Negligent Security Attorneys
It is reasonable to expect that a place of business will offer its patrons at least some measure of security. If you did not feel that a particular business did that, then you may want to look into hiring a negligent security lawyer.
After being victimized by a criminal, you may think that you have no means of recouping compensation unless they catch the perpetrator. That may not be the case due to the concept of negligent security. If you have suffered a personal injury on someone’s property in Hartford County, Connecticut because of inadequate security measures this is what you need to know.
Understanding Negligent Security
Let’s start by clarifying what the principle of negligent security is all about. Commercial property owners have certain obligations they owe to their customers. For instance, they must make sure that their place of business is safe for people.
To meet that obligation, commercial property owners must check their establishment for any potential hazards. They have to mark wet floors, restrict access to broken staircases, and keep guests out of certain dangerous areas.
However, business owners cannot stop there. They also need to do what they can to secure their place of business. That means they need to put security measures in place to keep their establishment safe. If a customer is injured because they were victimized by a criminal inside a place of business, they can file a negligent security claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Negligent Security Case?
The party or parties responsible for a particular property’s safety have a legal duty to prevent people on that property from reasonably foreseeable risks or dangers. Visitors should have a reasonable expectation that they will not be criminally attacked when they enter someone’s premises. Depending on the situation, one or more parties can be found liable for negligent security. These include:
- property owners (including residential, hotel/motel, and businesses)
- property managers
- security guard companies
- individual security guards
- manufacturers of defective security products
Every case is different, so who bears responsibility for your injuries will depend on the facts in your particular situation.
What Do Plaintiffs Need to Prove in Negligent Security Cases?
Upon talking to a negligent security attorney about potentially suing the owner of an establishment, they may ask you two important questions. Was the crime something the property owner should have foreseen, and are your losses related to the crime? Your answers to those questions will help determine if you have a case.
The Importance of Foreseeability
Foreseeability plays a huge role in negligent security cases, but what is it exactly? Foreseeability asks how likely it is that a person could have accurately predicted the consequences of their actions. It also asks if a reasonable person could have anticipated that things would have turned out that way.
Now, let’s apply that to a specific situation. Let’s say that you were filling up your gas tank during your nightly drive home. While doing that, someone pointed a gun at you and told you to hand over your money. In that situation, you can reasonably expect the gas station’s security to come to your aid. Instead, no one is there to help you, and the criminal got away.
It is not outlandish to think that robberies can take place at gas stations. Therefore, the owner of that gas station should have foreseen that something like that could have happened.
They should have hired security to protect their customers and their property. You can bolster your case by pointing to previous instances where people got robbed at that gas station. Given those earlier incidents, the owner understood the need for more security. The absence of that foresight could open them up to liability.
The Connection between Your Losses and the Crime
The other element that must be present in your negligent security claim is a connection between your losses and the crime. You may have fractured your shoulder while struggling with the criminal. That is possible since shoulder fractures tend to be high-energy injuries. In that scenario, you can reasonably claim that you injured your shoulder due in part to the lack of security. You can file a negligent security claim based on that.
Of course, your losses may include more than injuries. You can include any possessions stolen from you in your claim. You can also note any damage to your property. Work with a negligent security lawyer so they can help you figure out what you need to include in your lawsuit.
What Are Some Examples of Negligent Security?
Keeping a property safe can entail a lot of things. In premises liability cases, our premises liability lawyers focus on the hazards present inside a particular place of business. From there, we evaluate if a property owner did enough to safeguard their customers against those hazards.
Negligent security claims focus more on what a property owner could have done to keep their establishment secure. Right away, we tend to think of actual security personnel when we hear that. Of course, a lack of security guards is not the only manifestation of negligent security.
Lack of Lighting: Inadequate lighting is one example of negligent security. You can feel the impact of inadequate lighting when you are trying to park your vehicle in a poorly illuminated lot. Because of your dark surroundings, you may not notice that someone has snuck in behind you. The lack of lighting is something you can point to for your negligent security claim.
Busted Doors or Gates: While shopping inside a convenience store, you may notice that an armed individual is about to come in. You tell the clerk to lock the door, but they cannot do that because it is broken. Because of that, the armed individual got in and robbed you. There is no excuse for that establishment having a busted door. You can sue them for negligent security in that scenario.
Broken Security Cameras: You can hold a place of business that advertises that they have protection responsible if it turns out that those security cameras were not working when a crime took place. They could be deemed negligent for their failure to maintain those cameras. Outside of providing quality goods and services, business owners must also prioritize the safety of their customers. If they cannot do that, they can be held responsible in a court of law.
