Anyone who lives in a sizable American city knows violence can occur at practically any time and place. When you are in public, however, or residing in an apartment complex, your safety is largely in someone else’s hands. If you are harmed by a crime or violent act in a shopping mall, at a concert venue, while staying at a hotel, or even at home, your injury might be the result of negligent security.
Negligent security is a complex legal concept in which property owners can be held responsible for crimes or violent acts that occur on their premises. Under the doctrine of premises liability, everyone who owns or manages a property is responsible for keeping their guests, customers, and tenants safe. If they fail to do so, whether by allowing dangerous conditions or failing to prevent crime, those who are injured on the property can file lawsuits.
You may be asking yourself how a property owner or manager can prevent crime. To better understand the concept of negligent security, we can look at some examples:
Negligent Security at an Apartment Complex
If you live in a dangerous neighborhood, your apartment complex should have some basic security measures in place. Gates, locks, lighting, and security cameras can all prevent a crime from occurring in your complex. Gates and locks, for instance, can keep criminals off your property entirely, thus keeping you safe from crime.
If you lived in an area where burglaries were common, failure to install these safety devices could be considered negligent because an open complex would have allowed a burglar to walk right in and steal your belongings.
Similarly, lighting and security cameras can discourage crime by making criminal actions more obvious and collecting evidence when a crime does occur.
When your apartment complex fails to take any of these precautions, and you are injured by criminal behavior, you can choose to file a negligent security claim against the building’s owner or manager.
Negligent Security at a Public Venue or Event
The fact people get riled up at sporting events is common knowledge. When left unsupervised, fans can start fights and cause violence, especially when they are drinking. This is one reason you see security guards stationed all over major sports arenas.
Now, imagine attending a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins with absolutely no security. People would undoubtedly get hurt.
This same concept of risk applies almost any time large crowds of people are gathered together. As such, public venues must take precautions to keep visitors and event-attendees safe. Sometimes, this is as simple as adhering to maximum occupancy requirements and installing a few well-trained security personnel. Other times, this may involve a metal detector or security screening at the gate.
If a venue does not provide adequate security or fails to foresee a predictable danger, it can be held accountable if people get hurt. Again, imagine a sports rivalry with no security, or even a controversial political event where attendees are not searched for weapons.
When a set of circumstances seems dangerous to you, it should also seem dangerous to professional event planners.
If you’ve been hurt under seemingly unsafe conditions, you can pursue civil damages.
How Do I File A Lawsuit?
If the situations we’ve described above seem familiar or you’re still not sure whether your injuries were caused by negligent security or not, our attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have.
We are also here for you if you are ready to file suit.
Discuss your case with us today at (214) 739-0100 – and don’t forget to schedule a free consultation.