No one can predict when or where a crime will occur. However, criminals
generally seek easy targets, such as locations without security cameras,
security guards, gates, street lights, or other safety features that discourage
criminal activity. When a property owner neglects to institute these necessary
security measures, despite knowledge that the location is dangerous, individuals
who visit the property might become more vulnerable to violent crimes.
If you suffered an attack on someone else’s property due to a lack
of adequate security, you could have a viable premises liability case
and be entitled to compensation.
In a premises liability case, injured individuals are allowed to seek civil
redress against a property owner for crimes and violent acts of third
parties involving negligent security. The injury could arise from a number
of things, including robbery, assault, rape, or battery, for example,
and does not need to be caused only by criminal activity.
Examples of Inadequate Security
For a premises liability case to be successful, the plaintiff must show
that a property owner or occupier failed to take the reasonable steps
necessary to prevent the crime that resulted in the injuries suffered.
When a crime like rape, assault, or abduction occurs due to inadequate
security, the property owner can be held accountable.
Below are some common examples of negligent security:
- Failure to install or monitor security cameras
- Failure to warn visitors about any known risks or dangers
- Failure to respond to a security alert or emergency call
- Failure to maintain adequate lighting in dark areas
- Failure to provide adequately trained security personnel or patrol
- Failure to fix broken physical barriers, such as gates, locks, fences, or doors
- Failure to maintain an establishment’s appearance
Proving Inadequate Security
When suing for negligent security, a plaintiff must show that the property
owner failed to exercise reasonable care or failed to provide adequate
warnings to prevent visitors from sustaining injuries. It must also be
shown that the plaintiff was lawfully present on the landowner’s
property, that the landowner breached the duty to provide reasonable security,
that this breach caused the incident to occur, and that the plaintiff
suffered injuries that were foreseeable and preventable if adequate security
had been provided.
In many cases, foreseeability is a vital element in negligent security
cases. This is generally determined based on whether there were any prior
crimes that shared similarities in the same location that the owner or
possessor knew or should have known about. For example, if there were
several prior rapes in a mall parking lot before the injuries in another
case occurred, it is reasonable to expect that the most recent case was
foreseeable. In this case, the property owner should have increased security
to help prevent additional rapes from occurring. If there were prior criminal
acts that occurred in the parking lot, but no rapes, the rape might not
be considered foreseeable. A court might also consider how frequently
law enforcement is called to a property and if the crimes were violent.
Common locations where inadequate security can occur include:
- Hotels, motels, or inns
- Parking lots
- Office buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Campus housing
- ATM machines and banks
- Parking ramps
- Private residences
Washington DC Premises Liability Attorney
If you sustained injuries on someone else’s property due to inadequate
security, you might be eligible for compensation for costs associated
with the incident, including medical care and pain and suffering. At Simeone
& Miller, LLP, our DC injury attorneys have recovered millions of
dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients and would be honored
to do the same for you.
Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today. Call us at (202) 888-0872
to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.