How a Negligent Security Attorney Can Help You
There are many ways a negligent security attorney can help you — some of which may not be obvious.
Assessing the Case
Since negligence law can be highly technical, it may be difficult to know whether you even have a “case”. Trusted local Connecticut personal injury lawyers who practice negligent security law can help you identify whether what happened constitutes negligent security, which party or parties may be liable, what kinds of damages can be sought, and any related legal issues.
Dealing With Insurance Companies and Other Parties
Negligence lawsuits can be pretty cutthroat because the stakes could be quite high. The other side and the insurance companies will be looking to optimize their cases and minimize yours. That’s the nature of the adversarial system. A Connecticut negligent security attorney knows the kind of tactics the different parties are likely to use in their communications and negotiations and can ensure that your legal rights and entitlements are protected during discussions and investigations.
Building Your Case
Because they are familiar with what you need to prove to establish your claim and the fair amount of damages, negligent security lawyers can help you investigate, gather evidence, find and contact witnesses, hire expert witnesses (including medical personnel), and anything else that needs to be done to fortify your legal position.
Legal Representation in Court
The court system is full of procedural rules, deadlines, and practices. It can be challenging for a layperson to navigate the legal system. A personal injury or negligence attorney can prepare you and your witnesses for trial, analyze and argue case law, and ensure that you receive a fair hearing. It is almost never recommended to represent yourself in a trial.
Negligent Security Laws in Connecticut
Negligent security falls under the law of negligence in general. To prove that a party negligently caused personal injury because of inadequate security, the plaintiff must provide evidence that:
- the plaintiff or injury victim was on the property lawfully when the injury occurred;
- the defendant was the property owner or other party responsible for the security on the premises;
- the property owner or other liable party failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of visitors on the premises;
- the property owner or other liable party should have known that injury was possible without adequate security; and
- the plaintiff or injury victim sustained a personal injury because of inadequate security and negligence.
The plaintiff would have to prove that they were allowed to be on the property at the time (rather than trespassing). They would also have to prove that the liable party could reasonably expect that visitors might be harmed — because past assaults had occurred on or around the property or because of the location’s high-crime rate, for example.
Then it must be shown that the liable party failed to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to the plaintiff. These reasonable steps could be installing locks or security cameras, posting warning signs, having proper lighting, hiring security guards, or other reasonable security measures. The injuries suffered must also have resulted specifically because of inadequate security measures.
Often, this involves proving that you were not trespassing but were allowed to be on the property when the incident occurred. It also involves proving that the property owner or manager could reasonably be expected to know that you could come to harm, whether because of the property’s location in a high-crime area, because past assaults had occurred on or near the property before, or due to other reasons.
You will also have to prove that the property owner or manager failed to take reasonable steps to prevent you from coming to harm (such as hiring a security guard or installing gate locks) and that you sustained damages as a result.
How Does Negligent Security Differ From Premises Liability?
Both negligent security and premises liability relate to a property owner’s responsibility to ensure a reasonable level of safety for people who come to the premises. Negligent security deals with injuries sustained because of inadequate security measures.
Premises liability can be more general and include injuries caused by overgrown landscaping, lack of proper maintenance, failure to clean up hazards or spills, and other scenarios not specifically related to protecting people from criminal attacks.
In some cases, there is overlap. For example, bad lighting could cause someone to fall down stairs but also be an insufficient deterrent against criminal attackers.
What Compensation Can I Expect From My Negligent Security Claim?
Courts award damages to compensate victims and try to restore them to a position they were in before the accident or event in question. Quantifiable economic damages may include:
- loss of income/wages and financial opportunities
- medical bills and expenses incurred because of the injury
- prescriptions/medications, medical equipment, or medical aid
Non-economic damages for more “subjective” injury may include:
- emotional trauma, pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of life
If the plaintiff is a spouse of someone who died as a result of negligent security, they may be entitled to damages for loss of companionship, wrongful death, funeral costs, and the like.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish and deter defendants from engaging in particularly egregious or harmful behavior. In cases such as these it is a good idea to contact a local Connecticut wrongful death lawyer.
Connecticut Negligence Lawyers
Whether you have been injured as a result of negligent security in Glastonbury, Simsbury, or anywhere else in Hartford County (CT), you deserve to have your legal rights and entitlements protected. Our Connecticut negligence lawyers have been fighting for clients for over 30 years. We have taken on numerous personal injury cases in a variety of areas and put our clients first and foremost.
Every accident lawyer in our firm is committed to excellence in legal representation in whatever phase your lawsuit is at — whether you are assessing your injuries, negotiating with the insurance companies, or at trial.
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our injury and accident lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.