What is negligent security?
Negligent security is a category of premises liability. If you are a patron of a business, an invited guest or visitor to a property, or a tenant of a property, the property owner has an obligation to ensure your safety. If you are injured because of criminal activity at a property and it can be proven that the property owner knew about the danger but didn’t have adequate security measures in place, you may have a negligent security claim.
Here is a hypothetical, yet all too realistic, example of a possible negligent security incident:
You are walking through a mall parking lot when you are suddenly and violently shoved to the ground and your shopping bags stolen. You watch helplessly as your attacker sprints away with your bags. Your wrist is throbbing painfully and you are pretty sure it is broken. There is not a parking patrol, security guard, or security camera in sight. Later, as you are recuperating from your injury, you learn that several other people have been attacked in the same area of the parking lot in recent weeks and it appears that nothing is being done about it. You may have a viable civil claim against the mall or parking lot owner for negligent security.
This is just one scenario that may rise to the level of negligent security. While property owners can’t be held liable for every crime or accidental injury that happens on their property, they can be made to pay if it is established that they didn’t exercise “reasonable care,” meaning they did not have reasonable security in place to protect visitors from harm. Businesses are obligated to ensure the safety of their patrons. When they don’t adhere to this obligation and someone is injured, businesses may be held liable if negligence can be proven.
If you believe you have suffered injuries as a result of a property owner’s negligent security, you may be entitled to compensation. An attorney who is experienced in the complexities surrounding negligent security cases can help you discover whether you have a viable claim. Our Houston negligent security attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of negligent security law.
Places that need security measures
When security is negligent in public spaces, injuries and even death can occur. If a business or other property owner knows that they are in a high crime area and don’t do enough to protect their visitors, they can be held liable should someone be seriously injured. Even places that are not in high crime areas should expect some criminal activity if they are a retail store, cater to large crowds, or are a public place. Visitors to the following kinds of establishments should expect adequate security measures to be taken:
- Shopping malls
- Retail stores
- Schools & dormitories
- Hotels & motels
- Condominium & apartment complexes
- Restaurants & bars
- Movie theaters
- Stadiums & sports arenas
- Gas stations
- Banks & credit unions
- Office buildings
- Parking lots
- Hospitals & nursing homes
- And other public places.
Types of security measures
There are a variety of security measures that businesses and other property owners should have in place. Here are some examples for different types of properties:
- Security guards at malls, concert venues, hospitals, and other large properties
- Parking lot security patrols in public parking lots
- Working locks on doors and windows at apartment complexes
- Security cameras at gas stations and retail settings
- Badging of visitors to schools and background checks on school employees.
If these kinds of measures are not in place and you are the victim of a crime, you may have a case. However, it is up to you to prove that you were injured directly because the property owner did not take reasonable care to protect you, which is where an experienced attorney can help.
Also, it is important to note that negligent security cases don’t always involve injuries caused by criminal activity. If an accidental injury or death happens in a public swimming pool that doesn’t have trained lifeguards on duty, for example, this may be cause for a negligent security claim. Again, a knowledgable attorney can review the details of your case and advise you.
Call us today
If you believe negligent security led to your injuries or to the injuries or death of a loved one, we can help. To schedule a free consultation with a Houston negligent security lawyer, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or call us at 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.