Columbia Negligent Security Lawyer
Most people are aware that property owners who invite others onto their premises can be held liable if those guests later sustain injuries on the property. Many, however, are unaware that landlords, hotel owners, restaurants, and retail business owners have a duty to keep their premises not only safe, but also secure for visitors. When a property owner’s failure to fulfill this duty results in a visitor becoming the victim of a crime, the wronged party could recover compensation from the property owner by filing a premises liability claim in court. To learn more about your own legal options following an accident or criminal act on someone else’s property, you should speak with a knowledgeable Columbia negligent security lawyer.
Was the Attack Reasonably Foreseeable?
Before an injured party can recover compensation for a property owner’s failure to take reasonable security measures, he or she must be able to prove that:
- The property owner owed a duty to keep the property safe for visitors;
- The owner failed to fulfill that duty; and
- The property owner’s breach directly caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury.
When assessing these factors, courts will take into account whether the violent actions of a criminal were reasonably foreseeable to the property owner. If, for example, multiple people had been attacked at an apartment complex, the risk of future attacks would most likely be deemed reasonably foreseeable by the apartment managers. In some cases, even if a property owner did not receive reports of violent crime in the area, it could still be held liable for robberies, burglaries, and assaults that take place on their property if similar crimes were reported to law enforcement officers nearby.
Did the Property Owner Take Reasonable Steps to Protect Visitors?
A negligent security claim arises from a property owner’s failure to take certain steps to protect visitors from being the targets of violent crime, including:
- Replacing burnt out security lights;
- Repairing broken doors and windows;
- Installing proper locks;
- Hiring security personnel;
- Installing additional lighting in a parking lot;
- Securing their premises with an electronic alarm system; and
- Installing recording devices in stairwells.
Although these types of security measures are usually required of owners of commercial properties, such as hotels, bars and nightclubs, parking lots and garages, office buildings, apartment complexes, service stations, and shopping centers, these are by no means the only kinds of properties that must be kept safe for visitors, so if you were recently attacked on someone else’s property, it is important to speak with a lawyer about whether you have standing to file a negligent security claim against the owner of the property.
Contact an Experienced Columbia Negligent Security Lawyer Today for Help
Proving that a property owner provided negligent security can be a difficult endeavor, as it requires the collection and presentation of a wide range of evidence, including witness statements, security camera footage, and past criminal reports. For help investigating your own negligent security case, please contact the knowledgeable premises liability lawyers at The Stanley Law Group by calling 803-799-4700 today.