Have you been on someone else’s property and were the victim of a crime?
Perhaps you were leaving the grocery store when someone approached you with a knife. Maybe someone attacked you in a dark parking lot when you left the mall.
Is anyone else responsible?
The answer is yes.
This is called negligent security, which falls under the category of premises liability.
Landlords and businesses legally have to make sure their properties are safe. Many property owners cut corners, leaving the users of the property vulnerable to harm.
At Wade Injury Law, our negligent security lawyers know how to pursue these claims.
Premises Liability and Negligent Security
A property owner can be held negligent if they are aware a risk exists and does nothing to prevent it.
For example, if there have been multiple thefts or assaults on the premises, they must keep the property safe for customers and guests. Prevention options include the following:
- Installing a security system or alarm
- Putting up signs at registers that each has less than X dollars
- Ensuring there is lighting in all parking lots
- Hiring a trained security guard
- Putting locks on certain doors and gates
- Limiting who has access to property keys
- Using a drop safe or other similar system
- Putting a security fence around the property
- Running criminal background checks on employees and/or tenants
Property owners should know the local crime rates and ensure they take the proper steps to keep their visitors and guests safe. If they don’t, any incident of rape, assault, robbery, or battery on their property could result in a negligent security claim. One could claim that their lack of security caused an attack or injury.
Common Places Where Negligent Security is a Problem
The most common places attacks happen are apartment complexes and parking lots. If the property owners had added security, many of these incidents could have been avoided. The perpetrator is usually a trespasser who doesn’t have permission to be there in the first place.
Landlords can help reduce or prevent criminal activity by doing background checks on tenants, ensuring all lights work, making sure all locks are strong enough and not broken, and hiring a security guard to patrol the parking lot and common areas.
Hotels and Motels
Motel and hotel owners must keep their guests safe by having security to prevent criminal attacks. Attacks can happen in hallways or stairwells. They can also happen on parts of the property where lighting is dim and/or there is not constant security.
Malls and Shopping Centers
Malls and shopping centers are a magnet for criminals. Crimes can happen in parking lots, movie theaters, restaurants, etc. Even crimes like sexual assault and rape, shootings, robbery, and murder can occur inside a mall or shopping center.
Sporting Events and Concerts
Criminal activity also happens at events where large groups of people gather. Crimes can happen inside a venue, especially if there isn’t security screening for weapons.
Many people watch their drinks at bars and restaurants to avoid getting drugged by someone with bad intentions. If this happens, they could be sexually assaulted or robbed. Proper security helps limit these attacks .
Elements of a Negligent Security Claim
Violent criminals often go to areas where it’s easier to commit a crime. They look for properties that have poor lighting, no security patrols, lack of security cameras, and no controlled access (fence or gate).
If you were a victim at a public place like a gas station, mall, or restaurant, you have other options besides pursuing the criminal. Most of these people won’t pay you a dime and will be spending time behind bars to begin with.
It may be easier to pursue a claim for civil damages against the property owner and those responsible for security. It is possible to bring a civil claim against both parties for different types of wrongdoing. You can pursue the criminal for the crime and then pursue the property owner for negligent security.
To pursue a negligent security claim, you need to prove four elements:
● The defendant leased or owned the property where the crime happened;
● The defendant did not show reasonable care to find out criminal activity in the area and it;
● The breach of duty by the defendant is caused by the plaintiff’s injuries; and
● The plaintiff suffered actual damages.
Contact an Atlanta Negligent Security Attorney
Our team of negligent security attorneys at Wade Injury Law are eager to help you. We can tell you what the best course of action is and how to proceed. If you were attacked because a property owner ignored crime in the area, you must hold them accountable.
Contact Wade Injury Law today to schedule a consultation. Let one of our negligent security lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve.