What Are Examples of Negligent Security?

What Are Examples of Negligent Security?

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What Are Examples of Negligent Security?

We've all heard horror stories of people being assaulted, robbed, raped, or worse, on commercial and private properties where one should be safe, but we never expect to be part of the story. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of a senseless and brutal crime, we want you to know that you are not alone. You have the right to seek compensation when an injury is the result of negligent security on someone else’s property.
 
Property owners are responsible for ensuring visitors, guests, and members of the public do not become victims of a violent crime while on their property. When they fail to protect individuals that visit their premises, they may be liable to pay for the damages. But you may question if your claim qualifies for this type of compensation and wonder, "What are examples of negligent security?" Morgan and Morgan is here to offer answers and guidance for victims of crime resulting from negligent security.
 
A negligent security lawyer can help convince an insurance adjuster or a judge and jury that your injuries should be compensable based on the property owner's irresponsible behavior. We work with the best interest of our clients at heart to help them recover the funds they need to move forward in their lives and put the past behind them.

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  • What Is Negligent Security?

    When individuals or businesses who own or control property fail to secure their premises against dangerous criminals, the victims of the crime have the right to pursue a civil claim to recover compensation for physical and emotional damage.
     
    To be successful, you must demonstrate that the property owner was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous criminal activity in and around their property and injury was foreseeable. Yet, they did not take appropriate action to mitigate the danger.
     
    There are many conditions that can point to negligent security, including the following:

    • Lack of adequate security guards
    • Broken or missing alarm systems
    • Broken locks on doors, windows, and gates
    • Open gates
    • Missing or broken security cameras
    • Unmonitored security cameras
    • Failure to screen employees for criminal records
    • Inadequate lighting in and around the property
    • Failure to train employees in security measures
    • Allowing transient individuals to remain on the property
    • Failure to remove violent individuals from the property

    A responsible property owner that is aware of weaknesses in their security measures should take the following steps to ensure the safety of visitors:

    • Employ and train a sufficient number of security guards
    • Repair or install quality alarm systems
    • Test and fix all locks on points of entrance to the property
    • Lock or monitor entrance gates
    • Install security cameras or repair faulty devices
    • Employ responsible individuals to monitor security cameras around the clock
    • Adopt robust criminal history screening processes for potential employees
    • Install sufficient bright lighting in and around the property to eliminate hiding spots
    • Develop extensive and strict security policies for all employees and associates
    • Exercise vigilance in removing persons who have no legitimate business on the property
    • Promptly remove individuals who threaten, harass, intimidate, or offer violence to other visitors
  • How Do You Establish Negligent Security Was the Cause of a Violent Crime?

    When a violent crime is perpetrated against you in a parking garage, an apartment complex, a business, on commercial property, or even private property, you have the right to bring a negligent security claim against whoever is in charge of the premises.
     
    Negligent security is a subset of premises liability under the law and is based on the concept that whoever controls the property has a better understanding of potential dangers. In this case, it's knowledge of the risk of robbery and assaults, including sexual crimes, that could take place under their watch.
     
    For example, if there has been a rash of criminal activity on their own property or even neighboring properties, this is their notice that another similar event is foreseeable. Therefore, it's incumbent upon them to step up their security and make sure whatever security measures they have in place are functioning and dependable.
     
    To establish that negligent security was the cause of your injury from a violent crime on someone's property, many of the same elements of a premises liability claim must be met. The difference in a negligent security claim is that there was a third-party involved, which is the offending criminal.
     
    Generally, the following must be established for a successful claim:

    • The property owner or individual in control of the property had a duty to provide reasonable security measures such as guards, cameras, locks, etc.;
    • The possessor failed in their duty toward you; and
    • You suffered real damages from the crime, and the harm you sustained would not likely have happened if the possessor had fulfilled their obligation to install adequate security measures

    It's important to note that property owners are not responsible for all incidents of crime on their property. Instead, they are obligated to take steps within reason to prevent reasonably foreseeable criminal attacks from taking place. The most challenging aspect of a negligent security claim is demonstrating that the attack was reasonably foreseeable.

