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Filing a Lawsuit for Inadequate Security

When You Can Sue for Inadequate Security

When you suffer personal injury from a physical attack on a premises owned by another, you may have a claim for inadequate security as many of these cases involve assault and battery. Property owners have an obligation to provide some level of security for those who are on their property if the property is held open to the public in any way, such as a business or an office. If they fail to do so, they can be found responsible in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is Inadequate Security?

Premises liability cases encompass numerous factual scenarios. While you may think of these cases as primarily slip-and-fall accidents, the truth is that there are many harms that can befall you on someone else's property. Sometimes, these can be intentional acts that are committed against you by third parties, such as physical or sexual assaults. Just because the act was perpetrated by a third party does not mean that the property owner is free from blame. If you can prove that the property owner knew or should have known of the likelihood of this act occurring, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the premises owner if they did not take the proper steps ahead of time to protect you while you were on the premises.

The Duty Owed by the Property Owner

The business owner owes several different duties of care when it comes to premises security. Each of these requires some effort and expense on the part of the owner to protect those who are on the premises. For example, here are some things that a property owner can do to provide security:
  • The property owner can have security cameras inside the premises.
  • The building and property can have an alarm system or some other type of security protection to protect the property externally.
  • If the premises is a business, the owner can do some form of background checks on employees.
Of course, the extent of the duty for security would mirror the nature of the neighborhood. For example, if the premises is located in a high-crime area, the property owner would be expected to take greater measures to protect those who would be inside the premises.

What Must You Prove?

One of the most important elements of an inadequate security claim is whether the property owner could foresee that there was a possibility of harm. Of course, you must also prove that the security was in fact inadequate. You can show this by demonstrating the lack of any protective measures, including an alarm system or adequate lighting. Once you have proven the lack of security, you must also show that there was the knowable possibility that an incident could occur. For example, if there were other crimes in the area such as assaults or robberies, the premises owner could be charged with constructive knowledge that there could be an incident on their property. Certainly, if there were other incidents at or near this particular property, the possibility of an incident might be foreseeable.

What Are the Complexities of an Inadequate Security Case?

Inadequate security cases are very fact-intensive. What may be adequate security in one setting will not be sufficient in other settings. In addition, the property owner's liability can also be dependent on where on the premises the attack occurred. Finally, the conduct of the victim may also be an issue if the case goes to trial. The property owner may try to escape liability by arguing that the victim was negligent themselves. If the case goes to a jury, an Allentown accident attorney would need to establish all of these facts before you may receive any financial compensation. Metzger & Kleiner can help you with your premises liability case. Let an Allentown accident attorney from our practice sort out the details for you. Call us today at (610) 435-7400 to set up your initial consultation if you're anywhere in the Lehigh Valley.

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