What Is Negligent Security?
Property owners (residential and commercial) owe people on their property (legally) a duty of care to ensure they are safe while on their property. If you suffer injuries after a crime or an accident occurs on someone else’s property because of inadequate (negligent) security, you may be able to seek compensation in a negligent security claim.
Negligent security claims are a type of premises liability case, and they can arise after someone is injured on a property that:
- Has a record of crimes committed on the property and still lacks security measures
- Has inadequate lighting
- Lacks properly trained staff and security personnel
- Lacks proper security equipment, including security cameras
- Does not have locks, fences, or other needed barriers on or around their property
- Employs staff without conducting a criminal background check
You may file a claim if you are a victim/survivor of a crime that was preventable but occurred because of inadequate security. You may file a claim after suffering emotional, mental, or physical injuries sustained in an assault, robbery, abduction, pool accident, or another crime that occurred at a:
- Dorm, apartment building, or hotel
- Residential property
- Local business or gas station
- Office building or workplace
- Clinic or hospital
- School or daycare center
- Train or subway station
- Property of any kind that you had permission to enter
What Is Considered Adequate Security?
Security measures or devices that may ensure the safety of visitors can include:
- Vetted security guards and staff
- Adequate lighting
- Warning signs (in hazardous areas)
- Marked emergency exits
- Secure exterior and interior doors (i.e quality locks, functioning door/hinges, etc.)
- Secure windows
- Gates or fencing (around the property, pools, etc.)
- Security alarm system (that includes functioning cameras)
However, adequate security varies based on the type of property and its specific needs. For instance, a gas station should have functioning security cameras, a well-lit parking lot, a cash management policy, etc. A residential property, however, may only need to have a fence, functional locks, and an alarm system. A key component in determining what is appropriate for a property and in negligent security claims is foreseeability.
What Is Foreseeability?
Foreseeability involves the likelihood that property owners should have knowledge of the dangerous conditions on their property. If the crime or accident that was caused by the inadequate security was reasonably foreseeable, the property owner should have taken action to correct the issue and protect their guest from whatever the threat is. For example, if people are often robbed in the parking lot at an apartment building, the management and/or owners should consider adding better lighting or hiring security officers to patrol.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Negligent Security
If needed security measures and devices are not in place, you may suffer serious injuries. In instances where there are no fences around pools, you may drown or suffer from the loss of oxygen of a near-drowning. If you are physically assaulted, you can sustain:
- Lacerations or cuts
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
In any instance where negligent security on a premise contributed to your injuries, you may also have emotional and mental pain or suffering that causes:
- Paranoia or fear
If your negligent security claim succeeds in court, you can be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering (including emotional distress, psychological pain, etc.), and any other economic and non-economic damages you’ve suffered. In some cases, you may also receive punitive damages, which seek to punish the defendant for extreme cases of negligence. It is important to note that families who have lost a loved one in an accident due to negligent security can also pursue compensation.
Establishing Fault in Negligent Security Cases
If you are harmed because of negligent security, you may have a claim against the property owner, property manager, security company, transportation service, a security product manufacturer, certain staff members, and/or another party that was responsible for (and neglected) your safety. For negligence to be proven, it will need to be shown that:
- The defendant(s) owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care by not resolving or warning you of negligent security issues.
- Your injuries and damages are the direct results of that breach of duty of care.
- You suffered damages (i.e. healthcare bills, pain and suffering, etc.).
Obtain Reliable Legal Counsel
At Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa P.C., our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of negligent security, we are here to help you pursue compensation and protect your legal rights. Once you retain our firm, we can help you:
- Investigate the incident and establish liability
- Minimize your own liability
- Calculate the damages you may be owed
- Gather evidence
- Understand your best options (legally)
To schedule a case consultation, telephone us at (203) 583-8299 or reach out online. We offer services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.