No one willingly invites crime to his business or home. However, for some, crime can be a foreseeable risk at based on the type of business and manner of operations, and crime rate in the area. A store, mall, or parking lot with inadequate security could lead to citizens being subject to crimes that were otherwise preventable.
Businesses and individuals are legally required to keep those who are lawfully on their property safe from harm. If people are injured because the property owner, manager, or security company failed to protect people upon their property, those injured victims can sue for compensation for their injuries.
New Jersey inadequate security actions fall under the term “premises liability.” In New Jersey, premises liability law can hold a property owner responsible for injuries a customer or visitor experiences because of inadequate security.
In addition, the liability for inadequate security (also called negligent security) extends to the private parking lots and back alleys used by the public to navigate to the business.
Property and business owners owe a duty to people they invite on their property to buy items, shop for food or have dinner or a drink. The owners have a responsibility to the public to maintain a safe environment, free from assaults or attacks.
INADEQUATE SECURITY – PERSONAL INJURY
Claims for Inadequate Security In New Jersey Can Happen Anywhere
Claims for inadequate security can arise from incidents occurring at apartment and office building, bars and restaurants, parking lots, schools, and hotels.
To find a property owner liable for damages arising from inadequate security, the victim must show the property owner was aware of a dangerous, pre-existing condition. Furthermore, the property owner failed to take reasonable actions to prevent injury to customers or visitors.
It is also important to show that the victim was entitled to be in the store, parking garage, sporting venue, etc.
In addition, the victim must show he/she was not engaging in criminal activity.
The owner will probably contend that the criminal(s) who injured the victim should be the sole person or persons held liable for the victim’s injuries. While the assailant is also responsible for the victim’s injuries, property owners in New Jersey must provide safe premises for their guests. If the owners did not provide safe conditions for visitors or customers, the victim can also hold the property owners liable.
Common Failures Can Lead to Negligent Security Claims in New Jersey
While different businesses have different security needs, common failures in security include broken or unlocked gates and doors without locks (or having broken locks).
Another failure could be the lack of security personnel on the premises. Alternatively, the property owner could have hired security personnel who were negligently trained.
Sometimes, however, it is not the lack of security that causes injury. Rather, untrained or overly aggressive security guards themselves improperly injure patrons.
Consequently, any force used by security guards or bouncers must be both appropriate and reasonable.
Conditions such as inadequate lighting, malfunctioning security cameras, and alarms are evidence of inadequate security conditions.
To maintain a successful inadequate security case, the victim must show that the liable party failed in its duty to provide a safe environment. This can range from burned-out lights in an outdoor parking lot to a lack of bouncers at an overcrowded club. The strength of a negligent security claim can hinge on whether the danger was predictable or foreseeable.
The victim needs to show the property owner reasonably knew of the danger. For instance, you could be the victim of an assault in a parking lot. If there were recent assaults in the same lot, the lot owner knew or should know he needed to take steps to prevent future assaults like yours.
Other questions which are important include: Was there adequate security in the lot? Was there sufficient lighting in the lot at night?
New Jersey Inadequate Security Attorneys
If an attacker injured you at a bar, parking garage or sporting event, and you believe the attack resulted from the lack of proper security, contact Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C. at 908-490-0444 at their Scotch Plains office or online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey inadequate security lawyer. There is no attorneys’ fee charged to you unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on your behalf.