Philadelphia Negligent Security Attorneys
Helping Victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
You have a right to be safe from violent attacks. This is especially the case when you are in and around businesses or facilities including hotels, colleges, apartment complexes and more. In most cases, when you are attacked, the individual who hurt you will not have the resources to compensate you. However, if the business or property owner failed to provide proper security, you may be eligible for compensation from them due to a legal concept called negligent security. The attorneys at Rodden, Rodden & Breslin understand the physical and emotional trauma crime victims suffer after someone attacks, and we are here to help. Contact us today to learn whether you have the basis for a claim against the property where you were hurt.
What is Negligent Security in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Negligent security is a special form of premises liability. This kind of claim allows for victims of crime to hold a property owner or manager financially liable if they fail to provide proper security measures. What is a proper security measure? That answer will vary by location and type of property. The standards for proper security are much higher at a hotel in the city than they are on someone’s private property in a rural setting. However, under the right circumstances, both the hotel and the private property owner can be liable.
Common locations where victims experience a failure insecurity include pretty much any facility you can imagine. For example:
- Parking lots, both indoor and outdoor
- Hotels, both inside and outside
- Stores, such as supermarkets, open and closed malls, and other locations where you shop
- Sporting and concert events, both inside the arena and outside in the parking and pedestrian areas
- Office buildings, both skyscrapers and smaller facilities
- Apartment complexes, especially larger complexes with joint entryways
- College campuses, especially pedestrian areas and dorms
- Bars and nightclubs where people may be intoxicated
What Kind of Attacks May Be Covered?
The major difference between a failure to provide proper security and other types of cases is the type of harm victims suffer. A typical premises liability case involves such things as slips and falls, or injuries due to something falling on you. Security claims generally involve violent attacks on innocent victims including:
- Physical attacks such as assault and battery.
- Sexual attacks such as rape or attempted rape.
- Attacks with weapons such as shootings or stabbings.
- Incidents where you are taken from a location such as a carjacking or kidnapping.
- Attacks leading to death.
In short, if you were injured during a criminal attack that could have been prevented if the facility had proper security and safeguards, you may have the basis for a legal claim.
What Qualifies as Negligent Security?
Each business or property owner should have the appropriate types of devices on their property in order to provide a safe location for visitors. As noted, what may be necessary in one location may not be required in another. Common types of security include:
- Proper lighting in areas where people walk. It is easier to avoid being attacked if you can see what is going on. In addition, criminals generally prefer to attack in the dark.
- Locked exterior doors. Not only are locked exterior doors important, they need to have appropriate security features. For example, if there is a history of keys getting lost or stolen, then it is time for the owner to change the locks or put in an electronic system with codes or cards.
- Video monitoring. In high risk places, video cameras with appropriate monitoring are appropriate. In some cases, the presence of the camera might make a difference. In others though, cameras without monitoring might be useless.
- Security guards. In especially high-risk locations, security guards are necessary. A guard that follows proper patrol protocol or who can be on the scene quickly can make a big difference in both preventing and stopping violent assaults.
- Warning signs can let potential criminals know that a location has guards or video monitoring. While this might not matter to some criminals, others might think twice.
A few small changes can make a big difference in the safety of a property. Sadly, not every business takes even basic steps to keep their visitors safe. If you are attacked on someone’s property, your negligent security attorney can investigate the situation and see if the business violated the standard of care for what is appropriate. If the property owner or manager failed to meet appropriate security requirements, then you may have the basis for a lawsuit.
Types of Damages
Improper security cases are like other types of lawsuits as far as your eligibility for compensation. When filing a claim against a business or other property owner, your attorney may seek:
- Lost wages for any work you missed or time you are expected to miss in the future.
- Medical bills that you paid as well as the cost for future treatment.
- Out-of-pocket expenses that you incurred due to your injuries, such as needing to hire someone to assist you clean or go shopping.
- Compensation for any permanent injuries that will impact you the rest of your life, such as broken bones, damage to your body requiring surgery, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
- Pain and suffering, which covers both your physical and emotional pain from the incident.
- Loss of life’s enjoyment due to your emotional harm and your physical inability to do things you enjoyed.
- Loss of consortium for your spouse who is unable to share companionship with you in the way they did in the past.
- Wrongful death claims for certain family members if a loved one is killed during a violent incident.
When you speak with your lawyer, they will address the types of damages for which you can recover due to the failure of a property to provide the safe environment to which you are entitled.
What Should You Do If You Are Attacked and Might Have a Negligent Security Claim?
If you are the victim of a crime, your first step should be to get medical treatment and speak to the police. The important thing is to get the help you need. Once you are able, if you believe that the attack occurred because of a security problem, your next step should be to contact the Pennsylvania and New Jersey negligent security attorneys at Rodden, Rodden & Breslin. We understand that you are suffering, and we are here to help you seek the justice you deserve.