When we visit a business or property, we have the right to be reasonably safe. A property owner, business owner, or lessee has the responsibility to ensure that their premises are secure. This rings especially true when crimes have already happened at the premises or in the immediate area. However, sometimes property owners simply fail to install adequate security measures that can help keep visitors safe.
If you suffered injuries and material damage in a robbery, assault, or another incident on someone else’s property, you could potentially have a negligent security claim. Assaults and violent crimes can have devastating and potentially fatal consequences for a victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common injuries in assaults can include:
- Head Injuries
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Bone breaks
- Internal Injuries
The mental health of a victim of violent crime can also suffer greatly after an assault or a robbery. They may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other debilitating disorders.
If this has happened to you, you should connect with a negligent security lawyer to find out whether you could hold a property owner to account for your damages. Contact Ben Crump, PLLC now to determine whether you have a case and could initiate legal action at (800) 896-1221.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security falls under premises liability law. This particular area of law generally holds a property owner liable for injuries and financial damages that customers or visitors to the property incur due to negligence. Owners have to take reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment for anyone frequenting their property. Negligent security can occur on both residential and commercial property.
Negligent security can arise in a number of different circumstances where an owner or lessee failed to keep a property safe. Places where negligent security assaults or attacks can occur include:
- Shopping malls
- Grocery stores
- Parking garages or parking lots
- Apartment buildings
- Office buildings
- Government facilities
- Amusement parks
- Schools and universities
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Sporting events
- Concert venues and theatres
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a negligent security case, you could potentially file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for any medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your loved one died as a result of a crime that happened due to negligent security, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover various damages. You can speak to a negligent security lawyer to find out about your options.
What Is Considered Negligent Security?
An owner can take a number of steps to minimize the risks of any negligent security incidents such as violent crimes. They can, for example, install security cameras on their premises or make sure that gates and doors are adequately locked when appropriate.
However, if a property owner does not take adequate measures to keep their premises safe, criminal activity can become a real and dangerous threat to any customers or visitors to the premises. Examples of negligent security can include:
Inadequate or Broken Lighting
If a property is poorly lit, criminals may feel protected by darkness. In some instances, poor maintenance can be negligence, for example, if a property owner fails to change broken light bulbs promptly.
Lack of Security Systems
Property owners should make a reasonable effort to install adequate security systems, for example, security cameras, alarms, and locking mechanisms on doors. Not doing so can be negligent security. If a property owner does not fix broken security cameras or malfunctioning alarms, for example, they could also be liable.
No Security Guards
Security guards can be necessary for premises such as bars, nightclubs, and concert venues, to name just a few examples. Not having any security guards can be negligent security. Hiring untrained security guards who fail to take appropriate actions in an emergency situation can also constitute negligent security.
What Are Examples of Negligent Security?
Negligent security cases involve a victim coming to harm at a commercial or residential property due to the owner not taking appropriate steps to keep the property safe. While there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to installing adequate security, general examples of negligent security can include:
- Broken security cameras
- Blocked emergency exits
- Untrained security guards
- Broken fencing
- Unlocked gates
- Inadequate lighting
Unfortunately, negligent security can lead to serious and violent crimes such as sexual assault, shootings, robberies, stabbings, and battery. The consequences for a victim can be lifelong emotional suffering as well as a variety of debilitating physical injuries, and in some cases death.
However, if the careless attitude of a property owner contributed to a crime taking place, legal recourse may be available for victims. Those left behind when a loved one dies as a result of negligent security may also be able to file a lawsuit.
Negligent security cases can be tough to prove in some cases. There can be different interpretations about what a reasonable timeframe is in which the owner should have taken action, such as repair lighting or fix a broken security camera. Therefore, if you have suffered injuries and financial losses in a negligent security incident, having a negligent security lawyer build your case can be a great help.
Does Negligent Security Apply to Public Property?
Generally, a negligent security case arises when the victim suffers harm and damages on someone else’s property, due to the property owner not providing adequate security measures. Therefore, it does not make a difference whether the property is privately owned or publicly owned. Public properties can include shopping centers, municipal parking lots, public transit stations, apartment complexes, government buildings, airports, and others.
