People are injured due to negligent security all the time. Many don’t realize they may qualify for compensation because a property owner was negligent in failing to prevent the crime. They just assume since it’s a criminal matter, there’s no civil law remedy for their injuries. Depending on what happened, why, and whether a property owner/occupier may be responsible, you may have that option.
A negligent security claim usually involves a property owner/occupier who doesn’t take proper precautions or security measures to prevent violent crime. The plaintiff needs to show the property owner/occupier was aware, or should’ve been aware, of the potential for crime, there was a lack of security, it allowed the crime to occur, and the plaintiff was injured.
Where Do Negligent Security Incidents Happen?
Common places are apartment complexes, office buildings, hotels, shopping areas, and their parking lots or ramp garages. To have a claim, these areas must be in neighborhoods or locations where crimes regularly occur or are at least predictable.
You might have a tough time with a negligent security claim if it happened where crimes rarely occur. The property owner/occupier may not be obligated to prevent a crime that’s unusual or out of character for the area.
What Kinds of Crimes Can Cause Negligent Security Claims?
These cases can involve just about any crime causing any injury. We investigate our clients’ negligent security claims, and so do insurance companies. In an interview with an insurance investigator James Barbieri, he cited some of the cases he looked into:
- A husband parked outside a drug store, and his wife went inside to shop. He was robbed and killed. His next of kin argued the business is in a high-crime area and inadequate lighting contributed to the crime. The owner should’ve used more care in providing security and adequate lighting
- A fight at a bar left the plaintiff seriously injured, and the bar failed to provide security, bouncers, or adequate security measures
- A tenant’s boyfriend picked her up from work and brought her home to an apartment complex in a high-crime area early in the morning. He drove into the parking lot because its gate was broken and stuck in the open position. They were followed by another car. The occupants tried to rob the two, a gunfight ensued, the boyfriend was killed, and the tenant was injured. One of the attackers said they went into the parking lot because the gate was open. Before the incident, several tenants complained to management about the broken gates. The apartment complex was new and advertised itself as a safe and gated community
- A woman living in an apartment was raped after her attacker entered the unit through a window with a broken lock. She just moved into the apartment, and the owner or manager should’ve inspected the unit before she took possession. They would’ve found the problem, and if they fixed it, they would’ve prevented the crime
Barbieri also said he’s had cases involving:
- Broken or nonexistent fences
- Lack of security cameras
- A lack of security alarms
- Malfunctioning security alarms
- A lack of security guards
- Untrained or unqualified security guards
Other negligent security cases include:
- The mother of a 15-year-old murder victim is suing the Housing Authority of Savannah in Georgia because they had “ample prior notice and knowledge that Yamacraw Village was both unsafe and unkempt and did little to nothing to ensure the safety of its residents,” according to The Current. The victim was shot on their premises in May 2022, and the crime remains unsolved. The housing authority is accused of not having security officers, fencing, or working surveillance cameras despite their knowledge of extensive violent crime in the apartment complex’ common areas
- Metria Leo Willis, the mother and personal representative of Zion Willis, who was shot to death outside a convenience store in Ocala, Florida, in 2021, is suing its owner for negligent security, reports the Ocala Star Banner. The lawsuit alleges management should’ve known of several violent crimes against customers before the incident, but they failed to warn, guard, or protect them
- Shanquisha Perry and her son are suing two Fort Myers, Florida, nightclubs and a parking service for failing to protect her during a 2022 shooting that left her partially paralyzed. She claims the nightclubs failed to separate people involved in a violent dispute that lasted for several minutes or provide different departing times for each, according to the News-Press.
Each case is unique. The crimes are different, and how they should’ve been prevented varies.
Speak To a Negligent Security Attorney Today
Satterley & Kelley PLLC lawyers have the experience to take on insurance companies and win when negligence leaves innocent crime victims suffering from significant injuries and the effects of emotional and psychological trauma.
We recover millions of dollars for victims and their families in personal injury verdicts and settlements. Our attorneys will fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries caused by a property owner’s negligence.
Schedule a free initial consultation at our Louisville office, call 502-589-5600 (toll-free at 855-385-9532), or complete our contact form so we can discuss what happened, how Kentucky law may apply, and your best options moving forward.