Premises liability can be difficult to prove, even for an experienced personal injury attorney. There has to be proof of negligence on the part of the landowner, and negligence can come in many shapes and sizes.
Most people think of negligence as things such as slippery floors in supermarkets or icy sidewalks in front of a store, but it can also extend to inadequate security.
What is Inadequate Security?
Inadequate or negligent security claims refer to injuries that have occurred due to poor security on the part of a store, hotel, restaurant, shopping mall or any other business that serves the general public on a regular basis. Safety and security obviously cannot be guaranteed at all times, but these types of businesses have a responsibility to keep their customers safe, even from assaults that occur on a business’s property. Inadequate security claims can also be filed against apartment complexes, but these are often more complex and difficult to prove.
To make a successful inadequate security claim, it must be proven that a business was aware of a potential danger of their customers being assaulted yet did little or nothing to prevent a serious injury from occurring on its premises.
For example, an assault in a store parking lot by someone who had clearly just stolen from the store could result in an inadequate security claim. The business is well aware of the threat and that an assault could occur, yet they did little to prevent it.
Determining fault in a negligent security claim is a difficult prospect. In most cases, businesses are not responsible for spontaneous criminal acts that occur on or around their property. Most inadequate security claims are won when a pattern of violent crime has been established in the area. If the business knows that an assault could occur, it is the responsibility of the business owner to provide adequate security to protect customers.
In one 2011 case, a man was shot near a children’s entertainment park in Dania Beach, Florida when he was attempting to leave an argument between teenagers. The park was in a high crime area, and several assaults had occurred before the incident. The man was awarded $4,255,280 in damages when it was found that the park was 90% negligent because it had failed to provide adequate security, even though the shooting took place on a side street near the park. The business was aware that there was a danger to passersby, yet they did not appear to take any actions to prevent incidents from occurring.
If you have been recently injured in an assault on or near a business’s property that you believe could’ve been prevented through adequate security, you may be entitled to a claim. Contact a personal injury attorney near you to learn about your legal options.