Premises Liability: Questions About Negligent Security
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
What is the difference between civil and criminal assault?
An assault can result in the victim suing the perpetrator of the assault and/or the owner or operator in which the assault took place to recover compensation for the injuries he or she suffered. It can also result in criminal charges, or in both criminal and civil action. In a criminal proceeding, the perpetrator is prosecuted by the district attorney's office.
What constitutes negligent security?
Negligent security is a theory of premises liability the victim can use as a rationale (cause) for pursuing compensation from the owner or operator of a premises in which the assault took place. Under premises liability laws, the owner or possessor of a premises owes certain legal duties to a business invitee (the invitation can be implied and extends to just about anyone in a place of business). A failure of the owner or possessor of a premises who does not meet these obligations may share responsibility for injuries resulting from certain security breaches, among other causes.
What are some of the security-related legal duties a business owner or operator owes its patrons and employees?
The business owner or operator has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment and, depending on the foreseeability of an attack and the relationship he or she has those on his or her property, may need to take additional measures.
What are some of the precautions a business owner or operator can take to fulfill his or her obligation to provide a "reasonably safe environment"?
- Keeping hallways and common areas well lit
- Having sturdy locks on doors and windows
- Preventing suspicious-looking people from loitering on the premises
- Posting warnings of potential security hazards
Can a bank be held liable if someone is attacked while withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM)?
More courts are beginning to recognize a bank's duty to protect those who use their ATMs, especially if there is a history of attacks at a particular ATM in question.
If it is found that the business I was at was negligent in providing adequate security when I was assaulted, what damages could I recover?
Potential damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering