Chicago Negligent Security Lawyer
Property owners are legally obligated to provide a safe environment to everyone who visits their premises, and part of this responsibility is ensuring proper security. Legal obligations regarding security vary; some property owners are expected to hire security personnel, while others may invest in passive protection, such as surveillance cameras and locks.
Regardless of the property type, negligent security can put residents and visitors at risk of accidents and crime. If someone is injured in an accident or attacked due to improper or insufficient security, the property owner could be liable for the victim’s damages.
Did you or a loved one get hurt because of a property’s negligent security? If so, let the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help you seek justice.
Contact our premises liability lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. Our attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis.
What is Premises Liability?
According to premises liability law, property owners must take reasonable measures to ensure the safety and security of everyone who visits their property. They owe this duty of care to all persons who have permission to be on the premises, including invitees and licensees.
- An invitee is someone on the property with the owner’s implicit or explicit permission. An invitee’s presence is either commercially beneficial to the owner or mutually beneficial, e.g., a customer in a convenience store, a guest in a hotel, etc.
- A licensee is on the premises with the owner’s consent but is there for their own benefit, e.g., a guest at a house party.
Invitees and licensees may be entitled to financial compensation if injured on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition. Trespassers are excluded from this rule, meaning they cannot recover compensation since they do not have permission to be on the property.
An injury caused by a dangerous condition on a property leads to premises liability, a type of claim or lawsuit that holds the property owner accountable for the victim’s losses. Hazardous situations include but are not limited to:
- Slippery or damaged floors
- Uneven or cracked pavement
- Icy or snowy grounds
- Inadequate lighting in walkways
- Broken steps or faulty handrails in staircases
- Tripping hazards, e.g., debris, electrical wires
- Fire hazards, e.g., damaged or missing smoke detectors
- Electrical hazards, e.g., overloaded extension cords
- Unsecured swimming pools
- Malfunctioning elevators or escalators
- Unsafe construction sites
- Potentially vicious animals
- Toxic fumes or chemicals
- Water leaks or flooding
- Inadequate security
What is Negligent Security?
Property owners must take adequate security measures to keep tenants and visitors safe, such as:
- Security guards
- Surveillance cameras
- Security alarms
- Metal detectors
- Door and window sensors
- Secured fences and gates
- Motion-detecting lights
- Adequate lighting
The expectation for security varies for each property owner. For instance, landlords should install locks on all doors and windows and security cameras in common areas. Retail property owners may hire security guards or install passive security, such as alarms and security cameras.
Generally, expectations vary depending on the property’s nature, its location, and the level of general security in the area. Hiring security guards may be considered excessive for apartment complexes in a safe part of town, while it is necessary for jewelry stores downtown. Metal detectors are often unnecessary in most shopping centers, but they could be a must for retail stores in an area where a lot of crime occurs.
Negligent security assumes that the crime could have been prevented or less likely if the owner had taken proper security measures.
Proving fault in negligent security cases is not always easy, as some property owners will argue that they’ve done all that is expected of them. Nevertheless, a Chicago negligent security lawyer can help determine if inadequate security led to your incident.
What is the Importance of Adequate Security?
Adequate security helps prevent many preventable hazards, such as:
- Theft and robbery
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Crowd-related injuries
What Can Be Considered Negligent Security?
Regarding premises liability, negligent security refers to the owner’s failure to prevent foreseeable incidents. Negligent security cases usually stem from:
- Improperly secured entrances
- Insufficient lighting in walkways and parking lots
- Lack of security cameras
- Improperly trained guards
- Failure to screen employees for previous crimes
- Missing or faulty security alarms
- Poor screening protocols for visitors
- Blocked emergency exits
- Insufficient fencing and unlocked gates
- Inadequate crowd control measures
- Failure to control intoxicated or violent customers
Where Can Negligent Security Attacks Occur?
Negligent security applies to public and private properties, including:
- Apartment complexes
- Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics
- Churches and other religious centers
- Bars, casinos, nightclubs
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores and other commercial establishments
- Shopping centers
- Parking lots or garages
- Office buildings
- Schools, colleges, universities, daycare centers
- Banks and ATMs
- Government offices
- Amusement parks
- Public parks, swimming pools, recreational centers
- Airports and train stations
- Concert venues and sporting events
- Gas stations and truck stops
Types of Negligent Security Cases
If a property owner fails to provide adequate security measures, it could lead to the following cases:
- Theft: The criminal activity most associated with negligent security is theft. For public properties, theft can occur when there are no security measures to screen, identify, and control potential thieves, e.g., a lack of security cameras to catch people stealing from other customers.
Similarly, these inadequacies increase the risk of theft on private properties, except that there is an added failure to stop unknown persons from entering the premises in the first place, e.g., leaving the door unlocked to an apartment complex.
- Robbery: Unlike theft, robbery involves force or threat if a victim does not comply. These criminal attacks may lead to severe injuries or death.
