Property owners have a responsibility under West Virginia premises liability law to ensure that visitors do not suffer injury for reasonably foreseeable crimes that may occur on their property. While they cannot guarantee the safety of every single person on their property, these owners do have a legal responsibility to take precautions and appropriate measures to keep visitors safe from harm. This may include things like installing security cameras, putting up gates, and trimming overgrown brush or landscaping.
How do negligent security incidents happen? The term “negligent security” is used to refer to the responsibility of public, private, and government property owners to take certain precautions against crime on their own property. If you are injured by a third party on another person’s property because a hotel, business, or other establishment failed to protect the premises, you may qualify for a negligent security claim. Here at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we understand the laws surrounding these cases and what evidence you need to file a claim to seek compensation.
Part of the reason why negligent security is such a common problem is because it can occur nearly anywhere. People are susceptible to attack or injury in parking lots, at ATMs, on college campuses, in parking garages, hospitals, nursing homes, shopping centers, sporting stadiums, and almost anywhere they go. Sadly, many of these negligent security cases could have been avoided and prevented by additional security measures. Without security cameras, additional lighting, and other safety measures that many businesses employ, we would be much more susceptible to criminal attacks.
Our West Virginia premises liability attorneys understand the complications and laws surrounding these types of premises liability claims, and we have provided additional information about common negligent security cases that have been filed over the years.
Insufficient College Campus Security
On college campuses around the nation, there were 20,090 burglary crimes reported and 3,589 motor vehicle thefts reported throughout 2011 alone. College students are more susceptible to attacks, robberies, burglaries, and sexual assaults when they are walking around their college campuses, and colleges must take precautions to keep their students safe. Simple safety precautions like installing cameras, fencing, lighting, and hiring security guards can go a long way in preventing crime on these campuses. You may be able to file a negligent security claim if you can prove that your school failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing students from being harmed by third parties on school property.
Failure to Adequately Light Parking Garages
Parking garages are prime areas for criminal activity, especially if they are not properly lit. When parking garages or stairwells are poorly lit or do not have security cameras installed, innocent victims may be robbed, assaulted or attacked. A failure to adequately light a parking garage can be a valid cause to file a lawsuit if you have been attacked or harmed in any way.
Negligent Bank Security and ATM Security
There are hundreds of ATMs throughout West Virginia so that you can have access to funds at any time. While ATMS are convenient to use, they also attract crime and are prime locations for robberies and assaults. If a bank fails to provide adequate security measures like cameras or good lighting, that bank may be held responsible if you have been attacked at an ATM. Banks can further ensure the safety of their customers by employing security guards.
Other negligent security cases can be caused by unreliable secured access systems, lack of secured access systems, inadequate lighting at night, or no warning sights.
Accidents caused by negligent premises security can include incidents such as sexual assaults, robberies, rapes, criminal assaults, and other traumatic incidents as well. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a criminal act because of negligent security, you must know that you have the legal right to take action. Negligent security cases can be difficult to prove because you must be able to show that a property owner did not provide adequate security to prevent a foreseeable danger. In other words, you must prove that your injuries were caused by an unsafe environment, or that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the safety of his or her property. Then, you must prove that the property owner was aware of the danger or criminal activity and failed to adequately protect or warn visitors.
There are many benefits to filing a negligent security claim, and our firm is here to help you through the complex legal process involved with seeking compensation. Call Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC today for reliable and effective legal help!