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When Can You File a Lawsuit for Negligent Security?

Mar 4, 2024 | Premises Liability

When a property owner doesn’t take adequate security measures, guests and invitees can be at serious risk of harm caused by criminal activity. Although a criminal prosecution can be brought in the event of an assault, robbery, theft, or other offense, the chances of monetary recovery are low, even if the court orders restitution. Importantly, a victim may be entitled to pursue monetary compensation for their injuries by filing a civil claim. In some cases, a property owner, landlord, business may be held liable for allowing such harm to happen — and failing to prevent foreseeable injuries from occurring. 

What is a Negligent Security Claim?

A negligent security claim is a type of premises liability action that seeks compensation for the injuries a victim sustained due to criminal activity that occurred on someone else’s property due to their failure to take proper security measures. These claims can arise as a result of criminal activity that causes injury to a victim in a variety of locations. Negligent security claims can occur in connection with incidents in apartment buildings, hotels, parking lots, concert venues, casinos, restaurants, and many other places.  

Examples of Negligent Security

Every negligent security claim is fact-specific and depends on both the type of establishment and the context of the incident. There are many ways a business, property owner, or landlord might be held liable for injuries arising from improper security measures, based on the circumstances. Common examples of negligent security can include the following:

  • Failure to provide adequate lighting
  • Not hiring enough security guards 
  • Poorly trained security personnel
  • Lack of security cameras
  • Failure to replace broken locks or windows
  • Failure to repair defective doors
  • Damaged fences or gates
  • Allowing overcrowding

Depending on the incident, a negligent security victim can suffer a broad scope of physical injuries and serious emotional trauma that requires a considerable amount of medical treatment. These types of injuries can also result in a victim incurring out-of-pocket expenses and require them to take time from work. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, a victim may be entitled to recover their economic damages — as well as non-economic damages for the pain and suffering they experienced due to the property owner’s negligence.

When Can a Property Owner Be Held Liable for Negligent Security?

A property owner isn’t always automatically liable for the wrongful actions of a third party. They must have owed a duty of care to the victim that they breached. In addition, in order for a victim to bring a claim for negligent security, there must have been a foreseeable risk of injury that the property owner knew about — or should have known about. The property owner must also have failed to take proper measures to prevent the injury. 

Proving that there was a foreseeable risk of injury can be complicated. It usually requires establishing that the incident took place in a high-crime area or previous incidents had occurred on the property. Evidence that can be used to demonstrate foreseeability can include news reports of similar crimes previously occurring in the same location, police records, and witness testimony.  

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured as a result of negligent security, you may be able to file a personal injury action based on the theory of premises liability. It’s essential to have a skillful attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Due to our extensive experience and commitment to clients, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP regularly obtains substantial settlements and verdicts for victims who have sustained injuries due to the negligence of property owners Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.




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