However, if the attack or assault happened on public property, different rules can sometimes apply, depending on state laws and regulations. When a victim suffers harm due to a negligent security incident on government property, they typically have to file notice to the government within a certain amount of time. This is usually mandatory before the victim can file legal action. Missing this time-window could bar a victim from filing a lawsuit. The timeframe in which a victim has to file notice to a government entity can be as short as 90 days after the injury happened, depending on the state in which the incident occurred.
Claims involving public property can be complicated and may require a great deal of legal knowledge and expertise. If you experienced an attack or assault on public property, speak with a negligent security lawyer from Ben Crump, PLLC for help. Call (800) 896-1221 for a free consultation with a member of our team today.
Does Negligent Security Apply to Private Property?
Negligent security can apply to private as well as public property. If you suffered injuries in an assault, battery, or another crime on private property, you could potentially have a case against a property owner or lessee. However, in order to be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation, you will have to prove that the property owner or representative acted negligently.
Proving Negligent Security
Not all properties have the same requirements for security. In a nightclub, for example, it may be absolutely necessary to have security guards to keep customers safe. A small retail store in a mall, however, may have quite different needs when it comes to keeping their shoppers safe. Private property owners and businesses have an obligation to ensure customers and visitors are safe. However, it can be tricky to know whether you have a claim when you have become the victim of a crime. You will need to prove:
- The property owner failed to install adequate security.
- You suffered injuries and financial damages.
- The damages are directly related to the lack of security.
If a property owner neglected to maintain adequate lighting in a parking garage, for example, and you became the victim of a violent crime as a result, you may have a claim.
Is Negligent Security Applicable in All States?
Negligent security, as a part of premises liability, is generally applicable in all states. However, there are state-specific laws and some differences in how states deal with these types of claims. Most states recognize the need for property owners to maintain their premises to a safe standard. Property owners should minimize the risk of harm to visitors to their property.
However, the standards applied to determine whether an attack was foreseeable or not can differ from one state to another. In most states, foreseeability is determined by researching whether there were any previous crimes at the property or in the immediate area and whether the owner should have been aware of any crimes.
In some states, laws provide for property owners to be free of negligence if they take certain measures for security. Florida Statutes §812.173, for example, provides that if a convenience store owner takes the measures laid out in the statute, such as installing security cameras and other such measures, victims may not be able to sue for negligence.
Statutes of Limitations
The timeframes and deadlines for filing negligent security claims can also differ from one state to another. If you are intending to sue, you will need to know the laws that apply in your state. A negligent security lawyer can inform you about your rights.
How Can Negligent Security Affect Me?
Unfortunately, we can all become victims of crime if property owners are not vigilant and fail to ensure that their property is safe for visitors. Victims of a violent crime that occurs at properties with negligent security can suffer lifelong consequences. The negative effects of violent crimes can be many, including:
- Financial losses due to theft or time off work
- Medical bills for any injuries suffered
- Permanent and disabling injuries
- Emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Social isolation and withdrawal
Negligent security and the resulting crimes can have many other detrimental effects on victims. In some instances, those who have become victims of rape, assault, robbery, or shootings may never fully recover physically and emotionally.
However, victims of crimes that occurred due to negligent security may have the option of holding the property owner to account and collecting damages for all the losses and suffering they endured.
You may wonder why you should sue the owner of a property rather than the perpetrator of the crime. Firstly, the criminal may have disappeared. Secondly, the property owner is most likely insured and therefore has the means to compensate you. You are more likely to recover your due from a property owner rather than the perpetrator of the crime, although you could potentially sue both.
What Are Injuries Associated with Negligent Security?
