New York City (NYC) Negligent Security Injury Lawyer
Whether walking to your car at a shopping mall or at the building where you work, you have the right to rely upon a property owner to have adequate security measures in place to protect you from being robbed or attacked. Businesses, banks, and owners of commercial properties open to the public have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of visitors.
Negligent security is a kind of premises liability lawsuit, and the owner of the property where you were hurt can be held liable. Security is not necessarily legally required, but if a particular location is known for being dangerous, a lack of reasonable security from the property owner can be considered an act of negligence.
When you suffer an injury due to negligent security, the seasoned personal injury lawyers at the New York City offices of The Carrion Law Firm aggressively fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our New York City negligent security lawyers today at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.
Holding Business and Property Owners Responsible for Inadequate Security in New York City
New York imposes an obligation on property owners and businesses to take reasonable measures to protect members of the public who visit their premises. Protecting visitors includes providing adequate security. Our New York City negligent security attorneys can help you file a lawsuit and get compensation if you suffered harm because of negligent security measures. Negligent security claims for damages frequently arise at the following locations:
- Office buildings
- Apartment and condominium complexes
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Hotels and motels
- Colleges and university campuses
- Parking garages and parking lots
- Shopping centers
- Sports arenas and entertainment facilities
Negligent security cases fall under the broader legal category of premises liability. In premises liability cases, a property owner is responsible for accidents and injuries on their property. If a property owner knew or reasonably should have known of a risk or hazard, it is their job to fix it or remove it. If they fail to do so, any injuries or accident might be legally their fault. The same is true regarding reasonable security measures.
What Exactly Is Negligent Security in NYC?
What is considered adequate security depends upon many factors, including the property or business owner’s knowledge of past criminal activity at the premises or in the surrounding area. For example, posting a security guard in the lobby of a movie theater may not be adequate security if patrons walking to their cars have been robbed in the parking lot.
Much of what constitutes a negligent security case is the foreseeability of crime. If a property owner knows their property is in a “bad neighborhood” with high crime rates, a lack of reasonable security might be negligent. If someone is injured by the criminal act of a third party, and that criminal act was able to occur because of a lack of security, the property owner can be held liable.
With that being said, security measures need only to be reasonable. For example, parking garages can often prevent crime by installing good lighting, restricting open pedestrian access to the garage, and installing security cameras. Failure to implement reasonably necessary security measures may be negligent.
Our NYC negligent security attorneys investigate and gather evidence to support your claim for damages. We take statements from witnesses, review police crime reports of prior incidents and review video from security cameras to prove that inadequate security measures caused you to be injured.
How Do I Prove Negligent Security in NYC?
Proving negligent security in a lawsuit is similar to proving negligence in an ordinary premises liability case. The key difference is that the hazard involved is not actually connected to the property (such as a loose floorboard) but is instead the criminal actions of a third party. Our New York City negligent security attorney can help you hold the defendant in your case liable.
First, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care in the form of a duty to use reasonable security measures. Proving duty is sometimes difficult because security is not necessarily required by law. Even so, there are ways of proving the defendant had a legal duty to provide reasonable security, and our NYC negligent security attorneys can help you.
We can prove the duty if the defendant assumed the duty of care. Generally, if a defendant takes steps to install security measures, these measures must be reasonably sufficient to protect guests on the property from harm. Essentially, once a property owner takes it upon themself to implement security measures, they must make sure those measures do not fall short.
We can also prove the defendant owed a duty of care if the harm involved in your case was reasonably foreseeable. If the property owner knew or should have known that people on their property are likely to be victimized, they owe a duty to take reasonable steps to protect guests and customers.
A breach is a violation of the defendant’s duty. What this breach looks like and what you need to prove will depend on how it occurred. As discussed above, security measures must be reasonable under the circumstances. If a store or other property is in a neighborhood with high violent crime rates, reasonable security measures might need to be stronger.
A breach occurs when security measures are absent or insufficient. For example, suppose a store owner knows that customers are frequently robbed in the store’s parking lot. In that case, reasonable security measures might include security cameras, lights in the parking lot, and security guards.
If the security measures employed by the defendant were insufficient, the defendant might be in breach of their legal duty. Wholly failing to install or increase security measures in the face of known, repeat crime is likely negligent. Moreover, taking steps to provide security but doing so unreasonably – such as installing security lighting for only half of a parking lot – might be a breach of duty.
The establishment of duty and breach do not automatically create liability. We must go a step further and prove that the defendant’s breach of duty is the direct and proximate cause of the harm you suffered. Our NYC negligent security lawyers can help you prove this element.
For example, suppose you were robbed in a grocery store parking lot at night. If this robbery was only possible because the parking lot was too dark, you can argue that the grocery store owner’s lack of security lighting allowed the robbery to happen. Had you been able to see the robber, you might have been able to flee or avoid the situation.
You cannot bring a claim for security negligence if you did not suffer any damages. Damages include any losses or injuries you suffered. For your claims to be successful, you must show your damages were real and not hypothetical or mere possibilities.
For example, a dark parking lot might be a crime risk. However, if you were not actually the victim of crime and did not suffer any injuries, you cannot sue the property owner for those hypothetical or possible injuries. Similarly, if you scared off a would-be robber in the dark and were not actually harmed, there are no damages to sue for.
We can show evidence of your damages to back up your claims. If you were physically injured, we might need your medical records to prove the extent of your injuries. If you lost valuable property, we can show evidence of the value of those items or cash.
Common Examples of Negligent Security in New York City
The failure of a business or property owner to provide adequate security may take many forms, including the following:
- Inadequate lighting
- Failure to post security guards
- Untrained or ineffective security guards
- Lack of video monitoring
- Inadequate or non-functioning video surveillance
- Broken locks on entry doors
- Holes in fences
- Missing gates
- Open pedestrian access
- Lack of emergency call boxes on college campuses
Robbery, assault, rape, carjacking, and other serious crimes may be caused by the negligence of owners of businesses and property. If you suffer an injury, you may be entitled to recover the following damages from the property owner or other party responsible for security at the property:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses, including future medical bills
- Lost earnings, including lost or diminished future earnings
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
When a person dies after being attacked on a property with inadequate security, the deceased’s family may sue for the wrongful death of their loved one. Talk to our New York City negligent security lawyers about the circumstances of your case, and we can help you explore your legal options.
Aggressive Representation for Victims of Negligent Security in New York City
When property owners fail to provide security to protect you from harm, the dedicated New York City negligent security attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm work to make them pay the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation at (718) 841-0083.