Premise Liability: Negligent Security

If you have been injured due to criminal activity there may be another party who can be held liable for your injuries. Negligent security is a form of premise liability that helps victims of crimes seek compensation from property owners whose actions (or inactions) led to the criminal activity. Property owners must provide a reasonable duty of care such as protecting visitors from crimes by third parties. Negligent security cases are only viable if it can be shown that foreseeable criminal activity could have been prevented by appropriate security measures.

It might be more common sense to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime, however, if the criminal isn’t caught or doesn’t have assets, damages will be minimal if any at all. By filing a premise liability lawsuit against the property owner, they are more likely to have an insurance policy that covers liability. Therefore, you are really suing his insurance company. In order to be able to file, it must be shown that you suffered actual damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, lost future earning potential and pain and suffering.

Another thing that needs to be proven is whether or not the crime was foreseeable. If crime is prevalent in the location and nothing has been done to rectify the situation then the crime could have been foreseeable. However, if this was the first time a crime was committed on the property, it will be hard to show that the crime was foreseeable. Adequate security also varies from case to case but includes things such as security patrols, lighting, locks and restricted number of keys.

Certain states have safety measures that businesses must comply with to avoid being held liable in a crime. These include security cameras, safety cash drop boxes as well as having cash registers with a limit to how much money is in it. If the business fails to meet these standards than it can be held liable.