Anytime you enter a public facility, you have the right to feel safe. This does not just apply to businesses but also applies to the areas outside of businesses including parking lots, parking garages and even alleyways. When a building owner fails to have adequate security and you are injured because of the action of a third person, the business owner can be held liable for your injuries, lost wages and medical bills.
Negligent Security Cases
A property owner must have a reasonable expectation that something can happen on their property. For example, a high crime neighborhood could mean someone can get hurt when they are entering your property in the evening. Some of the results of negligent security cases were highlighted back in 2012 by LexisNexis® and some of the cases included:
- Gunshot wounds – When you go to a public facility either a bar or an amusement park and someone wields a weapon and as a result you are shot, the property owner may be held liable for your pain and suffering, medical bills and in the event a victim loses their life, they could be facing a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Assaults resulting in injuries – When a rental property is occupied the owner has a certain level of responsibility to ensure there are no security concerns. For example, if a landlord fails to replace a broken lock, they can be held responsible for someone breaking in and causing injuries from a beating, shooting or other felonious act. Assaults at sporting events could also result in charges of insufficient security.
- Rapes and other assaults – When going to a parking garage after an evening of shopping, you have a right to expect to be safe going to your vehicle. If a parking garage is poorly lit and/or has no active security, the owner of the garage may be held liable for your injuries.
Fault For Inadequate Security
In addition to the person who caused your injuries being a potential defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, a negligent security lawyer may consider determining who is responsible for the lack of security where the injuries occurred. Some of the potential parties could be:
- Security Company – If a company is supposed to be offering security at a parking garage or other facility, their job is to ensure the safety of the patrons. However, when they fail to meet a reasonable standard of care, the company may be held liable.
- Landlords – When a tenant is injured in their home, the landlord may be held responsible for the injuries the victim sustained if they failed to meet a fair standard of responsibility. For example, if a tenant was not informed the building was in a high crime area and the landlord has failed to maintain good locks or provide security, they could be liable.
- Property owners – In many commercial facilities the tenants of a building are not always the owners of the property. The property owner has a responsibility to ensure the people who are leasing their property are safe but they have an additional responsibility to the tenant’s guests. If a property has a complete lack of security or no security, the property owner could be responsible for injuries caused by a third-party.
Proving Fault in Negligent Security Cases
In order for a personal injury attorney who handles negligent security cases to prove your injuries were a result of poor security, the following elements must be proven:
- The property has an unsafe condition
- The owner of the property knew, or should have known, there could be security issues
- The owner of the property failed to take the necessary steps to correct security issues
Because most people who are injured do not necessarily understand liability laws, it is imperative to work with a personal injury attorney who can investigate your claim and help identify when the security issue originated, what steps if any the property owner took to resolve the security issue and what steps they should have taken to resolve the issue. In California, Appel Law Firm LLP has experience handling negligent security cases. If you were injured or someone you loved lost their life and you believe it could have been avoided had the security been sufficient, call them today at 888-511-6905 and schedule a free consultation.