The owner or proprietor of a business that is open to the public or a building that provides housing to tenants or guests has the legal duty to maintain adequate security for the people who visit or live on the premises. Failing to provide adequate security is a violation of this duty that may result in crimes, injuries, and even fatalities.
Examples of crimes that may be enabled because of inadequate security include:
- Assault and robbery (also known as mugging)
Injuries and Losses
Inadequate security may result in slip, trip and fall injuries; dog bites; injuries from assaults and rape; broken bones; and brain and spinal cord injuries.
If you have suffered an injury, your losses and damages may be eligible for monetary compensation from the building or property owner. The costs of medical care, rehabilitation, lost work time, damaged earning capacity — and in fatalities, funeral and burial costs and loss of companionship — may be recovered when you take legal action.
Public & Private Properties
Security is an issue at both public and private properties, including:
- Apartment buildings and complexes
- Shopping malls and shopping centers
- Bars and nightclubs
- Hotels and motels
- Convenience stores
- Fast food outlets and other restaurants
Injuries and crimes may be made possible by inadequate security conditions such as poor lighting, faulty or absent locks or security mechanisms, and inappropriate or poorly trained personnel.
Crime and Inadequate Security
Commercial property owners aren't generally liable for crimes occurring on their property, but if there has been a pattern of crime on or near the property, or if the nature of the business makes it especially susceptible to criminal activity, the commercial property owner may have a duty to put reasonable security measures into place that are designed to prevent or deter future crimes, such as:
- Increased lighting or better lighting
- Better locks or additional locks
- Security guard(s)
- Security camera(s)
- Perimeter protection (e.g., fencing)
- Controlled access to parking lots
- Intercoms and alarms
Each Scenario Is Unique
In addition, different standards of security are expected of a huge business such as Wal-Mart or Home Depot compared to the standards expected of 'mom-and-pop' businesses. The unique circumstances of a given crime, injury, or fatality should be considered in depth by an experienced premises liability attorney. Such an attorney will be able to advise you regarding the legal aspects of your case.
If you suspect that the injury you incurred on the premises of another may be due to the property owner's inadequate security, contact a qualified attorney today to discuss your circumstances and explore your legal rights.
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