Unfortunately, negligent security incidents can cause horrific injuries as well as fatalities. There can be many different types of negligent security incidents, for example, mass shootings, rape, violent robberies, carjackings, and even murder. Some of the injuries that victims of violent crimes may incur can include:
- Head trauma and brain damage
- Gunshot wounds
- Stab wounds
- Punctures and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Scarring and disfigurement
In some cases, victims will suffer the lifelong psychological effects from being a victim of a serious crime such as:
- Depression and anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Fear of leaving the house
- Withdrawal from friends and family
Negligent security can also lead to wrongful death.
It is important to note that compensation may be available if you have suffered injuries, whether physical or psychological, in a negligent security incident. A negligent security lawyer can help you fight for what you deserve.
However, if you want to pursue justice and compensation, you will need to act in a timely manner. Many states have deadlines for filing negligent security lawsuits which may prevent you from getting justice if you wait too long. Also consider that the sooner you take action, the sooner you might get your due, which can help you move on with your life.
How Common Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security is perhaps much more common than we think. Not all instances of negligent security necessarily come to light as the victim of a crime may not know that they could hold a property owner to account for what happened to them.
The potential positive side effect of negligent security claims is that they shine a light on a property owner’s responsibility to maintain their property and make it safe for visitors. Negligent security cases can increase awareness and lead to more property owners ensuring that their property is safe, hoping to prevent costly lawsuits and avoid having to pay for victims’ damages.
Adequate property security can benefit us all and help keep us safe. If you believe that you have a negligent security case, you can consult with a negligent security lawyer for assistance.
What Should Property Owners Do to Prevent Negligent Security?
We all have the right to demand reasonable safety when we spend time at a shop, restaurant, bar, or other private or public property. It is up to the property owner to take the necessary steps to make their property safe.
However, there is no formula that works for every type of business or property, and what can be essential security for a parking garage, for example, may not be appropriate for a hair salon. In other words, every property owner needs to assess the security needs of their property and take appropriate action, which can include:
- Making sure the property is well-lit at all times
- Installing security cameras
- Installing appropriate alarms
- Making sure all fencing and gates are in good repair
- Ensuring all locks are operational
- Hiring qualified and trained security guards
- Liaising with law enforcement regarding crimes in the area
- Warning visitors if there is high crime activity in the vicinity
If you can prove that a property owner or representative failed to take appropriate measures to keep visitors and customers safe, you could potentially hold them legally liable for your damages. However, litigating negligent security cases can be challenging. You may wish to hire a negligent security lawyer who can build your case against a property owner and represent you in court. Call Ben Crump, PLLC now for a free case review at (800) 896-1221.
Can I Seek Other Claims in Addition to Negligent Security?
Whether you may be able to seek other claims in addition to negligent security will depend on your specific case. For example, you may in some circumstances be able to sue for breach of contract or breach of trust in addition to negligent security. A negligent security lawyer can advise you on any other claims you could file when you seek justice in a negligent security claim.
If you can prove your claim successfully, you could potentially recover various types of compensation, including economic as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages are any monetary losses you have as a result of your injuries, which can be:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
Non-economic damages include any losses of a non-monetary nature. Non-economic damages can be challenging to calculate. However, depending on the severity of your injuries and psychological effects, they can make up a considerable portion of your overall compensation. Your negligent security lawyer can help you assess the value of any non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and anguish
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
You can speak to a negligent security lawyer who will analyze your specific case and will be able to give you an indication of the damages that may be due to you.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations to File a Negligent Security Case?
Negligent security cases are a type of personal injury lawsuit. Most states have deadlines when it comes to filing personal injury lawsuits. The timeframes can range quite widely from one year in Tennessee to six years in the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Maine. A number of states have a two- or three-year deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits.
It is important to note that statutes of limitations give you a general timeline; however, in some cases, there are exceptions to the rule. If you think you may have missed the deadline for filing your negligent security case, you should ask a negligent security lawyer for advice as you might still be able to file.
Also, consider that statutes of limitations do not mean that you have time to wait until the very last minute to file your lawsuit. It can be advantageous for your case if you get legal advice as soon as you can after your negligent security incident occurred. If you act swiftly, it will be much easier for your lawyer to collect the relevant evidence and interview potential eyewitnesses. Acting promptly can help you get justice and the compensation you deserve. There is generally no benefit to waiting with filing a lawsuit.
