“Lack of security is an open invitation to criminals who harm and kill innocent Americans.” -Ben Schwartz
We are negligent security lawyers who handle cases in the mid-Atlantic states, including PA, NJ, DE, MD, and DC. “Negligent security” or “inadequate security” cases are personal injury and wrongful death cases where a landowner or occupier fails to take reasonable steps to provide security and, as a result, a crime or bad act occurs, resulting in injury or death. The crime victim may pursue a legal claim against the landowner or occupier for failing to reasonably protect them and may recover monetary compensation for their injuries (or for the death of their loved one).
What types of security measures can a landlord or business take to protect the safety of its tenants, customers, and employees?
There are many types of security measures that are available to property owners and occupiers. These safety and security measures can include things like:
- Adequate lighting in parking lots and pedestrian areas – adequate lighting discourages bad people from doing bad things.
- Closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and monitoring – video cameras discourage criminal behavior. Live real-time monitoring of CCTV cameras allows property managers and security personnel to respond immediately when a crime is being committed.
- Locked exterior doors with telephone entry – locked exterior doors keep unwanted intruders out, and tenant control over visitor entry using telephone access is standard in many apartment buildings across the mid-Atlantic region.
- Security guards – live, roving security patrols can minimize or eliminate on-premises crime.
- Panic buttons – buttons that can alert security personnel or authorities to ongoing criminal acts.
- Warning signs – signs indicating that there is active security on the premises.
- And many more.
When businesses do not reasonably assess the risks and then take appropriate action to prevent crime from happening on-premises, they can and should be held liable in a court of law.
What types of incidents can lead to a negligent security case?
Failure to evaluate the risks and take appropriate action to prevent crime on-premises can result in the following types of incidents:
- Shootings and robberies
- Physical assaults, battery
- Sexual assaults, rape
- Kidnappings and carjackings
- Other crimes resulting in unnecessary, preventable physical injuries and death.
Where do negligent security cases happen?
Negligent security cases can occur in many different types of places. Wherever businesses invite people to come to spend their money, there is a legal responsibility for those business owners and managers to take reasonable measures to protect their customers. Negligent security cases happen all too often in places like shopping malls, retail stores, apartment complexes, parking garages, hotels, schools, professional offices, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, and other business places.
What compensation is available in a negligent security case?
If you were injured as a result of a landlord or business’s negligent failure to take adequate security measures, you may be legally entitled to receive compensation the following:
- Medical expenses: you may be able to recover compensation to pay your hospital, medical, prescription and rehabilitation expenses.
- Wages: you may be able to recover compensation to pay you back for the wages you lost while you were unable to go to work as a result of your injuries, as well as compensation for lost earning capacity or ability in the future.
- General damages: you may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the incident.
- Permanent injury: you may be able to recover compensation for permanent functional impairment of your body if you sustained a serious, permanent injury to your body.
- Other damages – there are other items you may be entitled to if you were injured in an inadequate security incident. You should speak to a qualified negligent security personal injury attorney in the jurisdiction where your incident occurred to learn more about what compensation you may be entitled to recover.
Are there time limits for negligent security claims?
As with any personal injury or wrongful death case, there is a time limit for filing a lawsuit in a negligent security case as set by the applicable statute of limitations (law limiting the time to file a lawsuit). The statute of limitations will vary from state to state. If you believe you may have a negligent security case, it would be best to contact a negligent security lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights and the applicable time limitations.