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Negligent Security Lawsuits

The Scope of Negligent Security Claims


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Negligent security lawsuits can arise when a business owner or property owner fails to take reasonable precautions to protect their customers, guests, employees, or other members of the public who visit the property. Property owners have a legal duty to protect invitees from foreseeable crime and can be held responsible for negligence when failing to do so. These laws also generally apply to landlords with regard to their tenants.

Far too often, when property owners fail to take necessary security precautions, crime can occur and harm innocent people. Criminal instances covered by a negligent security lawsuit or claim include such acts as criminal assault, shootings, rape, sexual violence, murder or any other violent crimes. Specific examples of negligent security scenarios include the following: attacks, sexual assaults, muggings, robberies, stabbings, shootings, and other injuries sustained in parking garages, gas stations, apartment complexes, malls, ATM’s, concerts, hotel rooms, parking lots, college campuses, and other public venues. 

If you have sustained injuries or emotional damages from being involved in an assault, robbery, rape, or other preventable crime, you may be able to recover damages. The days following such an incident can be scary and overwhelming. There is often devasting physical consequences after experiencing one of these crimes. In addition to potentially catastrophic injuries, becoming the victim of a violent crime often can result in enormous emotional and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and more. 

If you have suffered physical or emotional harm after experiencing a crime as a result of inadequate security, an experienced attorney can provide trusted guidance, and help you make an informed decision about how to proceed. To find about your legal rights, contact an experienced negligent security attorney at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) for your Free Consultation.

Understanding a Negligent Security Lawsuit

Commercial and residential landowners may have a substantial duty to provide adequate security measures on their properties. For example, universities generally have a duty to provide adequate security measures to students living in their on-campus dormitories. Therefore, if the school breaches their duty by failing to provide proper security, and a criminal attack occurs against a college student, that student may have grounds to bring a claim against the university. If the cause of the incident can be linked back to a lack of security, such as ineffective or nonexistent campus patrol, poor lighting, or an otherwise unsecure campus, the university can be held liable. 

While a property owner may have a duty to protect its customers from foreseeable criminal attacks, this duty does not apply to everyone.  For example, in Georgia, a landlord may have a duty to protect a tenant, but not necessarily the visitor of the tenant. 

Who should be held responsible?

Negligent security is a subset of premises liability, dealing with civil redress for violent criminal acts, and the damages they cause to individuals. The challenge in these types of cases is proving the liability of the owner/occupier even though the crime was committed by a third party, whom, often may even be unidentified. Purportedly responsible property owners in these types of cases will generally defend these types of cases by arguing that the actual criminal who committed the violent act was responsible. As such, victims of violent crimes on someone else’s private property should obtain legal advice as early as possible so that the incident can be investigated.

What does a Plaintiff need to Establish? 

In order to establish a claim for a negligent security suit or claim, a plaintiff will need to show the following:

  1. Plaintiff was lawfully present on landowner’s property;
  2. Landowner/possessor breached their duty to provide adequate security measures; 
  3. Plaintiff suffered injury by a third party, whose acts should have been reasonably foreseeable to Landowner/possessor; and
  4. Without the Landowner/possessor’s negligent security, plaintiff would not have been injured. 

To put it broadly, Plaintiff must prove that Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable criminal activities. Foreseeability refers to the theory that the Defendant should have known an incident could occur, particularly when there have been other violent crimes at or near the property. As such, foreseeability is often influenced by how often law enforcement is called to a property, closeness in time of prior crimes to incident in question, and the types of prior crimes that occurred.

What is considered “adequate” security?

Property owners have a legal obligation to properly maintain the safety of their premises and protect visitors from foreseeable crime. Common security precautions include:

  • Presence of security personnel
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Replacing broken windows or locks
  • Installing proper locks
  • Controlling access to property
  • Overnight security 
  • Security cameras
  • Accessible emergency exits
  • Proper signage 
  • Fencing
  • Parking lot surveillance
  • Regularly maintained gates (particularly in residential areas)

Recovering Compensation in Negligent Security Claims

You may be wondering what type of compensation can be recovered for a negligent securities lawsuit. If it can be established that you suffered injury as a result of a landowner’s negligence, you may be able to recover some, or all of the following types of damages, depending upon the severity of your injuries:

  • Past, present and future medical bills
  • Past, present and future lost wages
  • Pain and Suffering, including loss of quality of life 
  • Emotional and mental distress
  • Punitive damages, depending on the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct

Negligent Security Attorneys Serving Clients Nationwide

The hardworking injury attorneys at Montlick & Associates have recovered Billions for their clients since the firm’s creation in 1984. Our attorneys understand how upsetting and painful it can be when you experience a traumatic event such as an assault, sexual assault, rape, shooting or other type of violent crime, and the toll it can take on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. They are passionate about helping injury victims seek justice and recover the compensation they deserve. 

Unfortunately, justice isn’t automatic. It takes a skilled, experienced legal advocate who understands complicated legal processes and relevant law, and who is passionate about protecting your valuable legal rights. Our firm has decades of experience helping injured victims across the United States. While money will not undo the suffering you have endured, it can help with medical expenses, lost wages, and improving quality of life after an incident. 

We Know What It Takes To WinTM

If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a violent crime on someone else’s property due to negligent security, our experienced attorneys are standing by to discuss your case.  Learn how we can help. Call us at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or simply dial #WIN (#946) from your mobile phone. If you prefer you may also complete a Free Case Evaluation Form or contact us using our Free 24-hour live chat.

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.