- Violent Crimes: Negligent security can increase the risk of violent crime, such as assault and battery, gun and knife crime, gang violence, gang-related violence, alcohol and drug-related violence, sexual assault, murder, and manslaughter. These criminal attacks can occur anywhere, from shopping centers to office buildings, even in private properties like nursing homes.
- Property Damage: Aside from injuries, a property’s failure to provide reasonable safety can also lead to damage. For instance, criminal attacks can involve destroying a person’s home or vandalizing it. Furthermore, inadequate security can also lead to squatting.
These are just a few examples of negligent security cases. If you are unsure whether your incident falls under negligent security, our personal injury lawyers can help.
What Injuries Can Arise from Negligent Security?
Premises liability cases often involve economic damages, such as medical bills, stolen belongings, and lost wages. However, it’s the physical injuries resulting from criminal activity that make sufficient security so crucial.
Negligent security can lead to significant physical harm, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and lacerations
- Gunshot and stab wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Sexually-transmitted diseases
Moreover, a victim’s injuries also include emotional and mental effects, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression and anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Fear of leaving the house
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts
Physical and mental injuries can lead to secondary consequences, such as poor work or school performance, job loss, and mounting debt.
What to Do if You Are Injured on Someone Else’s Property
Knowing the appropriate steps after a negligent security incident can help protect your safety and well-being. Furthermore, filing your personal injury claim later will be much easier.
Here’s what you can do after you are injured in an accident, attack, or another similar incident caused by negligent security:
- Call the Police: Whether you are injured in a robbery or come home to a ransacked house, call the police immediately. Call 911 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, especially if the assailant is still within the premises.
- Notify the Property Owner: Call your landlord or property manager as soon as possible. If you are in a commercial establishment, ask for the manager.
- Seek Medical Attention: Go to the hospital if you have suffered injuries. Don’t refuse an ambulance ride if the authorities deem you need to go to the emergency room.
- Go to the Police Station: If you have been a victim of a crime, the police will likely ask you to come to the station. They will also investigate the crime scene. Follow their instructions.
- Contact a Chicago Negligent Security Attorney: The police will handle the investigation if a crime has occurred. However, a negligent security case is a civil matter. We recommend hiring an experienced attorney to help you file a negligent security claim against the property owner.
How to File a Chicago Negligent Security Claim
According to the law, a property owner must take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable incidents that could arise from negligent security. Failure to protect invitees and licensees could lead to the owner’s liability for the victim’s medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
To file a negligent security case, you must meet the following criteria:
- The defendant (property or business owner) owed a duty of care to you. All property owners must take reasonable measures to provide visitors with a safe and secure environment.
- The defendant breached this duty of care. Failing to provide reasonable safety to visitors may be considered a ‘breach of duty.’ Generally, a breach means that the property or business owner did not address a hazard they know or should have known about, e.g., not installing security cameras in the parking lot.
- You suffered a significant injury. You must prove that you suffered substantial physical, emotional, or financial harm due to the defendant’s actions (or inaction).
- The defendant’s negligence directly led to your damages. Furthermore, you must prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused your losses, e.g., medical costs, emotional trauma, etc.
The following elements may also affect your case:
- Foreseeability: Was the incident foreseeable by the owner, and thus preventable? It might be more challenging to prove liability if the injury occurred in an unlikely incident, e.g., an attack happening in a neighborhood with no history of violent crime.
- Previous Issues: Did similar crimes occur in the area? If so, then the incident may be considered foreseeable. Property owners who do not take appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents may be liable for negligent security.
Your negligent security lawyer will determine the validity of your case during your free initial consultation.
Our negligent security attorneys will help you collect proof to support your case, including:
- Surveillance footage
- Photos of the crime scene
- Police reports
- Incident reports
- Medical records
- Property maintenance records
- Witness testimonies
- Expert testimony
Your Chicago negligent security lawyer will help you recover fair financial compensation for your damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Property damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
The settlement value for these cases varies. Your negligent security lawyer will calculate the potential value of your compensation once they investigate your claim.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Property owners typically have insurance coverage to protect them from liability in cases arising from negligence, including inadequate security. Thus, you will likely be filing a claim with the defendant’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or general liability insurance.
Unfortunately, most insurers want to pay as little as possible for a victim’s medical bills, lost income, and other losses. Hence, a person injured by negligent security may receive an unfair offer, even with a valid claim.
Allow a negligent security attorney to negotiate the offer on your behalf to avoid receiving an unfair settlement for your damages. Our team will ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Learn More About Recovering Compensation With a Chicago Negligent Security Lawyer
Inadequate security, such as insufficient lighting, personnel, and security cameras, can lead to severe injuries and even death. Furthermore, the person injured in a crime may suffer emotional trauma, mental disorders, and financial losses.
Negligent property and business owners should be held liable for failing to provide appropriate security. Our experienced attorneys defend victims’ legal rights at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC and stop at nothing until they obtain fair compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to negligent security, seek help from a Chicago negligent security lawyer today.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with your negligent security lawyer will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.