Negligent security is a legal concept that holds property owners and managers responsible for failing to take reasonable measures to protect people on their premises from criminal acts. You might claim compensation for your losses if you incurred injuries or damages due to criminal activity on someone else’s property.
However, not every crime incident on someone else’s property constitutes a negligent security claim. Consider the following four factors to determine whether you have a valid claim.
1. Foreseeability of the Crime
When evaluating a negligent security claim, the first factor is whether the property owner or manager could have reasonably foreseen that criminal activity would occur on their premises. If the property has a history of crime or is located in a high-crime area, the owner or manager must take reasonable measures to prevent or reduce the crime risk.
Examples of reasonable security measures include installing security cameras, hiring security personnel, adding lighting, and implementing access control measures.
However, if the crime was unforeseeable or unpredictable, the property owner or manager may not be liable for the incident. For instance, if a customer suddenly pulls out a weapon and robs a store without any prior warning or indication, the property owner or manager may not be responsible for the incident.
2. Causation of the Injuries
The second factor to consider when evaluating a negligent security claim is whether the property owner or manager’s failure to provide adequate security measures caused the injuries suffered by the victim. For instance, if a person is assaulted in a dimly lit parking lot, the property owner or manager may be held responsible for failing to provide adequate lighting. However, the lighting may not have been a contributing factor if the perpetrators had attacked the victim in broad daylight.
3. Notice and Response to the Crime
The third factor to consider in evaluating a negligent security claim is whether the property owner or manager had notice of the crime and responded appropriately. If the property owner or manager knew or should have known about prior criminal activity on their premises, they must take reasonable measures to prevent future incidents. Failure to take action after being put on the notice may constitute negligence.
For example, suppose a hotel receives multiple reports of thefts from guests’ rooms but fails to take any action, and a guest is later assaulted in their room. In that case, the hotel may be liable for negligent security.
However, suppose the hotel responded to the theft reports by increasing security patrols and adding locks to the doors, and a subsequent assault occurred due to a different security breach. In that case, the hotel may not be liable.
4. Contributory Negligence of the Victim
The fourth factor to consider when evaluating a negligent security claim is whether the victim contributed to their injuries through negligence. If the victim engaged in illegal or dangerous activities or ignored warning signs or instructions, they may have contributed to their injuries.
For example, if someone is injured while trespassing on someone else’s property, they may not have a valid negligent security claim. Similarly, suppose a person is injured while ignoring warning signs or instructions, such as climbing over a fence or ignoring barriers. In that case, they may be found partially at fault for their injuries.
You might have a valid negligent security claim if you have suffered injuries or damages due to criminal activity on someone else’s property. To determine whether you have a valid claim, consider the four factors discussed above: foreseeability of the crime, causation of injuries, notice and response to the crime, and contributory negligence of the victim.
If you believe you have a claim, consult an experienced negligent security lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you seek compensation for your losses.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or damages due to criminal activity on another person’s property, the experienced negligent security attorneys at Circeo Law Firm are here to help. We understand the complexity of negligent security claims and are well-versed in Kentucky law. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.