Negligent security, often referred to as inadequate security, occurs when a victim is injured by a criminal assault, robbery, rape, or attack due to inadequate security on the premises. This can include commercial as well as residential properties. In general, there is no duty to protect those against harm caused by the acts of a third party, but there is an exception to that rule that states that duty is imposed on property owners and managers to take reasonable measures to prevent such harm, especially when these acts are foreseeable – meaning the property owner could have predicted they would occur.
How Negligent Security Claims Work
In negligent security cases, someone is injured as the result of a criminal activity on the premises. These can occur at shopping malls, hotels, office complexes, schools, and parking garages. Most of these cases arise from violent attacks and even sexual assaults. The armed robber will typically use a gun or other weapon.
These attacks on their own can lead to a wide variety of injuries. Victims can be beaten, assaulted, and emotionally traumatized – and sometimes they will deal with their injuries and emotional effects for the rest of their lives.
In order for someone to be held liable for the damages, there are two things that must be considered first:
- The injury must have been foreseeable; and
- The injury must have been preventable.
Some factors that are used to determine if it was foreseeable include:
- The relationship between the harmed individual and the property owner or property manager.
- The history of the property where the injury occurred. Have similar injuries occurred in the past on that property?
- Have there been similar complaints regarding the property, injury, or the property owner?
- Has the property owner had ample notice about the potentially dangerous situation?
- Did the property owner have the opportunity to correct that problem, but failed to do so?
If the property owner knew that there was negligent security and that their negligent security posed a risk to the safety of those on their property, they are required by law to correct the issue. If they do not correct it within a reasonable amount of time, they are liable for any injuries that occur on their property.
For example, a property owner has had several complaints about break-ins into vehicles in their parking garage due to the inadequate lighting and lack of security cameras. Months later they still have not installed any cameras or lights, leaving their parking garage dark. A woman is assaulted at her vehicle a few weeks later. Because the property owner knew of the risk and had reasonable time to repair it, they are liable under negligent security laws.
Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Case
If you have been injured due to someone’s inadequate security, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Gladstein Law Firm for a free consultation or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.