequently a crime occurs, the more additional security measures a property owner is expected to take. In most cases, proper lighting, cameras and armed security patrols are sufficient.
Common Defendants in Negligent Security Claims
Most plaintiffs are either customers, tenants or guests of a business, and employees represent make up around 15 percent of plaintiffs. Common establishments involved in lawsuits include:
- Parking lots
- Housing complexes
- Apartment buildings
- Nursing homes
- Banks & ATMs
- Malls & Shopping Centers
- Bars and restaurants
- College Campus & Dorm Rooms
- Sports Venues—stadiums and arenas
- Theme parks
Compensation for Victims of Negligent Security
When it comes to taking legal action, it may be easier for a victim to locate the owner or manager of a property than whomever actually committed the crime. An owner is also likely to have insurance, making it more likely for damages to be recovered.
What a court will see as adequate security for a property can vary, though common security features include trained security patrols during business hours or when guests are expected to be at the property, proper lighting, and functioning cameras and locks. If there has been a crime on the premises, contact a lawyer to determine whether security measures were adequate and to evaluate who may be liable in your situation.
If you or a love one has suffered an injury due to negligent security and have questions about a premises liability issue and the available legal remedies to provide for a better quality of life and medical care in Ohio, call The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.