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What is Negligent Security?

Law Offices of James M. Curran

In this day and age, it sometimes feels like trouble can follow you anywhere and that nowhere is truly safe – but it shouldn’t be that way.

You have a right to expect your landlord or other property owners to take reasonable steps to protect residents and visitors from foreseeable dangers and threats from bad actors. When they don’t, you may have a case for negligent security.

What Sort of Situations Can Give Rise to a Negligent Security Claim?

Every case is fact-specific, but negligent security cases can involve gas stations, workplaces, shopping centers, convenience stores, parking garages, nightclubs, hotels and apartment buildings – among other places.

The big question that you may have to ask is how foreseeable the danger to you was and what the property owner could have done to better protect you.

For example, imagine the following situations:

  • You’re on vacation and you pick a hotel at random. The hotel manager is aware that rooms have recently been broken into but doesn’t hire any additional security or warn you about the danger. You’re later surprised by someone in your room, beaten and robbed.
  • You work at a hospital. The management knows that some of the nurses and other employees have encountered threats from vagrants in the area when trying to get through the parking deck. They don’t add any additional locks, lighting or security guards. You end up being attacked by someone and hurt.

In both of those situations, it’s clear that the landlord, owners or managers were conscious of the potential for danger from third parties. It’s also clear they could have done more to protect the people who are lawfully on the premises.

Premise liability claims for negligent security are not always so clear and easy to determine. Don’t assume that you don’t have a claim until you’ve sought experienced legal guidance.

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