What can you do to help pay your bills after an incident where you were not protected on a property or at a store? You may have grounds to bring a lawsuit called a negligent security claim. Negligent security claims are lawsuits that are brought against business or property owners when inadequate security causes a guest to become injured or killed. 

When the business or property owner knows or should have known about a threat to safety, and if the property or business owner does not do anything to increase protection against known threats, they can potentially be held liable. Read on to learn more about what these claims entail.

How Can Negligent Security Claims Arise?

Negligent security claims can be difficult because the fact patterns are typically pretty unique. What this means is that no one negligent security claim is like another. Part of this just stems from the variety of locations where negligent security instances may occur. Here are some of the possible places in which instances of negligent security could take place:

  • Hotels
  • Parking Garages
  • Restaurants
  • Banks
  • Shopping Centers
  • Playgrounds
  • Workplaces
  • Bars
  • Factories
  • Schools 
  • Hospitals 

What is a Foreseeable Criminal Attack?

Attorneys arguing that there was a negligent security claim generally must show that the criminal attack was foreseeable to the property or store owner. Property owners have a duty to understand that threats to the public could happen on their premises. They must consider that and then take action to protect the public from threats to their safety.

If a business sells high-value items or has a lot of cash, it should understand that they are more likely to be targeted in an attack. Additionally, if there is a history of criminal activity in or by the property, it could be reasonable to suppose that a customer or employee might be harmed by a similar criminal act.

Negligent security lawyers can speak to law enforcement and determine whether calls to the police were made about previous crimes on the premises or in the surrounding area. Additionally, a lawyer could make an argument that the crime rate in the area around the property meant that the property owner should have known that crime was probable.

What is “Constructive Knowledge” that an Incident Could Occur?

There generally are two types of knowledge: actual knowledge and constructive knowledge. Actual knowledge means that a person actually knows something. Constructive knowledge means that they really should have known something but did not. Even though they did not know something, they are legally presumed to know it. That is, if a property or business owner should have known that criminal activity could have happened, then they are legally presumed to know that it would have happened, even if they in fact did not.

What Are Some of the Crimes That Could Trigger a Lawsuit?

Here are some examples of the type of crime causing bodily harm that can occur in these instances:

  • Armed Robberies
  • Battery
  • Assaults
  • Sexual Assaults
  • Mass Shootings
  • Murder 

What Actions or Inactions Could Show That Negligent Security Occurred?

There are many circumstances. Here are a few examples:

  • No security guards on site 
  • Untrained or poorly trained security guards 
  • Broken fences
  • Doors that cannot be locked 
  • No alarm system
  • No security cameras present
  • Security systems or cameras that are nonfunctional
  • No lighting 

Speak to a Homeowners’ Insurance Attorney 

Contact our office today at 321-415-9012 to speak with one of our homeowners’ insurance attorneys if you would like to discuss the particulars of your situation. We present the material contained on our website and pages, including this Blog, for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute the rendering of legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you need legal or other professional advice, you should consult with legal counsel about your particular facts and circumstances. Contact us to see how we may be able to fight for you!