What Is A Negligent Security Case?
A negligent security claim is a lawsuit against a property owner, when you are a victim of a criminal attack on their property. This may sound counterintuitive—after all, isn’t the criminal the one responsible for your injuries? The answer is yes, but the criminal is not the only party responsible for the criminal attack.
Foreseeability of Criminal Attacks
Of course, none of us can ever predict when criminal activity may happen; crime is generally random and unpredictable. But we do have ways of measuring when a criminal attack may be more likely to happen—that is, when a criminal attack may be foreseeable.
When attacks are foreseeable on a property, the property owner has a legal duty to take measures to stop crime, avert it, deter it, or make it less likely that a criminal attack may happen. That doesn’t mean they have to absolutely insulate every customer or visitor on its property from every kind of crime, all the time—but it does mean that the property owner has to take common sense measures to keep the people on its property safe from criminal activity.
What Should be Done?
Some of those measures can include things like human security, video surveillance, locks, metal detectors, guard gates or other means of restricting who gets in or out of the property, or having better lighting. The nature and extent of what needs to be one, will largely depend on how likely or foreseeable, the chances of a criminal attack may be.
Factors of Foreseeability
When is a criminal attack foreseeable? There are crime scene statistics that are publicly available. Police statistics will often show when or how often a certain business, area, region, or even a single property, has been hit by any kind of criminal activity. An area that is routinely hit by crimes, would make it more foreseeable that the area or property is more likely to be a crime target in the future.
Beyond statistics, common sense will play a role as well. A property that sells expensive goods like a jewelry or electronics store, may be more likely to have criminal attacks. Property where the parking lot is isolated, or in an area that is not readily visible, may be more likely to have criminal attacks.
Any business where there may be larger crowds, like malls or arenas, may have a higher likelihood of a criminal attack.
In a negligent security case, security experts may be called to testify as to what measures a business could have and should have taken, but did not. The experts will often cite crime statistics, and explain how a certain measure should have been taken by the property owner, but was not.
It may seem like crime is only caused by criminals. While criminals bear responsibility, so too do property owners that don’t take precautions or measures to deter criminal activity on their property.
Have you been a crime victim, or injured as a result of criminal activity? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today to see whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.