When people think about a property owner’s duty to keep premises safe, they often think of responsibilities like cleaning up wet floors, putting a fence around a pool and keeping stairwells clear. However, there are other conditions that could put people in danger which property owners may need to address as well.
If a person is injured because of a personal attack or other form of violence on someone’s property, there may be grounds for the victim to pursue a legal claim citing premises liability. However, these cases can be particularly thorny and complicated because it can be very difficult to determine whether inadequate security was a factor. If it wasn’t, properly owners may not be liable for acts of violence.
For example, let’s consider a situation where you are leaving a restaurant and someone attacks you as you walk to your car. If the restaurant is in an area known to be unsafe, the property owner should have some security measures in place. This could include things like security guards, lights, a secured parking lot and/or surveillance cameras. If there are no such features in place, you could potentially have a claim against the property owner citing negligent security.
The main points to keep in mind when it comes to these claims is that if criminal or violent activity can be reasonably anticipated, property owners are expected to have some type of security in place. If an owner does nothing or does not do enough, he or she may be held liable.
If you have been injured as a result of violence on someone else’s property, you may want to discuss the incident with an attorney. Not only could you have a claim against the person who attacked you, you may also have a claim against a negligent property owner who failed to provide adequate security to people who are welcome on the property.