Negligent security is a part of the law that falls under the category of premises liability. Premises liability covers harm that a person could experience on a business’s property as a result of negligence on the part of the business. This could include things like slip and fall injuries where there is no “wet floor” sign, injuries or deaths incurred by poorly maintained elevators or escalators, and any number of other potential harms.
So, what is negligent security? Negligent security is the area of premises liability law that covers types of harms that people experience on a property owner’s property specifically due to a lack of proper security measures. Most of the time, this means the victim of negligent security has also been the victim of some sort of crime on the property. Businesses and other property owners are required to take reasonable precautions against people becoming victims of crime while on the property—and they may be liable for a case of negligent security if they fail in this duty.
If you believe you or a family member has been the victim of a case of negligent security, you may have a legal claim. Contact The Stoddard Firm to set up a free initial consultation. We’ll go over the details of your case and help advise you on the best way moving forward. The consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay for anything unless we win or settle your case. If you think you have a claim, give us a call or send us an email today.
Negligent Security Definition
Like we said earlier, negligent security is an area of the law that falls under the category of premises liability. So before we get into the details of what kinds of harm might constitute negligent security, let’s go over the four things you have to be able to prove in order to have a case of premises liability. In a premises liability case, you must prove:
The first thing you must be able to prove is that some kind of harm actually took place. This can be property damage, physical harm, or (most often in a negligent security case) becoming a victim of a crime on the property of a business or other property owner. You must prove the harm took place in order to win the case.
- Duty of Care
Next, you must prove that the negligent party owed some kind of duty of care to the victim of the negligence. For example, in the case of a car accident, every driver has a duty of care to abide by the rules of the road and pay attention to the situation around them. Likewise, in a negligent security case, a property owner has a duty of care to ensure the property is reasonably safe.
- Failure in Duty of Care
The third thing you have to prove in order to have a premises liability case is that the negligent party failed in their duty of care—that is, that they were negligent. A driver might be negligent by running a red light, or by driving 15 mph over the speed limit. A property owner might be negligent by failing to hire an adequate security staff, by failing to install enough security cameras, or whatever other failures may be relevant.
The last thing that needs to be proven in a premises liability case is causation. You must prove that the defendant’s failure in his or her duty of care causally contributed to the harm the victim received. A grocery might be negligent, for example, by not putting up a “wet floor” sign after mopping. But if the victim’s fall was caused by tripping over his or her own shoelaces, rather than by slipping on the water, the negligence did not cause the fall to take place. In other words, it’s not enough to prove that there was negligence: you must also prove that the negligence actively contributed to the harm.
In order to win a negligent security case, you have to be able to prove all four of those things: harm, duty of care, failure in duty of care, and causation.
If you’ve been the victim of a crime such as robbery or assault on a property owner’s property, it should be fairly easy to prove that you received some kind of harm. Hotels, stores, and other buildings that routinely have visitors or customers inside are expected to keep their properties reasonably safe, so it’s easy to argue that they have a duty of care.
It’s most important that you be able to prove the property owner failed in the duty of care and that the failure causally contributed to the crime you were a victim of. A too-small security team might fail to prevent a crime from taking place, for example, or a poorly trained team might fail to respond adequately to a developing situation.
If you think you might have a case of negligent security, it’s very likely that you do. Talk to a trusted personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process and represent you in court if need be.
The Stoddard Firm Represents Victims of Negligent Business and Property Owners
Our lawyers have extensive experience holding negligent companies accountable for putting consumers at risk of falling victim of crime. We can uncover and establish the course of events that led to a preventable tragedy, identify what the company should have done to keep its customers safe, and explain it all in a clear, understandable way that judges and juries respect.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime and believe you may have a case of negligent security, reach out to The Stoddard Firm right away to learn more about how we can help. Remember: the consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay for a thing unless we win or settle your case. Send us an email or give us a phone call to get started.