Property owners have a legal duty to guarantee the security of visitors and workers on their premises. If a criminal act on a property leads to personal injuries, the property owner may be liable for damages under the premises liability laws. This is referred to as negligent or inadequate security and can result in a premises liability claim.
Breaking Down Negligent or Inadequate Security
Most negligent security verdicts and settlements involve robbery, sexual assault, wrongful death, physical assault, and carjacking. A negligent security claim arises when the injured party seeks compensation for their suffering. Such legal action can be taken against business premises owners, schools, landlords and other property owners.
Negligent security includes failure to provide adequate crime deterrents such as cameras, door locks, alarm systems, security checks, security patrol, fencing, and security guards. It also includes poor lighting and inadequate building security. Negligent security law assumes that the criminal act could have been prevented or the property owner could have made it less likely through appropriate security measures.
Legal Duties for Property Owners
Property owners and managers are under legal obligation to anticipate potential risks to their clients and other visitors. They should also maintain a safe environment for visitors and warn them of any concealed dangers. More importantly, they should take reasonable steps to prevent such risky situations.
For spontaneous crimes on a property, businesses are often not held financially liable if they have adequate security measures in place. However, a court can determine that there has been a pattern of criminal behavior or find the premises is susceptible to crime. In this case, the property owner has a legal obligation to protect visitors and workers. Failure to do this amounts to negligence, and the injured party can file a negligent or inadequate security claim.
Negligent security cases are complex, and it can be difficult to establish fault. To assign liability in these cases, the court must determine if harm was foreseeable and whether reasonable care was taken to prevent it. The plaintiff has to prove they were legally on the property, that the owner had a duty of care, and that the criminal act was foreseeable. They also need to prove that the monetary or physical damage resulted from the criminal activity on the premises.
Working With Trusted Premises Liability Lawyers
At Leav & Steinberg LLP, our lawyers have nearly two decades of experience in personal injury and premises liability law in New York City. Our extensive knowledge in these cases has allowed us to attain significant results for previous clients. Contact us today to request your free consultation for your negligent or inadequate security case.