What You Need to Know about Negligent Security
If you’ve suffered an injury, you may have been the victim of criminal activity. If it happened at certain premises, you could have a case for negligent or inadequate security.
What on Earth is Negligent Security?
First, we have to go back to explain something called premises liability. A premises liability lawsuit holds a property owner responsible for any damages arising out of an injury on that person or entity’s property. In all states, owners that occupy a property must make a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment for visitors to it. Failure to keep the property safe for visitors results in “premises liability.” Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim. You’d essentially be claiming that your injury could have been prevented if crime would have been stopped or made less likely using appropriate security measures.
Why Sue the Property Owner Rather Than the Person Who Committed the Crime?
Excellent question! An attorney with experience in premises liability cases can help you make this choice. Generally, it is easier to locate the owner or possessor of the property if you’re a mere visitor who didn’t know the person who committed the violent act or crime. You might not even know who the perpetrator of the violent act or crime was. Further, the owner is more likely to have an insurance policy covering them in events like this, from which damages could be actually recovered.
What Do I Need to Prove?
You’ll have to, in essence, prove that the owner or possessor of the property failed to exercise reasonable care to discover similar earlier criminal activities or failed to give sufficient warnings so visitors could avoid injury. You’ll have to prove, firstly, that you were lawfully present on the property, that the owner had a duty of care to you, that the owner breached that duty using the method described above, and that you were hurt because some other person did something foreseeable to the owner. If these elements sound familiar, that’s because they mirror the elements of any basic negligence case- there’s a duty, there’s a breach of that duty, there’s causation between the injury and the negligent breach of duty, and there’s an injury.
What Counts as Adequate Security?
Adequate security varies based on the location, past crimes, etc. It can depend on when and where members of the public are supposed to come, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. Some common security features for violent personal crimes are adequately trained security patrols during business hours or when guests are expected to be at the property, appropriate lighting, functioning security hardware such as locks, and restricting the ability to hand out duplicate keys to common areas of residential complexes.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have a Case?
Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Columbia premises liability attorney today at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.