What gives rise to what we call “inadequate security” or “negligent security” cases? These incidents fall under broader categories of law known as “premises liability” cases or third party crimes. When a person shops at a store, an unspoken agreement is created. The agreement is between the shopper and the property owner and/or store owner. As part of that agreement, the owner must keep the shopper safe. A store owner has an obligation to make sure shoppers are free from harm such as slip and fall accidents.
Now, it is impossible to guarantee that someone will be safe all the time. How can a business owner know whether a thief is lurking about in the parking lot? In negligent security cases, business owners are not held liable for crimes that occur on their premises that are considered few and far between. But, if there has been a pattern of criminal behavior in the area, the owner may be held liable. Also, if the type of business makes it a target for criminal activity, the owner can be held liable. In that scenario, the injured plaintiff must prove the owner “knew or should have known” about the situation. In such a case, the law will impose a duty upon the business owner to keep people safe.
Proving a Negligent Security Case
So how does a lawyer prove negligent security cases against business owners? If the police tell a victim that this type of crime has occurred before, that is a good place to start. The attorney must also look at the hard data. This data includes the number of times a similar crime has occurred at the location. The lawyer will also look closely at the type of crime committed. Was it a crime against a person – such as the assault – or a crime against property – such as a car break in? So long as prior similar crimes were reported, all of that information is a matter of public record and it can be accessed.
In negligent security cases, the attorney will also look at factors such as the lighting in the area. The attorney will look closely at security at the location. Did the store owner hire enough security guards, etc? The attorney should interview store personnel. These interviews must include questions about past occurrences.
These types of crimes can leave a person with physical and emotional injuries. Fear can be just as debilitating as a cast on one’s arm. Proving negligent security cases can be a challenge but we at The Platta Law Firm have the experience needed to get you the settlement you deserve. Call us. We are here to help.