When you go to a business in North Carolina (e.g. a store, restaurant, hotel), or when you live in an apartment building, a college dorm, or any other housing complex, you probably take for granted that the property owner has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment.
You may be thinking “reasonably safe” means putting signs up to warn about wet floors or broken equipment. And yes, safety does include those things, but it also includes security: businesses may have some obligation to protect people from criminal actions, like assault and robbery. To protect customers from crime, businesses must provide adequate security. If you are assaulted and injured on the property of a business or apartment complex, you may have a negligent security claim against that entity, and this claim can enable you to get compensation for your injuries. In a negligent security claim, if a business fails to provide you with a reasonably safe and secure environment, and your injuries stem from that failure, then the business can be held liable and made to compensate you.
What Does Negligent Security Mean?
Negligent security encompasses many things ranging from an overall lack of security, such as unlighted parking lots and open access to the building, to inadequate security equipment, and untrained or incompetent staff. When businesses fail to prioritize security, negligent security claims often result.
Proper security measures, on the other hand, include a multitude of things, such as adequate lighting inside and outside buildings, secure locks, self-locking doors, security guards, well-trained security personnel, and keeping up with known criminal activity in the area. To provide a reasonably safe and secure environment, a business owner must be aware of potential security threats, such as the neighborhood level of crime.
An Example Of Negligent Security
As an example of a negligent security case, let’s say you went to a restaurant at night, crossed the restaurant’s dimly-lit parking lot, and were assaulted and injured. You sue the restaurant for your injuries. To prove this negligent security claim, you have to show that the restaurant owed you a duty of care as you were crossing their parking lot, and that the restaurant’s negligent security was the cause of your injury. To prove the restaurant’s negligence, you have to show that they should have been aware of the potential for crime in their parking lot; that they should have provided security measures in the parking lot to minimize this risk; and that their failure to fulfill their duty of care toward you directly led to your injury.
After your assault in the restaurant parking lot, as you consider filing a negligent security claim against the restaurant, you must be able to establish that the assault was both foreseeable and preventable. In other words, you have to show that the restaurant should reasonably have known that the assault in their parking lot at night was a possibility because of crime rates in the neighborhood or even previous offenses on that property, and that it could have been prevented with, for example, parking lot managers. In contrast to foreseeable crimes, unforeseeable crimes are those that could not be anticipated and are completely outside the property owner’s scope of knowledge.
Some of what’s considered to be negligent security differs according to the area you are in. In other words, exactly what is inadequate or negligent security varies from community to community. Businesses in larger cities, with higher crime rates, for example, must provide a higher level of security within the context of that environment. In considering your claim, therefore, factor in the crime level in your neighborhood. Because negligent security cases are complex and challenging to prove, consulting with a personal injury attorney is advisable.
North Carolina Negligent Security Attorney
Injured on someone’s property because of their inadequate or unreasonable security? If so, you’ll want to touch base with a North Carolina negligent security lawyer to determine how to proceed. The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams has substantial experience with getting property injury victims compensated in premises injury lawsuits. The firm has decades of experience in bringing injury claims, and many of those claims are based on injuries that victims sustain because of being on someone’s unsafe property. We are here for you and will provide you with guidance and direction as it relates to your potential lawsuit. Let us fight on your behalf to get you compensation and justice. To learn more about how we can help you in your property injury lawsuit, reach out to Law Office of Kevin J. Williams by calling (336) 793-8459 or by contacting us online today.