When people talk about premises liability, it is almost always in the context of a slip-and-fall incident. When someone falls at the property of others, the incident is frequently the result of negligent property maintenance by a property owner or negligent business practices by a company. Slip-and-fall incidents do make up a large portion of the premises liability claims that people initiate every year.
However, people can potentially pursue premises liability claims in a variety of different circumstances, including scenarios related to negligent security. It is often possible for businesses and property owners to prevent crimes that they could potentially predict given the location of the property or the nature of the business. Those who have experienced criminal activity at a business or rental property may have questions about their rights and if a premises liability claim is a possibility in their case.
What constitutes negligent security?
Negligence is a legal term with a specific definition. Someone’s behavior is negligent if a reasonable person would recognize that it causes unnecessary risk. Both intentional actions and the failure to act can constitute negligence. In negligent security cases, it is almost always the failure to properly secure a property that leads to a claim against a business or property owner. Criminals are often opportunistic and choose locations without bright lights, visible cameras or security professionals on staff when targeting others.
If a reasonable person would agree that installing a fence, putting up security cameras or hiring security professionals could have prevented predictable criminal activity at the property, then the individual hurt in a criminal incident may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Who is liable for negligent security?
Legal and financial liability for negligent security usually falls to either the company operating a business or the owner of a rental property. Either the individual personally harmed in a criminal incident or their surviving family members may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit based on negligent security practices.
A business or property owner may have an insurance policy that can compensate those who bring a successful lawsuit over a negligent security issue. Learning more about premises liability and negligent security may help those recently affected by a crime at a public location or rental property.