  • How Can You Establish That a Crime Was Foreseeable in a Negligent Security Claim?

    To show that a crime was foreseeable may be as simple as offering evidence that there is a lot of criminal activity in the area. It doesn't necessarily have to be violent crimes, either. The property owner doesn't have to know the precise nature of the criminal activity to understand that chances are higher than average that criminal incidents could continue or commence on their own property.
     
    Should your case go to trial, a judge and jury may consider the following when evaluating the foreseeability of your attack:

    • The historical record of criminal activity on the property, whether violent or non-violent, as non-violent illegal activity often escalates to the next level.
    • The passage of time between prior criminal activity and the incident that led to your injury.
    • The pattern of criminal activity in the area as property owners in high-crime areas have an increased duty of care towards visitors to their property.
    • The nature of the business they operate (nightclub, parking garage, or other types of businesses that suggest a crime could be foreseeable).
    • Whether there is any evidence that the property owner knew more security was needed and failed to take the appropriate steps.

     To make a successful case, your Morgan and Morgan negligent security lawyer will engage in fact-finding and a thorough investigation. While negligent security falls under premises liability law, it takes experience in this specific field. That's why we have lawyers that specialize in negligent security litigation.
     
    We understand that after being the victim of a violent crime, the last thing you want is to see people escape accountability. While we are not criminal prosecutors, we do everything in our power to ensure our clients get some semblance of justice by making irresponsible parties pay. State prosecutors are responsible for holding criminals to account.

  • What Are Some Recent Examples of Negligent Security Lawsuits?

    Negligent security can threaten the health and welfare of anyone. Sadly, sometimes crimes occur when there is ample evidence of risks, yet property owners fail to take the appropriate steps to minimize the dangers. Here are a few examples of incidents that led to litigation:

    • A 34-year-old Floridian was gunned down inside Off The Traxx Sports Bar & Grill on March 6th, 2022. The business was filled with 350 patrons at the time of the shooting. According to the deceased's family lawyer, the bar had a history of violence and did nothing to control the behavior or increase security. Off The Traxx Sports Bar & Grill is already facing litigation for a 2020 stabbing incident.
    • A mother from Las Vegas is suing the Clark County School District following her son's attack while he was boarding a school bus in 2021. The allegations include a failure by authorities to intervene because of improper training and "callous indifference." The lawsuit argues that school employees were aware of the attacker's violent behavioral issues but failed to protect other students from the risk he imposed.
    • Former reality television star Chris Pearson was killed in a fight that happened in the common area of his Los Angeles area apartment building in 2021. His mother and his estate are suing the landlords and their security companies for security negligence. The lawsuit alleges the building owners did not provide adequate security measures, like ensuring gate locks were functioning at the entrance and exit areas of the apartment building.
    • In August 2022, a young Fort Myers woman was shot, resulting in paralysis from the waist down, after leaving a downtown nightclub. Her attorney alleges two local nightclubs and downtown parking services failed to protect the woman during the shooting. The complaint says the nightclubs failed to separate the woman's party and another party that got into an altercation over a Facebook post and failed to provide adequate security that could have prevented the shooting.
    • A New York couple secured a $16 million settlement after they were viciously attacked at a Roadway Inn in Miami. A man who was not a guest of the hotel entered the building and knocked on their door. The husband answered and was attacked. The assailant then went on to attack and sexually assault the wife in view of hotel employees and a security guard, yet no steps were taken to intervene. The negligence, in this case, was egregious in that the unarmed security guard had been fired from a previous job for falling asleep while on duty, the key card entrance of the hotel had been broken for days, and the facility had more than 100 past incidences of criminal activity including violent attacks according to police records.

     When it comes to the welfare of the public, businesses should never skimp on security. When property owners fail in their duty of care, they can and should be held liable for the devastating injuries victims of crime have to endure.
     
    Suppose you or a loved one have been the victim of a violent crime that adequate security could have prevented. In that case, you have the right to make the property owner accountable for their careless and reckless disregard for your safety. You may be able to recover expenses for medical care, pain and suffering, and any other financial or emotional losses linked to your attack. Contact Morgan and Morgan for your free case evaluation today.

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