Chances are you’ve felt uncomfortable at least once somewhere because of insufficient lighting or other security measures that should have been available. The odds of becoming an assault victim increase when there is inadequate security available.In October we discussed the basics of premises liability in Kansas City and the negligence that it accompanies. Property and store owners, landlords, managers and employees all have a duty to keep visitors to the property safe.
Part of that duty of care involves ensuring that visitors aren’t vulnerable to the possibility of assault or other criminal acts while visiting. As with any type of premises liability, property and store owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors. Implementing security measures comes under that standard of care.
Businesses That Need Security
Cases of inadequate security frequently involve criminal assault at commercial venues, such as:
- Outdoor ATMs
- Parking lots and garages
- Office buildings
- Hotels and motels
- Apartments and condominium complexes
- School dorm buildings
- Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
- Convenience stores
- Houses of worship
- Hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities
- Sport arenas, stadiums and other large event venues
While crime can happen anytime and anywhere, criminals will take advantage of the right environment, especially where they have a good chance of escaping arrest.
What Constitutes “Adequate” Security?
There is no one formula for “adequate” security, because it varies from place to place. What works at an apartment complex may not work at a shopping mall. Depending on the business, proper security measures may include:
- Bright security lighting (or upgrading external lighting)
- Surveillance systems, including cameras
- Security guards and/or bouncers
- Functional security hardware, such as locks and deadbolts
- Card-access security
Regular maintenance and repair of existing security equipment and systems are also important to keep visitors safe from harm.
Because premises liability is about keeping visitors safe while they are on the property, inadequate or absent security becomes negligence when an individual is assaulted due to the absence of adequate security. The first step in a lawsuit of this kind is to establish that the business had a duty to protect visitors.The next step is to establish that the assault occurred at least partly to the property owner’s negligence to install adequate security, or complete repairs that would have prevented the crime or at least reduced the chances of an assault. Determining negligence will ultimately come down to the specific facts of the case.Additionally, if there have been previous assaults on the property, or in a specific location, the property owner neglected to protect visitors from an assault or other crime that was, in fact, foreseeable and predictable. Police reports, statements from witnesses or other victims, and other available information can be used to demonstrate that the owner knew or should have known about the possibility of assault in the location, and the need for adequate security measures.Assaults and other violent crimes can leave you with serious injuries, much like a slip and fall. Broken bones, lacerations, and brain and spinal cord injuries are just some of the disabling damage you can suffer due to a property owner’s negligence for security. You may be able to recover damages such as medical bills and current and future lost wages with the help of a premises liability attorney.
KC’s Premises Liability Attorneys
An assault is always frightening. If it could have been prevented with improved security measures, the premises owner’s negligence may render them liable for your injuries.To file a successful claim, a law firm that understands premises liability and inadequate security is your best ally. Call The Popham Law Firm at (816) 221-2288 today or use our contact form. We’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your case, and let you know how we can help you recover damages after a premises liability assault injury case.