Negligent Security Lawyers in Kentucky
If you’re the victim of a crime, not just the perpetrator may be to blame. The owner of the property where it took place might be liable for damages if they acted negligently when they failed to take steps to prevent the crime from taking place.
If you live in an apartment, go out to a store, restaurant, bar, music venue, or visit a friend, you should expect to be safe from criminal activity. If a crime occurs, the criminal is to blame, but the property owner/occupier may be obligated to pay you compensation for your injuries if they acted negligently in failing to take action to protect you.
If the property owner is aware of risks or dangers that could reasonably and foreseeably pose a threat to you but doesn’t act to remove the hazard or warn or protect you from the danger, then the owner/occupier could be held responsible for injuries you suffer during the crime.
Where Might I Be Injured Because of Negligent Security?
In these claims, the victim may pursue an insurance claim or legal action against property owners who own and operate:
- Grocery stores or malls
- Apartment buildings or other residential complexes
- Office buildings
- Entertainment venues, including clubs, bars, and amusement parks
- Colleges and universities
- Places of worship
- Other locations where security is lacking
If you’re a crime victim, don’t think this is just a criminal matter. There may be a property or business owner who failed to take steps to keep you safe.
What Must I Prove to Win a Negligent Security Claim?
You would need to show:
- There were substantially similar (not identical) crimes on or near the premises
- The business owner knew about them
- A reasonable person would take ordinary precautions to protect customers or tenants against the foreseeable risk posed by the criminal activity
- The defendant failed to do so
- That failure was a reason why the crime happened
- You were harmed during the crime
These facts would be discovered through an investigation. Satterley & Kelley attorneys and staff work to get all the evidence we need before filing a claim with an insurance company or a lawsuit. The earlier you contact us after your injury, the sooner we can start finding the truth, and the more likely we’ll find evidence before it’s lost.
How is a Crime Foreseeable?
For a successful negligent security claim, you must prove the owner/occupier had notice of prior criminal activity on the property or surrounding area. For instance, if a restaurant owner knows that several people were robbed in the parking lot or the adjacent area over the past couple of months, the owner’s on notice that future crimes may happen to patrons.
The owner has a legal duty to exercise ordinary care to prevent future harm by implementing security measures. If someone is injured during a crime before the owner takes action to make the area safer, the property owner/occupier may be liable to pay the victim compensation.
Businesses that serve alcohol are places where criminal acts are foreseeable, not just because an outsider may commit a crime, but one may involve one patron assaulting another.
If an argument arises and escalates to the point where someone is injured, there may be liability if the owner played a role in creating it (served a visibly intoxicated customer alcohol) or failed to try to calm the situation or remove the aggressor. In places serving alcohol, having security present to handle these conflicts may be a reasonable thing to do to prevent someone from getting hurt.
What Steps Must Business Owners Take?
If a business is in a higher crime area and the owner’s aware their customers or patrons could be harmed, they must be proactive to make their premises safe. Safety measures could include:
- Installing and maintaining gates, fences, windows, doors, and locks
- Hiring and training security guards
- Installing and maintaining security cameras, lighting, and security systems
- Installing signs warning potential criminals of security measures to discourage them from coming into the area
- Reporting crimes against customers, contractors, and employees to police
What a business or property owner should do varies depending on the situation. The owner must use ordinary care to protect patrons or tenants, given the nature of the crime in the area and what could discourage it.
If the owner acted reasonably, but a crime happened anyway, they may not be legally required to pay compensation for injuries. They’re not liable for every crime on their premises, no matter what they do.
What Steps Must Landlords Take to Protect Tenants and Their Guests?
Apartment building owners and managers must remove hidden dangers by inspecting their property. This includes protecting tenants by preventing people who may cause them harm from coming into the building. Landlords are liable for foreseeable criminal acts if they don’t use ordinary care to protect people rightfully using the premises.
What Damages Might I Recover?
Damages are the harm you suffered measured in dollars. You don’t have a case if you can’t prove you suffered damages because of the property or business owner’s negligence. Those damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost income
Even if you weren’t physically injured, the crime might have been so traumatic and painful that you suffered emotional or psychological harm. This may show with symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and panic attacks.
What Should I Do to Protect My Rights After Suffering from a Crime?
You should do many things to help your case and protect your health.
- If you’re injured, seek medical attention as quickly as possible
- Call the police and report what happened
- Inform the business or property owner or manager of the incident
- Document the fact you made this report and don’t admit any blame or talk about what you could’ve done to avoid or prevent it
- Take videos or photos of the area and any injuries
- Limit what you say to others about what happened, and don’t post about it on social media
- If the business or property owner, or their attorney, contacts you, tell them you’re in the process of retaining legal help and will get back to them
- Call our office so we can talk about what happened, how Kentucky law may apply in your case and your best options for moving forward
You have the burden of proving your case. Don’t say or do things that will make this case more difficult.
Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Case
Talk with a skilled lawyer about your negligent security claim. You can arrange your free consultation by calling 502-589-5600 or toll-free at 855-385-9532. You can also email our firm.
Satterley & Kelley PLLC is located in Louisville, but our attorneys represent clients throughout the state. Contact us today.