Negligent security can apply to private property and public property. Commercial, residential, and public property owners can all be held to account for failing to keep their premises adequately safe. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), restaurants, apartment buildings, parking garages, and many other places are common sites for negligent security incidents.
However, the circumstances of a negligent security claim will vary depending on the property in question. The argument is that the property owner either knew or should have known about prior criminal activity and failed to act.
If you have suffered injuries in an assault or attack that happened on private property, you could have a case against the property owner or other responsible party. A negligent security lawyer can help you assess your legal options against a private property owner or business.
Why a Property Owner Should Be Held Accountable
Many victims of a crime that occurred due to negligent security may be unaware that they could hold the private property owner to account for their damages. They may think that when a criminal remains unidentified, they are out of options for getting justice. However, premises law could provide legal recourse for those who suffered injuries and financial damages due to an assault, robbery, shooting, or other violent crime on someone else’s property.
While plaintiffs could also hold a criminal to account, it is perhaps unlikely that the perpetrator of the crime would have the financial means to compensate the victim. Private and public property owners typically carry insurance that can compensate a plaintiff adequately.
Proving Negligent Security
Being able to prove negligent security, whether the incident happened on private or public property, is the most crucial component for pursuing justice. Proving negligence can be tricky as different properties call for different security measures. However, there are general security measures that visitors to certain properties should expect. These include:
- Adequate lighting around the property
- Signage warning visitors of the possibility of crimes
- Fences, doors, and gates in good repair
- Locks on doors
- Security cameras
- Professional security personnel
Private property owners must ensure the reasonable safety of the visitors to their property. However, to know what qualifies as reasonable safety measures, you can consult with a negligent security lawyer who knows the applicable laws and regulations.
For you to have a lawsuit, your lawyer will aim to prove the following elements of a negligent security claim:
- The property owner had a duty of care to provide adequate security.
- They breached the duty of care.
- The plaintiff experienced an attack or assault due to the breach.
- The plaintiff can prove tangible damages related to the negligence.
However, negligent security claims are not necessarily straightforward. A plaintiff will also need to prove a private property owner should have foreseen a crime or criminal activity.
What Counts as Foreseeable Criminal Activity
When a plaintiff brings a legal action regarding negligent security, their crime is typically not the first incident at a property or in the immediate vicinity. When it comes to litigation, then, a plaintiff and their lawyer could argue that based on previous criminal activity on the premises, an owner should have foreseen the likelihood of further crimes and taken steps to prevent further crimes. The argument is that the owner of the property either knew or should have known of the prior criminal activity and failed to take action.
How a Plaintiff Can Prove Negligent Security
There are many ways in which a plaintiff and their lawyer could prove negligent security, for example, by finding evidence of previous crimes and evidence for lack of security at the premises. For example, if the property had security cameras installed, but they malfunctioned, this could serve as evidence for negligent security.
How a Negligent Security Lawyer Can Help You
While negligent security applies to private property, claims against property owners can be challenging to prove. Having a professional negligent security lawyer in your corner could prove beneficial to your case and give you peace of mind and reassurance.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Like many other personal injury cases, negligent security claims usually settle out of court. However, a plaintiff who enters negotiations without professional legal representation could end up accepting an inadequate settlement. A negligent security lawyer can calculate your damages accurately so that you can fight for fair compensation. They can also negotiate aggressively with any applicable insurance companies and defendants.
Building Your Case
A negligent security lawyer can work to identify all liable parties in your lawsuit and build your case. They can also gather the evidence you need to prove your case and provide expert witnesses if required.
Having professional help by your side can take a weight off your shoulders, especially in a complex negligent security claim. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, now for a free consultation at (800) 896-1221.