If a person is injured because this duty has been violated, then he or she may be able to seek compensation from the person tasked with maintaining the property. This category of personal injury claims is referred to as “premises liability.” One of the most common kinds of premises liability claims involve slip and falls. Another type of premises liability is a negligent security claim.
Understanding a Negligent Security Claim
A negligent security claim is a form of civil redress for harm suffered due to criminal acts. Part of a property owner’s duty to maintain safe property conditions is providing reasonable security measures in order to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes perpetrated by third parties. If a person has been the victim of a crime that may have been prevented had the property owner put proper security measures in place, the injured person may seek compensation from the property owner for his or her injuries. Premises liability claims often arise from crimes such as robbery, assault, battery, and rape.
In order to bring a successful negligent security claim, the plaintiff, the injured party, will need to be able to prove that the property owner failed to uphold the duty to exercise reasonable care in providing adequate security measures on the property. The plaintiff will need to prove that he or she was lawfully present on the defendant’s property, was injured by a criminal act on the property that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant, and that he or she would not have been the victim of this criminal activity had the defendant upheld the requisite duty of care. The plaintiff must also show that he or she sustained actual damages.
The really critical issues in negligent security claims include the foreseeability of the crime and whether sufficient, reasonable security measures were taken to prevent the foreseeable crime from being committed. A crime may be considered reasonable foreseeable if there were other, similar crimes previously committed in the area. If law enforcement were often called to the property, this may also be evidence of foreseeability of the criminal activity. Whether the property owner took reasonable measures to keep visitors safe will depend on the foreseeability of the crime. A property owner may take the following steps to prevent crime from occurring in the property:
- Posting warning signs
- Having adequate safety lighting (such as motion sensor lighting and floodlights)
- Using motion sensor alarms
- Posting security guards
- Installing locks
- Training staff on how to respond to suspicious people
- Installing security cameras.
Pennsylvania Premises Liability Attorneys
If you have been the victim of a crime that took place on the property of another, you may be able to seek compensation for the harm you endured because of the crime. The team of dedicated premises liability attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy are here to fight for you. Contact us today.