The facts that you have presented here in your question give rise to what we call an “inadequate security” or a “negligent security” case. These incidents fall under a broader category known as “premises liability” cases and third party crimes. Believe it or not when you go to a store to shop an unspoken agreement is created between you and the property owner and/or storeowner to keep you safe while you are there shopping. The owner has an obligation to make sure that while you are there you are free from harm.
Now, it is impossible to guarantee that someone will be safe all the time and you must be asking yourself: how can it possibly be that a business owner would know that some thief was lurking about in the parking lot? Well, you are right: business owners are not held liable for crimes that occur on their premises that are considered few and far between. But if we can show that there has been a pattern of criminal behavior in the area or that the type of business makes it a target for criminal activity, and that the owner “knew or should have known” about the situation, then the law will impose a special duty on the business owner to keep you safe and hold them accountable for your injuries.
So how do we prove a case against a business owner? The fact that the police told you that this type of crime has occurred before is a good place for us to start. We would look at the hard data first: the number of times that a crime like this has occurred at that location, how often they have occurred and the type of crime that it is. By this I mean was it a crime against a person – such as the assault that happened to you – or a crime against property – such as a car break in. So long as the crimes were reported, all that information is public record and we can access it.
We also take a look at factors such as the lighting in the area: was there enough lighting, was the lighting working properly. We look at security: did the storeowner hire security guards, etc. We would interview witnesses and store personnel not only about your particular situation but about past occurrences as well.
These types of crimes can leave a person not only with physical injuries but with emotional ones as well. Fear can be just as debilitating as a cast on one’s arm.
Proving these types of cases can be a challenge but we here at The Platta Law Firm have the experience you need in helping to get you the settlement you deserve. Call us. We are here to help.