What Types of Evidence Could Prove That Negligent Security Was Responsible in a Personal Injury Case?
In a better world, we might not need constant security measures to ensure our safety while walking through public property. But the world is thus, and we need security to watch over us. Adequate security provides both safety countermeasures against those who would do us harm and also gathers evidence so that we may hold wrongdoers accountable. We’ve come to trust and rely upon security cameras, guards, and the like as we traverse public spaces, believing that these security measures are looking out for us.
But what happens when security fails us? When the cameras are fake, the guards are negligent, and the property owners are not adequately looking after their guests? Hopefully nothing. However, far too often, this will lead to a crime or an accident wherein an individual is severely injured or suffers damages due to inadequate security.
In order to recover damages for most cases, it is necessary to prove a certain level of fault or negligence. To prove negligent security was responsible for your injuries, you must look for these facts.
- Did the property owners have a duty of care to keep their customers, guests, and visitors safe?
- Did the property owners breach that duty of care?
- Was an accident or crime ‘foreseeable’ due to that breach of duty?
- Did you suffer injuries and damages as a result of that foreseeable incident?
Was the Crime ‘Foreseeable’ Due to the Lack of Adequate Security?
If it was reasonable to believe that the property owners knew or should have known that a criminal element existed and they took no measures to protect against threats. However, suppose the property was in a safe area with no history of criminal activity. In that case, the property owner may be able to successfully argue that they had no reason to foresee any need for putting additional security measures.
Known history of crime in the area or a previous criminal act committed on the property may be enough to prove that there was a foreseeable risk of crime. And regardless of criminal activity, if the condition of the property caused an injury or damages and the property owner offered no warnings about those conditions, this also may count as foreseeable knowledge of risks.
Did the Property Owners Breach Their Duty of Care?
Property owners have a certain duty of care to all lawful visitors to their property to ensure their safety and well-being while they are present. Businesses sometimes cut corners to save money, though, which can come at the cost of safety. If it can be shown that the property owners ignored this duty, then they may be held liable for incidents that take place on their property.
Did You Suffer Damages as a Result of Your Incident?
In addition to an injury, you must establish that you suffered damages as a result of your accident. Your damages could be either economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages may include:
- Lost wages as a result of not being able to work because of the injury.
- Medical bills to treat the injury.
- Property damage expenses.
Non-economic damages could include:
- Emotional pain and suffering.
- Lost consortium or partnership.
- Lost quality of life.
- Mental anguish.
What Are a Few Examples of Security Negligence or Inadequate Security Measures?
Negligent security can result in a number of issues, including:
- Lack of an alarm system.
- No fencing or walls in dangerous areas.
- No warning signage.
- Parking lots, alleys, and garages with no oversight or security.
- Poor lighting in a stairway, parking lot, garage, or other place on the property.
- Potholes, missing railings, debris, and improperly maintained greenery.
- Security cameras are fake, turned off, or nonexistent.
- Security guards are inexperienced, ineffective, or nonexistent.
- And allowing illegal activity on the premises, such as drugs, the drinking of alcohol, gambling, fighting, and prostitution.
Inadequate security can result in incidents such as:
- Assaults in hotel rooms, alleyways, college campuses, parking garages, gas stations, retail stores, and parks.
- ATM robberies.
- Parking lot assaults.
- Sexual assaults.
How Can a Negligent Security Lawyer Help Your Case?
It is not required for you to retain an attorney in order to file a claim against property owners for negligent security. However, for the most assured chance of filing a successful claim, we recommend that you seek legal counsel. Many lawyers offer free case evaluations to prospective clients and it may be worth at least hearing from them whether they think you have a good case for negligent security charges.
As your legal representation, your negligent security attorneys will investigate your case by going to the location where the incident took place and examining the security in place. It is possible that, since the time of your incident, the property owner has attempted to rectify their oversights by installing new security. This will not deter your lawyers, however, as one cannot retroactively protect a victim from an assault.
Additionally, your attorney will interview staff, security personnel, and witnesses to the crime. Your lawyers will also investigate both the property and the surrounding area to determine whether other similar incidents had happened there previously. After putting together a compelling case, your lawyers will then assist you in settlement negotiations.