Legal Blog

Security Mistakes and Premises Liability

Of all the dangers you might encounter on private or commercial property, violence is usually the most harrowing. They must deal with the physical injuries suffered in such incidents and any psychological trauma they may also suffer.

Unfortunately, many properties in Easton and other Pennsylvania regions have lax or absent security, putting many innocent victims at risk. Whether someone attacks you or tries to rob you, your injuries could lead to medical expenses, lost wages and other hardships.

What is premises liability?

Premises liability is the legal term for the financial and legal responsibilities a business has to visitors that get hurt on their property. When a business does not maintain a space appropriately, it may become unnecessarily dangerous for visitors. 

Premises liability claims often start when someone slips and falls at a store, but they can arise for all sorts of issues. Inadequate security can also be a form of negligence that leads to premises liability claims when people experience crime at or just outside of a business. 

Reasonable foreseeability plays a role in negligence claims

Some crimes would be impossible to prevent, as the criminals go to extreme measures to steal or assault a specific person. Other times, criminals commit what is essentially a crime of convenience, and such offenses are predictable. They will occur at places where there are large numbers of people and lax security measures. 

Criminals might target parking lots without security cameras and properties without lighting. Especially in neighborhoods where there is already a notable crime rate, opportunistic crimes are reasonably predictable. Businesses that fail to account for reasonably predictable risks may be negligent and could be liable for the negative impact of their failings on their visitors and customers. 

Examples of lax security or security mistakes

To address injuries arising from negligent security, you may qualify for a premises liability claim to acquire financial compensation. However, you must be prepared to prove you suffered preventable harm on another’s property.  Examples of potentially dangerous negligent security include:

  • Lack of lighting in parking lots, stairwells and other shadowy areas.
  • Lack of fences, gates and other barriers that help keep criminal elements off the property.
  • Lack of security guards or personnel in areas known for crimes against people.
  • Lack of secure door and window locks in apartment buildings.
  • Lack of camera surveillance to deter crimes like assault and robbery (many robbery victims suffer injuries).

Certain areas may increase the risk of an attack or an injury. For example, poorly lit parking lots, alleys and stairways are ideal environments for crimes of violence, leading to victim injuries.

When property owners know about the injury risks associated with their premises, they must address and remove these risks. If owners fail to do so and victims are attacked or injured, a successful premises liability claim in Easton, PA can make these victims whole again. We suggest familiarizing yourself with the premises liability laws in Pennsylvania if negligent security led to your injuries.

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