Property owners are legally responsible for injuries and accidents that occur on their property, and failure to take care of potential hazards can result in a premises liability claim . When you are injured on someone else’s property due to negligent security, our Tennessee premises liability attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The most common types of Tennessee premises liability claims involve slip and falls or dog bites, but there is also a little-known type of premises liability — negligent security. If a property owner is aware of unsafe or other hazardous conditions, he or she has a duty to repair or replace the issue in order to prevent someone from being injured. The owner also has a duty to keep lawful visitors from being the victim of a foreseeable third-party crime.
Failure to take precautions to prevent foreseeable crimes by third-parties could result in a negligent security claim. With a negligent security claim, there is an assumption that the crime could have been prevented, or at least the chances greatly reduced, if the property owner had taken the proper security precautions.
Some of the potential crimes could include assault, robbery, shooting, or rape. You may have someone following you in the parking lot of a grocery store, or watching you remove money from the ATM. Perhaps you are robbed at a gas station while standing next to your vehicle or are assaulted in the lobby of a hotel.
The duty of the property owner will vary based on whether the property is residential or commercial. A property owner has a greater duty to a public piece of property where thousands of people are entering and exiting daily versus a private residence.
Property owners have a duty to be aware of what is happening in their community to take the proper security precautions, as well. This means that if there have been multiple shootings right near a shopping center, for example, the shopping center’s owners have a duty to ensure their patrons are sufficiently protected. Or, if the property has been the site of numerous crimes lately, the owners have a duty to put up video surveillance, hire additional security guards, improve lighting, and do whatever else it takes to make the property more secure.
You might be wondering why someone would pursue a claim against the property owner rather than against the person who committed the crime. The truth is, it is typically easier for the victim to find out who the owner of the building is rather than track down a complete stranger who committed a crime against him or her. In addition, most business owners will have insurance that will cover a settlement or judgment, so the victim can actually receive reimbursement of their damages. If the offender is caught, he or she might go to jail, but financial compensation can help the victim who has mounting medical bills, lost wages from time off work, etc.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to negligent security, contact the Tennessee premises liability attorneys at Burch & Lockhart to schedule a free case evaluation.