Why Should I Pursue a Negligent Security Case within the Statute of Limitations?
The main reason for pursuing your claim and filing your suit well within the statute of limitations of your state is the fact that if you do not do so, you may not be able to recover any compensation. Leaving it too late to file your claim could bar you from finding legal recourse altogether.
Remember that the clock starts ticking on the day that you get hurt, or the “date of harm.” If you required a considerable amount of time to recover from your injuries, you might already be part of the way through the time allocated for filing a negligent security lawsuit in your state.
Also consider that if you have a claim against a government agency, your timeframe may be much shorter than the ordinary statute of limitations in your state. You may have to give written notice of your intent to file suit, a “notice of claim,” within 60 days after your injury occurred. The exact timeframe will depend on the laws of the state you reside in.
Timely action is of the essence. If you are unsure of what to do, rather than wait, you can get legal advice from a negligent security lawyer and learn about your legal options and your best course of action.
Why Should I Contact a Negligent Security Lawyer?
Why go it alone and struggle if you do not have to? There are a number of reasons why you should work with a negligent security lawyer when it comes to your claim. First of all, a negligent security lawyer knows the laws and regulations in your state and has worked on several negligent security cases before. Other ways in which a negligent security lawyer can help you get justice can include:
Determining All Liable Parties in Your Claim
Negligent security claims are not necessarily clear-cut and can involve several defendants, including the property owner, lessee, or a third party such as a security firm. Your lawyer can go after each of the responsible parties in order to pursue adequate compensation for your damages.
Calculating Your Compensation
It can be hard to determine what your future costs may be in a negligent security claim. Your lawyer can help you calculate your present damages as well as estimate any future expenses arising from your negligent security incident.
Negotiating with the Defendant and Insurances
A negligent security lawyer knows how to communicate and negotiate with the defendants and insurances effectively, aiming for a settlement that covers all your damages. If your lawyer cannot get all parties to agree to an out-of-court settlement, they will take your case all the way to trial and fight for your rights passionately.
Who Should I Contact if I Am Injured Due to Negligent Security?
First of all, if you suffered injuries in a negligent security incident, your health should be your utmost priority. You may feel like nothing is physically wrong after a violent crime happened, but there are injuries that only surface days or weeks later such as head and brain injuries. You may also need help with the psychological effects of a crime.
Seeking medical advice as soon as possible after an incident can also provide you with the most important piece of evidence for proving your damages: a medical report detailing your injuries.
Also, consider contacting law enforcement right away or as soon as you can. Officers can then file a police report and potentially collect important forensic evidence that can help them with going after the criminal who committed the crime.
However, your best step of all can be to reach out to a trusted negligent security lawyer who can begin to protect your rights and work on your behalf right away. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on your legal options and can begin to gather the evidence for your claim instantly.
Before you enter into any communication with the defendant or their insurance company, protect yourself and connect with a negligent security lawyer. Do not agree to any settlement offers right after your incident, as they are most likely an attempt of the insurance or defendant to get away as cheaply and quickly as possible.
Call Us Now for Help
Many victims of violent crime are left without recourse, especially if the perpetrator of the crime has disappeared, or they do not have the means of compensating the victim. Victims may not realize that they may have the option of holding a property owner liable for their injuries and financial damages.
If a property owner’s carelessness and negligence caused your damages, you may have recourse, and they should make you whole again. If you can prove that the owner neglected the security of their premises and should have been able to foresee a crime, you could receive compensation.
While litigating negligent security cases can be complex, and the property owner will likely fight a claim tooth and nail, legal help is available. We can thoroughly research your case and gather the necessary evidence to prove that the owner acted negligently and should have foreseen a crime.
Take advantage of the professional help of a negligent security lawyer who will support you every step of the way and can help you with all aspects of filing a lawsuit against a negligent property owner. Ben Crump, PLLC can help you get what you deserve. Call us now at (800) 896-1221 for a complimentary case evaluation with one of our team members.