If you have been injured in a criminal attack, you may be wondering how you will pay your medical bills and how you will get by if your injuries prevent you from returning to work. Chances are that the criminal who hurt you will not be able to pay, if they are even caught. However, you may be able to recover full compensation for your injuries including future expenses, losses and pain and suffering, if inadequate security played a role in the attack.
Negligent security claims fall under premises liability law. Property and business owners have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for guests, customers, employees and others who enter their property.
If you believe that your injuries could have been prevented if the property or business owner had provided adequate security, please contact Mehalic Law PLLC today online or at 304-346-3462 to discuss your case. Jeff Mehalic helps clients from Morgantown, Wheeling, Martinsburg and throughout West Virginia. Your initial consultation is free and, if we move forward with your case, you pay nothing until we recover money for you.
Understanding Foreseeability in Negligent Security Cases
Foreseeability is a crucial element in negligent security cases. Property and business owners have a duty to provide adequate security, and foreseeability of crime on the property or at the location determines what types of security measure are enough.
There are many factors that can go into the analysis of foreseeability. Being located in a high-crime area is an obvious one. Certain types of businesses, such as banks and ATMs, require heightened security even in very low-crime areas. Sometimes the location and type of business are irrelevant but there is a specific elevated risk that is known, such as a disgruntled ex-employee who may be seeking retaliation. Similarly, a known risk of domestic violence against an employee, guest, resident or regular customer may warrant heightened security measures.
There can be many nuances in determining whether the risk was foreseeable and whether the business or property owner responded appropriately. Each situation is unique. Attorney Jeff Mehalic is here to listen to your story, and fight for you.
Examples of factors establishing the element of foreseeability in negligent security lawsuits include:
- High-risk type of business or property such as bank or high-end jewelry store, even in a low-crime area and with no history of crime on the property
- History of crime on the property
- Recent spike in crime on the property
- Located in a high-crime area
- Recent spike in crime in the area
- Direct threat
- Known risk such as disgruntled ex-employee or customer or a risk of domestic violence
Types of Crime
A negligent security claim may be appropriate if you or someone you love has been harmed by any of the following types of violence, whether you were the intended target or a bystander who was injured:
- Armed robbery
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault
- Excessive force by overzealous security personnel or employees
Types of Locations in West Virginia Negligent Security Cases
A negligent security claim may be appropriate if you were injured on any of the following types of property:
- Retail store
- Shopping mall
- Convenience store or gas station
- Warehouse store
- Bar or nightclub
- Movie theater
- Concert hall
- Amusement park
- Sports stadium
- Bank or ATM location
- Hotel or motel
- RV park
- Apartment or condominium building
- Rental property
- Office building
- Public park
- Government building
- School or university
- Nursing home
- Daycare center
- Bus or train station
- Parking lot or parking structure
This is not a comprehensive list of every possible type of location where a negligent security claim may arise, but it gives you a good idea. If you were injured on a type of property that is not listed, talk to Jeff to find out if negligent security applies in your case.
Types of Security
The types of security measures that a business or property owner should use will depend on factors such as the type of business or location and the threat level. Examples of some of the basic security measure which are often required include:
- Adequate lighting
- Security guards
- Regular, visible patrolling by security guards
- Security cameras, with monitoring where appropriate
- Proper building access controls
- Proper lock and key controls in hotels, motels, and apartment buildings
- Alarm systems
- Panic buttons
- Bullet resistant enclosures
- Having more than one employee on site during high-risk hours
- Warning guests and others of a danger that may not be obvious
- Fences and controlled gates
- Reporting crimes that occur on the property
- Reporting direct threats
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a West Virginia criminal attack or assault, please do not wait until it is too late to take action. Call Mehalic Law PLLC at 304-346-3462 or complete the form on this page to schedule your free consultation today. We proudly serve Morgantown, Wheeling, Martinsburg and other areas in West Virginia.