It’s possible that at some point in your life, you may be affected by a criminal act. If this criminal act occurred on property owned by someone else and did not have proper security measures in place, those owners could be liable for the injuries a victim sustained while on that property. All property and business owners are responsible for the safety of the people who enter their establishments or access their property. But if protective measures don’t exist, the victim could sue for security negligence, a type of “premises liability.” This type of cases involves a third-party injury due to a criminal act occurring on someone else’s property. An injured person can sue landowners and business owners for negligent security if those owners didn’t offer “reasonable security measures” that protected a lawful visitor.
Types of Negligent Security
There are various ways business and property owners can be negligent with security. Here are a few reasons a third-party could be victimized in a criminal act due to a lack of proper security measures:
- Failure to warn visitors of potential dangers. A negligent security case can be made if the management of any establishment or place of business fails to inform visitors of dangerous areas near the property, and a visitor is injured.
- Lack of visible security cameras and video monitoring. Security cameras visible in public places, as well as signs that indicate cameras are being used, may be a deterrent for some criminal activity. Additionally, have a security guard monitor the camera feed in order to watch for criminal activity could help prevent it.
- Inadequate staffing. If the establishment or business doesn’t hire enough security staff, it leaves the property vulnerable if there’s no one to help stop a criminal act.
- Inadequate staff training. When security staff isn’t trained to help stop criminal activity before there are injury victims, this can be considered negligent security.
- Lack of alarm systems. Without an alarm system, criminal activity can escalate because there is no audible warning to let the criminal know he’s been seen. Additionally, a victim can’t pull an alarm to communicate a criminal act in process.
- Lack of fences, locks, or other barriers. These are key elements that help thwart criminal acts before they start. Without them, criminals can more easily access property and victimize innocent people.
- Inadequate lighting. All public property needs to be well lighted to help minimize shadows and dark places where a criminal could hide.
Injuries Due to Negligent Security
If a property owner does not have the proper security measures in place, the following criminal activity can occur, resulting in injury and even death.
Negligent security occurs in places such as:
- Hotels and motels
- Private Clubs
- Parking Lots and Structures
- Public Areas or Buildings
- Malls/Shopping Centers
How to Build Your Negligent Security Case
If you’ve been injured due to negligent security, here is some important information when building your case:
- The defendant must be the owner of the property where the incident happened.
- The plaintiff had to be on the property legally when the incident occurred.
- You must prove that the defendant did not take steps to ensure proper security.
- You must prove your injury was caused by a third party on the property.
- The plaintiff has to prove that the injury occurred because of negligent security by the property owner.
- The injury sustained is in fact an injury, and it is documented.
If You’ve Been Injured Due to Negligent Security
Property owners are responsible for providing reasonable security measures. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to negligent security, contact the Tapella & Eberspacher Law firm at (217) 394-5885 to discuss your case.